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Public Invited to Participate in Florida’s Territorial Bicentennial and Escambia County’s 200th Anniversary on July 17

Florida's Territorial Bicentennial

The 200th Anniversary Commission would like to invite the public to Florida’s Territorial Bicentennial and Escambia County’s 200th Anniversary on Saturday, July 17 at the Historic Village, Museum Plaza, near 330 S. Jefferson St. in Pensacola.


At sunrise around 6:30 a.m., the Santa Rosa Creek Tribe will offer a blessing of this important day in Florida’s historic downtown in Museum Plaza. It will be a “Mvskoke Mekusvpkv” or Muscogee Prayer, which is a gracious and poignant reminder that today, we gather in respect for all people and to honor those who came before us. All are welcome to attend; however, filming, recording and photography is not allowed.

At 10 a.m., a formal program will take place in Museum Plaza, exactly 200 years after the exchange of Spanish and American flags. Remarks will be made by the following dignitaries in this order:

Collier Merrill, Chairman, UWF Historic Trust
Dr. Judy Bense, Committee Chair
Reverend Freddie Tellis, Allen Chapel Church
Chief Dan “Sky Horse” Helms, Santa Rosa Creek Indian Tribe
Dr. Martha Saunders, UWF President
U.S. Senator Rick Scott
Captain Timothy Kinsella, Commanding Officer, NASP
Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee
Florida Senator Doug Broxson, District 1
Florida Representative Michelle Salzman, District 1
Florida Representative Alex Andrade, District 2
Escambia County Chairman and District 4 Commissioner Robert Bender
City of Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson

After these remarks, Caitlyn Moore from Sacred Heart Cathedral School will read her winning essay, “What it means to me to be an American.” Dr. Leo Day will sing “America! The Beautiful | God Bless America.” UWF Bands will play “The Star Spangled Banner,” and there will be a reenactment of the exchange of flags from the Spanish flag to the American flag concluding with a Navy flyover. Immediately after the event will be an unveiling of a historic marker by City of Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson and Escambia County Chairman and District 4 County Commissioner Robert Bender. A time capsule will be stored safely with UWF Historic Trust which will be reopened in 25 years!

Pensacola Village will be open to the public at no charge. Join reenactors dressed in period attire throughout the Historic Pensacola Village on Friday, July 16 and Saturday, July 17 to learn about historic events such as the 1812 exchange of flags, the War of 1812 and First Seminole War. Battle reenactments will occur in Fountain Park at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Aux Arc will be open for tours at Seville Harbor Marina from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional programs and performances taking place throughout the Village can be found at West Florida Days Living History Weekend event. Group Folklorico, a traditional Mexican dance program, will perform at noon on Saturday at Museum Plaza. Ayoka African Drum and Dance will host a free interactive workshop on Friday, July 16 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. and will perform on Saturday at 1 p.m. on the stage at Museum Plaza. At 1 p.m. on Saturday there will also be a scavenger hunt, and the winner announced at 2 p.m. Programing is structured to reflect our community’s rich and diverse heritage and the collective influences that make our community what it is today.

We invite you to visit 200th (visitpensacola.com) for additional details.
Media is asked to RSVP to City of Pensacola Public Information Officer Kaycee Lagarde at klagarde@cityofpensacola.com or 850-393-3805. The public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs for the event. Limited seating will be available.