Amelia Island brings back its annual Dickens on Centre festival for the ninth year from Dec. 7 to 10.
During the four-day celebration, the downtown area of the island’s Fernandina Beach will turn the clocks back to its roots and transform into a Victorian holiday experience, becoming the largest Christmas Market in northeast Florida. The festival includes shopping booths, food and drink stands, holiday movies, Santa visits, costumed characters, two stages of entertainment, kids’ zones, and 3-D drone shows.
The festivities kick off on Dec. 7 with the Dickens Illuminated Procession, a Front Street parade that anyone can join, especially if they bring something that glows or twinkles, like illuminated lanterns. It will run Dec. 7 from 5 to 7 p.m., Dec. 8 from 5 to 9 p.m., Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Other highlights are the one-mile fun run race Run the Like Dickens on Dec. 9 at 8:30 a.m. on Amelia Island Main Beach (registration is $25), as well as the Dickens After Dark costume party on Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. at the Lesesne House for those ages 21 and older, which will feature stilt walkers, jugglers, music from Mama Blue, and a Kristen Sparrow Circus Fire & Ice show (tickets are $135).
The Dickens Enchanted Village will be open from Dec. 8 to 10, where revelers can reserve one of eight holiday-decorated domes for an hour for up to six people. Inside the private space, you can enjoy a charcuterie box from Luxe Picnics by Les for $69. The on-site tavern also offers wine, beer, and bubbly.
Five areas will feature a variety of vendors, like Amelia Island Microgreens, Outerbanks Boil Company, and Sand Dollars Textile Art in Oliver’s Alley; Backwood Meat Smokerz BBQ and Jax Taco Truck in Oliver’s Eats; Allen’s Gens and Rocks and Lavenders Cork in Artist Alley; Grumpy’s Housemade and Peruvian Accent in Peddler’s Village; and JB Sweet Treats and The Coastal Farmhouse in Tiny Tim’s Kid Zone.
A trolley will operate from Friday through Sunday to help visitors get from the parking lot between South 11th and 13th Streets on Centre to South 4th Street, where the festival starts.