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Contact: Brian Loadholtz, 904.221.5568
Experience local history as it comes alive at Fort Caroline National Memorial. Join the annual commemoration of the anniversary of the French naval expedition that came to Florida in 1562. This event will include special living history and Junior Ranger programs on Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The programs are part of Jacksonville's French Week celebration to be held April 25 through May 4, 2013.
On May 1, 1562, Captain Jean Ribault with several French ships, landed at the mouth of the modern-day St. John's River, which he subsequently named the River of May.The landing led to the establishment in 1564 of La Caroline, a settlement that was planned for commerce and a refuge for the Huguenots, French Protestants who were fleeing religious persecution.The settlement was destroyed by the Spanish in 1565.
The living history program will feature National Park Service rangers and volunteers in period costume interpreting the story of how the French lived and worked in their new settlement.The Junior Ranger program will be a fun and interactive way for young people to learn about the lives and early history of the French colonists.
Visitors to Fort Caroline will also be able to view the park's new bake oven exhibit and watch 450 year old cooking practices up close.The new exhibit expands the story of the French settlement and adds a delicious new twist on living history. Guests will also be delighted by the sounds of authentic 16th century songs performed by local singers in historic costumes and can try their hand at writing with quill pens or firing a replica crossbow.
The programs are free and open to the public.For more information on this special event the public can call 904-641-7155.