Amelia Island’s holiday event, “Dickens on Centre,” the Victorian-themed Christmas Festival in Fernandina’s downtown historic district, is happening December 9-12, 2021. Centre Street will be illuminated into a whimsical wonderland. There will be roaming costumed characters, live entertainment, plenty of spots for photo ops and chance to visit with Saint Nick.
The Festival is also an opportunity to do some gift shopping at local downtown businesses. Plus there will be a variety of vendor booths to browse, selling handmade seasonal wares, treats, and more. The festivities this year include fireworks one evening at the Fernandina Harbor Marina on Thursday, December 9, 2021 at 7 p.m.
“The holiday events and family festivities on Amelia Island are a tradition for many visitors and residents, especially Dickens on Centre, which is a wonderful centerpiece for the season,” said Gil Langley, president and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. “New additions such as the Enchanted Village, plus the great special offers from our award-winning hotels, resorts and inns, make this December a truly special time to enjoy the season together.”
Inspired by Charles Dickens’ novella, “A Christmas Carol,” Dickens on Centre transforms downtown Fernandina into a classic English village lit by the warm glow of festive holiday lights and colorful decorations.
“Dickens on Centre” holiday activities include:
- Dickens Illuminated Procession & Fireworks — (Thursday evening, December 9, 2021) – To participate in the procession, be downtown at the Old Train Depot at 5:30 p.m. and bring glowing, battery-operated lanterns or candles. From the Old Train Depot (pictured below), starting at 6 p.m., the procession will stroll up Ash Street before turning down Centre Street, returning to the riverfront. There will be food trucks and music for festive atmosphere, the event ending with 7 p.m. fireworks over Fernandina Harbor Marina.
- Run Like the Dickens (Dec. 11, 2021) – This seasonal scramble is a one-mile fun run at Fernandina’s Main Beach at 8:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome, including kids and dogs.
- Dickens After Dark (Dec. 11, 2021) – This VIP, adult-only event (21+) features specialty entertainment, a historic ghost tour, festive food, open bar for first two hours (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.), then cash bar for two hours until 9 p.m. This festive party is happening at the historic Lesesne House, pictured below, in downtown Fernandina Beach (ticket purchase required).
Wearing a Victorian-era themed costume is highly encouraged for the Lesesne House event. Watch a theatrical performance of “Alice in a Christmas Wonderland,” and an aerial acrobat performance. Tickets for Dickens After Dark at the Lesesne House are $107.72 including fees per person for the event (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) on Dec.11, 2021, available for purchase online in advance at Eventbrite.
“Dickens Enchanted Village”
New at this year’s Dickens on Centre is the “Dickens Enchanted Village”(Dec. 10-12, 2021). This experience brings to life the feeling of snow globes in one of six festive domes (each can hold up to six people). Globes are required to be reserved, cost is $150 for two (reserved for one hour time slot). Price includes a gourmet charcuterie board. Up to four more can be inside at cost of $55 for additional occupants (ages 13+), or $20 (ages 4 to 12). Each globe is decorated in a unique Christmas theme, and the forecast is even calling for snow. (Additional cost to purchase a bottle of wine or cupcake decorating kits).
“Dickens on Centre” Dining Week – Dec. 3-12, 2021
This 10-day culinary event features some of Amelia Island’s popular dining spots offering pre-fixe Dickens-themed or Victorian-inspired menus. See Amelia Island restaurant list below.
December Dining Event Dec. 3-12, 2021 Participants Include:
- The Tavern & The Alley, Amelia Island Brewing Company
- Amelia Island Tea House
- Bantam & Biddy
- Beech Street Bar & Grill
- Brett’s Waterway Café
- Café Karibo
- Coast Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton
- Lagniappe Restaurant
- Leddy’s Porch Bistro at the Florida House Inn
- Story & Song Bookstore Bistro
- Tides Pool Bar & Grill at Courtyard by Marriott
- Tidewater Grill at The Ritz-Carlton
Please note: All activities are subject to change. The Amelia Island Tourist Council will give advance notice, where and when possible.
For further information as well as special offers and packages from Amelia Island’s collection of award-winning hotels, beds and breakfasts, and resorts, visit AmeliaIsland.com/Holiday.