Saturday December 1, 2012
I apologize, this is going to be a very short post as I only have about three minutes left on my battery and we need to order a new charger for my computer. May be a few days before you hear anything. Oh the joys.
The first Saturday in December in St. Augustine is celebrated with The British Night Watch, a tradition that commemorates the British Period of the city of St. Augustine. This period lasted from 1763 to 1783. The city used to be secured every night by guards marching by lantern to lock their gates, and on holidays and special occasions the night watch was made into a festive event. The population of St. Augustine would participate and carry a candle or lantern in the parade. This tradition has now been brought back to the city every December. (information taken from http://coastalcompanion.com/florida/st-augustine/british-night-watch/)
Taking place after dark when the city is illuminated we joined in the event ourselves, standing in the town square to listen to the proclamation given back in 1763 given by speakers dressed in full British uniform, wig and all. They listed the rules and ordinances and a curfew that thankfully isn’t in place any more. Once that was finished the parade began with a drum line filing down the street, all in period costumes, along with townspeople also in period costume following behind them with their candles lit. Once they had passed anyone from the 21st century could join in. Only finding out about the whole thing in the morning we weren’t sure exactly what was going on but we lit our 3 oz French Vanilla candle, the only thing we had on hand on short notice, and fell into line with everyone else.
Catching it on the opposite end of the square it had started on we were near the back of the line and tried to follow behind anyone holding a candle as it wound through narrow cobblestone streets filled with many shops and onlookers. Missing the locking of the gates as we took a short cut to catch us back up to the front we also soon became distracted by all the little shops and never made it back to the square. What we did happen to find though is Burrito Works Taco Shop which had a Gene Simmons guitar player out front decorated in Christmas lights out front and murals and graffiti on the inside. We left our mark there as well and if you do a little scouring you can even find where Tasha and I feverishly carved our names into a table before we left.