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Archive for March, 2012

Two Literary Greats, One Birthday

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Key West has always been a haven for writers, and March 26 is the shared birthday of two of them. Robert Frost, Poet Laureate of the United States from 1958 to 1959 and the recipient of four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry was born on this day in San Francisco in 1874. Frost wintered in Key West, living in a cottage on the estate of the Porter Family. As we like to say on the trolley “It’s the only Frost Key West have ever had.”

Thomas Lanier Williams, better know as Tennessee Williams, was born in Columbus, Mississippi in 1911. He two is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright for A Streetcar Named Desire and A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He also won a Tony Award for The Rose Tattoo, which was later made into a movie staring Burt Lancaster and Anna Magnani, which was filmed in Key West in the house next to his own on Duncan Street. The Key West Business Guild has a marvelous exhibit that is free and open to the public about Tennessee Williams in Key West at 513 Truman Avenue.

The Noche de Gala 16th Century Ball Celebrates City’s Spanish Cultural Heritage

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

From left to right: Michelle LaRocco, Dave Chatterton, Joyce Pease, Noble Lester, Savannah Brewer, Terry Akras, Vince Leone, Melissa Mezick

Marking the 493rd birthday of St. Augustine’s founder, Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the city hosted its annual formal Grand Masked Ball or Noche de Gala this Saturday, February 25 in the Lightner Museum’s ballroom.

Truly a one-of-a-kind event, the Noche de Gala begins when guests are whisked back in time by re-enactors in 16th-century attire who escort them upstairs where the Proclamador announces their arrival. After an hour of butler-passed hors d’oeuvres and an open bar in the splendor of the Lightner Ballroom, guests follow musicians and re-enactors in a ceremonial procession that includes Spanish and local dignitaries to an elaborate dinner on the Lightner Mezzanine. Pageantry and period entertainment continue throughout dinner followed by dancing until midnight to the music of the Royal Court Musicians. This is easily one of St. Augustine’s most magical evenings.

The Noche de Gala, is hosted yearly by the City of St. Augustine’s Department of Heritage Tourism, and is a fundraiser for the St. Augustine Trust for Historic Preservation. All proceeds are designated to support preservation of the city’s historic resources.