Featured Festive Events
With just a few weeks left of December 2019, here are the year’s featured Christmas and New Year’s Eve events happening in downtown Fernandina Beach.
Besides the big Christmas street festival, “Dickens on Centre,” (more below), there are a few fun parades coming up before year’s end. Then, wrapping up another year, Fernandina’s “Shrimp Drop” and fireworks at the downtown riverfront. This is the community’s family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration.
Also check out the new parade happening this year in downtown Fernandina, an evening lantern procession. Plus a local favorite of pet lovers, the 20th Annual “Parade of Paws.” Wrapping up, the last parade of the year will be December 21st, the annual “Lighted Christmas Parade.”
THURS., DEC. 12, 2019 (5 pm – 8 pm)– New this year, the inaugural Dickens “Victorian” lantern procession will start near the foot of Centre St., by Fernandina’s Old Train Depot (pictured below). Starting at 6 p.m,, the procession will walk up Ash Street heading east, turn, and then head west down Centre back to riverfront.
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. Those marching are encouraged to be creative. Make your own special paper lantern to carry. After the Lantern Parade, enjoy music and sweets near Old Train Depot. Plus, there will be a FIREWORKS finale around 7 pm over the riverfront.
Dickens On Centre
DEC. 13-15, 2019 — Victorian-themed street festival in downtown Fernandina’s historic district. Enjoy the 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. See the full Dickens on Centre activities schedule.
Parade of Paws
SAT., DEC. 14, 2019 — 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. Parade participants will walk on the sidewalk along Centre Street, starting at the Old Train Depot, up to 4th Street, cross Centre, and turn back to the Depot. 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.
Lighted Christmas Parade
SAT., DEC. 21, 2019 — 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).
Shrimp Drop & Fireworks
Another decade will be tucked away with a final downtown countdown, Fernandina’s celebration on December 31st, New Year’s Eve. Gather in the historic district near the riverfront the last day of 2019 for festivities leading up to the “Shrimp Drop.” Followed by fireworks to welcome the New Year 2020 as we enter another decade.
DEC. 31, 2019 — NEW YEAR’s EVE – (5 – 8 PM) in the downtown Fernandina historic district near the city’s 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, so you don’t have to be out late to enjoy these festivities.