Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island is offering a diverse line-up of events this spring, showcasing the island’s shrimping heritage, natural resources, world-class chamber music and more. Visitors coming to Amelia this spring to enjoy the island’s pristine shoreline, delectable dining and unique history will find plenty of entertaining festivals, performances and outdoor activities to shake off any remaining winter blues.
Upcoming events on Amelia Island include:
Boardwalk Bash (April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29)
Through Labor Day, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation will host their weekly Boardwalk Bash at The Shops. Every Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., guests can enjoy beer, wine and dining specials on the back porch of Marché Burette along with live music and family recreation. Additional information is available at www.omniameliaislandplantation.com.
Sounds on Centre (April 6, June 1)
The Historic Fernandina Business Association proudly presents Sounds on Centre, a free community concert held the First Friday of each month (March - October), except May, in historic downtown Fernandina. Taking place on Centre Street between Second Street and Front Street from 6 to 8 p.m., each free concert is another chance for friends to bring their chairs and their dancing shoes to enjoy a wide variety of local bands. For more information, www.SoundsOnCentre.com.
Fernandina Farmers Market (April 7, 14, 21, 28, May 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30)
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., visitors can mingle with local farmers and business owners as they wander through a dizzying selection of farm direct fruits and vegetables harvested just before Market day, as well as a variety of organic products and specialty foods. Visitors will also discover gourmet baked goods, from crusty breads to delectable desserts, and prepared foods such as jellies, relishes and marinades. The Market is also the perfect location to choose from a wide variety of specialty tropical plants and landscaping plants, including orchids, herbs, and garden flowers. For more information, visit www.fernandinafarmersmarket.com.
Union Garrison at Fort Clinch State Park (April 7-8, May 5-6, June 2-3)
Held the first weekend of every month, the Union Garrison events feature living history interpreters, as they recreate life at the fort during the Civil War. Visitors may see powder artillery demonstrations, medical demonstrations and soldier drills. For details, visit www.floridastateparks.org/fortclinch.
Café 4750 Easter Brunch (April 8)
Café 4750, located at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, is offering a scrumptious, coastal brunch with Eggs Benedict, fresh shrimp, local fish and additional breakfast favorites, including a delectable array of specialty desserts. The brunch takes place from noon to 3 p.m. Visit www.ritzcarlton.com/ameliaisland for additional information.
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Easter Sunday Brunch (April 8)
Join Omni Amelia Island Plantation on Sunday, April 8th at the Verandah restaurant for a family friendly Easter Brunch. Guests will enjoy fresh baked goods, local Farmer’s market vegetables, eggs made to order, an assortment of canapés, brunch and seafood entrées, desserts and more. The brunch is held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Artrageous Artwalk (April 14, May 12, June 9)
Every second Saturday, Amelia Island holds an exciting Artrageous Artwalk. With numerous galleries participating, visitors can peruse photography, pottery, copper, metal, stained glass, watercolors, acrylics and more in downtown Fernandina. Visit www.ameliaisland.com for more information.
“19th Century Romantics,” a concert by the Island Chamber Singers (April 20, 22)
Since 2004, the 45-member Island Chamber Singers have presented two annual concerts with instrumental ensembles. With tenor soloist Reginald Bouknight from Washington, D.C., and under the direction of Jane Lindberg, this year’s concert will feature Giacomo Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, which was first performed in Italy in 1880. The concert also features Johannes Brahms’ Schicksalslied, or The Song of Fate. The concert is free for K-12 students to help supplement arts education in Nassau County schools. Visit www.islandchambersingers.com for more information.
3rd on 3rd at the Amelia Island Museum of History (April 20, May 18, June 15)
On the third Friday of each month, the Amelia Island Museum of History offers a special presentation on a variety of topics related to the history of the island. The event takes place at 6 p.m. at Baker Hall in the museum. For non-members, admission is charged. Visit www.ameliamuseum.org for additional information about the museum.
Meet The Farmers Dinner (April 20)
Meet the farmers who supply the kitchens of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Special guests include The Café‘s Beekeeper and Herb Garden Grower along with area farmers and seafood purveyors. Reception with hors d’oeuvres begins at 6:00 p.m. on Café Terrace followed by appetizer buffet, family-style main course of fish, meats and desserts.
8th Annual Katie Ride for Life (April 21)
The 8th Annual Katie Ride for Life takes place Saturday, April 21, and offers cycling options for all levels, including a fun ride, 18 miles, 36 miles, 62 miles, 100 miles and an off-road course. There is also a 5K and 10K run/walk through Fort Clinch State Park. Funds raised benefit organ donor education through the Katie Caples Foundation. For more information or to register, visit www.katierideforlife.org.
Shrimp & Chardonnay (May 2)
Join Omni Amelia Island Plantation’s Marché Burette to celebrate the arrival of spring and two favorite island pleasures at the first inaugural Shrimp & Chardonnay. From 5 to 8 p.m., kick off the Shrimp Festival weekend with a selection of five different styles of succulent shrimp sourced from around the world and masterfully paired with golden chardonnay wines. The Shrimp & Chardonnay Passport is $48 per person and $12 per child, and includes five tastings of shrimp and four ounce chardonnay pours (for ages 21 and over). Children’s activities will be provided with a bounce house, popcorn shrimp and fresh squeezed lemonade. The event also offers live music. Visit www.omniameliaislandplantation.com for more information.
49th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival (May 4-6)
For nearly half a century, this small crustacean has caused a big sensation in historic downtown Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, where thousands of visitors happily strand themselves for this annual tradition. The popular event features a nationally recognized juried fine arts and crafts show, antiques, live entertainment, kids activities, contests, pirates, free admission and 25 food booths serving up the tastiest shrimp you can find, prepared every way possible by local non-profit organizations.
Wild Amelia Nature Festival (May 18-20)
The 2012 Wild Amelia Nature Festival invites residents and visitors to experience the wild side of Amelia Island. With more than 25 seminars and experiences, the three-day festival offers something for everyone. Opportunities include a Segway tour of Ft. George Island, kayaking the marshes along Ft. Clinch State Park, and exploration of bird habitats by bike. The festival also offers programs designed specifically for children, including a Kids Niche with hands-on nature activities. There will also be an EcoExpo with green and nature-based exhibitors and a Silent Auction. For tickets or additional information, visit www.wildamelia.com.
Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival (May 13-June 8)
The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival will once again showcase world-class artists performing classical music in intimate and historic settings on Amelia Island. The festival is dedicated to bringing a wide variety of chamber music at the highest level. The 2012 festival features an incredible line-up including cellist Lynn Harrell, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, and much more. For ticket details and additional information, visit www.aicmf.com.
WWII Event at Fort Clinch State Park (May 26-27)
Fort Clinch State Park will hold a Memorial Weekend program in honor of the men and women who served in World War II. Visitors can explore military displays, view memorabilia, and learn about the uniforms, weapons, vehicles, and lifestyle of those who were part of the war during the 1940’s. The event will take place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For details, visit www.floridastateparks.org/fortclinch.
Cooking School at Salt (June 20-21)
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is offering a Salt Cooking School package. The package includes coastal view accommodations for two nights and participation in the two-day cooking school (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), which features a daily breakfast, champagne-du-jour and luncheon, as well as a Ritz-Carlton apron and recipe book. The March Cooking School theme is French Riviera. Salt Cooking Schools are also offered a la carte, without accommodations. A la carte reservations must be paid for at the time of booking and are not refundable. Additional information can be found at www.ritzcarlton.com/ameliaisland.