The 14th Annual Holiday Home Tour remains scheduled for Friday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, with five historic homes featured this year in downtown Fernandina Beach. (This article was revised November 19, 2020 with updated information about two December Christmas parades, further below).
Annual Museum Fundraiser
The Holiday Home Tour is an annual fundraising event presented by the Amelia Island Museum of History. It’s an opportunity to tour privately-owned homes decorated by professionals for the Christmas season. Each home on the tour has been decorated by a different design specialist, sure to delight visitors.
The Holiday Home Tour 2020 visitation will be different this year due to the pandemic. One ticket per home is required to be purchased in advance online ($7 each), with a specific time slot, reserved by appointment, to tour each home. Choose to tour only one home, some, or all five homes for $35, and note that masks are required. These historic homes are located within walking distance of each other.
The Lucy Cottage, Circa 1872
Pictured above is one of the historic Fernandina homes on this year’s Holiday Tour, known as the “Lucy Cottage,” circa 1872. This lovely home oozes with charm, right down to the white picket fence. No doubt thousands have admired the “Lucy Cottage” from the sidewalk, walking past during the last century and a half, as time marches on. December 4th & 5th, 2020 presents an opportunity to get a peek inside this historic home and others.
The “Lucy Cottage” was named after a former owner, Lucy Thompson Haverstick, of Fernandina’s “Golden Age.” She was sister to Florida Senator William Naylor Thompson, Jr.. The Thompson family owned three homes in a row on South 7th Street in downtown Fernandina. The Senator lived next door to his sister on one side. On the other side of the “Lucy Cottage” lived Lucy’s nephew, the Florida Senator’s son (in the brick home).
Buy Holiday Home Tour Tickets Online
NOTE: This year in 2020, there will be no shuttle transportation between Holiday Tour homes. Wear comfortable shoes (no high heels allowed inside homes). Also note that no photography is allowed inside homes. All tickets must be purchased online in advance, and sales are final for this fundraising event (no refunds). There will be no sale of tickets “at the door” on the day of home tours this year in 2020, due to the pandemic, and masks are required on the tour.
Visit the Amelia Island Museum’s website for further information about all five homes on the Holiday Home Tour 2020, to reserve your appointment time and to buy tickets online, or call the museum at 904-261-7378.
Lighted Christmas Parade 2020 – CANCELED
The evening “Lighted Christmas Parade” in downtown Fernandina Beach (previously scheduled for 6 p.m., Sat., December 5, 2020), is now canceled.
* PARADE NEWS UPDATE * — At the November 17, 2020 city of Fernandina Beach commission meeting, officials voted 4 to 1 to cancel upcoming holiday season events under their purview. While the Lighted Christmas Parade had been approved at the city’s November 4, 2020 meeting, it was canceled at the latest public meeting, after further discussion by city commissioners as well as comments by public speakers. Members of the city commission expressed concern with the gathering of crowds and upcoming holiday events that could become COVID-19 “spreaders.” The other holiday parade, the Parade of Paws, hosted by the Nassau Humane Society (tentatively scheduled for Dec. 12, 2020), also will not take place.
Parade of Paws 2020 — CANCELED
Another fun and adorable event is the annual “Parade of Paws,” presented by the Nassau Humane Society (904-321-1647), an annual fundraising event. The holiday-costumed pet parade is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, December 12, 2020. According to the Nassau Humane Society (NHS), parade approval remains “pending,” to be discussed at the November 17, 2020 city of Fernandina Beach commission meeting. (* NEWS UPDATE * — As noted above, city commissioners made the decision 11/17/2020 to cancel upcoming Fernandina Beach events through year end 2020 that encourage crowds gathering.)