Make us your home page
Instagram

Spain's role in Florida history will be celebrated at Heritage Village

LARGO

People curious about Florida history, and Spain's role in it, will find plenty to interest them Sunday at Heritage Village, including an exhibit and lecture honoring explorer Juan Ponce de Leon.

Five hundred years ago this year, Ponce de Leon landed on the east coast of the state — the first group of Europeans to document a landing here — and gave the region a name: La Florida. Florida is marking the anniversary with a year-long, statewide celebration called "Viva Florida 500."

Pinellas' celebration from noon to 4 p.m. is co-sponsored by Heritage Village, the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative and the Pinellas County Historical Society.

When visitors first arrive, they will be invited to walk through an exhibit, "For God and Gold," created by historian Lester Dailey. It includes examples of the weaponry, swords and knives used by the Spanish explorers, as well as religious symbols like crosses and holy water fonts, depicting the conquistadors' attempts to convert the early Floridians to Christianity.

At 1:30 p.m., the library co-op will present a time capsule to Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice to be stored permanently at Heritage Village.

Inside the capsule will be items from co-op member libraries, including sponges from the Tarpon Springs Library, signifying that community's long history of sponging, and souvenirs from the Dunedin Blue Jays because of Dunedin's relationship with baseball and spring training.

The East Lake Community Library is contributing a creation made from Legos to ensure that future residents know of the successful Lego robotics program at the small library.

At 2 p.m. in the Pinellas Room, a discussion, "Early Footprints in the Sand: Pre-Columbian Settlements along the Pinellas Peninsula and the Legacies of First Contact,'' will be presented by Jim Schnurr, former president of the Pinellas County Historical Society, and Elizabeth Southard, who holds a degree in anthropology from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Schnurr will talk about Florida's indigenous cultures and the life of residents who inhabited areas like Manasota, Weedon Island and Safety Harbor years before the arrival of Spanish conquistadors.

Southard will provide an overview of how historians and scientists investigate the past using artifacts found around Tampa Bay.

"An interesting point that we'll discuss is how early settlements were virtually wiped out by diseases like small pox brought here by the Europeans. Because they were wiped out, there are very few records of life before the Spanish,'' Schnurr said.

There also will be music, crafts, storytelling and food vendors.

"We're hoping for Spanish beans and rice, and, of course, we'll be serving up Cuban bread,'' said RoseMarie Kafer, president of the Pinellas County Historical Society and one of the program's coordinators.

Contact Piper Castillo at pcastillo@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4163.

>>if you go

Viva Florida 500

The family event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Heritage Village, 11909 125th St., Largo. It includes discussions, entertainment and exhibits concerning Spanish conquistadors and life in early Florida. It is free, although donations are always encouraged. For information, visit pinellascounty.org/heritage.

For information on programs of Viva Florida 500 coordinated by Pinellas public libraries, visit pplc.us/vivaflorida2012.shtml.

Spain's role in Florida history will be celebrated at Heritage Village 05/14/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 2:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. PHSC Performing Arts Series harkens back to times past

    Music & Concerts

    It's a blast from the past for the 2017-18 Performing Arts Series at Pasco-Hernando State College in New Port Richey. Season tickets go on sale Sept. 26, with single-show tickets on sale Oct. 10. The first performance is Dec. 1.

  2. Leaves, mountains, ice cream and cheese: What's not to like in Burlington, Vt.?

    Travel

    If I loved Burlington, Vt., during a visit with my daughter when the high was 37 degrees, I feel completely comfortable recommending the city as a great destination for fall, when it's considered one of the top leaf-watching spots in the world.

    Founded in 1791, the University of Vermont is the sixth-oldest college established in New England.
  3. Directors of Haunted Mansion doc talk bringing piece of Disney history to Orlando

    Blogs

    Filmmakers Ryan Grulich and James H. Carter II aren't just casual fans of The Haunted Mansion ride. They're obsessed.

    Publicity still from the Foolish Mortals documentary.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 20

    Events

    Mumford and Sons: The enormously popular English rockers make their first stop in Tampa. 7:30 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $41.25-$61.25. (813) 301-2500.

    MANCHESTER, TN - JUNE 13:  Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons performs on the "What" stage during the 2015 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on June 13, 2015 in Manchester, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
  5. How to vamp out for Buffyfest in St. Petersburg

    Music & Concerts

    Who's your favorite superhero? I always answer Buffy.