Fernandina travel-worthy events feature wellness, sports, and culture
Fernandina Beach – Regularly voted among the top island destinations in North America, Amelia Island in northeast Florida is widely known and loved for her natural beauty, intriguing history, award-winning cuisine and charming coastal character. It is the ideal setting for an annual assortment of family-friendly special events that include lively festivals, exciting sports, outdoor adventure and colorful holiday celebrations for every season.
Amelia’s most popular springtime events include the world-renowned Amelia Concours Week, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Unveiling of Peg Leg Pete, Tall Ships, and Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. Later in the year, visitors flock to the island for fall favorites such as the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, the Pétanque Amelia Island Open, and a sleigh full of holiday events including the Black Friday Pajama Party, Dickens on Centre, the Holiday Homes Tour, Christmas Tree Lighting, and so much more.
The complete 2020 schedule of events can be found at AmeliaIsland.com/events. Highlights include the following:
The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival fills the island with world-class musical artists and performances. The festival’s 2020 season presents a wide range of internationally recognized artists in 11 ticketed and two free performances, and a free masterclass. This year’s lineup ranges from European superstar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, 15-time Grammy Award winner Ricky Skaggs, celebrity violinist Itzhak Perlman, to renowned virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman at the closing gala in April. AmeliaIslandChamberMusicFestival.com
The 20th annual Amelia Island Book Festival (Feb. 13-15) invites avid readers to a three-day celebration of the written word, featuring a luncheon with best-selling author and keynote speaker Lisa Scottoline; a writers’ workshop hosted by celebrity author Sandra Brown; a meet-and-greet dinner gala with writers David Baldacci, Sandra Brown, Kathy Reichs, Sharon Robinson and Margot Lee Shetterly; and the popular Authors’ Expo and Readers’ Extravaganza, a family festival featuring more than 100 noted authors ranging from emerging to International and New York Times bestsellers. AmeliaIslandBookFestival.com
For classic car enthusiasts, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance (March 6-8) is springtime’s signature automotive event. Two-time winner of the prestigious International Historic Motoring Awards, “The Amelia” features more than 300 rare vehicles from seldom-seen private collections around the world at The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Now in its third decade, it has become the centerpiece of an island-wide celebration known as Amelia Concours Week (March 5-8) featuring auctions and events with Gooding & Company, Werks Reunion, Festivals of Speed, Bonahms and more. AmeliaConcoursWeek.com
The second annual Amelia Island Wellness Festival (April 17-19) will focus on renewing the mind, body and soul during three days of educational and inspirational sessions with acclaimed names in yoga, meditation and fitness, including MC Yogi, Amanda Giacomini, Tymi Howard, Chelsey Kore and others. AmeliaIslandWellnessFestival.com
Celebrating its status as the birthplace of the modern shrimping industry, Fernandina Beach’s historic downtown hosts the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival (May 1-3), an island tradition for more than 50 years. The Shrimp Festival combines a love of shrimp and the best of arts and entertainment, all set in the beautiful historic district. The family-friendly event includes a Pirate Parade, Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant, Kids Fun Zone, Shrimp Run sponsored by The YMCA, fine arts and crafts and antiques vendors, fireworks, live entertainment, and Pirates! Local shrimp and seafood dishes, ranging from shrimp tacos to shrimp pie, are always the star of the show. ShrimpFestival.com
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort will host its 7th Annual Fish to Fork event May 7-10. With sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful tree canopies as a backdrop, the weekend will offer an unmatched foodie experience, with true dock-to-dish specialties in a fun and interactive atmosphere. The resort will welcome renowned chefs from around the country to showcase their fishing and culinary skills, leading up to a final Chef Showdown on Saturday night with a live vote from event guests. FishToForkWeekend.com
The 2020 Wild Amelia Nature Festival (May 15-18) invites residents and visitors to experience the wild side of Amelia Island. With a line-up of family-friendly events and outdoor experiences, the three-day nature festival includes the beach release of a rehabilitated sea turtle to its ocean home, in partnership with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center; a sunset nature cruise exploring the intracoastal ecosystem by Amelia River Cruises; an eco-expo with conservation exhibitions, a kid’s niche with a touch tank, silent auction fundraiser, live music and more; and eco-tour nature encounters. WildAmelia.org
Now in its seventeenth year, the Amelia Island Jazz Fest (Oct. 4-11) provides a rich, diverse cultural offering to the Amelia Island area by exposing thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds to the sounds, excitement and vitality of great jazz. Performances are staged in several venues around Amelia Island. The Amelia Island Jazz Festival helps preserve the American art form of Jazz by increasing the exposure and awareness of the music genre to the general public. AmeliaIslandJazzFestival.com
The 2020 ZOOMA Florida Women’s Half Marathon, 12k and 5K races (Oct. 17-18) feature flat, scenic courses with a picture-perfect beachfront finish. The Finish Line of all races leads into an epic Post-Race party at Main Beach. Zoomarun.com/race/florida/
The Pétanque Amelia Island Open (Nov. 13-15) is the largest pétanque event in the Americas and draws players and spectators from around the world. The event takes place along the Amelia harbor front and Fernandina Beach historic district. AmeliaIsland.com/petanque
The 12th annual Amelia Island Museum of History Holiday Home Tour (Dec. 4-5) showcases stunning beach homes across Amelia Island, each decorated for the holidays by a local florist or decorator. AmeliaMuseum.org/HolidayHomeTour
The sixth annual Dickens on Centre (Dec. 10-13) in downtown Fernandina Beach recalls Charles Dickens’s early Victorian–era Britain. Free to the public, the event features period vendors, themed characters and entertainers, along with festive lights, holiday decor and tastes of the holidays. AmeliaIslandChristmas.com
Visit AmeliaIsland.com/events for a complete listing of 2020 events.