‘Tis the season when downtown is decked in its holiday best. There will be sounds of merriment and glowing scenes around downtown Fernandina during a Victorian-themed Christmas street festival, a lighted Christmas parade and New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
“Three’s a charm,” and in the historic setting of downtown Fernandina, these “Top 3” December 2018 events are sure to spread cheer and attract thousands as this riverfront city celebrates the holiday season and wraps up the year.
Dickens on Centre
A Victorian-themed street festival, “Dickens on Centre,” is happening December 7th to 9th, 2018. Experience the downtown Fernandina Beach streetscape aglow with holiday lights, music and roaming characters of the period. It’s free admission to wander about and enjoy the festive ambiance. Festival hours are Friday evening 5 pm to 9 pm, Saturday 10 am to 9pm and Sunday 10 am to 7 pm. Note that there will be no vehicular traffic on Centre Street within the festival zone where folks can freely roam the street, pedestrian traffic only.
Highlights during “Dickens” are live stage performances including bands, choirs, carolers, and dancers. There will also be opportunity for visits with St. Nick and a variety of photo ops around the decorated downtown streetscape. Fezziwig’s Courtyard offers beer and wine for purchase, located near the “Wharf Stage” on the train platform at Old Train Depot.
Dickens After Dark Events
This year in 2018, a few adult-themed events have been added, happening Friday evening Dec. 7th and Saturday evening Dec. 8th, 2018 from 5 pm to 9 pm.
“Meet Charles Dickens…explore three magical, exclusive locations, investigate ghostly apparitions and hauntings, and engage with beloved Victorian characters as they help Dickens fulfill his Christmas wish!” Participants must be age 21+, ID & ticket purchase required. A one night entry ticket is $40 and includes one drink and ghost tour plus access to three venues:
Gothic Alley — South 2nd Street. Enjoy holiday libations (cash bar), come dressed in Victorian era holiday costumes if you wish (encouraged but not required). Visit Ebenezer Scrooge’s grave and ghosts of Christmas past and future.
Ghost Club — Centre Street pocket park between Lindy’s & Debonair. Become a member of Dickens’ esteemed Ghost Club to explore alongside the famous skeptic as he investigates the supernatural mysteries that abound. (Ghost tours depart every half hour from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.)
Tinker-Seeker-StoryWeaver Society — Upstairs at the Book Loft, learn about the fundamentals of storytelling. Then create stories with fellow guests, Christmas inspired.
Click here for further event details and to purchase tickets online for the adult “Dickens After Dark” events. Or view the full entertainment event schedule for the 3-day “Dickens on Centre” Festival here.
Lighted Christmas Parade
Happening downtown December 15, 2018 from 6 to 7 pm along historic Centre Street in Fernandina Beach. Spectators line the parade corridor to watch floats with holiday lights, marching bands, dancers and Santa himself pass by.
Shrimp Drop New Year’s Eve
Another farewell approaches, as time goes by. Head to downtown Fernandina December 31, 2018 to ring in the New Year 2019. Around here in this neck of the woods, watch a lighted shrimp drop during a countdown. This shrimpy sendoff happens at an earlier, family-friendly time, at 7 pm sharp, with a fireworks display over the riverfront. Leading up to the shrimp drop and fireworks, beginning at 5 pm, is music, laser shows, bounce houses for the kids, and food vendors. Thanks to “Light Up Amelia,” sponsors of this annual event.
Why A Shrimp?
Newcomers and tourists in town might not be familiar with Fernandina’s shrimping history. If so, stop by the Shrimping Museum near Fernandina’s downtown marina. You’ll learn how Fernandina is considered “the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry in America.” And when dining out locally, be sure to ask about delicious “wild-caught” shrimp served by local fine dining establishments.
The city of Fernandina’s Christmas tree by the riverfront was officially lit Thanksgiving weekend, kicking off the 2018 holiday season. Be sure to take a stroll along the downtown historic district’s main corridor any evening now through New Year’s to enjoy white glittering lights and the cheerful glow of Centre Street.
May all enjoy a wonderful holiday season 2018 with feasts, family and friends! And a Happy New Year 2019!