Summer 2024 Kickoff – Nassau’s Opening Of The Beaches Bicentennial Event

Kicking off the summer beach season, celebrate coastal nature and special BICENTENNIAL festivities at Fernandina’s Main Beach Park.

“Opening Of The Beaches,” Bicentennial Celebration
Fernandina's Main Beach Park looking south along boardwalk. Located on Amelia Island in Nassau County, Florida. (Photo by
Fernandina’s Main Beach Park looking south along boardwalk. (Photo by
Let’s Celebrate 200 Years!

A fun-filled day of special activities is planned at Fernandina’s Main Beach Park to kickoff Amelia Island’s summer beach season and celebrate Nassau County’s 2024 Bicentennial.

Nassau County, Florida Opening Of The Beaches Bicentennial Event -- May 18, 2024 at Fernandina's Main Beach Park.
May 18, 2024 Event — Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m At Fernandina’s Main Beach Park

The “Opening of the Beaches” is free to the public and features the Wild Amelia Nature Festival, an 8K beach run from Peters Point to Main Beach, plus lots of live entertainment and family-friendly fun. Listen to tunes by the sea at Main Beach with performances by Laid Back (10 a.m. to noon), The Liberty Blues Band (noon to 2 p.m.) and The Honey Badgers (2 – 4 p.m.). There will be a KIDS ZONE, “Touch-a-Truck” exhibit, and skateboard competition. For those working up an appetite or thirst, food and beverages will be available for purchase from food trucks and the beer garden at Main Beach Park.

Fernandina's Main Beach Park along the Atlantic Coast seashore. (Image by
Fernandina’s Main Beach Park shoreline along the Atlantic Coast. (Image by
Keep Nassau Beautiful Presents Wild Amelia Nature Festival

The 15th annual Wild Amelia Nature Festival will be a featured event during this day of special activities scheduled on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the “Opening of the Beaches.” The free admission Wild Amelia Eco-Expo includes environmental exhibitor booths, live critters, and “hands on nature activities” in the Kids Niche.

Male Pileated Woodpecker photographed on Amelia Island by Fernandina Beach in Nassau County, Florida.
Male Pileated Woodpecker photographed on Amelia Island, Florida.

This year’s “Critter of the Year” is the Pileated Woodpecker, a year-round resident of Amelia Island and elsewhere in Nassau County, FL (see related article, more info, photos and video of a male Pileated Woodpecker.) The Festival is an opportunity to “get in touch with nature beside the ocean,” says Keep Nassau Beautiful (see website, learn more).

“Isle of 8K Beach Run” Starting At Peters Point
Peters Point beach access on Amelia Island in Nassau County, Florida. (Photo by
Peters Point beach access on Amelia Island in Nassau County, Florida.

The “Isle of 8K Run” coincides with all the special activities happening at Main Beach on May 18, 2024. Starting at Amelia Island’s Peters Point Park, an 8K beach run is another aspect of the “Opening of the Beaches.” The beach run start time is 8 a.m. and participants will run north from Peters Point along the Atlantic seashore to the finish line at Fernandina’s Main Beach Park.

At Peters Point beach in Nassau County, Florida looking north along Amelia Island's Atlantic seashore. (Photo by
At Peters Point beach looking north along Amelia Island’s Atlantic seashore.

A trolly will be available to transport runners from Main Beach back to Peters Point. The “Isle of 8K” beach run requires a $35 registration fee, and those who register by Friday, May 10, 2024 will also receive a race T-shirt. For those interested in running, see the online 8K run registration information.

Celebrating Nassau County, Florida’s 200 Years

Bicentennial events have been scheduled throughout the year 2024, hosted by the Nassau County, FL Board of Commissioners to celebrate history but also create public awareness of the county’s effort to create the Nassau Vision 2050 plan. It’s an effort to prepare for the anticipated continued high population growth and further development of this northeast Florida coastal county during the next 25 years.

The Nassau Florida Vision 2050 process includes five phases. A draft of the Nassau Florida Vision 2050 plan is anticipated to be unveiled by year end 2024, in early December. The final Nassau Vision 2050 plan (an update to the previous one dated 2007), is intended to be utilized as a baseline for a future update to Nassau County’s Comprehensive Plan

Visit the Nassau Vision 2050 tent at Main Beach Park to learn more about the plan, provide feedback on the draft version of “Community Building Blocks” during the “Opening of the Beaches” May 18, 2024 event. Also visit the official Nassau Vision 2050 website for more information.