Amelia Island Festivals & Top Events

Highlights of Signature Events — Annual List

January 2022

Amelia Island Restaurant Week  — January 2022 — The 14th annual event, “Restaurant Week” features special lunch and dinner price-fixed menus. Dates in 2022 and participating restaurants yet to be announced.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade — January 17, 2022 (12 Noon) — Parade starts at Fernandina’s Peck Center, 516 South 10th Street
Fernandina Beach. Parade honoring the civil rights leader who lead the non-violent movement for equality for all. For further info send eMail to: [email protected] .
Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival — (Concert dates vary beginning in January and are scheduled through April.) An extraordinary experience on Amelia Island for music lovers. One need not travel to New York or Europe to hear some of the world’s most accomplished musicians. 2022 concert dates and venues yet to be announced.

February 2022

Amelia Island Book Festival — February 18-19, 2022. A time when wordsmiths gather on Amelia Island. The book festival features author talks, writer’s workshops, luncheons, a gala dinner and free EXPO book marketplace. The Book Festival’s gala is February 18, 2022 (6 p.m.) at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Author Expo/Readers’ Extravaganza is happening Sat., February 19, 2022. The Amelia Island Book Festival is a non-profit organization. Proceeds benefit the “Nassau County Authors in Schools Literacy Program.”  See more at Amelia Island Book Festival.

March 2022

The 27th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled to return to its usual month, happening March 3-6, 2022. One of the top events of its kind in the world, fairways at The Golf Club of Amelia are lined with gleaming, glitzy, extremely rare automobiles, dubbed the “Field of Dreams.” It will be the first show with new ownership, Hagerty. Several auto auctions and other events are also held at various venues around the island.  See collection of articles about the Amelia Island Concours.

May 2022

Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival  — Fernandina’s popular and biggest attendance festival of the year (with the best parade happening Thurs., April 28 at 6 p.m.), is scheduled for April 29 – May 1, 2022. Further info, including entertainment and activities schedule, will be published when Shrimp Festival date nears.

Shrimp Festival Parade Float, Isle of Eight Flags, Fernandina Beach, Florida
Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Parade

Wild Amelia Nature Festival  — The annual nature festival is held in May and celebrates the local bio region. The event typically includes a sea turtle release at Fernandina’s Main Beach Park, various nature tours/field trips and photography workshops. The free admission Eco-Expo, features live music, exhibits and critters. 2022 dates yet to be announced.

Happening This Fall In October 2021

Falling For Shrimp — October 1-3, 2021 — This special event is planned in light of the two previous cancellations of the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. While not the same as the famous event that normally attracts over 100,000 visitors to Amelia Island, the “Falling For Shrimp” multi-day event will feature food, arts and crafts vendors and musical entertainment. The “party band of the South,” the Swingin’ Medallions will perform on Sunday. Falling for Shrimp hours: Friday, Oct. 1 — 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 2 — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021 — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Presented by the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Committee and city of Fernandina Beach.

8 Flags Car Show by Amelia Cruizers  — October 16, 2021 — Fernandina’s very popular classic car street display held downtown (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). A fun, free admission event, the show features around 300 collector vehicles.

The cars are parked along the historic corridor of Centre Street and side feeder streets for eight blocks in downtown Fernandina. Get a feel for this event by watching video about this terrific car show filmed during a past event, read related article.

Amelia Island Jazz Festival — Oct. 3-10, 2021 — Kicking off with a free concert at Amelia Park, a variety of concerts are planned this fall. See jazz concert dates and featured musicians, how to purchase tickets and more info about the Amelia Island Jazz Festival.

Happening This Fall in November 2021

Right Whale Festival — November 6-7, 2021 — An autumn outdoor festival held by the seaside at Fernandina’s Main Beach Park, this two day educational event features musical entertainment on stage, food trucks, exhibits, kids activities, and presentations. Located at the city’s largest beach park, learn about the plight of critically-endangered North Atlantic right whales while enjoying the oceanfront setting. Read related article about a past Festival.

Downtown Fernandina’s Veterans Day Parade — November 11, 2021 — Organized by American Legion Post 54, this annual parade begins at 11 a.m. (traditional parade route starts at Ash Street from Central Park, and then turns onto Centre Street in historic district).

History Of The American Soldier

Fort Clinch State Park  — “The History of the American Soldier” — November 13, 2021 (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) — This once-a-year event is a wonderful tribute to Veterans. Living historians represent soldiers from every major U.S. military conflict in American history from Revolutionary War to contemporary times. Bring a beach chair and blanket (it can be chilly), and enjoy this educational outdoor presentation. Entry fee is one canned good per person, donations for the Barnabas Food Pantry. For more info call Fort Clinch at 904-277-7274.

Petanque America Open USA  Nov. 13-14, 2021 (plus additional events happening Friday, November 12, 2021). Held on the riverfront downtown in historic Fernandina Beach, hundreds of Petanque players enjoy this international tournament. Watch the games, enjoy food, wine, music. Read past article, see video “Playing Petanque Along the River.”

Holiday Season 2021 Events

downtown Fernandina Beach Christmas Lights December
Downtown Fernandina Holiday Season Lights
Downtown Fernandina Christmas Lights

Downtown Fernandina Beach twinkles with its traditional Christmas glow during the holiday season each year. Lights cover trees and downtown buildings within the heart of Fernandina’s historic district.

Christmas Tree Lighting Celebrations (Thanksgiving Week)

Three Amelia Island Christmas tree lighting celebrations traditionally happen in November during the week of Thanksgiving each year.

Ritz-Carlton Christmas Tree Lighting — November 24, 2021 — Traditionally held Wednesday evening, Thanksgiving “Eve.” The community is invited to usher in the holiday season at Amelia’s Ritz-Carlton. This event features a soaring 40 foot tree on the seaside lawn with festivities starting at 5:30 pm (seen below before the lights turned on).

Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton Christmas Tree Lighting Event. Photo by
Just Before Tree Lighting, Oceanfront At The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Enjoy cider and fresh baked cookies during an evening of live musical performances, dancers, Santa Claus and fireworks show. “Twelve Gifts of Christmas” raffle by the McArthur YMCA. Admission tickets 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). Nearby Peters Point public beach parking lot will provide complimentary shuttle rides to the Ritz-Carlton. To purchase Ritz-Carlton tree lighting tickets, visit Evenbrite. For more info, call the Ritz-Carlton at 904-277-1100.

Omni Holiday Lights Celebration — Traditionally held the day after Thanksgiving on Friday. Call Omni for more info 904-261-6161.

City of Fernandina Christmas Tree Lighting — November 27, 2021 — Traditionally held the Saturday after Thanksgiving in downtown historic district near the riverfront with pirates, activities for kids and live music performed by the Nassau Community Band. For more information contact Kaitlyn Riviera at 904-310-3362 or [email protected]

December 2021 Holiday Events

Amelia Island Holiday Home Tour — (Photos above from archives, previous home tours.) This annual home tour is scheduled for December 3-4, 2021 in downtown Fernandina. An annual fundraising event presented by the Amelia Island Museum of History, it’s a unique opportunity to tour five privately-owned homes decorated by professionals for the Christmas season. Visit the Amelia Island Museum’s website for updates, or call museum at 904-261-7378.

Fernandina’s Lighted Christmas Parade — December 4, 2021 — Decorated 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] .

Dickens on Centre — December 9 – 12, 2021. A Victorian Christmas-themed street festival held in Fernandina’s downtown historic district. Costumed characters roam around spreading holiday cheer, gift vendor booths, live entertainment on stage and other spirited activities. (Further details and entertainment schedule to be announced as event nears.)

New Year’s Eve Annual Shrimp Drop & Fireworks — (Dec. 31, 2021) — This family-friendly community event is held in early evening. Typical activities include a kids’ zone, live music, laser show, food/vendors, leading up to the fireworks display at 7 p.m. (Whether this event will be held in 2021 has not been officially announced as of late September.)

Monthly Recurring Events

Fernandina’s “Sound on Centre” free street concert series has resumed in 2021.  The monthly event is held on the first Friday night of the month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. seasonally (April to October). This free outdoor music event features live bands and dancing in the street. Feel free to bring a beach chair, sit and relax downtown.

The first weekend of every month features living history reenactments at Fort Clinch State Park Experience Civil War-era soldier life in the year 1864. These monthly Union Garrisons are a more elaborate presentation, featuring parade ground drills and demonstrations, including firing the cannons. Call Fort Clinch for status updates at 904-277-7274.

Monthly Artrageous Art Gallery Walks happen the second Saturday evening every month from 5 to 8 pm in Fernandina’s historic district.  Browse island art galleries, self-paced, free admission and mingle with local artists.