Made in St. Augustine® Handcrafted Festival Celebrates All Things Local

St. Augustine has an incredible amount to offer in every category: history, culture, cuisine, art, music, craftsmanship and beverages. But if your life is anything like mine, it’s impossible to discover (much less explore) all of St. Augustine’s treasures.

There are great opportunities for locals to play tourist in this town. But when was the last time you took a stroll through the Fountain of Youth? Watched the cannon fire at Fort Castillo? Headed down to Marineland and the Whitney Lab? I know what you’re thinking. I’ve done that – once is enough. So, I guess that means you know all about the Chalupa? You’ve learned how to make tabby? And you’ve probably met Mean Joe Green? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

St. Augustine has an abundance of amazing restaurants. Unfortunately, therein lies the problem: the abundance. I keep a (long) list of restaurants I want to visit. Some are reserved for date night and others are great for the whole family. My problem is when I like a place I have a tendency to go there over and over again so I can try all the dishes. And then what happens to my list? It continues to grow. I’m permanently playing catch-up in hopes to finally mark them all off my list.

The same is true for distillers, brewers, roasters and vintners. St. Augustine has experienced a huge surge in these types of local businesses and the only one I’m somewhat keeping up with are the roasters. Guess I should start switching my morning meetings to happy hour. That way I can better keep up with the local music scene too.

The farmers’ market is an awesome place to grab fresh produce, get to know local farmers, buy local handmade goods. However, there’s a lot happening on Saturday mornings and most weeks, I can’t make it there. When I do, it’s a very utilitarian visit and I stick to a grocery list. (Yes, I love lists.) As for the Wednesday Farmers and Crafts Market at the pier – while I love the concept, it’s just not happening for me or anyone who works. In an ideal world, not only would I regularly visit these markets, but I would be on a first-name basis with these vendors, know their story and understand their trade. We can all dream, right?

Basically, I could be a tourist in my own town for a long time before I even make a dent in all there is to see, do, taste, make, learn and experience.

Then it came to us… what if we had the opportunity to experience all St. Augustine has to offer in one day in one location? That would be awesome! We started talking to people, and as it turns out, they thought it was a pretty great concept too. And so, Made in St. Augustine® was born.

A one-day event showcasing all St. Augustine has to offer. On February 11, 2018 at the Francis Field we get to sample top local dishes, buy local handcrafted goods, learn a new trade or skill from local experts, create a masterpiece under the guidance of local craftspeople and artists, immerse ourselves in the area’s history and educate ourselves about all of the opportunities St. Augustine provides. All the while supporting local businesses and boosting our local economy!

I realize I’ll probably leave this handcrafted festival with a new list of things to do, see and experience - but it will be totally worth it. Hope to see you at Made in St. Augustine®!