february, 2023

tue21feb1:00 PM2:30 PMA Wicked Mardi Gras in St. Augustine, with Author Ann Colby1:00 PM - 2:30 PM The Waterworks next to Main Library

Event Details

Friends of the Main Library of St. Augustine welcomes Ann Colby, author of Wicked St. Augustine, to share with us a treasure-trove of lurid tales from the Ancient City during a fun Mardi Gras-themed event at The Waterworks. Join us as we learn how St. Augustine compared to New Orleans’ famed Storyville district (hint: the oldest profession got an earlier start in the Oldest City!). Traditional histories of St. Augustine’s founding in 1565 fail to mention the gambling, liquor, and ladies for hire that were exported to the New World with the original expedition of Pedro Menendez de Aviles. For the next four hundred years, these three industries proved vital in keeping the city financially afloat, as St. Augustine’s madams, bootleggers, and high-rollers, with the cooperation of law enforcement and politicians, helped create a destination where wealthy tourists could bring their families for a wholesome vacation, while still being able to indulge in almost every sort of vice. Join us as we learn about some of the spots not listed on the standard tourist map: hidden-in-plain sight bordellos, speakeasies, casinos, and even the occasional opium den!
This event will also feature a Masquerade Contest! Guests are invited to wear a mask and/or 1920s Jazz Era clothing for the chance of a prize. Light refreshments will be served.
This program is free and open to the public, and will take place at The Waterworks, 184 San Marco Ave., which shares a parking lot with the Main Library. Seating begins at 12:00 pm, and the presentation starts promptly at 1:00 pm. No reservations are required. For more information, please call the Main Library at 904-827-6940.
Ann Colby has been a Florida resident since 1960. She grew up in Orlando, and attended the University of Florida, where she received her bachelor’s degree in religion in 1973, and graduated from University of Florida Law School in 1976. After serving as a local government counsel for forty-two years in the Central Florida area, she and her husband retired to St. Augustine in 2016, a city she visited many times over the course of her life in Florida. She now spends her time doing historical research on arcane topics, working for Central Florida Pug Rescue, conducting Wicked tours for Spyglass Travel, and otherwise doing exactly as she pleases.
The Waterworks is available through the generosity of the City of St. Augustine and the St. Johns Cultural Council.


(Tuesday) 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM


The Waterworks next to Main Library

184 San Marco Ave.