150,000+ attended St. Augustine's birthday

Economic impact of 5-day celebration of oldest city's 450th


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The early numbers are in and St. Augustine leaders are getting a look at just how successful St. Augustine's 450th birthday celebration was for businesses and the local economy.

Not only does the city manager say it's so exciting that their hard work paid off but, they're also excited to move forward knowing they can handle hosting thousands of people for more future events.

"I knew we would hit the ball out of the park. I just didn't realize how far it would fly- so home run," said St. Augustine City Manager John Reagan. "I think the feeling of the community was what made it so successful. People came out on the streets, met their friends and neighbors and visitors and connected with old friends."

Reagan says the 450th celebration from Sept. 4 to 8 was even better than they imagined. Not all figures have been tallied, but Reagan says between 150,000 and 200,000 visited the city over that long weekend. The biggest day was Saturday with the number of people at about 65,000 or more.

FULL COVERAGE: St. Augustine celebrates 450 special section

It will be a few weeks before the economic impact will be calculated. Reagan says he expects those numbers to be impressive as well.

"When I walked around the community and looked in shops and saw every register ringing and saw lines for restaurants, I think it was a good economic boom for the downtown merchants," said Reagan.

One reason a lot of these numbers haven't yet been calculated is because the celebration isn't over with yet. The king and queen of Spain will be visit the city this Friday to participate in an economic summit that is being held in St. Augustine to celebrate the former Spanish city's birthday.