Amelia Island Williams House

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Lighted up letters spelling Dickens On Centre with balloons.
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A Victorian Christmas: Dickens on Centre Festival

Experience the sights and sounds of a Victorian Christmas at the Dickens on Centre festival in Fernandina Beach! This annual festival, which takes place in the historic downtown area, is a beloved holiday tradition for locals and visitors alike. The festival spans the first weekend in December and is named for Charles Dickens, whose beloved tale, A Christmas Carol” has become synonymous with the holiday season.

During the festival, the streets are transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with Victorian-era decorations, carolers in period costume, and even a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus! Take portraits with Saint Nick, or rent a snowglobe-esque dome to enjoy cocktails and charcuterie in the Enchanted Village. 

A highlight of the festival is the Illuminated Procession on Thursday, December 7th. It kicks off the festival and begins with food trucks and music. Then, participants stroll with anything that shines, glows, or twinkles! The walk ends at the riverfront with a surprise illuminated finale. 

Throughout the weekend, you’ll enjoy a variety of street vendors selling holiday treats and gifts, as well as live music and entertainment on multiple stages. Visitors will see everything from holiday-themed magic shows to performances by local choirs and musicians.

For those 21+, there’s Dickens After Dark, a ticketed event with an open bar, acrobats and jugglers, a tour of the historic Lesesne House, a ghost tour, and the musical stylings of Mama Blue.

One of the festival’s main attractions is the “Royal Family” who presides over the event. Each year, a new Royal Family is selected to represent the festival, and they’re responsible for leading the parade. The Royal Family is always dressed in elaborate Victorian-style clothing, adding their stately flair to the event.

Dickens on Centre is not to be missed! It’s chock-full of holiday cheer, and is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit with loved ones. Book your stay at the Amelia Island Williams House for some extra Victorian charm! 

Event Dates: December 7-10, 2023

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