The Lightner Museum will celebrate its 70th anniversary as well as the 130th anniversary of the former Alcazar Hotel (the building where the museum is now housed) this Friday, October 19, from 7 to 10 p.m.

The event, dubbed Promenade the Alcazar, will treat guests to music, light hors d’oeuvres, wine and plenty of fascinating stories about the museum and the hotel that preceded it.

Upon entering the courtyard, guests will enjoy music from the Raisin Cake Orchestra and architectural tours of the historic Alcazar Hotel courtyard.

Inside, wine tastings and hors d’oeuvres will be available throughout the museum’s four levels. Guests will also be able to engage with the museum’s collection and the rich history of the building. A representative from Museum Hack, a New York-based company known for its out-of-the-box approach to museum tours, will be in the galleries to provide fun insights.

Lightner’s curators will also be unveiling several newly restored exhibition spaces and introducing plenty of items for the first time that have been tucked away in storage!

The evening will culminate in the historic pool and mezzanine areas with additional hors d’oeuvres and wine. A special performance in the historic pool area will be delivered by New York’s Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra (best known for performances at events including the Cannes Film Festival and The Manhattan Cocktail Classic).

As an added bonus, attendees will also be eligible to win a Viking Cruise for two to a European destination. It includes a river-view stateroom with deluxe accommodations.

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To mark its 20th year, World Golf Village will hold a Golf Festival throughout the community this weekend. The event is free to the public and features interactive activities with something special for golf fans of all ages!

 

Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Here are some of the festival events:

 

Thursday, October 11

The Golf Collector’s Society will host an auction (open to the public) from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Renaissance Resort.

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Did you know the datil pepper is the official plant of St. Johns County (or that we have an official plant)?  That’s right, our official plant is the datil (up to 300,000 on the Scoville scale, on par with the orange habanero in terms of heat).

 

In fact, St. Augustine is the world’s top producer of the datil pepper. To celebrate, the city is hosting its 11th Annual Datil Pepper Festival this weekend at the UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County Agricultural Center (3125 Agricultural Center Drive).

 

The Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission and parking are FREE!

 

Attendees will enjoy a wide variety of vendors, a food court, rain barrels for sale, and the popular Master Gardener plant sale. Tours of the arboretum and community gardens will be led by UF Master Gardeners throughout the weekend.

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If you’re always looking out for great wellness products and services, you are in for a treat! The September Health & Wellness Expo takes place at the Renaissance Resort World Golf Village on Sunday, September 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The free event will feature more than 80 vendors offering products and services, many of which you can try on-site. Health and wellness workshops will take place throughout the day as well.

More than 50 prizes will also be raffled during the event to benefit Project Balance (tickets are $1). Project Balance is a non-profit organization that guides at-risk children on the journey to emotional balance through yoga, mindfulness and self-esteem building outreach programs.

Make sure to get there early! The first 50 guests will go home with a FREE swag bag.

The September Health & Wellness Expo is sponsored by Jacksonville Business Connections. For more information, click here.

 
 
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Smithsonian magazine is hosting a nationwide celebration of museums on Saturday, September 22! The organization is partnering with more than 1,250 museums and cultural institutions around the U.S. to offer free general admission.

Just go to the Museum Day site, select your museum of choice, and provide your name and email address. Your ticket will arrive in your email inbox. According to the website, a ticket is good for free general admission for two people on Museum Day.

 

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To commemorate the women’s last Major Championship of the year, the World Golf Hall of Fame is hosting Evian Championship Week between September 13 and 16.

Visit the museum and enjoy learning about Hall of Fame inductees who are past Evian champions.

The celebration parallels the Evian Championship tournament Sept. 13-16, played at the Evian Resort Golf Club in Évian-les-Bains, France. The tournament will be shown throughout the museum during the week. It will also be broadcast on NBC and the Golf Channel.

The field will be very competitive as top players like defending champion Anna Nordqvist and current #1 player Sung Hyun Park vie for the coveted trophy.

Learn more about the tournament by visiting evianchampionship.comand don’t forget to check out the special celebration at the World Golf Hall of Fame!

 
 
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Calling all literature enthusiasts: The 2018 Florida Heritage Book Festival is coming to St. Augustine on Saturday, September 15! The free festival is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Flagler College’s Ringhaver Student Center. Attendees can sit in on presentations by locally-renowned authors and visit a book marketplace and author signings.

A free shuttle will run from the Visitor Information Center on Castillo Drive to the festival from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Attendees will enjoy author panel discussions as well as scheduled talks and readings by numerous writers like Cathy Salustri, Judy Lindquist, Karen Harvey,  Mark Woods, Laura Lee Smith, Ben Montgomery, Larry Loftis, Bruce Horovitz, Jeff Klinkenberg, Sylvia Whitman, Andre Frattino, Richard Wickliffe, Sharon Scholl, Ann Browning Masters, Robert Macomber, Ashley Lear, Daniel Schafer, James O. Born and Julie Hauserman.

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If you love live music but have no interest in paying Ticketmaster prices to see shows, you are in luck! St. Augustine’s 2018 Sing Out Loud Music Festival runs the first four weekends in September and performances are free and open to the public!

The festival includes concerts at 19 venues throughout St. Johns County including the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, Colonial Oak Music Park, Plum Gallery on Aviles Street, Bokeh, Dog Rose Brewing, Limelight Theatre, Nobby’s, Sarbez and others.

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Attention nature enthusiasts! If you’re curious about the natural beauty of our coastal lands and the many animals that live here, Marineland’s Lecture Series is a great opportunity to learn!

 

The recurring event takes place on the third Tuesday of each month at Marineland Dolphin Adventure from 10 to 11 a.m. Each lecture is free to attend (space is limited and reservations are required for admission).

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Davidson Realty agent Mirtha Barzaga recently held back-to-school drives at the King & Bear Amenity Center and Heritage Landing Amenity Center in World Golf Village. Mirtha collected school supplies to benefit kids in need at several St. Johns County Schools.

The turnout was fantastic at both events, helping lots of students to start the school year off right! Generous donors delivered essential supplies like backpacks, notebooks, folders, markers, crayons, scissors and more.

“Many local students don’t have the basic things they need for school, which makes academic success all the more difficult for them,” said Mirtha. “These supplies help give students the confidence they need to learn, knowing they have the necessary tools.”

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