If you are visiting St. Augustine for the Nights of Lights festivities early in December, you’ll want to enjoy the special holiday lights events as well on the evenings of Saturday, December 2, Wednesday, December 6, and Saturday, December 9, 2017.
Colonial Night Watch Parade
December 2, 2017, at 7:00 pm, the Colonial Night Watch Torchlight Parade honors the city’s colonial history during the period from 1739-1785. Presented by the St. Augustine Garrison of Historic Florida Militia, Inc., and the National Park Service, the parade recreates a Night Watch, when any residents in garrison towns had to carry a light so that they could be identified by the Night Watch. Beginning at the Castillo de San Marcos, reenactors representing the British and Spanish military, Florida militias, and Native Americans will lead the procession west to the City Gate, where visitors can join in and follow the torches to the Government House at the Plaza de la Constitución. At the Plaza, there are Christmas carols, and the Night Watch fires a “Volley of Joy” to welcome the holiday season. In addition to the parade, Colonial Night Watch will host living history demonstrations including cannon and field gun firings and fife and drum performances at the Castillo de San Marcos on Saturday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. For more information, visit their Facebook page, and for a preview of the fun, see the video of the 2016 parade.
Luminary Night at the St. Augustine Lighthouse
Wednesday, December 6, 2017, don’t miss Luminary Night at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. The Lighthouse will be outlined with more than 1,000 luminaries that evening, complementing the city’s thousands of white sparkling lights. Visitors will be treated to lighting displays and holiday decorations including at least 10 Christmas trees throughout the grounds, as well as the nautically-themed tree in the Keeper’s House. The holiday celebration will include live music, children’s activities and holiday crafts, as well as the chance to visit the Museum’s Legends of the Light exhibition and the Maritime Archaeology & Education Center. A highlight of the evening will be the opportunity to climb the Lighthouse tower for the sweeping view of the city’s Nights of Lights display. Admission is free; donating a non-perishable food item for a local food pantry is suggested. For more information, visit their website.
Regatta of Lights
Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 6:00 pm, the holiday celebrations of the city’s nautical heritage continue when the Regatta of Lights extends the Nights of Lights along the St. Augustine shoreline on Matanzas Bay. Visitors will see all kinds of boats elaborately decorated with elaborate light displays, from sailboats to yachts, and shrimp boats to trawlers. All will be competing for awards such as best theme, most colorful, best in class, etc. Hosted by the St. Augustine Yacht Club, the Regatta sails along the bayfront between the Bridge of Lions and the Castillo de San Marcos. Visitors can watch from along the seawall or from one of many restaurants with views of the bay. For more information on the Regatta of Lights, visit their website or Facebook page.
Casa de Solana, just several blocks from the Plaza de la Constitución and the Bridge of Lions, is the perfect hotel location for enjoying these events, as well as the Nights of Lights. The holiday lights and celebrations in St. Augustine are spectacular, so don’t wait to give us a call or go online and book your stay!