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The Romanza Festivale of the Arts is ten days of historical, cultural, and creative events that celebrate all things St. Augustine. From May 5 to 14, 2017, the nation’s oldest city will be jam-packed with music and dance concerts, living history events and historical tours, live theater, and much more.
The Romanza Festivale includes more than 60 events and exhibits (many of them free) that showcase St. Augustine’s historical and cultural heritage. Performances, tours, and a variety of activities happen daily in many locations throughout the city. Romanza means romance, and this is the sixth year the Romanza Festivale will bring the talents of the arts community to the forefront to express their love affair with St. Augustine.
This year’s Romanza Festivale showcases the full sweep of local artistic endeavors, from the opening Cinco de Mayo concert on Friday, May 5, to the exciting Harry Potter Event on Saturday, May 13, and the closing concert by the St. Augustine Community Chorus on Sunday, May 14.
The First Friday Art Walk on May 5 is the prelude to the Romanza Festivale and the first event in the visual arts category. On the first festival weekend, “Art on Aviles Street” will feature plein-air artists painting and sketching outside on this historic street on May 6 and 7. The St. Augustine Art Association will host a new exhibition entitled “Gilded: Impressions of the Flagler Era,” which will also be free and open to the public on select days of the festival.
History buffs can enjoy fascinating exhibits through the week at the Spanish Military Hospital Museum, the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum, and the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center, along with "Behind the Scenes" tours at the St. Augustine Lighthouse. From May 9 through May 11, visitors can get a closer look at the St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation’s 450th Legacy Vessel, the San Agustín, at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.
This year's roster also features an intriguing new tour called the "Organ Crawl," that explores unique church organs in St. Augustine.
Events in the category of live theater will include A Classic Theatre’s production of "Love Letters” at the Gamache-Koger Theater at Flagler College, and a presentation entitled "When Florida Was the Wild West" by The Three Tellers at the Corazón Cinema and Café.
The Festivale’s musical offerings begin with two free concerts at the Gazebo on the Plaza: the Cinco de Mayo Concert featuring Luis Mario Peral and His Band, and the Romanza Opening concert by The Caribbean Salsa Dixieland Band, These concert will set the stage for nine days of musical presentations, including the Gamble Rogers Music Festival (a new Romanza partner this year), and two series of free concerts: “A Little Night Music,” featuring some of St. Augustine’s finest local musicians, which takes place in the evenings at the Colonial Quarter, and the free afternoon concerts of the Romanza Chamber Music Series, which are presented at the Ancient City Baptist Church.
On May 9, the Romanza Festivale will present an eclectic sampling of the art of dance with “The Kaleidoscope of Dance” at the Lewis Auditorium, and on May 12, the St. Augustine Orchestra will perform their signature spring concert in the Lightner Museum Courtyard.
Romanza is sponsored in part by the St. Johns Tourism Development Council, the State of Florida, the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
With more than 60 events this year, Romanza boasts a varied and tightly-packed schedule. To learn more about Romanza in general, including information on the full lineup for the ten days of the 2017 Festivale, visit here.