AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. (January 22, 2013) – Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island offers an incredible collection of special events throughout the calendar year, each celebrating the island’s breathtaking assets, colorful past, or present day arts and entertainment. From the 50th anniversary of the longtime favorite Shrimp Festival, to the newer Amelia Island Blues Festival, these exciting special events showcase the island’s many charms and feature something for everyone. Major annual events scheduled for 2013 include:
Show: March 2-3
With growers and nurseries from around the state, the Amelia Island Garden Show will feature more than 50 vendors with a full assortment of flowers and plants, fruit trees and palms, orchids, herbs, container gardens, native plants, butterfly-friendly plants, shrubs, garden accessories and more. On-site experts will offer advice as to "greening" your home, yard and garden. An "Ask the Expert” booth will offer short presentations and demonstrations, from fertilizing to sustainable gardening. Admission is $5 for Saturday and Sunday, $4 for Sunday only, and children under 12 are free. Visit www.ameliagarden.com or (904) 491-4872 for more details.
On Sunday, March 10, the Porsche 911, Ford GT40, Lamborghini, Corvette and cars of Harry Miller will be among nearly 300 rare classic and prototype cars as well as a selection of significant race cars on display on the 10th and 18th fairways at The Golf Club of Amelia Island, adjacent to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The three-day event includes road tours, RM Auction of vintage cars, seminars, a black tie Mercedes-Benz USA Gala Dinner and silent auction. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org.
Amelia Island Film Festival: March 21-24
The Amelia Island Film Festival will screen narrative and documentary films by independent filmmakers from around the world. Visit www.ameliaislandfilmfestival.org for more information.
Book Festival: April 27
The Amelia Island Book Festival features local, bestselling and nationally known authors, book signings, publishers and exhibitors, author readings, poetry readings, workshops, panel discussions, storytellers and hands-on projects for children in the Kids Fun Zone. Held at the Atlantic Recreation Center, the festival offers free admission and all ages are welcome. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A Writers Workshop will be held on April 27. For more information, call (904) 624-1665 or visit www.ameliaislandbookfestival.com.
50th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival
For half a century, this small crustacean has caused a big sensation in historic downtown Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, where thousands of visitors happily strand themselves for this annual tradition. The popular event celebrates the “Year of the Golden Shrimp” with a nationally-recognized juried fine arts and crafts show, antiques, live entertainment, kids’ activities, contests, pirates, free admission and 25 food booths serving up the tastiest shrimp you can find, prepared every way possible by local non-profit organizations. For more information, go to www.shrimpfestival.com or call toll free (866) 426-3542.
Wild Amelia Nature Festival: May 17-19
The 2013 Wild Amelia Nature Festival invites residents and visitors to experience the wild side of Amelia Island. Visitors can enjoy numerous nature tours led by area naturalists and Park Rangers, nature photography workshops taught by local professionals, a nature-based green business expo, The “Kids Niche” nature-based activities for children, critters from the Jacksonville Zoo and more. For tickets or additional information, call (904) 251-0016 or visit www.wildamelia.com.
Chamber Music Festival: May 11-June 2
The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival will once again showcase world-class artists performing classical music in intimate and historic settings on Amelia Island. The festival is dedicated to bringing a wide variety of chamber music at the highest level. The 2013 festival will feature an incredible line-up, including Hotlanta Dixieland Jazz, Linden String Quartet, Zuill Bailey, Robert McDuffie and more. For ticket details and additional information, call (904) 261-1779 or visit www.aicmf.com.
Great Southern Tailgate Cook-Off: August 23-24
The 4th Annual Great Southern Tailgate Cook-Off will fire up again on August 23 and 24 on Amelia Island. Barbeque cooking teams from across the country will compete for cash and prizes, and, of course, bragging rights. The event is held at Main Beach on Amelia Island, where the beach meats the brisket. Visit www.gstailgatecookoff.com for more information.
Blues Festival: September 13-14
With sail boats on the shimmering Amelia River as the backdrop, the Amelia Island Blues Festival will include two days of outstanding music, great food and drinks and more. The all-star lineup will be announced in early 2013. Visit www.ameliaislandbluesfest.com for the latest information.
2013 Amelia Island Jazz Festival: October 6-13
The Amelia Island Jazz Festival will once again light up the island with a week-long series of events celebrating the diverse all-American art form of jazz. Under the creative direction of renowned jazz drummer and bandleader Les DeMerle, the 2013 festival will feature world-class jazz artists in a wide variety of styles, including Contemporary, Bebop, Smooth Jazz, Big Band, Latin, Blues, Dixieland and more. Past headliners include David Sanborn, Spyro Gyra, David Benoit, Ramsey Lewis and Buckwheat Zydeco. Performances will take place at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation and several other charming venues around the island. For more information, call (904) 504-4772 or visit www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com.
Petanque America Open: November 8-10
At the largest petanque ("pay-tonk") tournament in the USA, visitors can join close to 300 petanque players on Amelia Island as they compete in this simplified version of an older outdoor bowling game. The goal is to toss or roll a number of hollow steel balls as close as possible to a small wooden target ball. Players take turns and the team that ends up nearest to the target ball when all balls are played, wins. In 2012, the Petanque American Open included 256 players from 20 US States and 11 countries, including three prior world champions from France and Belgium. For more information, visit www.petanque-america-open.net.
Holiday Cookie Tour of Inns: November 23
The Amelia Island Bed and Breakfast Association invites the public to enjoy its annual open-house and self-guided walking tour of inns, just in time for the 2013 holiday season. Tour guests will get a new set of decorating ideas this year because some inns will be decked out in their Christmas finery, while others will offer inspiration for Thanksgiving décor. The event will take place this year on Saturday, November 23 from noon to 5 p.m. Visitors will tour some of the most impressive buildings on the island, sample a signature cookie from each inn, and be entertained with history, complimentary carriage and trolley rides between stops, and collect heirloom recipes along the way. In keeping with tradition, a portion of ticket and cookbook sales from the Tour will benefit a local charity. Inquire about special packages available for Tour weekend at your favorite inn. For more information, call (904) 277-2328 or visit ameliaislandinns.com.
Holiday Home Tour in Historic Fernandina Beach: December 6-7
Tour several of Amelia Island’s loveliest, private homes in Fernandina Beach’s historic district during the Amelia Island Museum of History’s seventh annual celebration of the holiday season. For more information, visit www.ameliahometours.com.
-Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau-
About Amelia Island
Northeast Florida’s coastal treasure, Amelia Island is a barrier island rich in colorful history and breath-taking natural beauty. Consistently ranked in the top 10 North American Islands by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler, Amelia Island offers long, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and pristine waters. Upscale resorts with world-class spas, championship golf and exclusive dining blend effortlessly with a captivating collection of bed and breakfast inns and historic districts. The island is home to Fernandina Beach, once a vibrant Victorian seaport village, and now a charming downtown district of eclectic shops, attractions and eateries. Forget the everyday getaway; Come make memories on Amelia Island. For visitor information and online planning, visit www.ameliaisland.com.