Viva Florida 500 Events at Mission San Luis
Archaeological Site Tours
(Every Second Sunday: 11 am–12:30 pm)
Join a Mission San Luis archaeologist on Second Sundays for a tour of Tallahassee's only National Historic Landmark from an archaeological perspective. Learn how the site was excavated and what was discovered about the Apalachee and Spanish residents from the 17th century.
Winter Solstice Celebration and Commemorative Mass
Sunday before the Solstice
(December 15, 2013 / 10 am–8 pm)
Celebrate both Native American and Spanish culture with a blend of winter traditions! Observe the occasion of the "sun standing" at its southernmost position in the sky and also attend a Commemorative Mass by Bishop Parkes. Shop for fine crafts from local artisans, join a drum circle, learn to stomp dance with the Muskogee Creeks, shoot a bow and arrow, and view the heavens through powerful telescopes. There will be presentations on astronomy, The Maritime World of Ponce de Leon, and the Mission San Luis crystal cross.
17th-Century Military Muster
Spanish and Apalachee Military Life in La Florida
Come experience colorful pageantry and blackpowder musket and cannon fire at Mission San Luis' fort, Castillo de San Luis.
Enjoy the opportunity to learn about the world of Spanish soldiers and Apalachee warriors at Spanish Florida's western capital.
Chihuahua Parade and Costume Contest
Saturday closest to Cinco de Mayo
(May 3, 2014: 10 am–Noon)
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with your pup at Mission San Luis! All Chihuahuas, Chihuahua wannabes, their companions, and their fans are invited to join the fun at the annual costume contest and "paseo" around the plaza. All breeds are welcome. Costumes are optional but there are prizes awarded in several categories.
Blessing of Animals
Furry, feathered, or other animal friends are invited to be blessed at our annual event. The Blessing of Animals originated in the 13th century in remembrance of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment, who believed that all animals should be treated with dignity and respect. Mission San Luis is a pet-friendly site, so bring your companions and enjoy the beautiful park setting and living history programs year-round.
Giving Thanks: 17th-Century Apalachee & Spanish Cooking
See demonstrations of traditional food preparation by historical interpreters in period dress. Visitors can observe outdoor cooking with native and European plants from the site's gardens and fields. There will be demonstrations of meat and fish smoking on the barbacoa as well as activities for children. Learn how people and foods from the New and Old Worlds came together to create a cross-cultural cuisine.