The Fourth of July celebrates America’s “Declaration of Independence” from British rule. And this year in 2021, the freedom from masks, regaining social interaction, and opportunity to attend crowd-gathering events like fireworks displays.
In Fernandina Beach and across the USA, many are eager to put pandemic shutdowns and cancellations in the past. Our nation’s birthday this year will have extra meaning to some, and likely celebrated with more gusto.
Many are keen on taking trips and reuniting with friends and family. In the aftermath of successful vaccines, the country is getting back to more normalized activities during this time of pandemic recovery and healing. What better time for celebration than Independence Day.
Happy Birthday America!
Three professional fireworks displays are being held on Amelia Island. One is downtown in Fernandina, the other two at Amelia Island beach resorts (see details further below). Many are looking forward to watching bright bursts of light and color paint the sky, hear the sound of booms and the reactive “ahs” from crowds that will gather for the shows. Others may avoid the crowds entirely and opt for backyard barbecues, picnics and house parties. (Or stay home to soothe pets that get upset by fireworks.)
The Renaissance of Travel
Those who’ve been at Amelia Island’s beaches weekends during May/June 2021 (or took a stroll in downtown Fernandina Beach), have already seen firsthand the crowds out and about — both tourists and residents alike. Amelia Island tourism may possibly break records this summer of 2021.
Browse list below of various July 4th weekend events happening around Amelia Island. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!
Fri., July 2, 2021 Sounds on Centre Free Street Concert
Kicking off this big summertime 3-day holiday weekend is downtown Fernandina’s free street concert happening Friday evening, July 2, 2021 from 6 PM to 9 PM. Enjoy rock and dance music by “Soundwavez.” This concert series happens every first Friday of the month (April through October). The public is welcomed to bring beach chairs to sit comfortably and listen to music (or dance in the street). A fun-loving cast of characters — members of Fernandina Beach Pirates Club — roam around and add to the evening’s festive atmosphere.
Fort Clinch Union Garrison –Living History Re-enactment Sat., July 3rd & Sun., July 4, 2021
Watch history come alive at Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach. Re-enactors will present a living history experience on Saturday, July 3, 2021 from 9 am until 5 p.m., and Sunday, July 4th, 2021 from 9 a.m. until noon. As Amelia Island Living has noted before, one can “walk over a drawbridge and through a brick tunnel to travel back in time to the year 1864 at this Civil War-era fortress.”
Historians often take up duty in the infirmary, blacksmith shop, jail, laundry, and kitchen. Regular daily fees to enter this Florida State Park depends on your transportation mode and number of people entering. Driving a vehicle through the entry gate with single occupant is $4. Otherwise it’s $6 per vehicle (2 to 8 people). The entry fee drops to $2 per person if riding a bicycle or walking into the park. To actually stroll over the drawbridge and through the brick tunnel (pictured above) to tour the historic Civil War-era fortress and walk around the parade grounds costs an additional $2.50 per person. It’s is definitely worth it! Fort Clinch State Park is located at 2601 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach. Learn more about this wonderful state park, read “The Nature of Places, Fort Clinch.” Questions? Call Fort Clinch at 904-277-7274.
Downtown Fernandina Fireworks
A festive “Hometown Celebration” begins in downtown Fernandina Beach at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 4, 2021, featuring food, vendors, face painting for the kids and a FIREWORKS DISPLAY over the river. “Light Up Amelia” will be shooting off Independence Day fireworks at 9 p.m.
Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton Fireworks & Dinner
The “Red, White, and Deep Blue Celebration” will be held at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island on Sunday, July 4, 2021. The event begins at 7 p.m. with dinner, live music, and activities. The grand finale is the oceanfront FIREWORKS DISPLAY at 9:15 p.m. (The general public can see the fireworks from Amelia Island’s beachfront. The closest viewing point with larger parking lots are Nassau County’s Peters Point and Burney Park at American Beach).
The Ritz-Carlton dinner buffet Sunday, July 4, 2021 includes grilled strip steak, ribs, fresh seafood, including local shrimp, chicken, salads, sides and desserts. Dinner tickets require advance purchase (available online via Eventbrite, and are open to “hotel guests and local visitors only”). Tickets include the dinner and non-alcoholic beverages (with preferred seating for fireworks). Tickets are $125 per adult (ages 13+), $50 kids aged 5-12, age 4 and under free. Adults (21+) can buy a bar package pass (local microbrew, select beer, wine, and mixed cocktails), cost $50. Call the Ritz-Carlton for further info at 904-277-1100.
Omni Amelia Island Resort
On Sunday, July 4, 2021, Omni Amelia Island resort guests will enjoy a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. (The fireworks will also be visible to beach goers at the seashore. The closer viewing area for public parking is at Burney Park at American Beach and the south end).
For those thinking about eating out during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Marche Burette on the Omni property (in the public access shopping village), is hosting their popular outdoor dining option, “Steak Out” nights during the holiday weekend. “Steak Outs” are happening Friday to Sunday, July 2-4, 2021 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a “beer wall,” and also feature live music.
Pogo’s Summer Block Party Series – Sat., July 3, 2021
On Amelia Island’s south end, Pogo’s Kitchen on First Coast Highway is hosting a special dining event, their first “Summer Block Party” of 2021. Happening Saturday, July 3, 2021, this holiday weekend celebration features barbecue, drinks, live music and games. There will be performances by James Kalal and “That Blonde” Cheryl. The menu includes BBQ chicken, Barbacoa, Tandoori, Korean BBQ, Yakitori, plus sides and desserts.
Pogo’s featured craft beer is by Amelia Island Brewing Co., and craft cocktails from Fernandina’s distillery, Marlin & Barrel. Wine wine and Sangria will also be available. General admission begins at 6 p.m. (the event ends at 10 p.m.). Food/beverage tickets cost $6 each (one tickets equals one food or drink item). Buy 4 tickets for $20. Or purchase a VIP wristband for early entry at 5 p.m., and unlimited food & drink, cost in advance is $75 (or $85 at the door). For more info about this Summer Block party call Pogo’s Kitchen at 904-310-6088 or visit Facebook page.
Fernandina’s Three Craft Breweries
Plenty will enjoy some celebratory cocktails or craft beer this holiday weekend. Fernandina Beach now offers three craft breweries. Two newer ones that opened their doors last year in 2020 during the pandemic, Mocama Beer Company and First Love Brewing, both located off the city’s 8th Street. The Amelia Tavern (A.K.A. Amelia Island Brewing Company) on Centre Street downtown expanded this past year. This craft brewery added a new beer garden in the next door space, creating “The Alley”. Fernandina’s craft distillery, Marlin & Barrel, relocated last year to its new location on 8th Street, with tasting room and gift shop.
Beach Clean Up — Fireworks Roundup July 6, 2021
Many people set off their own fireworks from Amelia Island’s Atlantic shoreline. It’s discouraging to see how much fireworks debris and other trash some leave behind on the beaches when they depart. The tide comes in and goes out, washing some of this trash into the sea, adding to its pollution. Volunteers help scour sections of Amelia Island beaches after the holiday weekend. See more about this organized trash pick up event, the “Fireworks Roundup,” happening from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 6, 2021.