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Hospitality and Tourism Management program to benefit from annual event

Feb 14, 2019

The annual St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival is Feb. 15-17 which is exciting for Flagler students for two reasons: experience and funding.

Solarium in Ponce de Leon Hall with table set for dinner

Photo by Perry Knotts

This weekend’s three-day festival coincides with the celebration of Juan Ponce de Leon’s 500th birthday. The Cava Reception and Dinner kicks off the festivities Friday evening in the Solarium of Flagler College’s Ponce de Leon Hall. Saturday, the St. Augustine Amphitheatre Front Porch will host the Wine and Dine event, which is already sold out. Sunday, the festival concludes at the River House with the Grand Tasting event. Tickets are still available for this event here.

While each festival event is unique, what makes the Cava Reception and Dinner special is that students from Flagler College’s Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) program will be assisting in the execution of the event as part of an experiential learning opportunity. This is a recent addition to the festival’s operational plan.

“The opportunity to host an event like the Cava Reception and Dinner, where students get to be involved first hand throughout the evening, epitomizes our developing HTM program at Flagler,” said hospitality and tourism Assistant Professor Zac Cole.

The Spanish Wine Festival is an event that locals look forward to each year and is considered a “must-do” on the winter social calendar. The mission of the festival is “to connect St. Augustine to our city’s Spanish history through a series of special events that feature Spanish wine, cuisine and culture.” The money raised from the events is then given to various nonprofits and charities each year. This year’s recipients of the funds raised are Flagler College Hospitality and Tourism Management program, St. Johns County Council on Aging, HorsePlay Therapy Center and SAiRA Foundation.

Cole said he and his students are excited and eager to help. Ultimately, the aim is to have this event become an annual experience for the HTM students at Flagler to be involved in from start to finish.

He said, “In a sense, it’s also finding ways to really leverage and extend Henry Flagler’s legacy of hospitality in St. Augustine.”   


For more information on the Hospitality and Tourism Management program, please visit here.

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