FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 7, 2012
FLORIDA STATE PARKS COMMEMORATE
~Celebrate Florida’s rich culture
this February with special events
featuring African-American history~
Reenactors gather during the Flight to Freedom event at Fort Mose Historic State Park.
-The Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park
will celebrate African-American History Month throughout the
month of February. Florida State Parks will commemorate their role in African-American
history through reenactments of key battles, educational displays and interactive
interpretive programs. These activities will bring history to life and set the
stage for a fun, educational family outing.
“It is so important that we continually memorialize the traditions
and lives of all cultures that have shaped Florida’s history and its people,” said
DEP’s Florida Park Service Director Donald V. Forgione. “February is a special
time to learn about African-American history and immerse yourself in the events
and customs that have contributed to modern culture."
is rich in African-American history and Florida State Parks tell the stories of
daily life, traditions and turning points in American history. Florida’s state parks are home to Civil War battle
grounds where African-American regiments fought against Confederate soldiers at
the 1864 Battle of Olustee, as well sites along the Underground Railroad like
the lighthouse at Bill
in Key Biscayne, listed as a site on the
National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. America’s
first free black settlement is located in Florida
at Fort Mose Historic
State Park, where escaped
slaves took refuge in the 1700s.
Silver River State Park,
Thursday, Feb. 9, 6
This evening program will feature Mr. Charles Eady on free African-Americans in the south during the period between the 1500s and
the Civil War. Mr. Eady will use his own family history from St. John's Parish, South
Carolina to document the experiences of free blacks
and black Indians during the American Revolution and the Civil War. Eady's
fascinating research is based on early census records, affidavits, land grants,
tax returns, wills and narratives from his own relatives.
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, Key West
Friday, Feb. 10 - Sunday, Feb. 12, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
and educational, Civil War Heritage Days offers visitors a glimpse of what life
was like at Fort Taylor in the 1860s. More than 100 reenactors converge to
present living history programs including artillery demonstrations, campsite
visits, a sea battle and blockade runner trial, land skirmishes and other
Fort Mose Historic State Park, St. Augustine
Saturday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Reenactors in period clothing will tell the story of Fort Mose
during this living history event. Colonial Spanish military drills, musket and
cannon demonstrations will be provided throughout the day. The event will also
include African drumming, various exhibits and food vendors.
Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, Olustee
Friday, Feb. 17 - Sunday, Feb. 19, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The Battle of Olustee was fought on Feb. 20, 1864, with full-scale
artillery, mounted cavalry and three African-American regiments, including the
More than 2,000 living history reenactors will present historically accurate
portrayals of the war’s toll on both civilian and military life. Medical
demonstrations are planned twice daily on Saturday and Sunday. Period music
concerts, military camps and drills, and the lives of both soldiers and
civilians during the war are portrayed by reenactors. The living history
weekend features a Civil War-era battle reenactment on Saturday, as well as the
reenactment of the Battle of Olustee on Sunday.
8TH ANNUAL SANTOS CELEBRATION
Historic Santos Recreation Area, Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, Ocala
Saturday, Feb. 25, 11
a.m. - 2 p.m.
This community celebration honors the heritage of Santos, a predominantly African-American community which
was displaced in the 1930s due to construction of the Cross Florida
A traditional highlight of the event is a softball game that recalls the town’s
heritage as a stop on the southeastern circuit of the Negro League Baseball in