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Change of Date for the Pirate Parade Safety Meeting

Change of Date for the Pirate Parade Safety MeetingThe 53rd Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival kicks-off with a 6:00 p.m. Pirate Parade on Thursday, April 28, 2016. Sponsored by the Marriott Residence Inn on Amelia Island, every entry to the parade must send a representative to attend the mandatory safety meeting. Originally scheduled for April 21, 2016, please note the meeting date has changed to Friday, April 22, 2016.

Participants in the “Celebration of All American Shrimp” themed parade, should bring to the meeting their proof of liability insurance, available from your individual insurance carrier or available at the mandatory safety meeting, with prices ranging from $25.00 to $80.00. The meeting will be held at the Residence Inn on Sadler Road in Fernandina Beach, on April 22nd, at 5:30 p.m. Please arrive by 5:00 to receive your Parade Packets or earlier to obtain your required insurance before the meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.

For more information about the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, please visit ShrimpFestival.com.

Chicago Blues Night at Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

Chicago Blues Night at Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

Mud Morganfield by Chris Monaghan

The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is thrilled to announce their “Chicago Blues Night” featuring Mud Morganfield. Presented by the Amelia Island Blues Society, Muddy Waters’ first born son, Larry “Mud” Williams (born 1954), was raised by his mother and often heard the nicknames of “Muddy”, “Muddy Jr.” and “Little Muddy”, but he prefers Mud Morganfield and it is fitting. It’s uncanny how much he looks and sounds like his dad.

Jeff Malone, the president of the Amelia Island Blues Society recalls, “I first met Mr. Morganfield on September 14, 2013, when he arrived at the Amelia Island Blues Festival as the headliner just after the release of his ‘Son of the Seventh Son’ album. As a lifelong Blues fan, along with many others, I consider his father the undeniable godfather of Chicago Blues. After his performance I was reminded of the saying ‘the apple didn’t fall far from the tree’. Not only does he resemble his dad physically, he delivered a lyric in the same unique charismatic way committed completely to his craft.”

Since that September day in 2013 Mud Morganfield has won the 2013 Blues Blast Magazine Award, and the 36th Annual 2015 Blues Music Award for his cd “For Pops: A Tribute To Muddy Waters” in the ‘Traditional Blues Album’ category. He also headlined the 2015 Chicago Blues Festival celebrating the 100th birthday of Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon.

Malone added, “The Amelia Island Blues Society is proud to call Mud Morganfield a friend and look forward to his return to Amelia Island.”

Mud rarely saw his famous father and said, “He was always on the road working” but, as he notes, the old man was always there for him. “I always have played music. Pops used to buy me a set of drums every Christmas. I started off as a drummer and gradually went to playing bass…” Only recently has Mud stepped forward to embrace his musical gifts, a big voice that can only be compared to his daddy’s.

Mud is now ready to honor his pops and his music. “I started to sing to show the world that dad left me here. I love and am proud to sing his songs just like I love and will always be proud of him. I’m not Muddy Waters and I’m certainly not trying to be Muddy Waters. I’m Mud Morganfield. But when I’m up on stage I always feel Pops is there with me and it means so much that I can get on stage and keep his music alive around the world.”

gitlo-leeFollowing Opening Ceremonies at 6:00, and the Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant, sponsored by the Hampton Inn and Suites Amelia Island Historic Harbor Front Hotel, at 6:30, Mud Morganfield will take the Isle of Eight Flag’s Shrimp Festival Riverfront Stage on Friday, April 29, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. Friday’s line-up continues with the Invasion of the Pirates at 9:00, a spectacular fireworks show at 9:15, and Gitlo Lee, the Blues man of the South, who takes the stage at 9:30 with a three-piece blues group set to close the festival at 10:00 p.m.

Located in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida, this 53rd Annual event features a four day multi-genre festival including A Fine Arts and Crafts Show, A Music Festival, A Food Festival, An Antique Festival, and A Family Festival all rolled into one long and festive weekend!

The concert and festival are FREE and open to the public. For more information, please visit www.shrimpfestival.com.

6:00pm Opening Ceremonies
6:30pm Miss Shrimp Festival 2016 Scholarship Pageant
(Sponsored by Hampton Inn & Suites Amelia Island Historic Harbor Front Hotel)
7:30pm Mud Morganfield
(Sponsored by Amelia Island Blues Society)
9:00pm Invasion of the Pirates
9:15pm Fireworks
9:30pm Gitlo Lee
10:00pm End of entertainment at the Riverfront Stage

Meet the 2016 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Executive Committee

Meet the 2016 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival Executive CommitteeIt takes a full year of planning and dozens of volunteers to organize the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival held in historic Fernandina Beach, Florida. Always held the first weekend in May, the 53rd Annual Festival will be held April 28, 29 and 30, and May 1, 2016.

This exciting festival offers something for everyone. It is an Arts and Crafts Festival with an exceptional display of antiques and collectibles. In addition, there are over 350 award winning and talented artists who specialize in jewelry, glass, paintings, photography, sculptures of clay, metal, wood and fiber, apparel, and more. It is a Family Festival with kid-friendly events, booths, entertainment and attractions, including a newly expanded, dedicated Kids Fun Zone. The Shrimp Festival is also a Music Festival with three days of non-stop national, regional and local entertainment. And, of course, it is a Food Festival with shrimp and seafood dishes aplenty, all prepared to tempt any craving by Nassau County non-profit organizations.

Shrimp Festival Chairman Harry Harrison said, “When I was first asked to help with the Shrimp Festival, I never knew how many dedicated folks it took to make this four day event successful. Now as Chairman, I see how hard this group of people work, year around and for free, to insure that the Shrimp Festival is the very best. I could not ask for a more dedicated group of volunteers.”

This non-profit organization is managed by an all-volunteer board of directors and run 100% by talented and ambitious volunteers in the community. They oversee a variety of aspects within the festival such as Food Booths, Logistics, Merchandise, Publicity, Transportation, Beverages Sales, Hospitality, Parade, Opening Ceremonies and the Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant, just to name a few. These Directors are involved in everything, from organizing the Artists to hauling off the trash. Generously willing to be hands-on, they work long shifts outdoors, and interact with the exhibitors, vendors, entertainers, and guests respectfully. It takes a village to put on a world-class festival, and the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival could not function without the volunteers who give tirelessly of their time and skills.

The Festival’s Vice Chair Pat Kaminski, who has been a volunteer with the Shrimp Festival for over 20 years, added, “I have worked on the committee all these years because I believe the Shrimp Festival is vital to this community. Where else can all our non-profits make that kind of money in such a short amount of time? They work very hard that one weekend, then have the money they need for scholarships and all the other good things they do the rest of the year.”

The 2016 Festival kicks-off on Thursday, April 28th, in downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida, with the popular Pirate Parade that starts promptly at 6:00 p.m.

Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. the Kids Fun Zone located at Central Park on Atlantic Avenue, and Fernandina’s historic waterfront, come alive with food booths, giveaways, live music, Opening Ceremonies, and the Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant. This year the Festival is celebrating “Chicago Blues Night” on Friday, featuring Mud Morganfield, Muddy Waters’ first born son. Presented by the Amelia Island Blues Society, this amazing concert will begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by a Pirate Invasion, fireworks, and a street dance! The activities end at 10:00 p.m.

On Saturday, April 29th, the festival expands to include hundreds of arts and crafts vendors, antiques and collectibles exhibitors, and more delicious food booths. There will be contests, live music, and of course, scores of pirates, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Fernandina Beach is the “Birthplace of the Modern Shrimping Industry” and the festivities continue Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by honoring our shrimp boat fleet with an emotional Wreath Ceremony, a Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Parade, and the Blessing of the Fleet. Enjoy the arts, crafts, antiques, collectibles, Kids Fun Zone, the food, and so much more until the festival closes with the South’s favorite party band, The Swingin’ Medallions.

The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is consistently rated by “Sunshine Artist Magazine” in the top 100 North America best events. Admission to the festival is FREE!

Pictured (left to right)
Executive Board Member Christine Scott, Vice Chairperson Pat Kaminski, Executive Board Member Roger Wasik, Festival Chairman Harry Harrison, Secretary Mary Sikes, Treasurer Dawn Lunt, and Executive Board Member Mel Aiken.

Not pictured is Immediate Past Chair Wanda Hair.

Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant Now Accepting Applications for 2016

Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant Now Accepting Applications for 2016Applications are now being accepted for the Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant, sponsored by the Historic Harbor Front Hampton Inn & Suites. Entrants must be high school level juniors and seniors currently attending public, private, alternative and home schools. Eligible participants must reside in Nassau County, Florida, but may attend high school in another county to enter. The winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship and the title of Miss Shrimp Festival. Scholarships will also be awarded to the First Runner-Up, Second Runner-Up, and Miss Congeniality.

Pageant contestant requirements include attending pageant rehearsals on Sundays, taking part in the Contestant Dinner and Interview held Wednesday, April 27th, riding on the parade float on April 28th, and of course, participating in the pageant on Friday evening, April 29, 2016. Russell Colburn of Fox 30 News will emcee the pageant.

The newly crowned 2016 Miss Shrimp Festival will need to be available for the entire Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival weekend to make several appearances throughout the festival including the Little Pirate Contest, the Beard Contest and participate as a judge in the Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Parade on Sunday.

The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is consistently rated by “Sunshine Artist Magazine” in the top 100 North America best events. The street festival features fine arts and crafts, antiques, live entertainment, Blessing of the shrimp boat fleet, pirate invasions, family friendly contests, a Kids Fun Zone and of course, lots and lots of shrimp!

The Opening Ceremony for the Shrimp Festival begins Friday, April 29th, at 6:00 p.m., followed by the Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant at 6:30 p.m., though many sponsorship booths, the Kids Zone and the waterfront food booths open as early as 4:00 p.m. On Saturday May 2nd, the festival gets bigger with over 400 arts and crafts booths joining the fun from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday, May 3, 2016, the festival is open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Applications are available at Nassau County high schools, or you may email Pageant Director Crystal Haney at pageant@shrimpfestival.com, or call (912) 674-3316.

For more information please visit the official website at ShrimpFestival.com.

2016 Pirate Parade in Fernandina is a Celebration of All American Shrimp

2016-shrimp-festival-paradeApplications are now being accepted for the Pirate Parade to be held on Thursday, April 28, 2016, as a kick-off to the 53rd Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. This year’s Grand Marshall of the Parade is Captain Speedy, a man dedicated to the shrimping industry for over 45 years.

Your 2016 Parade Theme is: “Celebration of All American Shrimp

Sponsored by the Marriott Residence Inn on Amelia Island, your business or organization can be a part of the Pirate Parade, too, simply fill out a Parade Application by April 21st, a Participation Agreement and pay your entry fee. Parade entry fees range from $35.00 for a non-profit organization, to a fee of $85.00 for political candidates. Also, each parade entry must have proof of liability insurance, available from your individual insurance carrier or available at the mandatory safety meeting, with prices ranging from $25.00 to $80.00. The meeting will be held at the Residence Inn on Sadler Road in Fernandina Beach, on April 21st at 5:30 p.m.

Parade entries will be judged in the following categories:
-Commercial or commercially sponsored non-profit
-Non-profit or civic organization
-Walking group
-Band or performing group

A bonus award will also be given to the entry with the Best Special Effects. Winners will be contacted following the parade so a representative can be at the Main Stage of the Shrimp Festival to receive their award during the presentation on Friday evening.

The Opening Ceremony for the Shrimp Festival is Friday, April 29th, at 6:00 p.m., followed by the Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant at 6:30 p.m. After the Pageant, you’ll want to stick around for a Chicago Blues Night concert presented by the Amelia Island Blues Society and featuring Mud Morganfield, Muddy Waters’ first born son. All booths located at the foot of Centre Street, along the waterfront in historic Fernandina Beach, will be open on Friday. The Kids Fun Zone, located at Central Park on Atlantic Avenue, will also be open Friday evening.

Saturday, April 30th, the festival gets bigger with over 350 arts and crafts vendors joining the fun from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., there will be contests, demonstrations, scores of pirates and nationally recognized entertainment. Sunday, May 1, 2016, the festival is open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., featuring the Swingin’ Medallions on the Waterfront Stage.
The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is consistently rated by “Sunshine Artist Magazine” in the top 100 North America best events. The street festival features fine arts and crafts, antiques, live entertainment, Blessing of the shrimp boat fleet, pirate invasions, family friendly contests, a Kids Fun Zone and of course, lots and lots of shrimp! Best of all… admission to the festival is FREE!

The deadline to enter the 2016 Pirate Parade is April 21, 2016. For more information please visit www.ShrimpFestival.com.

Valentine Day 2016 Sinatra Celebration

Jazzfest

Sinatra Celebration for Valentine Day

Amelia Island Jazz Festival will celebrate Frank Sinatra’s 100 Year Birthday with a Big Band Bash on Valentine Day in 2016. This fifth annual BIG BAND BASH will be held on Sunday February 14 from 7:00 – 10:00 PM, in the Amelia Ballroom at the Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation.

The popular Dinner/Dance Benefit Gala will present The Dynamic Les DeMerle 17 piece Orchestra, featuring vocalist Bonnie Eisele and a special tribute, celebrating Sinatra, in honor of Frank’s 100th birthday last December 12.  WJXT-TV personality Sam Kouvaris, a Sinatra aficionado, will also be on hand to croon many of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ best known songs.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the music will showcase romantic tunes while paying homage to greats like Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Harry James, with whom DeMerle played drums for several years.

Francis Albert Frank Sinatra was born Dec. 12, 1915 in Hoboken New Jersey, overlooking the then starting skyline of New York on the other side of the Hudson River. A blue collar immigrant town, a stone’s throw away from Ellis Island at the time of Frank’s birth, the Mile Square City these days is an upscale center of shops and condominiums, with many a park and street named after its most famous resident.

A Meet And Greet the Musicians cocktail party is set to begin at 6:30 PM . Suggested dress is Smart Casual/Elegant. Tickets for the Big Band Bash are priced at $90 per person and the proceeds will benefit the Amelia Island Jazz Festival Scholarship Program.

For online ticket purchases and further information, please visit the festival website, or contact the Festival Hotline at (904) 504-4772 or email
Tickets can also be purchased at the UPS Store, 1417 Sadler Road, in the Island Shopping Center, or at the AIFBY Chamber Of Commerce, Gateway to Amelia, A1A and Amelia Parkway.

Hit the Pin for Literacy

Hit the Pin for LiteracyFernandina Beach, FL – The Amelia Island Book Festival (AIBF) proudly announces its Inaugural “Hit the Pin for Literacy” Charity Golf Tournament supporting the Authors in Schools Literacy Program. The setting is the beautiful, award winning, Golf Club of Amelia Island, (the Ritz-Carlton/Summer Beach Course), Friday, December 11, 2015. Check-in starts at 11:00 am with the Shotgun start, Scramble format starting at noon.

“There will be loads of fun, food and fabulous prizes, but the joy of knowing you have helped a child in our Nassau County Public Schools own a book presented by its author is the real prize,” says John Carr, AIBF immediate-past president and tournament team leader.

“Participants in the tournament can make a huge difference. This event helps to raise the funds to buy a book for every student in our Nassau County Public School System. Golfers are playing for a good cause, and having a great time in the process,” says Jim Weinsier, author, board director and tournament team member.

“For more than a decade our Authors in Schools Literacy Program has been contributing to the educational process. The program is all about the Festival’s goal to promote literacy and life-long learning, as it touches every student throughout the county’s public schools in the process,” says Raffaela Marie Fenn, this year’s AIBF Board president. “We have some fabulous children and young adult authors coming to present, entertain, and excite the kids about learning through books on Festival Friday, February 19, 2016 at their schools. Where else can a golfer spend a relaxing day out in the fresh air-in friendly competition, while affording a local student a unique life-long learning experience?”

The tournament format is a “scramble” with lots of interesting twists. There will be a putting contest, gifts, prizes, raffles and much more. Registration includes greens fees, carts, range balls, cart baggie, buffet & awards. Prizes will be awarded to the Top Three Teams. Buy tickets on line or by mail. Registration for a foursome is $500, which buys books for one classroom; an individual player’s cost is $150, which contributes to the purchase of books for ten students. A portion of the registration fee is tax-deductible.

To learn more about the Golf Tournament, visit www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org

Led by Honorary Chairman and NYT and Number One International Bestselling Author, Steve Berry, the 15th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival promises new venues and formats designed to delight book fans and readers of all ages.

The Amelia Island Book Festival is a not for profit 501(c)3 Corporation seeking to open up the world for people of all ages by promoting and celebrating literacy through books. With a mission to promote life-long learning through fostering an appreciation for books, we provide quality events featuring authors in engaging venues.

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Amelia Island Seeks Vendors for First Dicken’s Christmas on Centre Event

Amelia Island Seeks Vendors for First Dicken's Christmas on Centre EventAMELIA ISLAND, Fl – Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island is seeking local vendors and entertainers for the first-ever Dickens on Centre holiday event, Dec. 4-6 and 11-13. Reminiscent of Charles Dickens’ early Victorian era Britain, the event will transform historic Centre Street into a 19th century Christmas village, complete with horse drawn carriages and period vendors, characters and entertainers. The inaugural event is expected to attract visitors over both weekends to experience an exceptional display of lights and holiday décor, making it an ideal opportunity for local vendors and entertainers to share their products and talents.

“We’re very excited about Dickens on Centre and the attention we hope it will bring to Amelia Island during the holiday season,” said Gil Langley, managing director of the AITDC. “It’s especially important that the local business and organizations help make this event a success by participating as performers or vendors, and by sharing their excitement for the event.”

The AITDC is seeking vendors to sell artisan goods, food and holiday items downtown during the event. Vendor space is free with a minimal fee for electric and water use each day. The selection of vendors will be based in part on the adherence of the event theme and is at the sole discretion of the AITDC. Entertainers are also needed for holiday caroling, Christmas dance troupes, Victorian-themed musical performances, costumed characters and more. Those interested in participating in the Dickens on Centre celebration should contact Amy Lacroix, Director of Marketing, at alacroix@ameliaisland.com.

For more about Dickens on Centre and the holiday events taking place on Amelia Island this December, visit www.AmeliaIslandChristmas.com.

First Annual Murder Mystery Dinner to Support Authors in Schools

First Annual Murder Mystery Dinner to Support Authors in Schools

Click to enlarge

Fernandina Beach, FL – Murder, mystery and mayhem will be the order of the evening, October 24, 2015, starting at 6:15 pm at the First Annual Murder Mystery Dinner sponsored by the Amelia Island Book Festival (AIBF) to support its literacy program, Authors in Schools (AIS).

At the beautiful Golf Club of Amelia Island, the cast of the Fernandina Little Theatre (FLT) will entertain, regale and engage attendees with an evening of laughter, fun, familiar and obscure literary references. Coupled with a sit-down, gourmet dinner, replete with a mystery drink and dessert, it is sure to be a hit.

“It’s all to support our Authors in Schools literacy program that touches every student throughout the County,” says Marie Fenn, AIBF Board president. Now in its 11th year, Authors in Schools is a unique and highly effective program. “Kicking off our fundraising efforts at the start of the Halloween season is in keeping with our spirit of camaraderie and partnership. We are immensely grateful to FLT for lending us their professional talents to support the literary arts among kids. The Amelia Book Festival Board of Directors invites the community to join us in a scintillating evening that supports literacy throughout Nassau County,” adds Fenn.

For tickets to the Murder Mystery Dinner and to learn more about details of the February 18 – 20, 2016 Amelia Island Book Festival, visit us at www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org.

Led by Honorary Chairman and NYT and Number One International Bestselling Author, Steve Berry, the 15th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival promises new venues and formats designed to delight book fans and readers of all ages.

The Amelia Island Book Festival is a not for profit 501(c)3 Corporation seeking to open up the world for people of all ages by promoting and celebrating literacy through books. With a mission to promote life-long learning though fostering an appreciation for books, we provide quality events featuring authors in engaging venues.

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Inaugural Fernandina Pirate Festival is October 9 to 11, 2015

Inaugural Fernandina Pirate Festival is October 9 to 11, 2015Ahoy matey! Polish up those silver buckles; it is time to run aground for the Fernandina Pirate Festival! Held at the Atlantic Avenue Recreation Center on Amelia Island, Florida, you are invited to join the Fernandina Pirates Club as they host their first festival on October 9, 10 and 11, 2015. The Fernandina Pirates Club, Inc. is a local non-profit organization that has been putting smiles on kids of all ages since 1973. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Nassau Humane Society.

Festivities kick off Friday afternoon, October 9th, as the Fernandina Beach High School Homecoming Parade marches through town beginning at 4:00 pm. Head to historic Fernandina Beach at 6:00 pm and look for the statue of Peg Leg Pete near the foot of Centre Street where Pirates will gather before opening ceremonies and an evening spent enjoying all this Victorian seaside community has to offer. The Palace Saloon is even donating a portion of drink orders to the Nassau Humane Society for the event. If you are looking for something for the entire family, consider heading out to our local “Friday Night Lights” and enjoy a good ole fashioned, family friendly football game while the Fernandina Pirates host their homecoming game against the Bradford Tornadoes at 435 Citrona Drive.

Saturday, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Inaugural Fernandina Pirate Festival gets underway. Come meet morning radio host Randy Horn from country music station K-Bay 106.3; they will be broadcasting live from 11 – 2 on Saturday. The Amelia Island Maritime Museum will be bringing their “ship” as well as lots of interesting items from the museum. There will be plenty of food and exhibitor booths, including the homecoming parade floats. The Kids Zone will feature a Pirate School, Mermaid book readings, face painting, arts and crafts, and the little ones can build their own pirate ships courtesy of Lowe’s. Musicians Colby (from the Black Jack Band), Josh McGowan, and The Laid Back Band, will be performing live throughout the weekend. Looking for a forever friend? With proceeds from the festival benefiting the Nassau Humane Society, there will be adoptable pets onsite and the Pet Supermarket will be there to answer your pet care questions… and your well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome, too.

Saturday evening you will want to abandon ship to attend the Pirate’s Royal Ball from 6:30 to midnight inside the ballroom at the Atlantic Recreation Center! All hands are sure to enjoy a Southern feast while listening to the talented Dan Voll strum the guitar. After dinner, the party continues with a costume contest, a cash bar, photo booth, door prizes, a silent auction, dancing to King Eddie and Pili Pili, and more. Tickets are only $25.00 and will be available at the door.

The Festival returns on Sunday from 10:00 to 3:00. Admission to the Festival is “a buck an ear” or $5.00 for a family day pass.

For more information please find us on facebook, or visit FernandinaPirates.com.

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Short Films Presentation at Fernandina Little Theatre

Short Films Presentation at Fernandina Little TheatreFernandina Beach, FL – On October 8, 11, and 18, the Fernandina Little Theatre will offer film fans an opportunity to watch a selection of eight exquisite short films from around the world that are nominated for the global competition of the Shnit International Short Film Festival.

This is the first year FLT has been selected as a “Shnit Cinemas” site for this festival spotlighting short filmmaking that unfolds simultaneously in multiple cities on five continents. The audience will operate as the jury and will vote online to choose the winner of the Flaming Faun award, including a prize money of $20,000.

The Shnit screenings will take place in conjunction with FLT’s third annual DoctoberFest October 9-11. DoctoberFest will spotlight the best in contemporary feature-length documentary filmmaking, including The Wolfpack, Iris, Best of Enemies, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, and Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon.

Individual tickets for Shnit and DoctoberFest screenings are $7.50; a film fan pass is $40, good for a total of six screening sessions (one showing the Shnit short films and one of each of DoctoberFest’s five feature-length documentaries). Advance tickets are available at the UPS Store on Sadler Road, next door to Publix in Fernandina Beach.

FLT is located 1014 Beech St. in downtown Fernandina Beach, at the corner of South 11th and Beech streets.

A complete screening schedule for both festivals is available at www.ameliaflt.org.

Shnit International Short Films Festival
7:30 p.m. October 8; 7:45 p.m. October 11; 4:30 p.m. October 18

A Single Life
Netherlands 2014
2:15 minutes Animation
When playing a mysterious vinyl single, Pia is suddenly able to travel through her life.

Beauty
Italy 2014
9:49 minutes Animation
A short story of the most important emotions of life, from birth to death, love and sexuality through pain and fear. It is a tribute to art, to life and their disarming beauty.

Contrapelo
Mexico/USA 2014
19:30 minutes Fiction
“Contrapelo” is the story of a proud Mexican barber who is forced to shave the leader of a drug cartel.

Love is Blind
UK 2015
6:22 minutes Fiction
“Love is Blind” finds Alice in the passionate embrace of a young lover, as she finally succumbs to temptation. When her husband James returns home early to try and make amends for his recent infidelity and inattention for their marriage, Alice finds herself in the midst of an emotional minefield.

Father
Tunisia/France 2014
18 minutes Fiction
Hédi is a taxi driver in Tunis. One evening, he drives to the hospital a pregnant young woman who is going into labor. This brief encounter will bring a series of random, tragic and unexpected events, leading to a life-changing experience for both of them.

Moonkup – A Period Comedy
France 2015
25 minutes Fiction
Like all the women of Europe, Eva gives her menstrual blood to keep peace in place between humans and vampires. But this injustice must end …

Unleaded
Canada (Québec)/ Netherlands/ France 2015
7:05 minutes Fiction
An environmental activist has a plan against an international oil firm.

Herman the German
Germany 2015
15 minutes Fiction
One of the most experienced bomb defusers in Germany, Herman learns during a medical examination that he suffers from the very rare Kahnawake syndrome, which causes him not to fear. He is forced to try out all phobias to become normal again.

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Inaugural Fernandina Pirate Festival Logo Winners Announced

Inaugural Fernandina Pirate Festival Logo Winners AnnouncedThe Inaugural Fernandina Pirate Festival has announced the winners of their recent contest to design a logo for this new Amelia Island festival being held October 9 – 11, 2015. Two winners were selected. One for the overall festival, and a second logo to represent our family friendly Kids Zone.

Roger Kutz, who recently moved to Amelia Island to be closer to their family, designed the wining festival logo. For 33 years he taught graphics at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California. As chief instructor of the department he created the curriculum which covered reprographic technology, design for print and digital media, web page design, digital illustration, digital photography, computer 3D modeling and product design. Out of the classroom, he cultivated a freelance graphic design practice.

Kutz has been married to the love of his life for 43. He is a dedicated surfer and enjoys digital photography and computer graphics; they are also active members of the Journey Church in Yulee, Florida. If given the chance to live in another era of history, Kutz said, “I might have chosen the early 19th century as a scholarly pirate prowling the islands of the Caribbean and, of course, Northeast Florida.”

pirate-kid-logo-2015Our winner for the Kids Zone’s logo is 15 year old Jada Bitner. Jada loves to draw. She especially favors sketching variety of her own anima avatar characters. While she wants to become a zoologist or a marine biologist, this naturally talented youngster’s hobby is art. You will be able to meet this young artist and see more of her work during the Pirate Festival.

The Fernandina Pirate Festival will kick off Friday, October 9th, at 4:00 PM for the Fernandina Beach High School Homecoming Parade. The Pirates will then muster dowtown at Peg Leg Pete at 6:00 pm for opening ceremonies. Costumed guests are encouraged to enjoy shopping, dining, dancing and cocktails, or to attend the Homecoming Football game for some small-town, family fun.

The Festival takes place at the Atlantic Avenue Recreation Center on October 10th and 11th. There will be exhibits, vendors, food booths, live music, a family friendly Kids Zone, Pirate School, a beer garden and more. Tickets are only “a buck an ear” or $5.00 for a daily family pass. Hours are 10 to 5 on Saturday, and 10 to 3:00 pm on Sunday.

Saturday evening is the Pirate’s Royal Ball. This adult only event features a traditional Southern dinner, dessert, dancing to the sounds of King Eddie and Pili Pili, door prizes, a silent auction, cash bar and more. Tickets are $25.00 each.

More information and a complete event calendar of where to find members of the Fernandina Pirates Club can be found on the website www.FernandinaPirates.com.

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Opens 2016 Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Opens 2016 Amelia Island Chamber Music FestivalFernandina Beach, FL – The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival today announced that cellist Yo-Yo Ma will make his first-ever appearance in northeastern Florida by opening the Festival’s 15th anniversary season on January 14, 2016.

Universally considered one of the world’s greatest cellists, he has made over 90 recordings and received 18 Grammy Awards. Yo-Yo Ma is acclaimed for his extraordinary technique, rich tone and collaborations with musicians from other genres and cultures, which have reinvigorated classical music and expanded its audience.

The January 14 concert is scheduled for 7:30 PM at First Baptist Church, 1600 South 8th Street in Fernandina Beach. Tickets for the general public will go on sale October 1 at www.aicmf.com or by calling 904-261-1779.

Mr. Ma’s performance is made possible in part by CBC National Bank’s Festival sponsorship. Christopher Rex, the Festival’s general and artistic director, said, “We deeply appreciate CBC’s sponsorship, which helped make it possible to bring an artist of Yo-Yo Ma’s international stature to Amelia Island. CBC’s relationship with our Festival extends back 15 years to our inaugural season when the bank became one of our first corporate sponsors. We are truly grateful for CBC’s ongoing support.” Headquartered in Fernandina Beach, CBC operates full-service branches in Beaufort and Port Royal, S.C.

Born to Chinese parents in Paris, Mr. Ma was a child prodigy and at age five gave his first public recital. He later moved to New York with his family and made his Carnegie Hall debut at age nine. He studied at the Julliard School under cellists Leonard Rose and János Scholz. He subsequently sought a traditional liberal arts education to expand upon his conservatory training, graduating from Harvard University in 1976 with a degree in humanities.

One of Mr. Ma’s goals is the exploration of music as a means of communication and as a vehicle for the migration of ideas across a range of cultures throughout the world. Toward that end, he founded in 1998 the Silk Road Project, an arts organization that initially focused on exploring the cultural traditions along the Silk Road, an ancient trading route that linked China with the West. Soon thereafter he established the Silk Road Ensemble, and the group’s first recording, Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet, was released in 2002. The project’s scope subsequently expanded, using the Silk Road as a metaphor for connecting artistic endeavors worldwide and across cultures. He has taken time to immerse himself in subjects as diverse as native Chinese music with its distinctive instruments and the music of the Kalahari bush people in Africa.

About the AICMF
Celebrating its 15th anniversary season in 2016, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival has become one of the most prestigious music events of its kind in the Southeast. The Festival is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Amelia Island Book Festival Announces Steve Berry as 2016 Honorary Chairman

Amelia Island Book Festival Announces Steve Berry as 2016 Honorary ChairmanAmelia Island, FL – With a new format and new venues, there are exciting changes in store for attendees at the upcoming 15th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival, biggest of which is Steve Berry as honorary festival chairman. With more than 15 international best sellers, Berry’s books have been translated into 40 languages with 19 million copies in 51 countries. They consistently appear in the top echelon of The New York Times, USA Today, and Indie bestseller lists.

“I’ve been coming to Amelia Island and its many book festivals for a long time. This year I’m honored to serve in an advisory role and work with the board to make this the best event in the history of the festival,” said Berry.

Berry is no stranger to Nassau County. In 2005, he was awarded the Stellar Award for his outstanding contributions to literacy by the Amelia Island Book Festival.

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. Berry will appear in Nassau County at several events throughout the three-day Festival slated for Thursday, February 18 through Saturday, February 20, 2016, along with several other New York Times best-selling headliners.

“His guidance in crafting our offerings and helping to entice other well-known authors to appear at our Festival has been invaluable,” said 2015-2016 Festival Chairperson Raffaela Marie Fenn. “He and Elizabeth have graciously offered to run their Master Writers Workshop to help us raise money for our literacy program, Authors in Schools. Replacing our usual Writers’ Workshop this year, the intense four-hour offering has been a huge boon to other communities. We are so very grateful for their generosity.”

With this year’s captivating theme, An Amelia Island Encounter—Action, Thrills and Mystery, the Festival takes on an exciting new format. Residents and visitors alike will have plenty of new attractions and new venues to revel in.

All proceeds from ticketed events go to support the Authors in Schools program, which for more than 11 years has been bringing an author to each school in the county, and buying those authors’ books for the students to create a memorable, engaging, full-circle experience highlighting the importance of the written word.

“We invite everyone to be a part of this endeavor, to support the Authors in Schools Program, as well as all the opportunities for the entire community and our visitors to celebrate life-long learning through books,” says 2015-2016 Festival Vice Chair Shiela Fountain.

Mark your calendars, check out the website www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org, and stay tuned for more exciting news and improvements.

The Amelia Island Book Festival is a not for profit 501(c)3 Corporation seeking to open up the world for people of all ages by promoting and celebrating literacy through books. With a mission to promote life-long learning though fostering an appreciation for books, we provide quality events featuring authors in engaging venues.

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AI Jazz Festival Names Scholarship Winner

Les deMerle with talented Ryan Duncan

Les DeMerle with talented Ryan Duncan

18 year old Ryan Duncan, a gifted saxophonist from Jacksonville, will be honored with a college scholarship from the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, it was announced today by AIJF Artistic Director Les DeMerle. A four year member of the Florida All State Band while attending Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts, Duncan will accept the festival’s annual award during a special “All That Jazz” concert/show on September 20, 7:00 – 10:00 PM, at the Amelia Community Theatre at which he will also perform with the Dynamic Les DeMerle Band featuring vocalist Bonnie Eisele. For his university training, Duncan plans on joining the highly regarded music program at the University of North Texas.

“We could not be happier with this choice,” said DeMerle, “and we have no doubt that Ryan will make a strong name for himself in the jazz world ahead.” Although primarily an alto saxophonist, Duncan has proven to be equally proficient at tenor and baritone sax as well. He first began to play alto while at Fishweir Elementary School in Jacksonville and continued through Lavilla Middle School prior to entering Douglas Anderson. Given guidance from his older brother Howard, Duncan has been greatly influenced by such alto sax icons as Charlie Parker, Phil Woods, Sonny Stitt, and Cannonball Adderley. Notable trumpeters have also made their mark. “I’ve listened to and learned a lot from Clifford Brown and Nat Adderley records too,” he said. After undergraduate work at UNT, where he hopes to add Composition to his skills, Duncan plans to attend graduate school. “Currently, I am interested in playing professionally in a military band or teaching saxophone at the university level,” he added.

“All That Jazz” in September will offer a unique concert for area jazz enthusiasts. “For the first time, Bonnie and I will be presenting a show that is primarily derived from our cruise ship performances,” said DeMerle. Having recently returned home from several months of cruise contracts, most recently on the Oceana Riviera, where they visited European ports such as Monte Carlo and Portofino, DeMerle said that the band is in top shape musically and they look forward to a night of well-paced music, comedy, and ultimately lots of fun. “The ACT is a terrific facility and it will give us the opportunity to create a dazzling program similar to what you might see on Broadway or in Las Vegas,” he said. Along with Eisele the show will feature DeMerle on drums, Steve Strawley-trumpet, Don Zentz-sax and flute, Clarence Hines-trombone, Doug Matthews-piano, Ernie Ealum-bass, and Sammy Rodriguez-percussion.

2015 Performance Program

Now in its 12th year, the AIJF will take place at various locations in Fernandina Beach, FL from October 4-11, and will kick off with its annual free concert in Amelia Park on Sunday, October 4, with U.S. Navy Band Southeast TGIF. It will continue October 7 with Jump Jive & Wail, a tribute to classic dance oriented swing music featuring the Dynamic Les DeMerle Little Big Band and spirited vocalist Eisele, a Latin Jazz Night October 8 that will showcase the sizzling hot, award winning, and internationally famous Trio Caliente, both at Sandy Bottoms. 2015 headliners will be guitar legend Larry Coryell, October 9 and jazz vocalist extraordinaire Kevin Mahogany, October 10 at the Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation. Additionally, the always popular late night jazz jams with AIJF’s 2015 musicians will follow the headliner sets on October 9 and 10 in the Omni’s Verandah Restaurant at Racquet Park. The festival will end on a swinging note Sunday, October 11, with a Dixie to Swing Jazz Brunch, featuring former Ray Charles saxophonist, Al Waters with DeMerle’s Jazztet at David’s Restaurant.

In addition to online, tickets may be purchased at the UPS Store, 1417 Sadler Road, in the Island Shopping Center, or at the AIFBY Chamber Of Commerce, Gateway to Amelia, A1A and Amelia Parkway. A not for profit 501(c)(3) corporation, the Les DeMerle Amelia Island Jazz Festival distributes proceeds toward its scholarship program to fund college educations for aspiring jazz musicians. For more information, schedules, and tickets, please visit the website: www.ameliaislandjazzfestival.com or contact the Festival Hotline at (904) 504-4772. Email address: info@ameliaislandjazzfestival.com