Drake's Raid in St. Augustine This Weekend

  • drakes raid spanish reenactment history

    This year marks the 27th reenactment of the historical conquest of the city of St. Augustine known as "Drake's Raid." It's one of the liveliest and largest reenactments played out in the city, drawing locals and visitors alike. The event is family-friendly and great for fans of swordplay and action. Watch as soldiers take their fight to the streets of St. Augustine - starting at the Old City Gate, down St. George Street, to the Plaza de la Constitucion. It's like a good football game or an exciting boxing match, except with swords, muskets, and cannons. In the spirit of head-to-head competition, here are your two teams!

    Drake's Men (The English)

    On one side of the battle, you have Sir Francis Drake aka "The Dragon." Feared across the Caribbean for his military prowess, Drake served as an English privateer (essentially, a state-appointed pirate), burning enemy towns and villages to the ground. His fleet consisted of 23 ships and 2000 Englishmen, 1000 of which were led by Captain Christopher Carlile on the raid in Saint Augustine. Drake spotted the Spanish watchtower from the ocean, which led him to find the Spanish city nestled in the inlet. Captain Carlile led an attack from Anastasia Island, bombarding the Spanish fort with cannons, and driving the people from the town.

     drakes raid event city st augustine

    Photo courtesy of Jackie Hird, www.jackiehird.com

    Men of Menendez (The Spanish)

    On the other side of the battle, you have the Spanish townspeople, merchants, and soldiers just trying to make a living in the New World. St. Augustine was a port-town, military outpost, and an important route of trade for the Spanish. When the English came, they were driven from the city, losing everything they had worked for. Eventually they would return and build the city up again, this time with the help of a resilient building material known as coquina. 
    drakes raid st augustine plaza

    Photo courtesy of Jackie Hird, www.jackiehird.com


    You may ask "Why is this historical reenactment relevant today?" Drake's Raid was a turning point in our city's history. It commemorates the last time the Spanish faced defeat in St. Augustine, abandoning the city they called home. Drake's raid on St. Augustine represents the rock bottom Spanish settlers faced before rising from the ashes, building the Castillo de San Marcos, and making the city into what it has become today.

    drakes raid fountain of youth demonstation


    Saturday, June 1st, 2013

    10 AM - 5 PM

    The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park will be hosting a historical military encampment. There will be drills, weapons demonstrations, and retellings of historical events. Bring the kids to a day filled with plenty of fun and history!
    7 PM

    The excitement begins at the Old City Gate near the Castillo de San Marcos. The British invaders and Spanish defenders will fight their way down St. George Street to the Plaza de la Constitucion.

    For more info on upcoming events, click here to view our Events Calendar.

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Updated: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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Visit St. Augustine

Experiencing St. Augustine just got a whole lot easier with the Visit St. Augustine blog. Browse through new and past blog posts to find out more than you ever knew about the oldest city and what exciting new events and happenings are going on.