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Contact: Chris Cate

Secretary of State Ken Detzner Announces Viva Florida 500 Summer Events

Tallahassee, Florida –


Secretary of State Ken Detzner today announced a series of Viva Florida 500 summer events and activities highlighting Florida’s 500 year anniversary. From discovering the culture and artistic traditions of The Seminole Tribe of Florida at the Museum of Florida History to celebrating Florida’s history with food, music and more at a festival, there are a wide variety of Viva Florida 500 events and family-friendly activities happening across the state this summer.

"Viva Florida 500 is a yearlong commemoration of 500 years of Florida history and cultural heritage," said Secretary Detzner.  "All summer long there are interesting, educational and entertaining ways to experience Florida’s unique anniversary and we encourage residents and visitors to get out and explore the history and heritage of our great state."

Already in 2013, Floridians have commemorated their heritage with events and activities such as the Big Orange Drop in Miami on New Year’s Eve, an event renamed La Gran Naranja for the 500 year commemoration; Viva Florida 500 Week, which consisted of reenactments of Juan Ponce de León’s landing on Florida’s east coast in April of 1513; and the launch of the La Florida United States Postal Service Forever stamp. Many more events and activities are scheduled this summer such as the 16th century Spanish galleon replica touring Florida’s east coast on its Viva Florida 500 Voyage.

Additional Viva Florida 500 summer events and activities include:

El Galéon: Viva Florida 500 Voyage (St. Augustine) – El Galéon, a 16th century Spanish galleon replica, is touring Florida on its United States debut in honor of Viva Florida 500. The ship will be docked and available for touring at St. Augustine Municipal Marina through June 23. For more information, visit

Imagining La Florida: Juan Ponce de León and the Quest for the Fountain of Youth (Miami) –This exhibition is a multimedia exhibition presented to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León’s arrival on Florida’s East Coast. The exhibition will be held at the MDC Museum of Art + Design housed inside the Freedom Tower. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. through August 17. For more information, visit

FLOR500 (ongoing statewide events) – FLOR500 is a participatory art, nature and history project created by Miami artist Xavier Cortada to commemorate Florida’s 500th anniversary. Working with libraries statewide for the Summer Reading Program, Cortada encourages participants to transform his original drawing of a Florida native wildflower into 100 living gardens. For more information, visit

FLOR NORTH Exhibition (Tallahassee) The 621 Gallery in Tallahassee will feature the works of Northern Florida regional artists that are participating in the FLOR 500 project (listed above). View the exhibit through June 29. For more information, visit

17th Annual Florida Scallop & Music Festival (Port St. Joe) - Don't miss the 17th annual Florida Scallop and Music Festival featuring arts & crafts vendors, educational exhibits, a Kidz Zone and many food (and scallop!) vendors. Parking is free or you can pull your boat up close to the beach to hear the music. July 27 to August 3, 2013. For more information, visit

Expedition Florida 500 Completion of Coastal Route (Jacksonville) – Mother Ocean’s yearlong, 365 day project, Expedition Florida 500 is a modern day exploration of Florida’s coastline, waterways and aquatic ecosystem as seen through the eyes of waterman and Mother Ocean CEO, Justin Riney.  After 185 days of standup paddling the state’s coastline, Expedition Florida 500 will end their coastal tour on July 4 at the Jacksonville Landing. For more information, visit

Picasso Art and Arena Exhibition (St. Augustine) – The Picasso Art and Arena Exhibition is an exhibition at the Visitor Information Center in St. Augustine, featuring dozens of Picasso originals, including many that have never been seen in the United States. This impressive collection showcases the Spanish cultural flavor and artistic traditions introduced into what would become the United States when, in 1565, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles came ashore here with soldiers, artisans and craftsman to found the City of St. Augustine -- the oldest, continuously occupied European settlement in the continental U. S. The exhibit will be on display through August 11. For more information, visit

Museum of Florida History Seminole Exhibit (Tallahassee) – The Museum of Florida History is displaying a temporary exhibit called Seminole People of Florida: Survival and Success. The exhibit provides insight into Seminole history, culture and artistic traditions from the mid-1850s to the present. It will be on display through August 18 at the Museum of Florida History in Downtown Tallahassee. For more information, visit

William Lee Golden Art Exhibition (Pensacola) – William Lee Golden, baritone of The Oak Ridge Boys and landscape painter, will unveil his newest work of Pensacola landscapes at the Pensacola Museum of Art. The exhibit will be on display from July 2 to August 31 and will feature old and new paintings and photographs of Pensacola. For more information, visit

Viva Volusia: International Festival (Daytona Beach) – This three day event, taking place August 30 to September 1 in Daytona Beach, will honor and celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Juan Ponce De León’s discovery of La Florida as well as the rich history and culture of Daytona’s growing communities. Viva Volusia will feature carnival games, music stages, performances, health pavilion, arts & crafts and international food vendors. For more information, visit

Inaugural Thundering Drums Native Gathering (Hampton) – Experiencethe power of Thundering Drums at the inaugural United Urban Warrior Society's Thundering Drums Native Gathering, September 27 to 29 in Hampton, Florida. The event will feature a native drum competition, traditional music, dancing, authentic Indian artists, food vendors, and native history. This is an inter-tribal gathering, to which all are invited. For more information, visit

Spanish Wine and Food Festival (St. Augustine)
Spanish wine distributors as well as local and regional restaurants will provide a celebration of heritage foods, wine, dance and culture at the Spanish Wine and Food Festival from October 21 to 26. For more information, visit

Springs Eternal: Florida's Fragile Fountains of Youth Exhibition (Gainesville) – This exhibition at the Florida Museum of Natural History features a series of photographs from environmental photographer John Moran, chronicling the story of our springs and their beauty, ecology and the wide diversity of people who are drawn to them. The exhibit will be on display through December 15. For more information, visit

For a complete listing of events and activities happening statewide, as well as more information on historic Florida sites, heritage trail maps, student lessons, a history timeline, videos and more, visit the official Viva Florida 500 website at .

About Viva Florida 500

Viva Florida 500 is a statewide initiative led by the Florida Department of State, under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott, to highlight the 500 years of historic people, places and events in present-day Florida since the arrival of Juan Ponce de León to the land he named La Florida in 1513. While Florida’s Native American heritage dates back more than 12,000 years, Spain’s claim in 1513 began a new era in a place where the world’s cultures began to unite and transform into the great nation we know today as the United States of America. The Viva Florida 500 commemoration is ongoing throughout 2013, and includes hundreds of events statewide. For more information, visit