Opening the 2019 Dickens on Centre Holiday Festival this December on Amelia Island
The 5th annual Dickens on Centre holiday festival is set for the second weekend of December. Throughout the event, patrons are invited to enjoy Victorian inspired entertainment along the streets of downtown Fernandina Beach. Families will enjoy a parade of fun including visits with St. Nick, holiday shopping, festive food and drinks, live music, costumed characters and plenty of Christmastime spirit.
Kicking off this year’s festivities is the inaugural Dickens Illuminated Procession, set for Thursday, December 12, 5-8 PM. Modeled after the Jacksonville Lantern Parade, the Dickens Illuminated Procession is a free public event that blends seasonal excitement with the charm of Fernandina Beach. Inspired by Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol, the festival transforms the historic district into a quaint English village complete with strolling carolers, roasting chestnuts and, starting this year, beautiful paper lanterns parading through the charming coastal city.
The Illuminated Procession will begin near Amelia Island’s waterfront Welcome Center on Front Street. From there parade-goers and their lanterns will enjoy a leisurely stroll up Ash Street and into Fernandina’s historic district before turning around down Centre Street back to the waterfront, where they will be greeted by music and merriment.
Participation in the Dickens Illuminated Procession is free and open to all. The entire parade route is approximately a dozen blocks long, meaning the event is suitable for nearly all ages and abilities. All we ask is that marchers carry something that reflects good cheer and holiday spirit—and that shines, glows or twinkles. (No open flames or candles, please. Only battery operated lights and lanterns will be permitted.)
A limited number of holiday lanterns will be available for purchase by vendors located near the starting point. We greatly encourage participants to create homemade lanterns. There are lots of great ideas to be found online. Also, area civic clubs and area businesses are invited to participate as groups.