Amelia Island’s 2021 Holiday Season Features Plenty Of Festive, Fun Events

Tree lighting celebrations, two holiday parades, home tour, fireworks and more. Browse list of spirited events.

Making Merry Around Amelia Island — 2021 Holiday Events List (From Thanksgiving Week Through New Year’s Eve)

It’s easy to get in the spirit of the 2021 Christmas season on this barrier island at the Florida-Georgia border. Fernandina’s downtown historic district will once again feature twinkling tree lights. Plus decorated shop windows and Victorian-era buildings lined with lights, creating a cheery Christmas glow during the holiday season. Browse list below summarizing festive Fernandina events happening downtown. Also, a signature event of the holidays, the tree lighting celebration seaside at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.

  • Ritz-Carlton Christmas Tree Lighting — November 24, 2021 — Traditionally held Wednesday evening, Thanksgiving “Eve.” The community is invited to usher in the 2021 holiday season at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. This event features a soaring 40 foot Christmas tree (pictured below, before the tree lighting), with festivities starting at 5:30 p.m.
Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton Christmas Tree Lighting Event. Photo by AmeliaIslandLiving.com
Before Tree Lighting, Oceanfront At The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Enjoy cider and fresh baked cookies during an evening of live musical performances, dancers, the arrival of Santa Claus. “Twelve Gifts of Christmas” raffle by the McArthur YMCA. The celebration ends with a fireworks display over the ocean. The popular gingerbread pirate ship, baked by Ritz chefs, will be back in the hotel’s lobby this year in 2021.

Admission tickets are required, $10 per person ages 10 and older all proceeds donated to local organizations (the Boys & Girls Club of Nassau County, Micah’s Place, The Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch, and The St. Marys Riverkeeper). To purchase Ritz-Carlton tree lighting tickets, visit Evenbrite. The public can park at nearby Peters Point beach parking lot and take the shuttle to the Ritz-Carlton. For more info, call the Ritz-Carlton at 904-277-1100.

Black Friday Pajama Party & Downtown Sidewalk Sale — Nov. 26, 2021 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Black Friday shopping, Fernandina-style is happening in the downtown historic district on November 26, 2021. Wear your festive holiday pajamas and have some fun while shopping for gifts. A holiday Bell Concert is happening at 10 a.m. in front of the the Old Train Depot. Kids face painting in pocket park and hot chocolate will be available. Also, the 2nd Street Block Party (sponsored by Pajama Dave’s), features music by Michele Anders, Sean McCarthy, Amy Vickery, and Sam McDonald. The Fernandina Pirates will appear at 10 a.m. The annual pajama contest will take place at 11a.m. on S. 2nd Street with a chance to win prizes donated by local merchants for categories: “Best Individual”, “Best Group”, “Most Creative”, and “Best Pet Pajamas”.
Pirate Peg Leg Pete watches over downtown Fernandina Beach. Amelia Island Living magazine.
Holiday glow, Peg Leg Pete Across From Fernandina’s Christmas Tree
Fernandina’s Christmas Tree Lighting — Nov. 27, 2021 (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Traditionally held the Saturday after Thanksgiving in downtown historic district near the riverfront featuring pirates, food and gift vendors, activities for kids (including bounce houses), a DJ plus live music by the Nassau Community Band. Also, the Royal Amelia Dance Academy will perform. Event is free admission to the public. For more information contact Kaitlyn Riviera at 904-310-3362 or [email protected]
Fernandina Beach Christmas tree downtown, holiday season. Photo by Amelia Island Living magazine.
Fernandina Beach Christmas tree downtown, foot of Centre Street.

December 2021 Holiday Events

Amelia Island Holiday Home Tour — December 3-4, 2021
“Christmas Glow,” Fernandina’s Womens Club — Dec. 3, 2021

The Woman’s Club of Fernandina annually sponsors the “Christmas Glow,” a long tradition of illuminating the sidewalk along Atlantic Avenue for nearly two miles on the first Friday evening of December each year. The luminaries begin from the Woman’s Clubhouse at 201 Jean Lafitte (behind the city’s Rec Center), and end near downtown’s Centre Street at 8th Street. The evening also features a community Christmas party at the clubhouse with performances on stage and Santa Claus.

Fernandina’s Lighted Christmas Parade — December 4, 2021
  • Decorated parade floats with Christmas lights, marching bands, dancers and more. Early evening holiday season parade at 6 p.m. is organized by America’s Youth. Want to participate in the lighted parade? For more info send an eMail to [email protected] .
Fernandina Parade of Paws — December 11, 2021
  • Fernandina’s popular pet parade is back this year in 2021. Pets will be dressed in their holiday best and walk with owners for the 20th of Parade of Paws by the Nassau Humane Society on Saturday, December 11, 2021. Parade begins at 11 a.m downtown near Fernandina’s Old Train Depot. Parade participants can register in advance at NHS Adoption Center, Dog Park, Second Chance, The Closet Resale Shop and Redbones Dog Bakery. (Cost $20 per pet, all proceeds go to help animals of Nassau Humane Society). Day of event registration at 10 a.m. at Old Train Depot. Dress pets (and yourself if you like) in festive garb for leisurely walk along Centre Street sidewalks. Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place as follows: “Looks most like owner”; “Cutest Personality”; “Most Original Costume”; and “Best Victorian Costume.” Prizes generously donated by Redbones Dog Bakery.
Dickens on Centre — December 9 – 12, 2021
New Year’s Eve Annual Shrimp Drop & Fireworks — Dec. 31, 2021
New Year's Eve 2021 Fireworks & Shrimp Drop, downtown Fernandina Beach celebration Dec. 31. 2021
New Year’s Eve 2021 Fireworks & Shrimp Drop, Downtown Fernandina
  • This family-friendly community event is held in early evening on New Year’s Eve near the riverfront in downtown Fernandina, starting at 5 p.m. Typical activities include a kids’ zone, roaming pirates, live music, food/vendors. Fireworks display over Fernandina Harbor at 7 p.m.

Wishing all “good tidings” of the season and a Happy New Year 2022!