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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 4, 2010
CONTACT: Jessica Kemper Sims, (850) 245-3029, (850) 251-0834 (cell)
Amy Graham, (850) 245-2112, (850) 778-7258 (cell)


Florida State Parks 75th Anniversary Signature Events Recognize Black History Month

~Events celebrate black history and culture~

TALLAHASSEE – In conjunction with the 75th Anniversary of Florida State Parks, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Florida Park Service will host special events throughout the month of February, including two 75th Anniversary signature events, to recognize black history in Florida.

“Florida’s state parks preserve many important cultural and historic sites that interpret the importance of black history in Florida,” said DEP’s Florida Park Service Director Mike Bullock. “While celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Florida state park system, we encourage park visitors to experience Florida’s rich culture and traditions of the past during Black History Month.”

Black History Month events taking place at state parks include:

Annual Reenactment of the Battle of Olustee
Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, Olustee
Friday, February 12 – Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park will host the 34th Annual Reenactment of the Battle of Olustee. One of the 25 events highlighting the 75th Anniversary of Florida State Parks, the event will feature more than 2,000 demonstrators presenting living history impressions of military and civilian life at the time of Florida’s largest Civil War battle. Three African-American units fought for the Union Army in the battle. The living history weekend features a Civil War-era battle reenactment on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., as well as the reenactment of the Battle of Olustee on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Educational programs are planned for Friday’s School Day when both public and private school students are invited to attend the reenactment. Admission is $7.00 for adults, $3.00 for children over five years and $2.00 per student on Friday. For more information or to make school reservations, call (386) 397-7009.

Flight to Freedom
Fort Mose Historic State Park, St. Augustine
Saturday, February 27, 2010, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Re-enactors in period clothing will tell the story of Fort Mose during “Flight to Freedom,” a living history event portraying the saga of the first Underground Railroad. One of the 25 events highlighting the 75th Anniversary of Florida State Parks, the event will also feature drumming, storytelling and Colonial weapon demonstrations. A free trolley shuttle service will be available from the 'Old Jail' located at 167 San Marco Avenue. Regular park admission fees of $4.00 per carload of up to eight people or $2.00 per pedestrian or bicyclist apply. For more information, call (904) 823-2232.

Paintings of the Florida Highwaymen
Silver River State Park, Ocala
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Museum Open House, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Evening Program, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The Highwaymen are a group of artists of African-American descent, whose artwork portraying Florida’s Treasure Coast is recognized as the beginning of Florida's contemporary art tradition. This program will be presented by Mollie Doctrow, Curator at the Museum of Florida Art & Culture at the South Florida Community College in Avon Park. Select Highwaymen paintings from the Museum of Florida Art & Culture collections will be on display at the park. This event is free. To make reservations or for more information, call (352) 236-5401.

Lighthouse Tour
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne
Thursday – Monday, 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is a designated Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Site. Before the lighthouse was built, Cape Florida was a secret meeting place and port for runaway slaves and Seminole Blacks. Freedom seekers waited along its shores to rendezvous with sea captains or board dugouts for a passage to safety in the British Bahamas. Tours are available twice daily Thursday through Monday. Regular park admission fees apply of $8.00 per carload of up to eight people, $4.00 for single occupant vehicle and $2.00 for pedestrians apply.

For more information, visit www.floridastateparks.org and following us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/FLStateParks

Flight to Freedom Re-enactors

"Florida’s state parks preserve many important cultural and historic sites that interpret the importance of black history in Florida."

Mike Bullock
DEP’s Florida Park Service Director

10–018

Last updated: February 04, 2010

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