Drake's Raid Reenactment
Saturday, June 2, 2018 at Fountain of Youth
On Saturday, June 2, 2018, two companies of Historic Florida Militia will present the 29th annual reenactment of Sir Francis Drake's raid on old San Agustïn. An encampment will be held at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park during the day, and the raid will be reenacted along St. George Street in the evening. Drake's Raid is a popular annual event that re-creates this historic raid that occurred on June 6, 1586, when 2,000 Englishmen in 23 ships attacked the Spanish settlement of San Agustín.
From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Fountain of Youth will host a re-created 16th-century-style military encampment, featuring drills, weapons demonstrations and living history interpretations. Please note: Regular park admission rates apply.
On Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m., the reenactment of the sacking and burning of the town will begin at the City Gate and will proceed down St. George Street to end at the Plaza de la Constitución.
This event commemorates the temporary abandonment of the city of St. Augustine by Spanish colonial forces. After the town was looted and burned by Drake’s men, the Spanish returned to rebuild it.
Participating reenactors include the Men of Menéndez and Drake's Men, both groups with Historic Florida Militia, Inc. For more information on the reenactment, visit here.
Admission: Regular park admission rates apply for the Fountain of Youth Park ($15 for adults, $14 for seniors ages 60 and over, $9 for children ages 6-12, and free for toddlers 5 and under). The Saturday evening reenactment downtown is free.
Where: The living history encampment on Friday is at the Fountain of Youth, located at 11 Magnolia Avenue in St. Augustine. The Drake's Raid reenactment on Saturday will begin at the City Gate, which is located at the north end of St. George Street, and will proceed south to the Plaza de la Constitución.
When: Events will take place throughout the day on Saturday, June 2, 2018. The military encampment will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Fountain of Youth, and the reenactment of the sacking and burning of the town will begin on St. George Street at 7:00 p.m.
History of the event: On June 6, 1586, 23 ships approached the harbor of the Spanish colonial city of San Agustín with 2,000 Englishmen under the command of Sir Francis Drake. After sighting the harbor, 1,000 of these men, led by Captain Christopher Carlile, landed on Anastasia Island the next day and mounted cannons opposite the Spanish wooden fort, which was located on what is now the Fountain of Youth Park. The cannons blazed until the Spanish forces (just 300 in number) were forced to abandon the fort during the night of June 7. On the morning of June 8, the English crossed Matanzas Bay, taking the fortification and driving the Spanish rearguard from the city.
Photo above by D.B. Couper.