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Contact: Susie Sernaker, 904-251-3537
Contact: Emily Palmer, 904-251-3537
Jacksonville, FL—The National Park Service is excited to invite the public to the 20th Annual Kingsley Heritage Celebration during the last two Saturdays in February. This free family-friendly event will engage audiences young and old with music performances on the 17th and then on the 24th transport visitors back in time across five centuries through a living history festival.
Performing on February 17th at this year’s celebration is Crocodile River Music. Based in Boston, Crocodile River Music showcases musicians from West Africa in order to entertain and educate children and adult about traditional African music. In the morning, a special Kids Corner will feature crafts and activities. Tours of the Planter’s House will be available from 10:00 to 1:00 on a rotating basis.
On February 25th from 10am to 3pm a living history timeline will transport visitors through the history of Fort George Island. Starting with the Spanish mission San Juan del Puerto, British Fort St. George, and the Plantation era, as well as the Roaring Twenties, take an interactive trip through the past. Families can try their hands at candlemaking, writing with quill and ink, dressing up in the clothing of the past, and so much more. Demonstrations of muskets from the 16th through 19th century will occur throughout the day.
This event is free and open to the public.
Located off Heckscher Drive/A1A one-half mile north of the St. Johns River ferry landing, Kingsley Plantation is open daily, at no charge, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 904.251.3537.
Detailed Schedule of Events
Saturday, February 17, 2018: Celebrate!
10:00 am -1:00 pm- Park rangers and volunteers will lead tours of the Planters Home until the performances begin.
10:00 am- 1:00 pm- In the Kids’ Corner rangers will work with kids to make Senegalese sand art, rag dolls, and bead bracelets. Rangers will discuss the archaeology of the area, in particular the historic beads that were found in the slave cabins. The crafts will teach kids about the rich cultural history of the plantation period.
1:00 pm- The musicians of Crocodile River Music perform. Based in Boston, Crocodile River Music brings African music, art, and dance to Kingsley Plantation this year. They are proud to have served various schools and performed in some of the most prestigious venues in and around New England through their concerts, workshops, lectures, and other educational programs, and are excited to bring their knowledge to Jacksonville. Their team is comprised of a diverse group of people who have traveled all over the world sharing the cultures of Africa on a global scale. Through their Cultural Ambassador Training Program, they are proud to work with the African refugee and immigrant community, providing leadership training to young people interested in pursuing careers in education and the arts.
Saturday, February 24, 2018: Timeline Alive!
10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. - Fort George Island, home to Kingsley Plantation holds a long and varied history. Visitors will have a chance to explore the rich timeline of the historic island by participating in hands-on activities and games. From the Spanish Mission period through the Roaring Twenties and every era in-between, this event promises something for everyone. Park rangers and volunteers in period costumes will demonstrate various tasks involved in the operation of a large plantation. Demonstrations will include cooking, spinning, weaving, woodworking, gardening, and musket firing. Also, on the island park neighbor the St. George Episcopal Church will offer tours of their historic building and have BBQ lunches for sale in their courtyard.