by Alyssa Morlacci | August 26, 2019

Amelia Island Tradition

A visit to Northeast Florida during the holidays offers a chance to experience the era of Charles Dickens with entertainment and good cheer.

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A Christmas Carol comes to life on the historic main street of Fernandina Beach
A Christmas Carol comes to life on the historic main street of Fernandina Beach from Dec. 13–15. Photography by Deremer Studios

If the thought of curling up by a wood-burning fire, inhaling scents of peppermint and pine, wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket and sipping a cup of hot chocolate from one hand while Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is fanned open in the other sounds like the epitome of the holiday season to you, an even more inviting experience exists on Amelia Island.

The classic tale of curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by three ghosts and inspired to edit his outlook on Christmas, comes to life on the historic main street of Fernandina Beach from Dec. 13–15 during Dickens on Centre.

Though it’s a Christmas classic, Dickens’ novella was intended to capture a timeless message: quality time spent with family and friends, not wealth and fortune, matters most in life. A celebration of community, therefore, takes place annually during the Victorian experiential event. Think character appearances, horse-drawn carriages, carolers dressed in early Victorian clothing and a vintage Christmas atmosphere.

Free family fun activities in Tiny Tim's Kid Zone
Free family fun activities in Tiny Tim’s Kid Zone; Photography by Deremer Studios

The fifth annual festival is family-friendly with free activities in Tiny Tim’s Kid Zone, including places to pen letters to the North Pole and take photos with St. Nick himself. Victorian-inspired entertainment will take to two stages, including a one-man act telling the story of A Christmas Carol and performances by Jason Woods and the King Guys Band. Two holiday markets, Peddler’s Village and Artist Alley, feature gifts from local vendors. Adult guests might head to Fezziwig’s Courtyard for beer and wine or purchase tickets for Dickens After Dark on Friday and Saturday night—when “spirits” takes on a double meaning as ghost tours commence and holiday libations are enjoyed.

Adults can head to Fezziwig’s Courtyard for beer and wine
Adults can head to Fezziwig’s Courtyard for beer and wine. Photography by Deremer Studios

Amelia Island was recently named one of the best islands in the United States. But the destination isn’t reserved for summer vacations. The quaint coastal town is accessible year-round, with fun and exciting ways to make memories. And one of the best times to explore Amelia Island is during Dickens on Centre. ameliaisland.com/dickens

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