St. Johns County Celebrates 250th Anniversary of William Bartram’s Historic Visit to Florida with 2024 Bartram Living History Fest

On Saturday, May 11, the St. Johns County Parks and Recreation Department, in coordination with the St. Johns Cultural Council, will hold the 2024 Bartram Living History Fest at Alpine Groves Park, this year commemorating the 250th anniversary of naturalist William Bartram’s historic visit to Florida.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Alpine Groves Park (located at 2060 State Road 13, St. Johns) will see crafts tables, historical demonstrations, and tours of the park’s historic buildings in celebration of Florida history from the early 18th century to today.

“Our parks have such interesting stories to tell, and we are excited to bring some of those stories to life,” Outdoor Recreation Supervisor Kelly Ussia said. “Alpine Groves in particular has a rich cultural history tracing back to indigenous groups, the Fatio family, William Bartram, and a long-standing agricultural story.”

“Alpine Groves is one of my favorite parks in the County, and I’m happy to see its unique history celebrated,” Natural Resources Superintendent Nathan Otter said.

The St. Johns Cultural Council is also presenting a related Art in Public Spaces exhibition through May 29 in the rotunda gallery of the St. Johns County Administration Building at 500 San Sebastian View: “Fair Winds to Elysium: William Bartram’s Travels in East Florida, 1774–2024.” In addition to the St. Johns Cultural Council, the exhibition has the support of the Florida Division of Arts and Culture and the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council.

Attendees at Bartram Living History Fest will be able to catch shuttles from Hickory Creek Elementary (235 Hickory Creek Trail, St. Johns). Shuttles will transport attendees to and from Alpine Groves Park starting at 9:30 a.m. and will run until 1:30 p.m.