Lucky for us Floridians, we don’t need a groundhog to tell us whether spring is on the way… we’ve got festivals. And for St. Augustine they start as early as mid-February and continue through May. So that you can start pre-planning your warmer weather weekends, here’s a round-up of family friendly events in the area …
Feb. 27-March 1: The 30th Annual Cathedral Festival is held on the grounds near the Mission, where the Great Cross stands, off San Marco Avenue in uptown St. Augustine. Fireworks, rides, a silent auction like no other, Bingo, live music and MORE! The event is a fundraiser for the Cathedral Parish School in St. Augustine. See the entertainment lineup and other details at thecathedralfestival.com
March 6-8: The 34th St Augustine Lions Seafood Festival – Presented By Winn Dixie is held at Francis Field, 29 W. Castillo Drive, downtown St. Augustine. Dozens of seafood vendors, jazz night, more than 100 arts & crafts vendors, a kids zone, and a family-friendly entertainment stage with live children’s theatre and pirates will be featured. Go to www.lionsfestival.com to find out more.
LIGHTHOUSE FEST & 5K
March 7: The Lighthouse 5K & Night Fest will take place at the St. Augustine Lighthouse, 81 Lighthouse Ave., on the island, over the Bridge of Lions. The Night Fest will run from 4 to 9 p.m., with the race beginning at 4:30 p.m., and the Fun Run at 5:30 p.m. Admission is FREE to the Night Fest. Register for the run at lighthouse5krun.com.
March 13-15: THE St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival features the St. Augustine St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 14 in downtown St. Augustine, a whisky tasting, Highland games, and international bands including Albannach, The Dublin City Ramblers, Rathkeltair, Searson, Whisky of the Damned, Poor Angus, and Makem & Spain. The festival is held at Francis Field, 29 W. Castillo Drive, downtown St. Augustine. Go to celticstaugustine.com for more details.
March 22: The Spring 2015 St. Augustine Record Fair, presented by local record store ToneVendor and the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 22 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, 1340 A1A South. This event is free, family-friendly and open to the public. Music lovers and collectors can shop over 35 tables featuring thousands of new and used vinyl records, CDs, music memorabilia, collectibles, turntable supplies, posters and other unique music-related items. Find out more at www.staugamphitheatre.com or www.tonevendor.com.
March 28: 16th Annual USA 5K (Health & Fun Fair) — This event is hosted by the University of St. Augustine. Stay updated at www.facebook.com/USA5K
March 28-29: The Old Town Art Show features more than 100 artists and craftsmen from Northeast Florida and from throughout the country. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at Francis Field, 29 W. Castillo Drive, downtown St. Augustine. Admission is FREE. Go to www.OldTownArtShow.com.
EASTER PARADE & PROMENADE
April 5: The annual St. Augustine Easter Parade begins at 3 p.m. at the Mission of Nombre de Dios and heads south on San Marco Avenue in St. Augustine. A promenade will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Plaza de la Constitucion and includes a costume/Easter finery contest. Admission is FREE.
RHYTHM & RIBS FEST
April 10-12: The 20th Annual Rhythm & Ribs Festival features barbecue vendors and a cook-off, live music, a kids zone, Kiss the Pig, and live music. Hosted by the St. Augustine Sunrise Rotary, the festival is held at Francis Field, 29 W. Castillo Drive, downtown St. Augustine. Keep updated at rhythmandribs.net
FLOWER & GARDEN EXPO
April 18-19: THE EPIC Flower & Garden Expo will delight gardeners of all ages with growers, nurseries and artisans from around the state offering shoppers every item to make your garden all it can be — held at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center, 3125 Agricultural Center Drive. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 18; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 19. Use your Expo pass to receive free admission to the Taste of St. Augustine on April 25! Go to epicbh.org/flowerandgardenexpo for more details.
BIRDING & PHOTO FEST
April 22-26: The 13th Annual Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest will feature more than 110 birding and outdoor photography events in St. Johns County and surrounding locations. This festival is headquartered at the GTM Research Reserve, located 8 miles north of St. Augustine on A1A North. Go to www.FloridasBirdingAndPhotoFest.com to register.
TASTE OF ST. AUGUSTINE
April 25: The 19th annual A Taste of St. Augustine will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 25 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Taste samples from more than 20 St. Augustine restaurants and vote for “People’s Choice.” Live music and the annual Race to the Taste 5K are part of the event. Go to epicbh.org/tasteofstaugustine for more details.
FEEL THE WHEELS
April 25: Feel the Wheels feature hands-on fun for all ages at a static display of service vehicles of all kinds — helicopters, firetrucks, boats, tractors and so much more — from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the St. Augustine Outlet Mall, off State Road 16 in St. Augustine. Hosted by Tag! Children’s Museum of St. Augustine Visit www.tagmuseum.org and www.facebook.com/tagmuseum to find out more.
GAMBLE ROGERS MUSIC FEST
May 1-3: The 20th Annual Gamble Rogers Music Festival will feature three days of live music at area venues including the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall and the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Go to www.gamblerogersfest.org to find out more.
May 1-3: The Paseo Pastel (St. Augustine Chalk Walk) presents a day of sidewalk chalking by professional chalk artists, local artists and area students near the St. Augustine Visitors Information Center, 10 W. Castillo Drive, downtown St. Augustine. Go to www.staugustinechalkwalk.com for details.
May 8-17: The Romanza Festivale of the Arts will feature 10 days of the arts in St. Augustine — concerts, art exhibits, live theatre shows, dance, street festivals and a parade, historical celebrations and so much more! Go to www.romanzafestivale.com to find out more.