Kicking off the 4th of July holiday weekend on Amelia Island is Friday night’s free street concert in the downtown historic district of Fernandina Beach. The July 1, 2011 evening entertainment is an event featuring a special theme perfect for this barrier island.
“Fernandinaville Parrot Head Mania” with Jimmy Parish and the Ocean Waves will create a Margaritaville vibe in this Victorian-era riverfront city. Taking place on Centre Street (between 2nd & Front) from 6 to 8 p.m., this free concert provides a wonderful opportunity for friends and families to get together, bring beach chairs and enjoy a summer evening outside near the Amelia River. Count on seeing dancing in the street! Sounds on Centre is presented by the Historic Fernandina Business Association.
STARS & STRIPES FREEDOM FESTIVAL JULY 4, 2011 AT CENTRAL PARK IN FERNANDINA BEACH
Celebrate America’s Independence Day on Amelia Island with the Stars & Stripes Freedom Festival at Central Park on Atlantic Avenue in Fernandina Beach on Monday, July 4, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This family-oriented event features musical entertainment by Beech Street Blues Band, a Parent-Child Look-A-Like Contest, an All American Apple Pie Contest, teamwork games, Fun-for-the-Kids playground, plus food and arts and crafts vendors. The craft center features “make a thank you card” to send to active military members. The Stars & Stripes Freedom Festival is presented by Shiny Badges Inc.
4TH OF JULY PARADE ON HISTORIC CENTRE STREET, AMERICAN MUSIC CONCERT
The Freedom Festival will be followed later in the day by a patriotic 4th of July parade on Centre Street at 7 pm and a concert of Americana music beginning at 8:15 pm featuring the New Horizon Concert Band (Amelia Arts Academy) in front of the old train depot. Couldn’t be a better night to head to the riverfront to watch a beautiful sunset, listen to music, and then enjoy the fireworks show.
FIREWORKS OVER THE AMELIA RIVER AND ON AMELIA ISLAND’S SOUTHEND BEACHFRONT
The grand finale for Monday night’s 4th of July holiday celebration is the city’s fireworks at the Fernandina Harbor Marina at approximately 9:30 pm.
Note that Nassau County Commissioners just unanimously voted June 27, 2011 to ban the “private” use of fireworks. However, the show will go on for larger, professional fireworks displays over the water (such as the city of Fernandina’s traditional riverfront display and the Ritz-Carlton’s fireworks over the ocean.) The burn ban and last night’s voted fireworks ban is in reaction to the “extremely high drought index” that has caused an outbreak of area wildfires in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. Folks should please be mindful of these conditions, called a “tinderbox” by the local Fire Department, and not light up any fireworks this year. Nassau County’s drought index is reportedly 649 (moisture in the top 3 feet of soil), while normal would be in the 261 to 460 range.
4TH OF JULY TWILIGHT BYOB RIVER CRUISE
Enjoy the city of Fernandina’s fireworks while being right out on the Amelia River with Amelia River Cruises’ 4th of July Twilight Cruise (BYOB – beer, wine, or beverage of choice). Cruise departs at 8:30 pm from the Fernandina Harbor Marina, $10 per person plus tax, make reservations online or call 904-261-9972 (limited seating 89 passengers).
WATCH FIREWORKS ON AMELIA ISLAND’S BEACHFRONT
Besides the downtown Fernandina Harbor fireworks by the city of Fernandina Beach to be shot off over the riverfront, some folks instead head across the island to the east coast for a night on the beach. Along the island’s 13 miles of beachfront, thousands usually go to the beach in the evening with eyes to the skies, looking toward the southend’s fireworks.
An annual tradition, the night sky over the Atlantic Ocean will burst with sparkling fireworks on the fourth thanks to the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton. Islanders and visitors often head to the beach in the late afternoon to early evening, hauling beach gear (and even tables) to set up 4th of July beach picnics and feasts. There are lots of meet-ups — neighbors and friends who set up tailgating-like gatherings and wait for dark to fall and the show to begin.
The Ritz-Carlton is also hosting an Independence Day Barbecue July 4th, 2011 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Spend this holiday summer evening on the beautiful oceanfront lawn near the sand dunes featuring live music by Whiskey Bent, a country rock band plus fun and games for families. The fireworks show over the Atlantic begins at 9 p.m. For barbecue reservations and more information call the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton (904) 277-1100.
Omni Amelia Island Plantation is holding a Family BBQ Buffet from 3 to 7 pm on Sunday, July 3, 2011, followed by their annual airplane show at 7:15 pm and then fireworks at 9:30 pm.
FORT CLINCH STATE PARK LIVING HISTORY REENACTMENTS JULY 4TH WEEKEND 2011
Spend time at Fort Clinch Saturday or Sunday July 2-3, 2011. Perched on the Cumberland Sound, this Amelia Island fortress is considered one of America’s most well-preserved 19th century forts. Reenactors will present what life was like for soldiers in the year 1864. Experience living history at Fort Clinch from 9 to 5 on Saturday and 9 to noon on Sunday. Activities may include black powder artillery demonstrations and marching drills and soldiers on duty in the laundry, infirmary, and kitchen. It costs just $6 per vehicle (up to 8 passengers) plus $2 per person to tour the fortress. Note that special candlelight viewing of the fort takes place on Saturday evenings during the first weekend every month (except December).
Besides being an interactive history lesson, the state park offers beautiful Atlantic coast beachfront, a half-mile-long fishing pier, hiking and biking trails, nature observation, and is the gateway to the Great Florida Birding Trail. Call Fort Clinch at 904-277-7274 for more info.
WISHING ALL A GREAT 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY WEEKEND!