It’s time to start planning your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations for 2012.
America’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida, will host the second annual Celtic Music & Heritage Festival on Saturday & Sunday, March 10 & 11, 2012.
The festivities begin with a colorful St. Patrick’s Parade around the old town on Saturday March 10th.
This year’s early date will allow you to enjoy a great weekend in St. Augustine and then be home for your local St. Patrick’s events and parties.
The Irish have been in St. Augustine for over 400 years. They came with the earliest Spanish settlers as priests and soldiers. During the first Spanish period (1565-1763), Father Richard Arthur (a/k/a Padre Ricardo Artur) presided over the parish of St. Augustine from 1598 until his death in 1606. The King of Spain hired Irish expatriate soldiers to garrison the city’s famed Castillo San Marco fortress. Several of the military governors of Spanish La Florida were Irish officers. Father Michael O’Reilly supervised the construction of St. Augustine’s Cathedral from 1793 to its completion in 1797.
The Cathedral was extensively renovated in 1964-6 and was rededicated on March 9, 1966 by William Cardinal Conway, Archbishop of Armagh (Ireland). On December 4, 1976, Pope Paul VI raised the Cathedral to the status of Basilica. Today, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine continues the nearly 450-year history of the Catholic faith in St. Augustine, in Florida, and in the United States.
If you’d like to celebrate St. Patrick where the Irish first settled in America, join the fun in St. Augustine. The schedule of events is already exciting and growing.