Amelia Island Book Festival is a Gift to the Community

Fernandina Beach, FL – Each year a cadre of volunteer board members, sponsors and donors help make the Amelia Island Book Festival’s (AIBF) award-winning “Authors in Schools” literacy program a reality. Through fundraising and sheer tenacity this small group manages not only to bring noted authors into every Nassau County School, but also to buy a book from the author for each student they meet.

This year, the Book Festival Board purchased 11,300 books for the students of Nassau County School District of the author they will meet. In addition, they offer several other educational opportunities for the students of Nassau County through the “Short-Story Writing Contest” and the “Tween/Teen Festival”, and a $2,000 college Scholarship. For adults, the “Steve Berry Writing Workshop: Lessons from a Bestseller” offers would-be authors a chance to learn the craft directly from the number-one international and New York Times bestselling author, who also serves as the festival’s Honorary Chairman.

The three-day festival culminates in a gift to the all of northeast Florida and southeast Georgia and all the visitors that visit Amelia Island from across the United States, Canada and even as far away as Australia.

The Saturday, February 17, Author Expo/Readers’ Extravaganza is jam-packed with excitement for all ages. Sponsored by CBC National Banks and Online Binding of Jacksonville, the day offers so much for everyone. The “Lee Child Breakout Session” is sponsored by Molina Healthcare, Inc.

“We are very grateful to our Expo Sponsors, as well as to the sponsors and ticket buyers of all our ticketed events that help make the book purchases for our students possible,” says Dr. John Ruis, this year’s volunteer President. “I’m proud of the work of this tireless group. We hope everyone in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia will come and take part in this celebration, which cements for our young people the value and excitement of books.

“We focus on lifelong learning, and that extends beyond our school years,” adds “Authors in Schools” co-chair Marie Fenn. “We are extremely grateful to our Honorary Chairman Steve Berry without whom we would not be able to attract the amazing headliners who will be at the 2018 Book Festival. And, we are grateful to all the celebrated authors who lend their time and talent to help us succeed.”

AIBF Expo participants will have the opportunity to engage with 100 noted authors, both New York Times bestselling and emerging authors of every genre. The Expo includes breakout sessions with celebrity authors, coffee with local authors and the opportunity for participants to make new discoveries, as well as to buy books and get them personalized. Those attending the Book Festival may take selfies with their favorite authors and celebrate all things literary.

Children at the Expo will get to revel in engaging activities, including arts and crafts, making a book and hearing some bestselling children’s authors. There will be food, fun, contests and music by the Laid-back Band. A children’s favorite character, Pete the Cat, will be roaming about.

Everyone attending the Expo is urged to pick up a Passport to Literary Discovery to get stamped when visiting authors and to be eligible for great prizes in hourly drawings.

All sessions, except where noted, last about 45 minutes,
All authors will come into gym for book signing after their presentation, where there are an additional 100 noted authors of every genre available.

10:00 am—2 pm— Kidz Zone–Classroom—1
Kidz Zone will feature lifelong educator and AIBF Director Terry Ramsay and her creations for age 3—10. In addition, and back by popular demand, will turn the works of art into a personal book keepsakes. As always there will be glitter galore.

10:00 am-noon ~ Jacques Pépin – Signing His Bestselling Cookbooks—Gym
The award-winning and internationally renowned chef, television personality and author has appeared on French and American television and written an array of cookbooks that have become bestsellers. Pépin’s numerous accolades and accomplishments include co-starring in the PBS series “Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home with Julia Child,” Emmy Award winner, cooking for heads of state and restaurant owner.

10:00 a.m. Steve Berry, Festival Honorary Chairman—Media Center
Join New York Times and international #1 bestselling author, whose works have been translated into 40 languages with over 22 million copies circulated in 51 countries as he unveils how and why historic events and situations provide the cornerstone for his novels. Learn how his career path took a major turn from lawyering to writing and becoming the founder of History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation.

11:00 a.m. Sheri Rinker —Media Center—especially aimed at young children and families.
If you live a chaotic life filled with endless noise, mismatched socks, and crazy animals, you will want to hear from New York Times #1 bestselling children’s author, Sheri Rinker who began writing books to help kids go to sleep at night and to provide treasured memories for them and their families. Her belief that imagination is more important than knowledge shines throughout her amazingly illustrated children’s stories. Find out how she emerged from gardening, cooking, mothering and collecting old oil paintings to writing eight award winning books, including Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, and Steam Train, Dream Train.

12:00 p.m. Noted Nassau County Authors—Leader, Steve Berry – Classroom 2
Lead by Festival Honorary Chairman Steve Berry, Join a dozen noted Nassau County authors for an informal discussion. This is a wonderful time to discover all you ever wanted to know about writing and living in paradise at the same time. Bring your lunch, we’ll provide the beverages and cookies.

1:00 p.m. Jennifer Armentrout—Media Center
Hear how boredom in algebra class, fueled by watching bad zombie movies, propelled Jennifer Armentrout to become a world renown, New York Times #1 bestselling author of young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance novels. Understand how she deals with retinitis pigmentosa which threatens her sight, yet continues to produce award-winning novels such as The Problem with Forever and Obsidian.

2:00 p.m. Karin Slaughter—Media Center
Be sure to visit one of the world’s most acclaimed storytellers, Karin Slaughter, who writes stories which “get under your skin.” With 35 million copies in publication, her works include Cop Town and All the Pretty Girls, which became instant New York Times bestsellers. Discover how her “run off into the mountains and write until I collapse” style leads to masterful tales of murder, intrigue and heart-pounding drama.

2:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony, Auditorium tickets needed, see below
Student Short-Story Contest winners/ The Book Island Literary Awards and The AIBF Awards will be presented at this short ceremony. Come cheer on these amazing young people and adult winners. Middle and high school student winners of the county-wide short story contest will get their awards at 2:30 p.m., and get to meet author Lee Child, international bestselling mega-star of the Jack Reacher series. The other awards will be presented by Honorary Chairman Steve Berry.

3:00 p.m. Lee Child– Auditorium, (Free, but limited space; go to AIBF site to get a ticket)
Be sure to join award-winning and bestselling author Lee Child whose “hardboiled” prose and adrenaline-pulsing thrillers have pushed sales to over 100 million books. Learn about his journey from working in theater and television to earning the Nero “Best Novel” award, and what it took to buy paper and pencils and write what turned out to be the first book in the Jack Reacher series. Hear about how those Jack Reacher novels emerge as revenge stories in which, “somebody does a very bad thing and Reacher takes revenge.” On paper, for sure, revenge is so sweet! This is a unique opportunity you will not want to miss.

Shrimp Festival Donates T-shirts to Uganda Orphanage

An often-overlooked benefit of the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is the philanthropical commitment from the committee. Every month the treasurer makes cash donations to local non-profits such as Micah’s Place, the Girl Scouts, or the Nassau Education Foundation. As a non-profit organization, the Shrimp Festival finds numerous ways to help other amazing organizations.

Recently, Hospitality and Volunteer Chairperson Jennifer Fritts took a mission trip to the Okoa Refuge located in Uganda, Africa. She was able to take 75 Shrimp Festival T-shirts and donate them to a local orphanage. “The children looked adorable running around the orphanage in those Shrimp Festival shirts,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer migrated to Amelia Island in 2015 and immediately got plugged in to the community. Second to her trip to Africa, stumbling across the opportunity to join the Shrimp Festival committee has been one of the most rewarding things she has done. “I can vouch for what an enormous production it is behind the scenes. It takes hundreds of volunteers – hundreds of hours – to pull off this family-friendly weekend event.” Jennifer continued, “With the help of dedicated volunteer committee members, local sports and other organizations, the Shrimp Festival goes on every year. This prideful island embraces a spirit of volunteerism and enthusiasm that is very special. Being a part of this community and the festival has revived my sense of community service and teamwork. It takes a village!” She concluded.

The 55th annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, sponsored by Baptist Health – Nassau, will be held May 4-6, 2018, in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach. The traditional Pirate Parade will be held Thursday, May 3rd at 6:00 p.m. to kick-off the weekend’s festivities. There will be a huge Kid’s Fun Zone, over 400 art, craft, and antique vendors, nationally recognized entertainment, Miss Shrimp Festival pageant, contests, pirates, and of course, plenty of shrimp served up by Nassau County non-profit organizations! The festival is free to attend.

We are grateful for the continued support of gracious volunteers within our community. If you are interested in participating this year, feel free to reach out to for more information.

Friends of the Library Presents Workshop on iPhone Apps

Friends of the Library continues to offer computer and mobile device workshops by Deryck Burnett, owner of Megabite Computer Services. Mr. Burnett will continue January’s smartphone topic with a workshop on installing and managing apps on the iPhone. The presentation will be held Saturday, February 17th from noon to 1:00p.m. in the Community Room of the Fernandina Beach Library.

Mr. Burnett will conduct a similar workshop on managing apps for Android smartphones in March. The date and time for this presentation will be announced as soon as it is scheduled.

Friends of the Library offers this presentation free of charge. Participation is limited, so register in advance by calling the library at 904-530-6500, Extension 1. If you find you are not able to attend, please call the library to cancel so someone on the waiting list can participate.

For further information regarding this event, on joining Friends of the Library, or to donate, visit the Friends of the Library website at

Give Your Sweetheart Crabs for Valentine’s Day

Shopping for Valentine’s day at the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market and Fernandina Beach Arts Market will be easy on Saturday, February 10, 2018. Both markets are in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach and offer a plethora of booths containing home-made and hand-crafted, artisan foods, locally grown seasonal produce, and arts and crafts. Several vendors will be running amazing specials on gift and dinner ideas for you to share with your sweetheart.

Sugar Flour Pastries has rebranded their delicious ice cream sandwiches as Epic Creamery. For Valentine’s Day they will be offering some of their epic flavors in a decorative sampler box. Their Local Expresso ice cream recently won Best Tasting at Desserts of Amelia. Be sure to tune in to WJXT February 12th for their cooking demonstration with Nikki Kimbleton on WJXT at 9:00 a.m. where they will show you how to glam up a brownie for your sweetie with Chantilly Lait, a mousse-like, chocolate whipped cream. Other holiday delights include Valentine sugar cookies decorated in red and white frosting by Great Harvest Bread Company, and JD Beef will be offering a sale on their ribeye steaks from cows who have never received antibiotics, never received growth promotants, and never received animal by-products.

More special Valentine’s ideas are serving your loved ones king crab legs, king salmon, or scallops for dinner from Upstream Seafood. Topsy Toffee is making a seasonal dried strawberry and white chocolate flavor, and Scents Amelia has adorable, unique soy candles. Consider buying your heartthrob a lovely orchid from Jaxma, honey for your Honey, or perhaps African Love Kitchen’s cheesecake or apple sambusa. Chesser’s Seafood always sell out of their delicious wild caught shrimp and now they are bringing fresh fish. This week they will have flounder, sheepshead, whiting, and b-line snapper. For special orders or to reserve your shrimp or fish, please call Debbie or Eddie at (905) 509-3337.

Also open on February 10th is the Arts Market; this is home to nearly 20 vendors who hand make their fine jewelry, apparel, paintings, stained glass, wind chimes, wood working, furniture and more. Open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., you’ll find the markets located on North Seventh Street, between Alachua and Centre Street. This week’s music will be performed by Lyle Rickards. Lyle has been playing the fiddle and the dulcimer for over 25 years and has traveled across the country. Making music his life, he is on the road and Amelia Island is where he has chosen to soak up some sun, music and campfires. To answer your sensitive questions, our Booth with a Cause will be Community Hospice of Northeast Florida.

Both markets are open rain or shine, and your well behaved, leashed pets are always welcomed.

Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant 2018

If you know a high school junior or senior residing in Nassau County, Florida, who is interested in participating in the 55th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival’s Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant, now is the time to enter. Sponsored by The Hampton Inn & Suites, Amelia Island, pageant contestants will be judged on poise, personality, appearance, and interview responses. Miss Shrimp Festival 2018 will win a $1,000.00 scholarship, and participants are expected to attend several events before and after the pageant.

Prior to the Shrimp Festival, mandatory rehearsals will be held at Bean School of Dance, 25 N. Third Street, in Fernandina Beach. The first rehearsal and organizational meeting will be held on Sunday, March 25th, at 3:00 p.m., and remaining rehearsals will be held from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., every Sunday in March and April. Contestants will be coached on stage presence, learn a choreographed dance routine, and practice answering interview questions.

A dinner and judge’s interviews will be held on Wednesday, May 2nd, at The Hampton Inn & Suites. Those entering the pageant must participate in the Shrimp Festival’s Pirate Parade on May 3rd, and the pageant will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 4th, after the festival’s opening ceremonies. Miss Shrimp Festival 2018 is required to be available during the remainder of the Shrimp Festival weekend to participate in other activities such as judging a variety of contests including the Best Beard Contest, The Best Dressed Adult Pirate Costume Contest, the Little Pirate contests, and the Blessing of the Fleet. Other requirements include participating in the 2019 Pirate Parade and the 2019 Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant to help crown next year’s winner. Additionally, there will be opportunities all year for Miss Shrimp Festival to participate in other parades and events during her reign.

If you have any questions, please contact Crystal Haney, pageant director, at (912)674-3316, or Pageant Choreographer Kristen Conner at (904)753-2488. For contestant applications and additional information, please visit The Deadline to enter the Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant is March 25, 2018.

Fernandina Beach, Florida, is known as the Birthplace of the Modern Shrimping Industry and the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is four festivals in one: a music festival, a kid’s festival, a fine arts festival, and a seafood festival featuring shrimp, of course. The Shrimp Festival is consistently rated by “Sunshine Artist Magazine” in the Top 25 of North America’s best events and over 130,000 visitors attend the three-day event. The festival kicks-off with a Pirate Parade at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, May 3, 2018, and continues through Sunday, May 6th. For more information visit

Literary Giants Headline Book Festival

Steve Berry returns to the Amelia Island Book Festival as Honorary Chairman for the 3rd consecutive year. Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Lost Order, The 14th Colony, The Patriot Threat, The Lincoln Myth, The King’s Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor’s Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with 20 million copies in 51 countries. The Bishop’s Pawn, the Cotton Malone Series Book 13, The Bishop’s Pawn, is now available for pre-order. The story chronicles his protagonist’s first case, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., on that fateful day in Memphis.

History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It’s his passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, which led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Since 2009, Steve and Elizabeth have crisscrossed the country to save endangered historic treasures, raising money via lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners and their popular workshops.

The duo will present “Lessons from a Bestseller: Steve Berry’s Writers’ Workshop,” on Fri., Feb. 16, 2018, for authors and would-be authors of every genre to support the AIS Literacy Program. For tickets and more information, visit

Lee Child
Lee Child is the New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers – sales at 100 million+ and counting. Reacher #22, The Midnight Line, released Nov. 7, 2017 worldwide is already on the NYT best seller. His debut, Killing Floor, won both the Anthony and Barry awards for “Best First Mystery,” and The Enemy won both the Barry and Nero awards for “Best Novel.” Personal and Night School were #1 on the best-sellers lists simultaneously in all English language countries and sold more copies than any other hardcover, of any type, for the year 2014 and 2016 in the UK. Jack Reacher, the film based on Child’s 9th novel, One Shot, starred Tom Cruise and Robert Duvall. His book Never Go Back was also a 2016 feature film with an all-star cast with Tom Cruise back as Jack Reacher.

Lee was born in Coventry, England. He attended the same high school as J.R.R. Tolkien, and went to law school in Sheffield, England. After part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an 18-year career as a presentation director during British TV’s “golden age.” During his tenure, the company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect and Cracker. At the age of 40, he left due to corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to take a chance. Lee bought some paper and pencils, and wrote what turned out to be the first book in the Jack Reacher series.

Adriana Trigiani
The festival kicks off with this multitalented, New York Times bestselling author of 17 books in fiction and nonfiction. Adriana Trigiani is also a playwright, television writer/producer and an award-winning filmmaker. She wrote and directed the major motion picture Big Stone Gap, filmed entirely on location in her Virginia hometown. Her newest novel – complete with a new cast of characters – debuts in the fall of 2018.

Trigiani will be the keynote speaker at the annual kickoff luncheon, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, at Walkers Landing. She will be introduced by her friend and NYT bestselling author David Baldacci, who was last year’s key note speaker, and this past year’s One Book/One Community Author.

Adriana is beloved by millions of readers around the world for her popular novels – The Shoemaker’s Wife, the Valentine trilogy and Lucia, Lucia – as well as her latest bestseller, Kiss Carlo. Her themes of love and work, emphasis upon craftsmanship and family life have attracted legions of fans. According to Adriana, “…if there is one thing I hope my books do always and forever, it’s that they honor working people.” Her books have been translated in 36 countries around the world. Due to schedule conflicts, the luncheon will be her only appearance at the Festival.

Karin Slaughter
Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers, and is known for the “stories that get under your skin.” Published in 36 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 16 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novel, Pretty Girls. When asked about her writing schedule, Karin said, “Unfortunately, I’m not very disciplined. I’m more of a “run off into the mountains and write until I collapse” author. I wish I could be more structured, but it’s been working for me so far, so who am I to judge?”

Her Will Trent series, Grant County series and standalone novel Cop Town are all in development for film and television. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta.

Jennifer Armentrout
Jennifer Armentrout, #1 New York Times bestselling author, spends her time watching really bad zombie movies when she’s not hard at work writing young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy and contemporary romance novels. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that eventually results in loss of vision among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.

Jennifer’s dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories. Her young adult contemporary The Problem with Forever is a 2017 RITA Award Winner in Young Adult Fiction.

Sherri Rinker

In 2008, in the midst of hectically trying to manage the demands of being a working mom in an unfulfilling career, Sherri Rinker wrote Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. It was picked up by the first publisher to whom it was sent! She is now a #1 New York Times bestselling author of eight children’s books.

Sherri began college as a journalism major, but moved to visual communications which combined creating beautiful, compelling compositions with visuals and text. After a 25-year graphic design career, her journey took a turn as she started writing books about big trucks to help kids go to sleep at bedtime. Construction Site paved the way for Mighty, Mighty Construction Site; Steam Train, Dream Train; and Big Machines. Sherri has also penned Silly Wonderful You and The 12 Sleighs of Christmas. It’s Soo Quiet debuts in 2018.

Jacques Pépin
An award-winning and internationally renowned chef, television personality, author, columnist and artist, Jacques Pépin is one of AMERICA’S most loved French chefs. He was born in Bourg-en-Bresse, France, and first apprenticed in a kitchen at the age of 13. Monsieur Pépin worked as a chef for the French Navy and then served as personal chef to three heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.

Chef Pépin’s culinary background includes New York City’s Le Pavillon, La Potagerie and the French Culinary Institute/International Culinary Center. Working with Julia Child, they collaborated on a TV special for PBS, Cooking in Concert, at the Performance Center at Boston University, as well as a 22-episode series, Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home. In his latest cookbook, A Grandfather’s Lessons: In the Kitchen with Shorey, Jacques Pépin gives his granddaughter a short course on preparing “food that is plain, but elegant, and more than anything, fun.”

Chef Pépin will be talking and signing his books at the Author Expo/Reader’s Extravaganza on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 starting at 10 a.m. at the Fernandina Beach Middle School. This Author Expo event is free and runs till 5 p.m. with more than 100 noted authors of every genre and breakout sessions with NYT bestselling authors. There will be a kidz zone, food, fun, contests, prizes and books for purchase and signing for all ages.

In addition to our headliners, the Festival offers events and activities for teens and tweens, aspiring writers, fans and families…something for everyone!

Visit the Festival’s website for more details on the Author Expo and other events and to buy tickets. The AIBF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, offering tax deductible opportunities. For more details on all festival events, and to purchase tickets and make donations, email or call (904) 624-1665.

Christiania Piano Quartet in Concert February 2nd

Fernandina Beach, FL — The Christiania Piano Quartet, led by cellist Christopher Rex, the AICMF’s general and artistic director, will perform music of Mozart, Korngold, Bériot, Halvorsen and Schumann on February 2nd as part of the seventeenth season of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival.

This performance is scheduled for 7:30 PM at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 2600 Atlantic Avenue in Fernandina Beach. Tickets for this concert and the entire 2018 season are available at or by calling the Festival office at 904-261-1779.

The Festival-favorite Christiania Piano Quartet is composed of violinist David Coucheron, violinist/violist Julianne Lee and pianist Julie Coucheron, in addition to cellist Christopher Rex.

Mr. Rex, the Festival’s founder, has been principal cellist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 1979, the same year in which he became the first cellist ever to win the string prize in the Young Artists Competition of the National Federation of Music Clubs. Since then, he has appeared as recitalist and chamber musician across the nation.

Ms. Lee has established a distinctive career as both a violinist and violist, appearing frequently as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. She was assistant principal second violinist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra prior to joining the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra this season as its new principal second violinist.

Mr. Coucheron was the youngest concertmaster among any major U.S. orchestras at the time of his appointment at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2010. He has worked with such conductors as ASO Music Director Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Mstislav Rostropovich and Charles Dutoit. Mr. Coucheron has performed as a soloist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, in addition to playing solo recitals at Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall and the Kennedy Center.

Ms. Coucheron, David’s sister, has established an international career as a soloist and chamber musician. She has won first prize in all of the national competitions she has entered. Ms. Coucheron has worked with Lazar Berman, Claude Frank, Emanuel Ax, Vladimir Feltsman, John O’Connor, Elton John and Chistopher O’Riley. She has toured the world playing in such great venues as Verizon Hall, Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall.

The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival will continue on February 9 with a concert by the acclaimed Miró Quartet, followed by a February 15 performance with internationally recognized violinist Gil Shaham and renowned pianist Akira Eguchi. The Festival will continue through April with 16 more memorable performances, three of which are free, in addition to a free master class conducted by members of the Dover Quarter, the Festival’s quartet-in-residence. Complete information and tickets for all of these concerts are available at

Great Weather to Enjoy Farmers and Arts Markets

The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market and the Fernandina Beach Arts Market will be open Saturday, January 17, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., on North Seventh Street in downtown Fernandina’s historic district. If your New Year’s resolution was to eat clean or lose weight, this will be a great day to come and shop for seasonal produce. Four farmers bring a nice variety of freshly harvested fruits, nuts, beans, and vegetables that will help you reach your goals.

Boatright Family Farms is from South Georgia and they bring cabbage, peas and beans, squash, zucchini, onions, and more. Cabbage Creek Farm, from Nassau County, Florida, are growing salad greens, spinach, kale and other greens. King’s Kountry Produce sets up two booths with their farm fresh strawberries, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and other Florida grown winter vegetables. Bacon’s Select Produce grow lettuce, kale and cucumbers in their Jacksonville greenhouses. They sell their green and red butter head lettuce with the roots still attached providing a longer shelf life.

Upstream Seafood sets up a deep freezer with Alaskan salmon, delicious scallops, and an amazing smoked salmon dip. Chesser Seafood operate a small shrimp boat out of Mayport, Florida, and they sell out of their large shrimp every week. Many of these vendors will sell out of their products, but you can place pre-orders with them to make sure you don’t miss out.

Other great vendors returning this week include Me, Myself and Pies, Lizzie’s Cheese Straws, Golden Olive Press, and JD Beef will have a fresh supply of pork in stock, too.

The Arts Market, located adjacent to the Market Place, will have nearly 20 booths of handcrafted furniture, woodworking, apparel, fine and whimsical jewelry, paintings, pottery, glassware, and more.

Volunteers will be on hand at our Booth With a Cause to answer your questions and show you the exciting line up of authors they have planned for the 17th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival being held February 15 – 17, 2018. This event promotes literacy by celebrating the joys of reading and writing.

Both markets are open rain or shine, and your well-behaved, leashed pets are always welcomed. For more information, please visit or

FSCJ Receives $25,000 Grant from AT&T Foundation for Fire Cadet Training

Join Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) for a special check presentation in honor of the $25,000 Fire Cadet Academy Grant awarded to FSCJ by the AT&T Foundation.

The grant provides scholarships to 11 students from underserved populations who wish to obtain FSCJ’s Firefighter I/II Workforce Certificate through the Fire Academy of the South (FAS). Students will be trained in FSCJ’s FAS state-of-the-art training facilities with modern equipment including a new maritime fire trainer and aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) simulator.

Special guests include FSCJ President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau, Jimmy Patronis, chief financial officer for the state of Florida, Kurtis Wilson, director/fire chief for Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and Heather Duncan, regional director, external affairs for AT&T.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Florida State College at Jacksonville-Fire Academy of the South
2700 Firefighter Memorial Dr., Jacksonville, FL 32246

JustFoodForDogs recalls Three Dog Food Meals in All Sizes

JustFoodForDogs (JFFD) of Los Alamitos, CA, is voluntarily recalling its Beef & Russet Potato, Fish & Sweet Potato and Turducken dog food meals in all sizes. JFFD uses 100% USDA and other restaurant grade ingredients in all of its pet food, and because the green beans used in these meals may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the company is alerting the public. Listeria monocytogenes can affect animals eating the product and there is risk to humans if they were to intentionally or unintentionally ingest the dog food or come into contact with contaminated feces from a pet that has eaten the food.

Listeriosis is rare in dogs and when infected most dogs have mild symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, however, more serious symptoms are possible, such as fever, muscular and respiratory signs, abortion and even death. In addition to the possibility of becoming sick, such infected animals can shed Listeria monocytogenes through their feces and thus serve as a source of infection to humans, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands. If your dog has consumed the recalled products and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
Healthy people infected with Listeria monocytogenes should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms if they believe they may have consumed any of the above recalled items intentionally or unintentionally, or may have come into contact with contaminated feces from a pet that has eaten the food: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, aches and fever. Rarely Listeria monocytogenes can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis and can be life threatening. Pregnant women are more susceptible to Listeria infection, which can result in abortion. The most common way that people are affected is by consumption of contaminated food. Consumers exhibiting these signs after consuming this product should contact their healthcare provider.
The recalled JFFD Beef & Russet Potato, Fish & Sweet Potato and Turducken was distributed only through 11 JFFD retail locations in Southern California, 3 Pet Food Express (PFE) locations in Southern California and 10 Northern California PFE locations.

While testing demonstrates that only several dates of production were affected, out of an abundance of caution, JFFD is recalling all of the above mentioned products made from the dates of November 1, 2017 through January 14, 2018. These represent Best By lot code dates on all three of the JustFoodForDogs’ recalled products of 11/01/18 through 01/14/19.

The products being recalled were sold refrigerated or frozen and include all sizes offered – 7 oz, 14 oz, 18 oz and 72 oz.

No confirmed Listeriosis has been reported but there have been reports of short-term symptoms in some dogs (diarrhea and vomiting).

There have been no reports of human illness to date.

The potential for contamination was discovered after a purchaser of JFFD products reported to JFFD veterinary medical staff that her dogs had become ill. Tests to date confirm that green beans purchased from a restaurant supply distributor were positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

The restaurant supplier/distributor of these green beans has voluntarily put a “product hold” on the distribution of these green beans to restaurants and other human food retailers.

JFFD is currently making these recipes available without green beans until the matter is resolved.
JFFD notified and is working with FDA on this matter.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled JFFD products from a JFFD store should contact JFFD at 866-726-9509, from 9:00 AM – 7:00PM PST seven days a week, for a full credit or refund. Consumers who have purchased the recalled products from Pet Food Express should return them to any Pet Food Express for a full credit or refund.

Deadline Approaching to Exhibit in the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

Fernandina Beach, FL – The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival’s fine arts show will stop accepting applications on January 31, 2018. Sponsored in part by the Island Art Association, Inc., the Shrimp Festival hosts an annually juried show that is consistently rated by Sunshine Artist Magazine as one of the best events in North America. The street festival, always held the first weekend in May, features fine art and crafts, antiques, a kid’s zone, a variety of food booths, live entertainment, contests, and other scheduled special events. This show, held in Fernandina Beach, Florida, provides an excellent atmosphere to exhibit and sell your work with an estimated 135,000 visitors expected to attend this free event over the weekend.

The Shrimp Festival will have over 400 booths of arts, crafts, antiques, collectibles, sponsors, food booths, and other vendors on display. Artistic disciplines include ceramics, jewelry, photography, metal works, woodworking, paintings and more. While the festival’s waterfront activities and Kid’s Fun Zone open at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 4, 2018, the arts and craft booths will be open on Saturday, May 5th, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday, May 6th, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Island Art Association is a non-profit volunteer organization whose mission is exclusively philanthropic and educational. Its purpose is to develop and sustain an interest, appreciation, and enjoyment in and of the arts of Nassau County, Florida. Their gallery, located at 18 N. Second Street on Amelia Island, houses the works of more than 50 local artists, and their Education Center is utilized for classes, workshops, and scheduled events.

To apply as an artist for this amazing show, applications will only be accepted through, a free, easy to use site for artists and crafters to apply to shows and festivals. For application and event information go to

The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival kicks-off with a Pirate Parade at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, May 3, 2018, and continues through Sunday, May 6th. For more information visit

An Afternoon of Art: Lecture Series in partnership with the Fernandina Beach Branch Library

Jacksonville, Fla. — The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, in collaboration with Cummer Amelia, is pleased to present An Afternoon of Art: Lecture Series in partnership with the Fernandina Beach Branch Library. The series will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on January 29, February 26, March 26, & April 23, 2018. This series of lectures is free to the public, and registration is encouraged. Light refreshments and beverages will be served at no additional charge.

This year’s series will focus on “Women Artists from the Renaissance to Abstract Expressionism”, and will be led by Cummer Museum Director of Education Lynn Norris.

January 29: Explore the women artists who were prominent in their own time, forgotten by history, and rediscovered when the first feminist art historians began asking, “Why are there no great women artists?”

February 26: This series continues with the 18th century, when three women achieved a degree of fame, wealth, and adulation that was unparalleled – Rosalba Carriera, Angelica Kauffman, and Elizabeth Vigée-Lebrun (who was the subject of a major retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

March 26: In the third talk in this series, Rosa Bonheur, Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, and Cecilia Beaux were at the vanguard of a large contingent of women artists who concentrated on scenes of everyday life. Their place – still separate and not equal.

April 23: The last lecture in this series addresses the 20th century, when art education became available to women. For major artists from Georgia O’ Keeffe to Helen Frankenthaler, a new question emerged: “to be an artist or a woman artist?”

FOL Offers a Program on Myths and Benefits of Hypnosis

Friends of the Library is offering a presentation on the topic of “Dispelling the Myths About Hypnosis While Learning the Benefits.” Carlos Bustabad, MA, CHt., will deliver this informative and interactive program to clarify the misconceptions regarding hypnosis and the ways to discover its wonderful benefits. This interactive program will be held in the Community Room of the Fernandina Beach Library on Wednesday evening, January 31st, at 6:00 p.m. and is free of charge.

As a Certified Consulting Hypnotist, Mr. Bustabad, specializes in helping individuals take control of their lives by increasing their confidence, motivation, and performance around personal and professional issues. As a former educator and mental health/career counselor, he has helped undreds of individuals improve the quality of their lives. As well as working with individuals, Mr. Bustabad has extensive experience delivering motivational training programs to small and large Fortune 500 companies. His unique and interactive presentation style is highly informative and fun!

To register, please call the library at 904-530-6500, extension 1.

For further information regarding this event, on joining Friends of the Library, or to donate, please visit the FOL website at

Amelia Island Preps for 10th Annual Restaurant Week

AMELIA ISLAND, Florida – Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island will host its 10th annual Restaurant Week, Jan. 19-28, a 10-day culinary showcase featuring culinary events and fixed lunch and dinner menus at a wide selection of the island’s most popular and award-winning dining establishments. The lunch option is $12 per person and includes an entrée, side and a non-alcoholic beverage, while the dinner option (priced at either $21, $31 or $41 per person) includes three courses and a beverage. Menus, restaurant listings, special event information and discounted hotel packages can be found online at

“Amelia Island is home to a growing number of incredibly talented chefs and award-winning local restaurants. Restaurant Week is the perfect time for hungry visitors and locals try some of the island’s new culinary hotspots and enjoy their old favorites,” said Gil Langley, President and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Restaurant Week has become one of our most anticipated winter events, and this year we’’ve added even more to the menu.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island will whet appetites with the “Tribute to Coastal Treasures,” a Restaurant Week opening dinner (Jan. 17) at Coast Restaurant, celebrating fresh, coastal flavors and Florida fare. The epicurean experience begins with an hour-long wine reception at 6 p.m., followed by a tantalizing four course presentation of coastal treasures artfully designed by Executive Chef Sean Woods, Coast Chef d’ Cuisine Niko Anagnostou and Executive Pastry Chef Sheldon Millett. The menu includes Mayport Shrimp Cocktail and Cold Water Oysters on the Half Shell, Confit Duck Tortellini, Roasted Cobia, Florida Shellfish Bread Pudding, Blackberry Cremeux Tart and more. Tickets are available for $125 per person (plus gratuity). Call 904-277-1087 for reservations.

New this year, Amelia Island’s local distillery, Marlin & Barrel, will host a Cuban night (Jan. 18) featuring a distillery tour, Marlin & Barrel rum tastings perfectly paired with Cuban cuisine from Hola Cuban Café, and cigars from Waterwheel Cigars. The event begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person and available by calling 904-330-5746 or visiting

Throughout the event, aspiring chefs can attend demonstration and participation cooking classes hosted by the Amelia Island Culinary Academy. Themed to celebrate Florida’s foods, classes include Cooking with Florida Wine, Cooking with Florida Beer, Florida Appetizers, Amelia Island-inspired cuisine, Cooking with Florida Spirits, as well as a local Farmer’s Market tour and class. Tickets range from $40 to $75 per person. For information, call (904) 515-6863, or register for classes online at

If you prefer to drink your calories, available again this year is a Cocktail Tour with Amelia Island Downtown Tasting Tours. With available dates throughout January, the two-hour evening tour includes stops at four local bars. At each stop, guests will learn about the bar’s history and enjoy a specially prepared cocktail. Tickets are available for $45 per person by calling 904-330-5746.

The 10th annual Restaurant Week will conclude with the “Barrel & Ashes” finale dinner (Jan. 27) at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, where Executive Chef Daven Wardynski and his culinary team will highlight the complexities behind smoked foods and coal roasted vegetables, incorporating various barrel aged ingredients for each of the four courses. All barrel aged ingredients are aged on site in the Barrel Room that is located at The Sprouting Project, which also has an organic garden, greenhouse, bee apiary and resident chickens. The event begins with a 6 p.m. cocktail reception, with dinner service beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person, which includes a $25 donation to Barnabas Food Pantry. To purchase tickets, visit or call 904-432-1467.

Nearly 30 of the island’s most popular restaurants are participating in the 2018 Amelia Island Restaurant Week, providing fixed menus for either lunch, dinner or both. The list of participating restaurants currently includes:

29 South Eats
Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen
Amelia Island Coffee*
Sliders Seaside Grill*
Bar Zin
Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro*
The 801 Kitchen & Bar*
Brett’s Waterway Café*
Le Clos of Amelia Island*
The Amelia Tavern*
LuLu’s @ The Thompson House*
The Pub at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
Cafe Karibo
Marina Seafood Restaurant*
The Salty Pelican Bar & Grill*
Crab Trap*
The Sandbar & Kitchen*
Cucina South
Pepper’s Cocina Mexicana & Tequila Bar*
España Restaurant & Tapas*
Pi Infinite Combinations

*Barnabas donation collection point

For a complete listing of menus, participating restaurants, special event information and discounted hotel packages, visit

The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau is partnering with Barnabas, Nassau County’s largest food pantry, to collect shelf-stable food items during Restaurant Week. Participating Amelia Island restaurants will have collection boxes, and diners are encouraged to drop off canned and dry food goods throughout the week to aid Barnabas’ efforts. Year round, Barnabas works to combat hunger in the community, and the non-profit organization’s staff and volunteers collect donated fresh, frozen, packaged, and canned food and distribute it throughout the county via Food and Mobile Food pantries.


FOL Exhibits Posters from White Oak Conservation Center


Mikahil Baryshnikov, White Oak Dance Project (1992) Photo by Annie Leibowitz

Friends of the Library is pleased to announce the new exhibition of posters from White Oak Conservation Center which will be on display from January 10th – April 30th, 2018 in the library Community Room gallery.

White Oak Conservation was created in 1982 by Howard Gillman in Nassau County, FL to help preserve some of the world’s most endangered species. It remains today as one of the premier wildlife breeding, research and training facilities in the world.

Howard Gilman (1924-1987) became Chair and CEO of the Gilman Paper Company in 1983 after the death of his father and brother and created the Howard Gilman Foundation. The Foundation gave to organizations devoted to science, medicine, education, endangered animals, social justice, and the visual and performing arts. These were Howard Gilman’s philanthropic passions.

Posters on display represent Gilman’s love for music, opera, horses, endangered animals and dance. Gilman supported Mikhail Baryshnikov and created the White Oak Dance Studio for Baryshnikov and Mark Morris to explore new choreographic development in both ballet and modern dance. Several posters show his commitment to dance and music.

Highlights of the exhibition include a poster from the White Oak Dance Project, along with images of cheetah, baby rhino and giant eland, all part of the White Oak Conservation effort.

The exhibition is open during select hours and the Library is located at 25 North 4th Street in downtown Fernandina Beach. For viewing hours call the library at 904-530-6500, Ext 1. or visit FOL’s website at

Educational activities associated with the exhibition will be scheduled and announced separately. For more information on White Oak Conservation visit:

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