Half a millennium is a tenure worth celebrating. That is 500 years since the first European landed on Florida’s east coast and gave the state its delightfully florid name. Already, the celebrations have commenced and, on January 12th, a courtroom drama commenced in an attempt to settle the on-going dispute of whereabouts precisely Juan Ponce de León landed, when he named the land (it can be viewed on YouTube).

Other events celebrating the Creek, Seminole and Miccosukee native American culture and art are taking place in several locations around the state. Perhaps unusually, on the third day of the third month, which falls on a Sunday this year, Floridians will head to Daytona for the 500 Motor Speedway event.

Yet, on the 2nd of April, the Juan Ponce de León landing on Melbourne Beach will be re-enacted and, allied to a Presidential visit to the Capitol, the major celebrations will commence in earnest. Check: www.vivaflorida.org for the full calendar and more details.