Entertainment Lineup for the Dickens on Centre

The holiday spirit is in full swing in Fernandina Beach in the winter. Between the music, the glowing lights, and the crisp air, Fernandina Beach evolves from a quaint historic village to one of the most alluring and magical winter vacation getaways in the state. It all revolves around the Dickens on Centre festival in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach.

What is the Dickens on Centre?

Dickens on Centre

The Dickens on Centre is one of the grandest Amelia Island fall events you can go to during the season. The essence of the festival is simple: Centre St. glows with multi-colored holiday lights that coat the trees in extravagant color. Ivy and holly run up the street posts. Santa’s sled is adorned with big gifts on the street side and more.

Dickens on Centre has more than decorations. Guests come for the costumed characters, the musical performances, and the impromptu carols. Overall, Dickens on Centre celebrates the spirited magic of Charles Dickens, the wonders of Christmas, and the sights and sounds of a holiday season under the cool December air.

When and Where is the Event?

The event is usually the first weekend in December. It begins in the morning and ends in the evening, with no clear timeframe. Most of the local restaurants are closed by 10 p.m. with a select few historic downtown bars open late, such as the Palace Saloon (2 AM) and the Green Turtle Tavern (1 AM).


The event is on Centre St. It encompasses Centre St. on both sides, from Amelia River and up about two miles when the main downtown district attractions and restaurants fade into suburban homes. You can use Brett’s Waterway Café as your main destination, one of the restaurants above, or Centre St. itself.


A typical entertainment lineup for the Dickens show usually includes several of the following popular events. Many of them return year after year.

ladies dressed in historic wear
  • Children’s Story Telling
  • Holiday Gift Wrapping
  • Parade of Paws
  • Fernandina Beach High School Chorus
  • Caricature Artist
  • Artrageous Artwalk
  • One Man Performance of A Christmas Carol by Jason Woods
  • Reading of The Night Before Christmas
  • Old Fashioned Photos
  • Nassau Community Band
  • Ring Toss and Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Dueling Pianos w/ Michael Murphy
  • Photos with St. Nick
  • It’s a Wonderful Life Film Showing
  • Letter writing to Santa station
  • Holiday craft area
  • Free historic walking tours
  • Amelia Island String Ensemble

Saint Nick is slated to make an appearance. There is also scheduled to be local music entertainment as well as stage performances. Typically, a part of “A Christmas Carol” is performed, but there may be other holiday-themed shows to get excited for.

This Amelia Island event is totally free to attend, though there may be additional costs for taking photographs with Santa, parking, and performances.


One of the main draws of the event is the shopping. Every year, locals gather to sell homemade goodies, pastries, cocoa, and more right on the streets of Fernandina Beach.

christmas decorations in a store display

Remember the local shops, which usually remain open during regular business hours during the weekend event. The Christmas Shop on the River is a bustling place during the season, filled to the brim with treats and local-only special handmade items Robison jewelry, the Book Loft, and Southern Touch are all welcoming places to find some treasured holiday gifts.

When you’re staying in Fernandina Beach during the holiday season, this event is definitely one to attend. Our impressive vacation rentals are smack dab in the middle of the area. You’ll be glad you chose Amelia Vacations to help you appreciate the unrestrained magic of a getaway to the historic coast of northern Florida.

Plan Your Visit

Amelia Island is the perfect spot for your next beach vacation. There are countless activities that will entertain the whole family! Check out our beautiful vacation rentals and book your trip now.