Easter is this Sunday and the Easter Festival Committee is ready.
The big push is at 3 p.m. April 8, when the Easter Parade makes its way through downtown St. Augustine.
Bands, floats and Easter bonnets are the drawing card for this annual event, begun in 1959. What’s special is that the holiday hats are worn by horses pulling the sightseeing carriages in this oldest city.
The parade begins at the Mission of Nombre de Dios on San Marco Avenue and follows along to Avenida Menendez.
Also on tap Easter Day is the annual promenade in the Plaza de la Constitucion, between King Street and Cathedral Place. The free event begins at 12:30 p.m. with visitors and residents strolling through the Plaza dressed in their Easter best. Prizes are awarded for Easter finery ranging from the group traveling the farthest from home to the oldest city to the best Easter dress and most original hat.
This year’s Easter Festival concludes at 2 p.m. April 15 with the Fromajardis Serenade at the Spanish Bakery on North St. George Street; and the 3 p.m. Royal Family Tea, which follows at the bakery. There is no charge for either event.
Presiding over the Easter Festival is the Royal Family, portraying the ruling family in Spain in 1672, year construction was begun on St. Augustine’s fort, Castillo de San Marcos.