Old Town Fernandina Celebrates Bicentennial on April 2, 2011.
Fernandina Beach, FL – On Saturday April 2nd, Old Fernandina (known as Old Town) celebrates the 200th anniversary of the naming and platting of the town during the 2nd Spanish period. On January 1, 1811, the Amelia Island Post was renamed Fernandina after King Ferdinand VII of Spain, and in May of the same year George Clarke was instructed by the Governor of the Province of E. Florida to bring order to this wild border town by platting it according to the ancient Law of the Indies.
On Bicentennial Day you may choose to be an early bird and take part in the Fort-to-Fort 5k walk/run from the site of Fort San Carlos on the Plaza to Fort Clinch in the State Park at 8:30. If you arrive on the island by car either, follow the signs to N.14th Street and Franklin and enjoy free parking under the shady trees before you take the free Amelia Island Trolley shuttle to Old Town. The trolley will be looping from the parking area into and around Old Town all day.
Or drive down Centre St and catch the Amelia River Cruise boat to the Old Town dock at Tiger Point Marina and then walk 2 minutes to the Plaza. The first boat trip is at 9:30 with hourly trips on the half hour and return trips from Old Town on the hour. Only $5 round trip, seniors and children under 12 free.
When you arrive, go to the San Carlos Plaza overlooking the river for the opening ceremony at 10:00 with a special visit from the Spanish Consul-General. Warning! Keep your eyes and ears open for Pirates! Commemorative T-shirts will be on sale.
Then you have decisions to make:
· Walk Someruelos Street to the site of the old town gates and join the Bosque Bello cemetery tour ($8 tickets on sale at the library). Or begin the Home Tour and visit one or two of the Captains’ Homes and Cottages before completing the tour of all six homes later ($10 tickets on sale at the Museum and Lindy’s on Centre Street). Tickets available from March 21st.
· Make sure you don’t miss one of the Nature tours from woods to river, at 10:30 or 2:00 when you will learn of the history of the flora and fauna of Old Town.
· Of course, you must make sure that you sit and enjoy the History Vignettes at either 11:00 or 1:30 in which former Old Town residents tell the dramatic tale of their lives during the turbulent 2nd Spanish period.
· The museum docents will surprise you with tales of ancient burials, massacre, treasure, tunnels, boardwalks and saucy ladies. Their knowledge of Old Town history, ancient and modern, will be told throughout the day.
· Make sure you regularly check out the progress of the archeological dig on Someruelos Street. Who knows what these experts will find?
There will be plenty of opportunity for you to sit and relax, find something good to eat, enjoy the Spanish music, watch the sailboat race, and visit with the Pirates. The afternoon will begin with Flamenco dancing at 1 pm and the Island Chamber Singers and superb Spanish music by a master guitarist will complete your day. Opportunities still available for food and merchandise vendors!
For more information visit www.oldtownfernandina.org/bicentennial or phone 904.491.1259.