“Dickens on Centre” Victorian Christmas Festival Returns to Amelia Island

  • by Charles Wagoner
  • November 17, 2021

Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island is preparing for the 7th Annual “Dickens on Centre” Victorian Christmas Festival (Dec. 9-12) in downtown Fernandina Beach, transforming historic Centre Street into a wonderland of Charles Dickens’ early Victorian era England. The highlight of the island’s seasonal celebrations, the festival is free to the public and features costumed characters, themed live entertainment, visits from Saint Nick, a variety of vendors selling handmade seasonal wares and treats, and much more. Accompanying the festival this year is a special Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival performance, the Amelia Island Museum of History Holiday Home Tour, and the new Dickens Enchanted Village, a one-of-a-kind picnic bringing to life the magic of snow globes. 

“The holiday events and family festivities on Amelia Island are a tradition for many visitors and residents, especially Dickens on Centre, which is a wonderful centerpiece for the season,” said Gil Langley, president and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. “New additions such as the Enchanted Village, plus the great special offers from our award-winning hotels, resorts and inns, make this December a truly special time to enjoy the season together.”

Inspired by Charles Dickens’ novella, “A Christmas Carol,” Dickens on Centre transforms downtown Fernandina into a classic English village lit by the warm glow of festive holiday lights and colorful decorations.

The current schedule of holiday activities includes:

  • Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival (Dec. 3) – The 21st season opens with Big Band Holidays and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, featuring global superstar Wynton Marsalis and special guest vocalist Alita Moses. 
  • Holiday Home Tour (Dec. 3-4) – The 15th annual Amelia Island Museum of History Holiday Home Tour will showcase five beautifully decorated homes in the downtown historic district of Fernandina Beach from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Dickens on Centre Dining Week (Dec. 3-12) – This annual 10-day culinary showcase features some of Amelia Island’s most popular dining spots offering pre-fixe Dickens-themed or Victorian-inspired menus. Participating restaurants include The Alley, by Amelia Island Brewing Company; Amelia Island Tea House; Bantam & Biddy; Beech Street Bar & Grill; Brett's Waterway Café; Café Karibo; Coast Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island; Island Kitchen; Lagniappe Restaurant; Leddy's Porch Bistro at the Florida House Inn; Story & Song Bookstore Bistro; The Tavern, by Amelia Island Brewing Company; Tides Pool Bar & Grill; and Tidewater Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.
  • Dickens Illuminated Procession (Dec. 9) – Grab your friends and anything that glows or twinkles to join in a leisurely, glimmering stroll through Fernandina’s historic district. Food trucks and music add to the fun, ending with fireworks over the Fernandina Harbor Marina at 7 p.m.
  • Dickens Enchanted Village (Dec. 10-12) – New this year, the Dickens Enchanted Village is an exclusive picnic experience that will bring to life the magical feeling of snow globes in one of six festive domes, each decorated in a unique Christmas theme. And the forecast is even calling for snow. 
  • Run Like the Dickens (Dec. 11) – This seasonal scramble is a one-mile fun run at Amelia Island’s Main Beach at 8:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome, including kids and dogs.
  • Dickens After Dark (Dec. 11) – This VIP, adult-only event (21+) features specialty entertainment, a historic ghost tour, festive food, open bar and more at the historic Lesesne House in downtown Fernandina Beach.

The Dickens on Centre festival anchors a full slate of holiday events in December, including concerts, tours, a parade, a fun run, dining experiences, and more, which can all be found at AmeliaIsland.com/Holiday


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