News Viva Florida

Published on April 1st, 2013 | by NSB Observer


Secretary of State Announces Viva Florida 500 Week

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced the start of Viva Florida 500 Week alongside several partners of the state’s initiative to commemorate Florida’s 500th anniversary, called Viva Florida 500.

Today’s announcements included the official launch of; a multimedia campaign that includes a 30 minute television special that will be airing statewide and an online map featuring historical information, fun facts and current events; the touring schedule of a 16th Century Spanish galleon replica bound for Florida; and a three day exhibit in the Museum of Florida History featuring historic documents rarely seen by the public such as Florida’s original 1838 Constitution and a Sir Francis Drake map from 1586.

“Viva Florida 500 is a year-long commemoration, but we believe it is important to draw extra attention to the week of Ponce de León’s arrival because of its historical significance for our state and nation,” said Secretary Detzner. “Florida is truly the place where the world’s cultures began to unite and transform into the great nation we know today as the United States of America.”

On or around April 2, 1513, Juan Ponce de León became the first recorded European to arrive on Florida’s shores or anywhere else in the current United States of America. He is also responsible for giving Florida its name, calling it La Florida because of the land’s lush plant life and in honor of Pascua Florida, the Eastertime Spanish Feast of Flowers taking place at the time of his arrival.

Viva Florida 500 is a statewide initiative led by the Florida Department of State, under the leadership of Governor Rick Scott, to highlight the 500 years of historic people, places and events in present-day Florida since the arrival of Juan Ponce de León. The Viva Florida 500 commemoration is ongoing throughout 2013, and includes hundreds of events statewide and nearly 2,000 partners.

Viva Florida 500 partners at today’s announcement included VISIT FLORIDA, The Florida Lottery, Friends of the Museums of Florida History, The Florida League of Cities, The Florida Humanities Council and Sachs Media Group.


About the Viva Florida 500 Multimedia Educational Campaign

The Viva Florida 500 multimedia educational campaign is an opportunity to inform citizens and visitors alike about Florida’s heritage and history – with fast-paced, entertaining and upbeat, easy-to-understand media components for citizens of all ages. The multimedia campaign includes a 30-minute television special in English and Spanish and a related series of public service announcements that will be broadcast statewide in each of Florida’s key markets. As part of the multimedia educational campaign, a clickable map is also available on the website where visitors can learn about a Florida city’s historical information, current events and rich cultural diversity. The multimedia campaign is made possible by the Friends of the Museums of Florida History, the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Lottery, along with Sachs Media Group who is producing the multimedia material.

“Florida strives to be a national and global leader in education,” said Secretary Cindy O’Connell of the Florida Department of the Lottery. “The Viva Florida 500 multimedia campaign will help educate residents for many years to come.”

“It’s not often we have an opportunity to leave such an incredible legacy to our children and future generations of Floridians.” said Manuel Maroño, president of the Florida League of Cities. “The Florida League of Cities is honored to play a key role in the commemoration of the state’s 500th anniversary.”


About the 16th Century Spanish Galleon Replica

El Galeón is a 170 foot, 495 ton, authentic wooden replica of a galleon, leaving for Florida today, that was part of Spain’s West Indies fleet. It will take El Galeón about 10 days to go from Puerto Rico to Florida where the Viva Florida 500 Voyage will include call on ports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Canaveral and St. Augustine beginning April 15 and culminating June 3, as part of the state’s 500th anniversary commemoration. VISIT FLORIDA is helping coordinate the tour along with Fundacion Nao Victoria. For more information about the replica galleon, contact Pam Forrester at 850.205.3839.

“Perhaps known best for our beautiful beaches and exciting theme parks, the Viva Florida 500 commemoration is providing the Florida tourism industry with an historic opportunity to expand travelers’ perceptions of the state,” said Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA.  “By offering visitors a whole new reason to explore the Sunshine State in 2013 with events such as the upcoming arrival of El Galeon, we are continuing to increase the economic impact of travelers to Florida.”

 To view this week’s Viva Florida 500 schedule, click here.


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