The Colonial Night Watch takes place on December 2, 2023. The main event, a torchlight parade, begins at the Castillo de San Marcos at 7:00 p.m. This popular annual event recreates historic Night Watches in garrison towns, where citizens still on the streets after the city gates were locked were required to carry a light so they could be seen and identified by the Night Watch.
Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the Castillo de San Marco will host events on the grounds outside the fort throughout the day on Saturday, December 2.
- 10:30 a.m. - Authentic-style military weapons inspection of the troops
- 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. - Musket and field artillery demonstration
At the Oldest House Museum Complex, on Saturday, December 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Spanish, French, British, and Native American Living History Interpreters portray colonial St. Augustine events from 1739 through 1784. Visitors can observe military and Native American arts, culture, and lifestyles. Entry is free.
The Colonial Night Watch culminates in a torch-lit parade, starting at the Castillo de San Marcos at 7:00 p.m. The historic reenactors march to the City Gate and then down St. George Street to the Governor's House Cultural Center and Museum at the Plaza de la Constitución. The public is invited to follow the troops as they march from the City Gate down St. George Street.
At the Government House, parade participants will be greeted with a welcoming speech, followed by a "Volley of Joy" by soldiers and militia, as they sing Christmas carols to ring in the holiday season.
The public is invited to follow the parade to the Plaza and is encouraged to participate in singing Christmas carols.
When: Events on Saturday, December 2, 2023, will include weapons demonstrations on the grounds of the Castillo, day-long activities at the Oldest House Museum Complex from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and the torch-lit Colonial Night Watch parade, which begins at 7:00 p.m.
Where: The Oldest House Museum Complex is at 271 Charlotte Street, St. Augustine. The Colonial Night Watch parade begins at the Castillo de San Marcos, 2 Castillo Drive, and proceeds west to the City Gates and south down St. George Street to the Plaza de la Constitution.
Above photo courtesy of Jackie Hird.