Amelia Island in northeast Florida hosts signature events each year. This list highlights the island’s fun festivals and top events happening every year (with the dates for 2018).
Top Two Spring Events 2018
CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE — (March 9-10, 2018) For collector car enthusiasts, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is springtime’s signature automotive event. Two-time winner of the prestigious International Historic Motoring Awards, “The Amelia” features more than 300 rare vehicles from seldom-seen private collections around the world, held at The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton.
Now in its third decade, this show is the centerpiece of Amelia Concours Week that also features auctions and other events with RM Sotheby’s, Gooding & Company, Werks Reunion, Festivals of Speed, Bonhams and more. See latest article about the 2018 Concours event plus collection of articles from over the years about this extraordinary week on Amelia Island.
SHRIMP FESTIVAL — (May 4-6, 2018) To celebrate its status as the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry in America, Fernandina Beach hosts an annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. This festival is the longest running event, an island tradition for more than 50 years. Attracting over 100,000 visitors during the weekend, Fernandina’s Shrimp Festival combines a love of shrimp and the best of arts and entertainment, all set in the charming historic district. The family-friendly event includes a Pirate Parade, Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant, Kids Fun Zone, fine arts, crafts and antiques vendors, fireworks Friday evening, and live entertainment. Shrimp and seafood dishes plus other food vendors. Learn more about Shrimp Festival’s event schedule and see photos.
Music, Books, Biking & Nature
MUSIC FESTIVAL — Throughout the spring, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival fills the island with world-class musical artists and performances. The festival’s 2018 season, themed “The Year of the Piano,” presents a wide range of internationally recognized artists in 14 ticketed and four free performances. This year’s lineup includes the decorated Dover Quartet; violin virtuoso Gil Shaham; Amelia Island’s favorite trio of cellist Andres Diaz, pianist Wendy Chen and violinist Chee-Yun; and Grammy-nominated bluegrass band, The Grascals. See various concert dates at AmeliaIslandChamberMusicFestival.com
BOOK FESTIVAL– (Feb. 15-17, 2018) The 17th annual Amelia Island Book Festival invites avid readers to a three-day celebration of the written word, featuring a luncheon with bestselling author and keynote speaker Adriana Trigiani. There will be a writers’ workshop hosted by New York Times and #1 International Best Selling Author Steve Barry. Also, a ‘face off’ dinner gala with fellow writers Lee Child, Jennifer Armentrout, Karin Slaughter, and Sherry Rinker. Plus popular Authors’ Expo and Readers’ Extravaganza, a family book festival featuring more than 100 noted authors ranging from emerging to International and New York Times bestsellers. AmeliaIslandBookFestival.com
KATIE RIDE FOR LIFE — (April 21, 2018) Bike, run, or walk in support of organ donation awareness programs, a big event presented by Mayo Clinic and Katie Caples Foundation. Held in spring annually, read latest 2018 article and watch video about this inspiring event. The start/finish of event is the Fernandina Beach Atlantic Recreation Center, biking 18 miles (or further). The 8K (5+ mile) walk/run is through Egans Greenway.
WILD AMELIA NATURE FESTIVAL — (May 18-20, 2018) Experience the wild side of Amelia Island, choose from more than 35 family-friendly events and outdoor experiences. The three-day nature festival includes the release of a rehabilitated sea turtle into the ocean from Fernandina’s Main Beach, in partnership with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Enjoy a sunset nature cruise exploring the intracoastal ecosystem by Amelia River Cruises. Visit the eco-expo with conservation exhibitions, a kid’s niche with a touch tank, silent auction fundraiser, live music and more. WildAmelia.org
Top Fall Events 2018
AMELIA ISLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL — (Oct. 7-14, 2018) Now in its 15th year, continues to captivate audiences with world-class performances celebrating the spirit of jazz. Nine-time Grammy award-winning vocalist, Janis Siegel of Manhattan Transfer, performing with the Requinte Trio, and Henry Johnson — Grammy nominated jazz guitar legend — are set to headline the 2018 festival. AmeliaIslandJazzFestival.com
PETANQUE AMELIA ISLAND OPEN — (Nov. 9-11, 2018) The largest Pétanque event in the Americas draws players and spectators from around the world and also offers vendor booths featuring food, wine, and live music. The event takes place along the Amelia harborfront in the downtown Fernandina Beach historic district. Read article with more information and watch video about the Pétanque event.
Top Holiday Events December 2018
HOLIDAY HOME TOURS: The “Holiday Home Tour” (Nov. 30th & Dec. 1, 2018), presented by the Amelia Island Museum of History, this year will showcase stunning beach homes on Amelia Island, each decorated for the holidays by a local florist or decorator. More info, AmeliaMuseum.org. UPDATE: The Holiday Cookie Tour of Fernandina’s bed and breakfast inns downtown is “taking a pause” this year — there will be no tour in 2018.
DICKENS ON CENTRE –(Dec. 7-9, 2018) Held within the historic district of downtown Fernandina Beach, this street festival recalls Charles Dickens’ early Victorian–era Christmas in Britain. With free admission, the festive event features themed characters and entertainers performing on the stage located near the Amelia riverfront. Enjoy the glow of holiday lights along eight blocks, a twinkling setting, with holiday decor and tastes of the season. Lots of opportunity for holiday photo ops with family and friends. Read related article published December 1, 2018 about Dickens’ entertainment and activities happening Dec. 7 to 9th. Plus two other events, the Lighted Christmas Parade and Fernandina’s downtown New Year’s Eve “Shrimp Drop” and fireworks.