News Column

A Posh Time with Ponce de Leon

Feb 18, 2013

Janis Fontaine

If only the real Juan Ponce de Leon had been able to ask directions!

Last week, to mark the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon's landing on Florida's coast, Carlos Bicho, an actor, dressed in costume to portray the great explorer. Bicho as Ponce de Leon wandered the streets of Worth Avenue to drum up support for the Young Friends of the Historical Society of the Palm Beaches annual fundraiser which takes place Friday.

This year's tony event follows last year's successful Swing Time! The theme of the evening for 2013 is The Fountain of Youth, and it begins with cocktails poolside, followed by dining and dancing in the ballroom to a live Latin band. Dress is Florida tropical chic, and Ponce de Leon will attend.

Ponce De Leon's Palm Beach arrival also highlights the exhibition, "Claiming La Florida: On Board with Juan Ponce de Leon," on display through June 29 at the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum in West Palm Beach.

Featuring hands-on and multimedia elements as well as archival documents, and maps and artifacts set in recreated portions of a Spanish ship, the exhibition illuminates the dangerous journey of the explorer. Learn what's fact and what's legend, the obstacles and challenges of such a voyage and what life must have been like aboard a sailing vessel in the 16th century. Visitors will also understand why it took Spain nearly 50 years to establish a permanent colony in Florida.

Admission to the museum is free. The Fountain of Youth, Young Friends of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County fund-raiser

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: The Beach Club, 755 N. County Road, Palm Beach

Tickets: By invitation. $250 plus host committee membership of $100.

Info: 561-832-4164;

Claiming La Florida: On Board with Juan Ponce de Leon

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, through June 29.

Where: The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, 300 N. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach.

Admission: Free

Info: 561-832-4164;


Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2013 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.)

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