Free Event

Colonial Night Watch 2018

Saturday, December 1, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Experience St. Augustine history and join the parade of the Colonial Night Watch in the nation's oldest city.

Activities at Castillo and Colonial Quarter throughout day; Grand Illumination Procession from Castillo to Plaza at 7 p.m.
(904) 501-0391
  • The St. Augustine Garrison, The Colonial Quarter and the Castillo de San Marcos present The Colonial Night Watch on Saturday, December 1, 2018. This popular annual event recreates historic Night Watches in garrison towns, where any citizen 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.

    This day-long event begins at the Castillo de San Marcos with a flag-raising ceremony at 9:00 a.m. Musket and field artillery demonstrations take place on the Castillo lawn at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. that evening, the Castillo will fire its cannon, which will be the signal for the torchlit procession to begin. Reenactors from a variety of time periods will proceed down St. George Street to the Plaza de la Constitución.

    Activities at the Colonial Quarter begin at 10:00 a.m. and feature Spanish, French, British and Native American reenactors portraying events of colonial St. Augustine from 1739 through 1784. Visitors can observe a working blacksmith and leather worker, as well as pewter molding, loom weaving, medical instrument demonstration and cooking demonstrations. Additionally, guests are welcome to take part in making Native American corn husk dolls and trade bead bracelets and necklaces. At 2:00 p.m. there will be Hammer Dulcimer music and reenactors dancing the Virginia Reel at the Isabella Garden.

    The Colonial Night Watch culminates in a torchlit parade that begins from the Castillo at 7:00 p.m and proceeds west to the City Gate and south down St. George Street to the Plaza de la Constitución. Parade participants will be greeted with a welcoming speech from Mayor Nancy Shaver at the Government House. This will be followed by a “Volley of Joy” by soldiers and militia, and singing of 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.

    Admission: FREE

    When: Flag-raising ceremony at the Castillo de San Marcos at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 1, 2018. Musket and field artillery demonstrations on the Castillo's front lawn at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. Day-long activities at the Colonial Quarter from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Program at the Isabellla Garden at 2:00 p.m. The torchlit Colonial Night Watch parade begins at 7:00 p.m.

    Where: The flag-raising ceremony takes place at the Castillo de San Marcos 1 South Castillo Drive, St. Augustine, Florida,  Living History demonstrations are offered throughout the day at the Castillo, the Colonial Quarter and the Isabella Garden on the corner of Hypolita and St. George Street. The Colonial Night Watch parade begins at the Castillo de San Marcos, proceeds west to the City Gates and south down St. George Street to the Plaza de la Constitution.

    Above photo courtesy of Jackie Hird.

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