Chakra Announcements

St. Augustine to Celebrate Rathayatra

by Nartaka Gopala dasi

Posted March 14, 2010

Please join us for the fifth annual Rathayatra in St. Augustine, Florida, on Saturday, March 20. St. Augustine was founded shortly after Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon sighted the mainland of North America, naming it "La Florida," Land of Flowers. At about the same time, Lord Caitanya was in another part of the world inaugurating the sankirtan movement. Lord Caitanya predicted that the chanting of the holy names of Lord Krishna would spread to "every town and village," and now we are seeing that prediction fulfilled. St. Augustine hosts more than five million tourists each year, and now these tourists will be blessed by Lord Caitanya's prediction as they witness the fifth annual Festival of the Chariots and Rathayatra in that historic city.

The procession route is about a mile long and can be easily walked by all age groups. It begins at 11 a.m. at the main Plaza (St. George Street and Cathedral) and will travel down Cordova, Orange, Castillo, St. Francis, back to Cordova and King Street and end at the Plaza. The parade will move in a leisurely fashion, stopping here and there along the route, giving way to song and dance. Following the procession, there will be family-friendly activities at the compound, lots of entertainment: Indian dance, music, singing, arts, and books. The big draw is a delicious vegetarian feast, free to all.

Eight Ratha Yatras are held yearly in the state of Florida: Miami, Jacksonville Beach, Tallahassee, Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Daytona Beach and St. Augustine. This St.Augustine festival is sponsored by ISKCON of Alachua..

All devotees are invited to come, and a bus will be arranged for transportation. We are seeking sponsors for flowers, prasadam and devotee transportation. For more info contact Bhadra das at 352-316-4560 or; or Dharmaraja das at 386-462-9660. If anyone wants to perform on the stage, contact Gaura Shakti das at 352-213-5550.