April 26-May 6th is the inaugural “Jacksonville FRENCH Week!” Look for dining and retail specials commemorating the 450th. Go to www.VisitJacksonville.com/french-week for details and a list of participating restaurants and vendors. You will also find the “450th Marketplace,” featuring a number of great items from a variety of vendors and non-profits.
Here is a Tentative Schedule;
Friday, April 27th
A variety of Commemorative Activities will take place in Fernandina Beach from the 27th of April through the end of May. Please call 904-277-7325 x259 or visit www.fbfl.us/historic district and select “1562-2012: 450th French Anniversary” for more details.
Saturday, April 28th
Historic Mayport Village Festival
9:00 a.m. Blessing of the fleet Morningstar Marine
9:30 a.m. Reenactment of the Ribault Landing public boat ramp
10:00 a.m. Speakers and awards Duval County Marine Science Center
12:00 p.m. Fish fry and Bands
4:00 p.m. St. Augustine Art Association Nature & Wildlife Art Exhibition French-inspired opening reception. For more information go to www.staaa.org or call 904-824-2310. Ticketed event, RSVP’s required.
Monday, April 30th
8:00 a.m. Visiting French Navy Tall Ships transiting up the St. Johns River to Downtown Jacksonville From Mayport. Boats of all sizes and those along the River encouraged to join in the “Welcome on the Water” and usher them in!
12:00 p.m. Welcome of French Naval Tall Ships (approx.) Downtown & related activities. Ribault Middle School marching band and Ribault High School colour guard will perform.
2:00 p.m. VIVA Florida 500 Partners Meeting, Times-Union Performing Arts Center, Davis Gallery. RSVP to Florida500info@dos.myflorida.com
5:00 p.m. French government to award “Legion d’Honneur” to two WWII veterans aboard the tall ships. Downtown. Invitation only.
7:00 p.m. Alliance Francaise Presentation (In French), Jacksonville Historical Society. For details visit www.afjacksonville.org.
Tuesday, May 1st
8:00 a.m. Beaches Museum and History Park Jean Ribault and the French in 16th Century Florida: Rare Engravings and Historic Maps from the Michael W. and Dr. Linda Fisher Collection. Opening breakfast by invitation, collection available to the public during museum hours. For more information visit www.beachesmuseum.org.
10:00 a.m. National Park Service Re-dedication of Ribault Column at Fort Caroline.
11:30 a.m. Visit to Historic Mayport Village.
12:00 p.m. “Ring for Ribault! ” Join in the 450th commemoration of the landing of Jean Ribault at the tip of the St. Johns River. All boats are asked to sound their horns for 45-seconds, and all able houses of worship to ring their bells for 41/2 minutes.
12:30 p.m. Jacksonville Sister Cities “French Perspective” Luncheon at the Ribault Club, Fort George Island. Sold out.
2:30 p.m. Commemorative Tree Planting with Greenscape at Huguenot Memorial Park. For details visit www.greenscapeofjacksonville.com.
5:00 p.m. Unveiling of restored Lee Adams’ mural “Ribault’s Landing” on the 4th floor of the Main Library in Downtown Jacksonville.
6:15 p.m. Private reception for French Sailors at the Jacksonville Maritime Heritage Center, Jacksonville Landing. For more information, call 904-355-1101.
6:30 p.m. Jacksonville Historical Society – Readings from Ribault’s Journal. For details call 904-665-0064 or visit www.jaxhistory.com.
7:00 p.m. Commemorate 450 Café Night at the Cummer! Enjoy French food and French Art. For details visit www.cummer.org.
Wednesday, May 2nd
9:00 a.m. Bon Voyage ceremony for the French Navy Tall (approx.) Ships near the Jacksonville Landing. Wish them well as they head to Savannah.
5:00 p.m. Art Walk. Public encouraged to visit painting in the library. Restaurant and event specials.
Thursday, May 3rd
World of Nations Opens at Metropolitan Park. As you travel through the World of Nations Celebration, experience the cuisine, artistry and customs from lands near and far. Admission is $5 (one day ticket), $8 (two day ticket) or $10 (three day ticket). Children ages 3 and under are free. Grab your passport and join us for a great trip! Daily programs Friday-Sunday.
6:00 p.m. Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission Awards – Lee Adams’ mural restoration being honored. Main auditorium of the downtown Jacksonville Public Library.
Friday, May 4th – Sunday May 6th
Celebrate the 20th annual World of Nations Celebration presented by OneMain Financial with fireworks! The excitement of the International Party will be capped off with an amazing fire works display Friday over Met Park at 8:45 p.m..
Fort Caroline Living History Weekend! See what life was like in 1562. For more information call 904-641-7155
The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Runs all weekend in Fernandina Beach. For more information, visit www.shrimpfestival.com.