Amelia Island Festivals & Top Events
Highlights of Special Annual Events
Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival One need not travel to New York or Europe to hear some of the world’s most accomplished musicians. An extraordinary experience presents itself on Amelia Island, FL to hear classical music at the highest level. Concert dates vary from January through April. Visit Chamber Musical Festival.
Amelia Island Book Festival. Wordsmiths gather on Amelia Island each year for the Book Festival, featuring author talks, workshops, readings, and luncheons. Activities for kids (geared to children aged 3-12). Visit Amelia Island Book Festival.
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Want to experience one of the top collector automobile events in the world?
The posh event of the year on this northeast Florida barrier island is the Concours d’Elegance. The 10th and 18th golf fairways of Summer Beach are lined with millions of dollars worth of gleaming, glitzy collector automobiles, dubbed the “Field of Dreams.” There’s a week full of activities, (including a wonderful FREE event, Cars and Coffee showcasing hundreds of classics from area car clubs). Most other events require tickets, including dinners, seminars, workshops and five auto auctions at different venues. Purchase tickets for the main Sunday show, the Concours d’Elegance, in advance online, visit the Amelia Island Concours website for full schedule of events. Call 904-636-0027 for more information.
First Weekend of May —
Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. This annual event is always first weekend in May each year. The biggest tourism event of the year, attracting over 125,000 visitors. This is a fantastic art event with over 300 juried art and craftsmen exhibiting (Saturday and Sunday), live bands at the riverfront, Shrimp Festival parade, Friday night fireworks and pirate invasion by sea into the Fernandina harbor, food (shrimp, shrimp, and more shrimp), kids/family fun zone and more. Read more at Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival..
May — Wild Amelia Nature Festival (904-251-0016). Held in May each year, Wild Amelia celebrates the local bioregion and includes nature tours led by area naturalists and Florida State Park Rangers, nature photography workshops, a green business Expo, a Kids Niche, plus live music and critters. Visit Wild Amelia Nature Festival.
Amelia Island Jazz Festival. The Amelia Island Jazz Festival always kicks off with a FREE concert for the community and visitors. During the week long festival, music fans enjoy a diversity of styles ranging from traditional New Orleans jazz and big band swing to bebop and contemporary. Visit Amelia Island Jazz Festival.
October — 8 Flags Car Show, Amelia Cruizers . This wonderful classic car show features 250-plus collector vehicles parked along historic corridor of Centre Street in downtown Fernandina during Amelia Island Cruizers one-day event (FREE ADMISSION).
History of the American Solider at Fort Clinch State Park. While Fort Clinch hosts special re-enactments the first weekend of each month throughout the year, this particular event is the most comprehensive production each year. Browse military displays, watch firing demonstrations, and interact with living historians representing soldiers from every major US military conflict in American history from Revolutionary War to contemporary times. For more info call Fort Clinch at 904-277-7272.
November — Petanque America Open USA. Held on the riverfront downtown in historic Fernandina Beach, around 200 Petanque players from around the world enjoy this tournament on Amelia Island as they compete in this outdoor bowling game. Play or watch it, enjoy food, wine, music. See Petanque America for more info.
November — Rendezvous Festival. The Rendezvous Festival holds events at various venues around Amelia Island. This festival incorporated the former “Amelia Island Film Festival.” see Amelia Island Rendezvous Festival.
Amelia Island Annual Holiday Events
November — Ritz-Carlton Christmas Tree Lighting, always held on Wednesday evening, Thanksgiving “Eve.” A signature event ushering in the holidays on Amelia Island, enjoy holiday refreshments, live entertainment, the lighting of towering 50-foot tree, arrival of Santa Claus and fireworks. The public is welcomed to this event and to see the huge, 17-foot long gingerbread pirate ship in lobby. More info, 904-277-1100.
November — Tree Lighting at Omni. The day after Thanksgiving on Friday evening, at the shopping village at Omni Amelia Island Plantation, is the annual Christmas tree lighting celebration and festivities. Complimentary entry. Special activities for kids, food, beverages available for purchase, a fundraising event for Barnabas. Call for more info, 904-277-5992.
November — Fernandina Tree Lighting. Happening the Saturday just after Thanksgiving is the city of Fernandina’s annual tree lighting held in the downtown historic district near riverfront. Leading up to the lighting at 6 pm are fun things for the kids, including face painting, photos with Santa, musical performances.
Dickens on Centre, Victorian-themed street festival. See the downtown Fernandina Beach streetscape twinkling with holiday lights (free admission). Features live stage performances (bands, choirs, dancers, holiday movies), vendor booths for gift shopping, roaming characters and carolers, visits with St. Nick and photo ops. No vehicular traffic on Centre Street for four city blocks, 4th to Front Street. Call Visitors Center 904-277-0717 for more info.
December — Amelia Island Holiday Home Tour. See inside some of Amelia Island’s loveliest, private homes professionally decorated for Christmastime, a fundraiser that benefits the Amelia Island Museum. See Amelia Island Museum of History website for ticket info, or call 904-261-7378.
December — Amelia Island Holiday Cookie Tour of Bed & Breakfast Inns. Enjoy browsing six inns, each featuring a signature cookie and recipe to take home. Tour Fernandina’s gorgeous, grand historic homes decked out for the holiday season, and hear about each inn’s history. Visit Amelia Island Inns website for tour and ticket info.
Monthly Recurring Events
The first weekend of every month features living history reenactments at Fort Clinch State Park. Experience Civil War-era soldier life in the year 1864. These monthly Union Garrisons are a more elaborate presentation, featuring parade ground drills and demonstrations, including firing the cannons. Read lots more about Fort Clinch State Park, see photo gallery and watch video.
Monthly Artrageous Art Gallery Walks happen the second Saturday evening every month from 5 to 8 pm in Fernandina’s historic district. Browse around a dozen art galleries, self-paced and mingle with the artists.
Sounds on Centre, the FREE Friday evening outdoor music concert series in Fernandina’s historic district is held from April through October (except May) on the first Friday night of the month from 6 to 8 pm on historic Centre Street which is closed to traffic from 2nd Street to riverfront. This music event features live bands and dancing in the street. Also feel free to being a beach chair, sit and relax downtown.