Visit Tallahassee Announces “Conquistadors in the Fabled Land of the Apalachee”
Tuesday, April 10 at 12:12 PM
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - April 10, 2012 - Visit Tallahassee, along with the Wakulla County Tourist Development Council, announce “Conquistadors in the Fabled Land of the Apalachee,” a four-part educational outreach to encourage residents to discover Spanish Colonial Heritage in Florida’s Capital Region and learn about the VIVA FLORIDA 500 initiative. The year 2013 will mark the 500th anniversary of Conquistador Ponce de Leon’s arrival and exploration in Florida. “Conquistadors in the Fabled Land of the Apalachee” is just one of many efforts now underway to commemorate this momentous event. Each one-hour presentation opens with an introduction to “connect the dots” of Spanish Colonial events and sites to Apalachee historic sites. Local historian Madeleine H. Carr, Ph.D. will moderate all discussions and provide a brief orientation of the historic significance of the area. Each event includes prominent archaeologists and historians who will discuss the varied aspects of European contact at specific sites.
The series kicks off on Tuesday, April 24 with “History at High Noon” at the Museum of Florida History. After archaeologist Rochelle Marrinan, Ph.D., and historian Johnathan Grandage, speak to the audience, guests are invited to visit the museum’s newest exhibit “Forever Changed: La Florida 1513-1821” highlighting Spanish arrival, exploration and settlement of the area and the state.
The Martin House on Lafayette Street will play host to the second event in the series on Friday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. with archaeologists Mary Glowacki, Ph.D. and Dan Seinfeld discussing Hernando de Soto’s winter encampment and the first American Christmas Celebration. A walk of the DeSoto Winter Encampment site will follow the presentation.
Visitors and residents alike will continue to learn about the area, while enjoying an afternoon at San Marcos de Apalache State Historic Park, site of the Spanish 16th Century Fort in St. Marks. The Sunday, April 29 event at 1:30 p.m. will include a tour of the Spanish fortifications and museum and an optional interpreted boat tour on the St. Marks and Wakulla rivers through Palmetto Expeditions.
The series finale will take place Saturday, May 5 at 10:30 a.m. at Mission San Luis during the museum’s monthly “Historical Happenings” with archaeologist Bonnie McEwan, Ph.D. Visitors will experience costumed re-enactors when touring the premier Preserve America Historic Site in Tallahassee where the “running of the Chihuahuas” will take place to commemorate Cinco de Mayo.
All events are free to the public, however an admission fee is required at Mission San Luis and San Marcos de Apalache State Historic Park. Historic Boat Rides will be an additional $10 per person.
VIVA FLORIDA 500 is intended to bring local, national and international awareness to Florida’s rich and diverse heritage. Florida has the longest recorded history of any state in America and these events will increase local residents’ level of knowledge and appreciation for the Spanish contact, exploration and settlement in the land of Apalachee. For more information on the “Conquistadors in the Fabled Land of the Apalachee” series, visit www.VisitTallahassee.com. For information about statewide events and activities planned to commemorate Florida’s 500 year anniversary, visit VIVAFLORIDA.org.
About Visit Tallahassee
Visit Tallahassee is the official tourism marketing organization for Tallahassee and Leon County Florida, operating as a division of Leon County Government. Visit Tallahassee promotes tourism to the area through direct sales, advertising, public relations, sports, film, product development and visitor services. For more information, visit www.VisitTallahassee.com.