Enjoy plenty of special events during Nights of Lights

Holiday happenings you won’t want to miss during Nights of Lights

October 3, 2013
image, Enjoy plenty of special events during Nights of Lights

Enjoy this holiday season during the 25th Annual Nights of Lights winter festival Nov. 17, 2018, through February 3, 2019. See the 3 million-plus lights display that National Geographic magazine deemed one of 10 best places in the world to see holiday lights.

Holiday Happenings

Holiday events connected to Nights of Lights take place throughout the Florida’s Historic Coast.

November 17 Light-Up! Night

The 25th annual Nights of Lights Light-Up! Night begins at 4 p.m. with a performance by Showtime USA in front of the Lightner Museum. Then at 5:30 p.m., from the historic Plaza de la Constitución Gazebo, All Star Orchestra performs great swing and big band sounds. The Light Up! Night ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. in the plaza, where the switch to the Nights of Lights is flipped to illuminate the city.

November 17 Holly Jolly Shopping Spree

Get a start on your holiday shopping at the Holly Jolly Shopping Spree. From 8:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m. beginning at the Old Jail/Old Town Trolley Tours you’ll find gifts for those on your list along San Marco Avenue.

November 17-January 31 Nights of Pints

Coinciding with St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights, local St. Augustine breweries are hosting Nights of Pints with a passport for craft beer lovers and stops at local breweries.

November 18 6th Annual Holiday Craft and Vendor Event

This event features 139 vendors and crafters at the World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This is a kid-friendly event. Admission is free.

November 23, 28, Dec 1, 15, 17, 19, 22, 27,29 and Jan 5 Villa Zorayda’s Candlelight Tour

Join us this holiday season for the Villa Zorayda’s 9th annual Candlelight Tour of the museum. The villa is decorated for the holidays with a spectacular Christmas tree and more than 100 candles throughout the museum. For more information on times and cost, please contact 904-829-9887 or visit www.villazorayda.com/candlelighttours

November 24, December 15 and January 5 Living History Saunter

Living history interpreters present a timeline of St. Augustine’s colonial history in the town’s historic district with a saunter from the City Gate down St. George Street to Aviles Street from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Participants wear the garb and gear of the city’s military and civilian colonial environs from 1513-1784.

November 24-25 53rd Annual St. Augustine Art & Craft Festival

Hosted by the St. Augustine Art Association on Thanksgiving weekend the event features more than 150 artists offering painting, pottery, jewelry, sculpture, photography and mixed media along with musical performances at Francis Field. Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. A $2 donation at the gate is requested.

November 30 Castillo by Candlelight: Enemy at the Gates

Begin Colonial Night Watch with this special candlelight tour of Castillo de San Marcos. Listen in as British and Spanish officers plan and prepare for the siege of 1740. Hear the roar of the cannons and the troops preparing for battle as you take a step back in time. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for youth ages 5-15, and free for youth under age 5. Reserve tickets in advance by calling 904-829-6506 Ext. 239

December 1 Christmas Parade

St. Augustine’s annual Christmas Parade presents more than 2,000 participants along with floats, marching bands, cars, horses and the arrival of Santa. The parade starts at 9 a.m. by the Mission Nombre de Dios and continues through the downtown streets of historic St. Augustine ending near the Historic Downtown Parking Facility.

December 1 Colonial Night Watch

The St. Augustine Colonial Night Watch, activities and parade take place from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Activities and an encampment area depicting 18th century combined Spanish, British, French, colonial militia and Native American military arts, culture and lifestyles will be presented at the Colonial Quarter, while at night the St. Augustine Colonial Night Watch Torchlight Parade will be held at 7 p.m. from the Castillo de San Marcos and concluding at the Governor’s House Cultural Center & Museum. Visitors are invited to follow the soldiers, militia, Native Americans and townsfolk in the parade and celebration.

December 1 Palm Valley Boat Parade

The Palm Valley Boat Parade takes place in Ponte Vedra Beach and is an annual tradition of lighted boats to celebrate the holiday season. The 6 p.m. parade route is seven miles of the Intracoastal in Palm Valley.

December 1-2 Rails to Trails Festival

Hosted by SEA (Spuds/Elkton/Armstrong) Community Help Resource Center, this festival at Armstrong Park is a celebration of our Gullah Geechee heritage and features cultural arts and crafts, food vendors, historical films, heritage corridor discussions, live music and a bike ride.

December 5 Luminary Night

Luminary Night at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is a family friendly tradition during Nights of Lights. From 6-9 p.m. there are activities for all ages, holiday crafts, visits with Santa, yuletide refreshments and live music, including a string quartet inside the lighthouse tower and chorus performances. Admission is free.

December 5 Orchestral Sounds of the Season 2018

The annual St. Augustine Orchestra holiday concert takes place at the Lightner Museum at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults, $12 for students and admission is free for youth ages 10 and under.

December 8 Holiday Regatta of Lights

This is an annual holiday parade, hosted by the St. Augustine Yacht Club, of motorized vessels - sailboats, trawlers, shrimp boats and many other vessels decorated with brilliant lighted displays. Beginning at 6 p.m., the boats will light up St. Augustine’s Matanzas Bay between the Bridge of Lions and Castillo de San Marcos.

December 8 Castillo Holiday Open House

The Castillo de San Marcos opens its doors to visitors to informally explore the Castillo by lantern light, interacting with staff and volunteers dressed to represent the more than 300 years of Castillo history. The free event is from 6-8 p.m. Cannon firings will take place every hour.

December 8 Hastings Hometown Christmas Parade

The holiday parade, beginning at 10 a.m., will take place down Main Street in Hastings starting at the W.E. Harris Community Center. Continue the holiday celebration after the parade at the Hastings Library, for tree decorating, make-your-own ornament, pictures with Santa, live music and more.

December 9 St. Augustine Maker’s Fest

The St. Augustine Maker’s Fest is from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. The event features local artisans selling their crafts, workshops for hands-on learning, makers stations to do make-and-take projects, craft beer, local food vendors, music and more. Admission for adults is $15, and admission ages 17 and under is free.

December 19 EMMA Concert Association Presents Holiday Pops Concert

EMMA Concert Association presents the Gainesville Orchestra - Holiday Pops Concert. The concert takes place at Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $40. Admission for youth and students with identification is $5.

December 22-23 St. Augustine Ballet Presents The Nutcracker

St. Augustine Ballet’s The Nutcracker is a family friendly holiday classic production comprised of student and professional dancers. Performances are1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day at Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College. Admission is $35-$25.

December 31 Beach Blast Off

This annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display and entertainment at St. Johns County Pier Park will ring in 2018. From 5 – 10 p.m. enjoy family friendly activities, including a kid’s zone, photo booth, food vendors and live music. Fireworks display is at 8:30 p.m.

January 12 Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard ceremony, performed by the St. Augustine 1740 Spanish Garrison, begins at 6:30 p.m. Participants will muster at the Colonial Quarter at 5:45 p.m. and march to St. George Street Governor’s House Cultural Center & Museum and the City Gate. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is 6:30 p.m.

January 13 Florida Chamber Music Project

The Florida Chamber Music Project evening’s performance features String Quartet in D Major, Haydn; An Exaltation of Larks, Higdon; String Quartet in D minor, K.421, Mozart. The performance begins at 3 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. General admission is $25.

To learn more about these and other Nights of Lights festivities, check out Nights of Lights Events by Location or visit our interactive Calendar of Events.

image, kid with telescope and balloons
St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches