British Night Watch and Grande Illumination
Annual British Night Watch
Usually the first Saturday of December
Did you hear? The British are coming ... AGAIN!?!
Join the fun at St. Augustine's 39th Annual British Nightwatch -- an historic reenactment commemorating the British Period of St. Augustine (1763 to 1783).
The Colonial Market will feature fife and drum performances, military drills, and an all-day performance by Fairewynds. Craftsmen and period merchants will delight the crowd with their wares.
The Military Encampment will feature public demonstrations of the weapons and artillery of the period and an opportunity for the kids to shoulder a musket and take the shilling to the King! The Deep Forest Historical Native American Program will represent the Native American role in assisting the British Troops.
Trooping of the Colors and Blessing of the Flags at 2 pm.
All daytime events will take place at Francis Field on Castillo Drive from 10 am to 5 pm, $5 pp.
The main feature of the event is the British Night Watch--a Grande Illumination Parade. During occupation, the town was secured each night by guards marching by lantern light to lock the gates, but on special occasions, it was made festive by involving the townspeople in a candle- or lantern-lit parade that ended with volleys of muskets, singing, and much merriment. An encampment of British Troops, period Sutlers (vendors), and various historic persons is held at Francis Field, just west of the Parking Garage.
At 7 pm, you’ll want to head to the West Garden of the Basilica Cathedral to get your candles (available by way of your donation); at 7:30 the Fife & Drum Corps concert will set the stage as you prepare to march behind the British Redcoats at 8 pm as they secure St Augustine (or you can just watch). The parade will conclude at Government House with muskets firing and volleys of joy and then caroling in the Plaza. Visit www.britishnightwatch.org for the full event schedule. For a great photo journal, visit https://www.facebook.com/BNW75.