October 20, 2023
As the year draws to a close, we invite you to join us in celebrating the holiday season, Island-style. While we may not have snow to signal the arrival of Christmas, rest assured that we have an abundance of holiday spirit and cheer to make up for it.
Check out several festive holiday happenings below that will keep the joy alive from the Christmas season right through the New Year plus explore our continually updated list of Amelia Island’s holiday activities here.
Downtown Fernandina Beach – Get the Christmas season started at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting (pictured above) held in historic downtown Fernandina Beach at the City Marina! Food and merchandise vendors plus live entertainment makes for great fun for the whole family. Friday, November 24, 6pm.
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island – The lighting of a 40-foot Christmas tree decorated with thousands of sparkling lights officially kicks off the festive season at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. This spirited program will feature live holiday music and performances including acclaimed, international violinist Christiana Liberis, dance by Royal Amelia Dance Academy, jazz music by The Lisa Kelly and J.B. Scott Duo and soloist, Sean Watkins. Enjoy fresh baked cookies, holiday cider, and conclude the evening with the arrival of Santa and FIREWORKS. Ticket purchase is required for entry with a $20 donation for ages 10 and older. 100% of the proceeds will be shared with several organizations benefitting Nassau County. Complimentary shuttle rides will be available from Peters Point. Wednesday, November 22, 5:30pm.
Let’s get this party started! Stroll and shop in your PJ’s when the merchants of Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach host their Annual Black Friday Pajama Party. From 8am – 6pm on “Black Friday,” guests can shop in their pajamas and enjoy special deals, discounts, and refreshments along Centre Street. The much-anticipated Pajama Contest will take place at 11am on S 2nd Street with a chance to win prizes donated by local merchants for Best Individual, Best Group, Most Creative, and Best Pet Pajamas. The party will continue outside the Visitor Depot with live entertainment starting at 10am and along N 2nd Street with an exciting block party. Don’t forget to head to the waterfront at 6pm for the annual tree lighting! Friday, November 24.
Celebrate the holiday season and experience the nostalgia of classic hits like “Under the Boardwalk” and “Save the Last Dance for Me” performed live by the talented members of the Original Drifters. Witness the iconic harmonies and soulful melodies that have defined the Drifters’ legacy on a night filled with laughter, dancing, and heartwarming music. Friday, December 1, 5pm in the Fernandina Beach Middle School Auditorium. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Photo credit: American’s Youth
Peek inside five homes, tastefully decorated for the holiday season, during the annual Holiday Home Tour. All homes are in the beautiful historic downtown district and are not normally open to the public. Docents in each home give its history and highlight the period architectural elements. December 1 and December 2, 10am – 4pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
Who doesn’t love a parade? Enjoy bands, dancers, lighted floats and so much more at the annual Lighted Christmas Parade, organized by America’s Youth and held in downtown Fernandina Beach. Saturday, December 2, 6pm. This is a free event.
It’s showtime, folks and to get you in the spirit of the season, Amelia Community Theatre is excited to perform “Miracle On 34th Street – A Live Radio Play” from December 1 – 16. It brings to life the classic holiday story, but with a twist. On the musical front, “Scrooge” takes center stage at Amelia Musical Playhouse December 1 – 10. You don’t want to miss this musical based on Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”.
The whole family can experience “Christmas Past made Present” at the annual Dickens on Centre festival held December 7 – 10 in historic downtown Fernandina Beach. Visits from Saint Nick, costumed carolers, performers, seasonal vendors, life-sized snow globes, illuminated lantern parade and readings of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas are just a few of the ways our Victorian downtown will be transformed into a festive classic.
Be part of the Amelia Island Singers’ delightful 2nd annual Holiday tribute, “JOY for the Season” celebrating the special time when cherished memories of faith, family, and fun come alive. Music has the magical ability to transport us to Christmases of the past and unite our hearts in a joyous celebration of everything that matters. Friday, December 15 (7pm) and Sunday, December 17 (3pm). For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Photo credit: Amelia Island Singers
Featuring over twenty-five world class performers in a classic big band setting, this family friendly holiday show is sure to get everyone in the spirit. A full theatre production will include all your favorite holiday songs, local celebrity singers, dancing, acting and a few surprises. And if you’re nice, maybe St. Nick will pay us a visit, too! Held at Amelia Community Theatre, December 22 & 23. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
Downtown Fernandina Beach – Join the City of Fernandina Beach and Light Up Amelia for a unique, family-friendly New Year’s celebration! Ring in the new year at the downtown waterfront in conjunction with the Greenwich Mean Time stroke of midnight (7PM). Enjoy holiday food, drinks and party favors all leading up to the dropping of the LED-lighted shrimp followed by FIREWORKS.
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island – Welcome in 2024 at the 9th Annual New Year’s Eve Gala! This adults-only event offers luxurious food buffets including a seafood and sushi station, living salad station, antipasti, and appetizers. Dance all night with live music, enjoy an open bar and fireworks with a champagne toast. Black & White attire is encouraged. Masquerade masks are provided, or you can bring your own. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here. Take a look at all of our accommodations and plan your trip to Amelia for the holidays!
Ring in the New Year on Amelia Island and enjoy championship level football at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. It’s a win win!
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