‘Tis The Season: Festive Holiday “Things To Do” Around Amelia Island

Highlights of fun, festive holiday events happening on this northeast Florida barrier island Thanksgiving week through New Year’s Eve.

November 2022 Christmas Tree Lightings

The Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton Tree Lighting – Nov. 23, 2022, 5:30 PM
Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton Christmas Tree Lighting Event. Photo by AmeliaIslandLiving.com

November 23rd’s evening tree lighting celebration is a wonderful holiday event featuring a 40-foot Christmas tree in beautiful oceanfront setting, performances on outdoor stage, the arrival of Santa Claus in a train, and the grand FIREWORKS finale. While the celebration begins at 5:30 p.m., allow extra time to park vehicles at Peters Point beach parking lot, then take the free shuttle service over to the Ritz-Carlton. Enjoy cookies and cider during the festive evening, a fundraiser for various local charities. Tickets cost $15 per person (aged 10 and older), and can be purchased online via Eventbrite website).

The “world’s largest” gingerbread pirate ship, created by Ritz-Carlton chefs is set to debut in the hotel’s lobby in the morning on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 23, 2022 at 11 a.m.

An Annual Tradition, the Ritz-Carlton’s Huge Gingerbread Pirate Ship

Fernandina Black Friday Pajama Party – November 25, 2022

Wear festive pajamas and have some fun while shopping downtown Fernandina’s merchant sales. Also, the 2nd Street Block Party features live music. The Black Friday event is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with pajama contest at 11 a.m.

Fernandina Beach Tree Lighting Ceremony, November 26, 2022

The city’s annual holiday season event held in downtown Fernandina near the riverfront, is happening this year on Saturday, Nov. 26th, 2022 (marina parking lot A, from noon until 6 p.m.).

Fernandina Beach Christmas tree downtown, holiday season. Photo by Amelia Island Living magazine.
City’s Christmas Tree, Foot of Centre Street

Fernandina’s Christmas tree lighting celebration features food vendors, merchandise for sale, bounce houses for the kids, a DJ and live entertainment including the Royal Amelia Dance Academy and the Nassau Community Band, along with the evening lighting of the city’s Christmas tree located at the foot of Centre Street.

December 2022 Events

Scenes of Centre Street, historic district tree lights. Downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida. Photo by Amelia Island Living magazine.
Fernandina’s Centre Street, Historic District Tree Lights

Stroll around Fernandina’s Centre Street in the downtown historic district with its extra enchantment during the holiday season. Starting several days before Thanksgiving week through New Year’s, downtown Fernandina twinkles with lots of extra holiday lights creating a fanciful ambiance.

Victorian-era courthouse, Christmas glow, Fernandina Beach, Florida. Photo by Amelia Island Living magazine. AmeliaIslandLiving.com
Christmas glow, Fernandina’s Historic Courthouse, Centre Stree.

Lighted Christmas Parade –  December 3, 2022 at 6 p.m.

This annual Christmas parade is one of the year’s best, very festive with lots of participants, held in downtown Fernandina Beach featuring lighted floats and lots more. (Want to be in the parade? Contact John Gilbert with America’s Youth at 904-624-5383 or [email protected]). Also learn more about holiday December 2022 parades happening in downtown Fernandina.

Holiday Light Parade Fernandina Beach, Florida annual event.
Festive Holiday Light Parade, Downtown Fernandina
Holiday Home Tour – December 2- 3, 2022

This two-day event features privately-owned homes professionally decorated for the Christmas season. Home tour visitors hear history and architectural features of each home. The special tour is presented by the Amelia Island Museum of History, an annual fund-raising event.  For more info call museum at 904-261-7378, or visit Amelia Island Museum website.

Nassau County Tree Lighting Celebration — December 3, 2022

NEW THIS YEAR! The inaugural Nassau County Christmas tree lighting event is taking place on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Robert M. Foster Justice Center, 76347 Veterans Way, in Yulee. Enjoy holiday music by the Nassau Community Band, pictures with Santa, plus a huge movie screen will show the famous holiday film, “Elf.” This is a FREE admission event.  Food trucks and gift vendors will also be present (food, beverages, and merchandise available for purchase).

Holiday Parade of Paws – December 10, 2022 at 11 A.M.
Parade of Paws, Downtown Fernandina December Event. Photo by AmeliaIslandLiving.com
“Polar Bear” Coca-Cola Doggies, Parade of Paws

Watch this cute parade with oodles of adorable doggies and their spirited owners dressed up for the holidays from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 10, 2022 in downtown Fernandina. Parade participants can register day of event at 10 a.m. at the Old Train Depot/Welcome Center. A fundraising event for the Nassau Humane Society, pet entries are $20. Parade route is on the sidewalk along Centre Street starting at the Old Train Depot, up to 4th Street, then crossing Centre, and turning back to the Depot. Prizes for parade participants in 2022 will be in categories: “Best Victorian, Most Original, and Looks Most Like Owner,” and top three overall. Questions? Call Nassau Humane Society (904) 321-1647.

Dickens on Centre – December 8 – 11, 2022
Dickens on Centre, Downtown Fernandina Beach. Photo by AmeliaIslandLiving.com
Dickens On Centre, Victorian-Themed Christmas Street Festival

This Victorian-themed Christmas street festival has become a popular annual event in downtown Fernandina Beach featuring lots of entertainment and activities starting with the Dickens Illuminated Procession on Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 7 p.m. At 5 p.m., the event begins with music and food trucks. Watch or participate in walking lantern procession and the evening concludes with a “Light Show” at Fernandina’s downtown riverfront.

Illuminated procession during Dickens on Centre, downtown Fernandina.
Illuminated procession, Dickens on Centre

The following day, Dickens on Centre opens Friday evening at 5 p.m. on December 9, 2022 and continues through Sunday, December 11, 2022 (ending 7 p.m.) Dickens on Centre features stage performances near Fernandina’s Old Train Depot at foot of Centre Street, the Tiny Tim’s Kid Zone and gift shopping at vendor booths, food and beverages. Related article about Dickens on Centre 2022.

New Year’s Eve Shrimp Drop & Fireworks — December 31, 2022

Presented by “Light Up Amelia,” and the city of Fernandina Beach, this annual celebration at the downtown riverfront begins at 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve 2022. The festivities include a countdown to ring in the New Year as the symbolic lighted shrimp is dropped. Wrapping up this early evening holiday event is the grand finale FIREWORKS DISPLAY at 7 p.m.. You don’t have to stay up until midnight to enjoy this fun Fernandina family-oriented New Year’s Eve celebration.