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Contact: Brittany Lesser

Florida Department of State Continues Viva Florida

The Florida Department of State announces the continuation of the Viva Florida initiative, to promote cultural and historical experiences in Florida through to the end of 2015. This follows last year’s successful campaign of Viva Florida 500, the 500 year anniversary commemoration of Juan Ponce de León landing on Florida’s shores in 1513.

"Viva Florida 500 was the centerpiece in a series of important historical and cultural anniversaries in our state," said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. "From Pensacola’s 450th anniversary in 2009 through to St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary in 2015, Viva Florida is an excellent way to promote Florida’s diverse cultural heritage and rich history."

Building on existing partnerships and a wide network of historic sites, Viva Florida will promote cultural heritage locations and events around the state. Over the next two years, Florida will recognize significant commemorative anniversaries and will promote them through the Viva Florida campaign. In 2014, Florida will join the national celebration of the 50 year anniversary since the enactment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, while also commemorating the 450 year anniversary of the settlement of Fort Caroline in Jacksonville. In 2015, St. Augustine will mark 450 years as the nation’s oldest continuously occupied city.  These anniversaries, as well as the cultural heritage sites and events around the state, will drive the focus for the Florida Department of State to continue the promotion of Florida’s history and cultural heritage through Viva Florida.

In 2013, Viva Florida 500 worked with 2,000 partners involved in organizing more than 950 events in all 67 counties of the state. The commemoration not only created opportunities for learning and development, it boosted economic activity in the state as well. A recent study found that from August 2012 to August 2013, approximately $2.55 billion in direct spending attributed to cultural and heritage tourism activities in Florida.

For more information about Viva Florida, visit