26th Annual Concours d’Elegance May 20-23, 2021
The world-renowned collector car show, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, is tapping the brakes, with the postponement of this huge event by a couple of months. “The Amelia” show dates have changed from its traditional month of March to May 20-23 this year in 2021.
Pandemic Postpones Amelia Concours 2021
Every year for more than a quarter century, the Amelia Concours event has been held at The Ritz-Carlton and the Golf Club of Amelia Island during the month of March. But like other events around the nation and world, the pandemic has disrupted norms.
In a January 11, 2021 news release, the event organizers stated, “In light of current developments both locally and around the globe, the 26th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will move to May 20-23, 2021.” (The complete news release can be read at end of this article).
Curating the incredible collection of historically-significant cars from private collectors and museums around the nation and internationally, to be transported to this small barrier island for this really big event, is no tiny task, each and every year. A show of high caliber, the Amelia Concours is an enormous undertaking with logistical challenges, even under the best of circumstances — without a pandemic. (Each annual show requires about two years of advanced planning.)
Bird’s-Eye View of the Amelia Concours
Get an unusual perspective of the Amelia Concours d’Elegance event by watching this excellent drone video produced by the show’s official photographer, Deremer Studios. This aerial view video captures the scope of the Concours. It features scenes of the seaside setting taken during various special Concours events Friday through Sunday last year in 2020. (The video includes two popular, free events — Cars & Coffee at the Concours, and a selection of Concours cars displayed along historic Centre Street for public browsing in downtown Fernandina Beach.)
The Concours d’Elegance is Amelia Island’s most economically-impactful annual event (more than the extremely popular Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival). Tourism on Amelia Island is a sizeable source of tax revenue for Nassau County, Florida.
According to the Amelia Island Tourist Development Council, a study conducted by Research Data Services, Inc. indicated last year’s 2020 Amelia Concours event week resulted in “an estimated total economic impact from off-island visitors of nearly $30 million, an increase of almost 11% (10.97) over 2019.” The event last year was held March 5-8, 2020, just a few days before widespread COVID-19 event cancellations began to sweep the nation.
One thing is for sure — event attendees coming to the May 2021 event can count on much warmer temps for browsing the cars along the fairways. If historical patterns hold true, May’s weather here in Fernandina Beach will likely be in the mid-80s (and monthly precipitation is less in May, versus March).
The news release issued by Founder and Chairman, Bill Warner, and the team of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance (dated 1/11/2021) follows below, further detailing the decision to move the event to May this year:
“At the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation made a promise to put the safety of our spectators, volunteers, entrants, judges, vendors, sponsors, staff and board of directors first. Every day since, our team has consulted experts, followed local and national developments and weighed our options. We worked tirelessly to create a plan that would allow us to move forward. We also set benchmarks that would require us to pause.“
“Moving the date allows more time for the vaccine to be distributed. Additionally, hosting the Concours in May will likely increase attendance and the corporate partnerships that allow our 501(c)(3) charitable foundation to continue its mission of providing resources for those in need on Florida’s First Coast and beyond.“
“We know the date change will present challenges for some. But we believe the health and well-being of those involved outweighs the inconvenience. Tickets and event packages purchased directly from The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation will automatically be carried forward to the corresponding events during the week of May 20-23, 2021. Current vendor and sponsor agreements will also be honored for the new dates. Thanks for your faithful support of The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation.“
How Much Are Tickets?
For the main show event happening Sunday, May 23, 2021, tickets purchased in advance are $100, general admission per adult (deadline to buy these lower-priced tickets is March 31, 2021). Then, from April 1st through May 22, 2021, the price per adult ticket increases to $125. Day of event tickets purchased at the gate will be $150 per adult. According to the official event website (as of January 11, 2021), “Face coverings are required for all guests (ages 2 and up), *subject to change.*
Sunday, May 23, 2021 Concours Show Schedule:
9:30 am – 4 pm – Golf Club of Amelia 10th & 18th Fairways
9:45 am — Honoree Lyn St. James enters the show field
10:30 am — Sandra Alford Cars & Vintage Fashions Show (in Awards Tent)
11:00 am — Chairman’s Welcome, National Anthem & Flyover
11:45 am — Judges Introduction
12:15 pm – 4 pm — Awards Presentation (Awards Tent). Presentation includes Best in Show, Best in Class, Amelia, and Corporate Awards.
For the full event and activities schedule and to purchase tickets online, visit the Amelia Concours website.
See previous Amelia Island Living article, “Pandemic Precautions Planned For Amelia Concours 2021,” (August 26, 2020), highlighting the top classes of automobiles at this year’s show. Racer, writer, broadcaster, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Lyn St. James, is the Honoree of the 26 th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation
The show’s Foundation has donated over $3.75 million to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other charities on Florida’s First Coast since its inception in 1996.
Amelia Island Tourism
Prior to the pandemic, according to the Amelia Island Tourist Development Council (AITDC), “nearly 1.5 million visitors generated $679 million in direct spending in Nassau County, FL in 2019.” The AITDC also has reported that “visitors generated 36.7% of all Nassau County, FL government tax revenues in 2019,” (more than $84 million).