Holiday List — Things To Do
‘Tis the season of traditions and annual holiday events. Enjoy a variety of festive Fernandina tours, Christmas tree lightings, parades and more. Here are the top community events from Thanksgiving “eve” through year end 2019. Browse this highlights list of merry activities happening around Amelia Island, sure to spread some cheer.
Calendar year 2019 will be tucked away with a final downtown Fernandina celebration on New Year’s Eve, featuring the “Shrimp Drop” and fireworks over the river to welcome the New Year 2020.
November 2019 Events
WED., NOV. 27, 2019 (5:30 PM), Thanksgiving “Eve” – Oceanfront Christmas Tree Lighting at Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton. Grand finale with Santa’s arrival and oceanfront fireworks display. The traditional gingerbread pirate ship will be in the Ritz lobby Nov. 27 through Dec. 29, 2019. Complimentary public event, park at Peters Point beach (starting at 4 pm) and hop complimentary shuttle service to/from Ritz-Carlton. SANTA’S MAGICAL DINNER starts at 6:30 PM, buffet style. Includes photo with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, $59 ($39 kids aged 5-12).
BLACK FRIDAY, NOV. 29, 2019 (8 AM to 4 PM) — Downtown Fernandina Beach Pajama Party & Sidewalk Sale — SHOP LOCAL! The merchants of historic district invite the community and visitors to wear festive PJs and have some fun downtown, with special offers and treats while you shop. Enter the pajama contest at 11 a.m. Prizes for the best individual, best group, and most creative PJ’s. See Santa and his special guest on Centre Street. 2nd Street Block Party with family-friendly activities and live music all day.
FRI., NOV. 29, 2019 (5 PM to 8 PM) – Omni Holiday Lights Celebration — Santa and Mrs. Claus, festive culinary creations, holiday crafts, elf training, inflatable fun, stilt walkers, train rides, s’mores and more! Admission is free. (Some games, activities, food & beverages require purchase.) Silent auction proceeds will support Omni’s “Say Goodnight To Hunger” to benefit the Barnabas Center. Park at the Omni Racquet Park (First Coast Highway), catch shuttle to event.
SAT., NOV. 30, 2019 (2 PM TO 6 PM) — Fernandina Christmas TREE LIGHTING — Gather downtown in the Fernandina historic district by the riverfront for the annual festivities culminating with the Christmas tree lighting at the foot of Centre Street. Vendors, bounce house, pirates, and Santa photos. Live music by the Nassau Community Band begins at 4 pm. There will be a performance by Royal Amelia Dance at 5:30, then tree lighting at 6 pm.
SAT., NOV. 30, 2019 — WOODSTOCK TRIBUTE CONCERT — (6:30 PM – 8:30 PM.) This free outdoor concert (previously cancelled due to bad weather), will be performed. After the city’s tree lighting festivities, the community is treated to a “bonus” concert in downtown Fernandina by the riverfront. Gather to listen to the Honey Badgers play. Listen to “a greatest hits run down of music from the original Woodstock concert,” to mark the 50th anniversary year since the epic event.
December 2019 Events
FRI., DEC. 6th & SAT., DEC. 7, 2019 — Fernandina Holiday Home Tour (10 AM to 4 PM) – Presented by the Amelia Island Museum of History. Take a self-paced tour downtown and see inside five of Fernandina’s private homes in the downtown historic district, professionally decorated for the holidays. These residences are located between North 3rd Street and South 7th Street (wear comfortable shoes, no high heels allowed inside). Transportation will be operating between the homes. Tour tickets are $30 (purchased prior to December 6, 2019). Day of event $35 (but must be purchased at the museum).
There’s also the option for a combo “Holiday Home Tour” ticket for $40 to also include a visit to the Southern Living 2019 IDEA HOUSE at Crane Island, also decorated for the holidays. (Tours for just the IDEA HOUSE are $22, learn more about this showcase home.) Purchase Holiday Home Tour tickets in advance at these local Amelia Island locations: The downtown Old Train Depot (102 Centre Street); Coastal Cottage (1439 Sadler Road); The Plantation Shop (Palmetto Walk Shopping Center, 4828 First Coast Highway); and Cape House (4810 1st Coast Hwy). NOTE: Holiday Home Tour tickets purchased online must be picked up on December 6 and December 7 at the Museum (starting at 10 AM). The Museum is located at 233 South 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, 904-261-7378.
FRI., DEC. 6, 2019 — CHRISTMAS GLOW, Fernandina Woman’s Club (5:30 to 8:00 pm) located behind Rec Center. Luminaries will line Atlantic Ave., a tradition the evening of this annual community party with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Games/Crafts/Storytime. Free admission, cookies, punch (chili and hotdogs for purchase).
SAT., DEC. 7, 2019 — Christmas Tour of Plum Orchard Mansion — Cumberland Island National Seashore has announced a special Christmas Tour. Circa 1898, Plum Orchard is one of the homes built on Cumberland Island by Lucy Carnegie.
A magnificent “Classical Revival” mansion of 22,000 square feet, step through the grand entry into another era of Southern comfort. The home will be decorated in the spirit of Christmas past of the early 1900s. (See more about Plum Orchard tour, take ferry from St. Marys.)
THURS., DEC. 12, 2019 Lantern Parade — New this year, the inaugural Dickens “Victorian” lantern procession will start at 6 p.m. near the foot of Centre St., by Fernandina’s Old Train Depot (pictured below). The parade will walk up Ash Street heading east, turn and then head west down Centre back to riverfront.
Those participating are encouraged to be creative – make your own special paper lantern. Parade organizers request that participants “carry something that reflects good cheer and holiday spirit, that shines glows or twinkles.” (However, bring only battery-operated lanterns and lights). Afterwards, enjoy music and sweets near Old Train Depot plus FIREWORKS over the riverfront around 7 p.m.
DEC. 13-15, 2019 Dickens on Centre – Victorian-themed street festival in Fernandina’s downtown historic district. Enjoy the downtown Fernandina 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 within Festival zone.) Dickens On Centre Street Festival Hours — Friday evening hours Dec. 13th are 5 to 9 PM. Saturday, Dec. 14th hours 10 AM to 9 pm. Sunday hours are 10 AM to 7 PM. Fezziwig’s Courtyard – at the Train Deport platform, will offer adult beverages for purchase. Beer, wine and holiday drinks by Marlin & Barrel Distillery. Fezziwig’s Hours: Friday, 5-9pm; Saturday, 1-9pm; Sunday, 1-7pm. New for the kids in 2019 is “St. Nick Grotto” where snow will be falling while families wait to see Santa. The scheduled hours for photos with Santa (by Boston Photography) are Friday, 6-9 PM; Saturday, 11 AM-2 PM & 3 PM-6 PM; Sunday, 11 AM-1 PM & 2 PM-5 PM. More info about Dickens on Centre.
SAT., DEC. 14, 2019 — Parade of Paws — Pets will be dressed in their holiday best to walk with owners (also dressed in the holiday spirit), for the 20th Annual “Parade Of Paws” downtown.
Registration day of event starts at 10 am at Old Train Depot (parade participant fee is $15, proceeds to Nassau Humane Society). For spectators, watch this cute parade at 11:00 AM. Prizes for parade participants in 2019 will be in these categories: “Best Victorian, Most Original, and Looks Most Like Owner.” Questions? Call (904) 321-1647.
SAT., DEC. 21, 2019 — Lighted Christmas Parade — Annual parade with floats decorated in lights, starts at 6 PM. Parade participants depart Central Park. Parade route goes west along Ash Street to 2nd Street, then turns up Centre Street, heading east back to Central Park. (Parade organized by the America’s Youth).
DEC. 31, 2019 — NEW YEAR’s EVE –5th Annual SHRIMP DROP & FIREWORKS (5 – 8 PM) in Fernandina’s downtown historic district at the riverfront near marina. Family-friendly community event with activities (kids’ zone, live music, laser show, food and vendors). Lighted shrimp is dropped at 7 PM, followed by fireworks over the river.
Happy New Year!
As we tuck away another year, wishing everyone a Happy New Year in 2020, as time marches on.