Saturday, September 9, 2023 | 10 a.m.
St. Augustine is 458 years old this year, and will celebrate the original September 8, 1565, landing by the Spanish with its annual Founder's Day Commemoration on Saturday, September 9, 2023. The anniversary of the founding of the city by Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés will take place at the Mission Nombre de Dios and the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, with activities from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Historic Florida Militia's Men of Menéndez will present the 2023 Founder's Day Commemoration in partnership with the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios, the St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation, and the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. The landing takes place at 10 a.m. at the Mission, accompanied by cannon and musket salutes from the adjacent shores of the Fountain of Youth. Following that, a Catholic Mass will be held at the Rustic Altar on the Mission grounds at 11 a.m.
At noon, the Menéndez entourage will move to the Fountain of Youth in the Grand Procession, and at 1 p.m. there will be a First Thanksgiving Meal reenactment. A re-created encampment and living history demonstrations will continue at the Fountain of Youth until 5 p.m.
Here is the schedule of events for 2023:
|10 a.m.||Menéndez and his entourage approach and land at Mission grounds||Mission Nombre de Dios|
|11 a.m.||Ceremonies and Catholic Mass at the Rustic Altar at Mission||Mission Nombre de Dios|
|12 p.m.||Grand Procession from Mission grounds to the Fountain of Youth||Fountain of Youth|
|1 p.m.||Re-enactment of First Thanksgiving Meal (Regular admissions apply; free for residents of St. Johns County.)||Fountain of Youth|
|1 - 5 p.m.||Encampment and regularly scheduled weapons demonstrations (Regular admissions apply; free for residents of St. Johns County.)||Fountain of Youth|
St. Augustine is the oldest continuously-occupied European settlement in the continental United States. The Founding commemoration celebrates the September 8, 1565 landing of Menéndez and his crew at the original site of the founding of the "Noble and Loyal City."
Ample, free parking is available at the Mission. Seating is limited, so guests are encouraged to bring folding chairs.
Admission: The landing, Mass, and Procession are free. Regular admission rates apply to enter the Fountain of Youth ($19.95 for adults, $9.95 for children ages 6-12, and free for toddlers 5 and under). St. Johns County residents will be admitted free, as will participants in the procession.
When: The landing and Mass will take place at the Mission beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2023. The First Thanksgiving re-enactment will be held at 1:00 p.m. at the Fountain of Youth, where a re-created encampment and historic demonstrations will continue until 5 p.m.
Where: The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios is located at 101 San Marco in St. Augustine FL 32084. The Fountain of Youth is located at 11 Magnolia Avenue in St. Augustine FL 32084.
Photo above of Founder's Day landing during St. Augustine 450th Anniversary celebrations in 2015.
Admission | Ticket PricesFree
|Free to attend activities at Mission grounds|
|Regular admission applies at Fountain of Youth:|
|Children (ages 6 - 12)||$9.95|
|Toddlers (5 & under)||Free|