What's happening in our area this week
Festival of Trees
The St. Johns County Festival of Trees returns to World Golf Village. The event will feature trees, wreaths, and other holiday items donated by the community. Visitors can donate on their favorite trees and wreaths with minimum $1 bid or purchase an entry through the silent auction. You can also enjoy free activities including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus and a short performance from “The Nutcracker” by dancers from the St. Augustine Ballet. This event is held at the St. Johns County Convention Center. It will end on Sunday. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the final day. This event benefits the United Way of St. Johns County and the St. Augustine Record’s Empty Stocking Fund.
Tree of Life and Candlelight Service of Remembrance
Community Hospice of Northeast Florida is hosting a tree of life and Candlelight Service of Remembrance on Thursday. Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the lighting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The lighting of the Tree of Life will include a special candlelight service to celebrate the lives of loved ones who have died. This event will be held at the Center for caring on Sunbeam Road.
A holiday tradition comes alive at the Florida Theatre this weekend. The 21st annual production of the Nutcracker will begin on Friday at the Florida Theatre. For tickets, call the Florida Theatre box office at 904-355-2787.
A Very Merry Christmas
Enjoy a multi-cultural evening of holiday celebration at Stage Aurora Performance Hall beginning Friday. A Very Merry Christmas will feature holiday favorites in song, dance, and music in all genres. The show will begin Friday and last until Sunday. Tickets prices are all seats $15 in advance. Tickets may be purchased at Brothers 2000 at Gateway Town Center or online at www.ticketleap.com. You can also purchase tickets at the Stage Aurora box office at 904-765-7372.
The Florida Ballet
The Florida Ballet presents the holiday classic, the Nutcracker this weekend. It will be held at the Lazzara Performance Hall at UNF. Tickets are available for Friday’s show at 7:30 p.m., Saturday’s shows at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. You can purchase tickets at the UNF Box Office by calling 904-620-2878 or at www.ticketreturn.com.
Holiday at St. James
Join Mayor Alvin Brown on Friday for the first annual Holiday at St. James Celebration and Tree lighting. It will feature a holiday craft market in Hemming Plaza, carolers, crafts and plenty of fun. The event kicks off at 11 a.m. and will end with a tree lighting at 7 p.m. For more information, go to www.makeascenedowntown.com.
Join the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus for a holiday event beginning Friday. Holiday Pop will begin on Friday and last through Sunday at the Robert E. Jacoby Symphony Hall at The Times Union Center for Performing Arts Center. Enjoy songs performed by guest Ashley Brown. Single tickets begin at $25. To purchase tickets, go to www.jaxsymphony.org or call 904-354-5547.
The community outreach club of the ARC of the St. Johns invites you to join them in a caroling flashmob display on Friday. It will be held at various parts of the Plaza de la Consitucion and will begin at 5 p.m.
Local families can meet Dustin, the Boss Clown from the Greatest Show on Earth at the Main Library in downtown Jacksonville on Friday. Dustin will read a book. All children will receive a clown nose and bookmarks. This event begins at 3:30 p.m.
O Little Town
You can travel back in time to the night of Christ’s birth. O Little Town, A Bethlehem Experience will be held at Orange Park United Methodist Church Friday and Saturday. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. each night. The church is located at 2060 Astor Street. Admission is free. For more information, go to www.opumc.net or call 904-264-2241.
You can hear some songs of the holiday season during a holiday sing-a-long on Friday at the Friday Musicale Chorus. It will begin at 11 a.m. and it is free and open to the public.
Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings
Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine presents the holiday musical Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings beginning Friday night. This play is about the Forever Plaid Boys, who are back in action when the heavenly Rosemary Clooney calls on them to sing. The show will play on the Matuza Main Stage through January 6. Show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, December 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at www.limelight-theatre.org.
Festival of Lights
Join local runners and walkers for Jacksonville’s largest holiday celebration. The Florida Telco Festival of Lights 5K will be held on Saturday. The 1-mile Fun run will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the 5K begins at 6 p.m. in the San Marco Square. This event will be held in conjunction with San Marco’s Holiday Magic. To sign up for the run, go to www.1stplacesports.com.
Enjoy a magical evening in the San Marco Square on Saturday evening. Holiday Magic begins at 5 p.m. There will be carolers, pictures with Santa Claus, horse drawn sleigh hay rides and food.
Holiday Regatta of Lights
It’s a colorful parade of boats held on the St. Augustine Bay. The Holiday Regatta of Lights will be held Saturday, just north of the Bridge of Lions. There will be sailboats, trawlers, shrimp boats and many other vessels. Entry is encouraged for all powered craft both private and commercial. This event begins at 6 p.m. For more information, go to www.sayc2000.com.
Join the Riverside Arts Market for a festive holiday event and shopping opportunity. The Riverside Arts Market will host Holidazzle. It is extending hours until 9 p.m. for this event. There will be more than 100 artists and artisans on site with unique gift ideas. After the sun sets, there will be a series of holiday classics on a movie screen at the River Stage. For a list of specific titles and start times, go to www.riversideartsmarket.com. There will be hot chocolate for kids and drinks for adults. Admission and parking is free.
St. Marys Christmas Tour Our Town
This event is a merchant’s holiday open house day in historic St. Marys. You can see what local shops have to offer and enjoy free admission to both the St. Marys submarine Museum and the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum all day. This event begins at 10 a.m. and lat until 5 p.m. For more information, go to www.stmaryswelcome.com.
Fashion Show and Silent Auction
St. Gerard Campus in St. Augustine will host the 29th annual Fashion Show and Silent Auction on Saturday. It will be held at the World Golf Village Renaissance Resort beginning at Noon to 3:30 p.m. You can see the latest in fashion, holiday and sportswear. The silent auction will offer more than 100 items from artwork, sports memorabilia and baskets full of holiday gifts. Ticket prices start at $35 per person. For more information on this event, call 904-829-5516 or online at www.stgerardcampus.org.
Family and Friends Open House
Virginia College in Jacksonville will host a friends and family open house for former, current and prospective students on Saturday. It will be held at the campus on Beach Boulevard. Those who attend can learn about educational opportunities as well as spread some holiday cheer and give back to the community by donating a new, unwrapped toy and non-perishable food item. This event begins at 10 a.m.
Friends of Jacksonville Animals will host a “Better Together” book release party on Saturday. “Better Together” shares the stories and photographs of 13 cats and dogs as they journey in and out of shelters. The book release party will be held at the Animal Care and Protective Services on Forest Street beginning at 6 p.m. All proceeds benefit FOJA.
Ripley’s Fun Run & Walk
Ripley’s St. Augustine will host a Family Fun Run/Walk on Saturday. Registration begins at 7 a.m. at the City Gates Train Station and the run begins at 8 a.m. No pre-registration is required. Each family is asked to donate $10 or a new, unwrapped toy for their registration fee. The toys will be donated to Children’s Home Charity of Florida. Each participant will receive a free ticket to Prancer’s Putt-Putt and $5 admission to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Yulee Christmas Parade
The community of Yulee will host its Holiday Festival and Parade on Saturday. Parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the corner of Goodbread Road and Pages Dairy Road in Yulee and continues to Highway 17 to A1A, then back to Pages Diary Road.
You are invited to Farragut Fest on Saturday in Kingsland, Georgia. This fest is a celebration of science fiction, trek and all Things Farragut. It will begin at 9 a.m. at Farragut Films Studios at W. Williams Avenue. It will begin with an open house at the studio.
Holiday Open House Extravaganza
The Landing will host a holiday open House Extravaganza on Saturday. Shops and Restaurants will feature holiday specials, food samples and much more. This event begins at noon and last until 7 p.m.
More than 100 tubas will come together to play some of your favorite holiday music. You can hear them perform at the Landing beginning at 2 p.m. Organizers say it will take place rain or shine. The conductor for this year's event will be Dr. Marc Dickman, professor of music at the University of North Florida.
Free Photos with Santa
Santa will make a stop at the Jacksonville Landing on Saturday and you can take a free photo with him. Just show a receipt from and shop at the landing and you can get a free 4x6 photo with Santa or bring your own camera beginning at 5 p.m.
Hometown Holiday in the Park
The town of Orange Park Historical Society will host a Hometown Holiday in the Park on Saturday. It will be held at the Clarke House Park on Kingsley Avenue beginning at 4 p.m. There will be house tours, carolers and snow. Organizers say they will be accepting canned food donations to benefit the Clothes Closet. This event is free.
Holiday Open House
You can attend the Castillo de San Marcos National Monuments Holiday Open House on Saturday. Park rangers and volunteers will bring to life the history of the Castillo. This event will highlight the Castillo’s history from the 16th through 20th century. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a three gun cannon firing. This event is free to the public. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/casa.
Breakfast with Santa Claus
Parents and their children can enjoy breakfast with Santa Claus on Saturday. It will be held at the Avenues Mall in the food court beginning at 8:30 a.m. This event is free for Simon Kidgit members. After the breakfast, kids can have their photos taken with Santa. To RSVP, call 904-363-3054.
WWE Hall of Famer Ricky Steamboat is coming to Live Oak on Saturday. His appearance is in conjunction with the WWE NXT Live Tour which takes place at the Suwannee Coliseum Hall. Bell time for the show is 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $10 to $25 and can be purchased at Buddy’s Home Furnishings in Live Oak or at www.NXTwrestling.
Join a park ranger at the Fort George Island Cultural Sate Park for a nature hike on Saturday. It will begin at 2 p.m. and organizers are encouraged to bring bug spray and bottled water. The program will take place at the Ribault Club and no reservations are necessary.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets
The Jacksonville Jaguars will be back in action in front of the hometown crowd. The team will take on the New York Jets beginning at 1 p.m. at Everbank Field. The Sky Lounge Kickoff Club will host a special “All You Can Eat” menu on Sunday. The menu will include game, snacks, nacho bar, sausages sampler bar and dessert. The packages also include free sodas, waters and coffee. For tickets, go to www.jaguars.com.
Enjoy an evening of music during a special holiday concert. Sunday’s concert will combine the talent of singers from St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and All Saints Episcopal. It will begin at 6 p.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran on Hendricks Avenue. It is free and open to the public.
Lost In Yonkers Audition
Limelight Theatre will host auditions for “Lost in Yonkers” on Sunday. Auditions will begin at 7 p.m.at the theatre in St. Augustine. Parking is free in private lots next to and directly behind the theare. The show will begin next month.
Chanukah at the Landing
Celebrate Chanukah in downtown Jacksonville at the Jacksonville Landing. This year’s event will feature Yoel Sharabi in concert, a family carnival and fair and the kindling of the menorah. This event begins at 3 p.m.
Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra
You can get into the holiday spirit with a free concert by the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra on Monday. It will be held at the Times Union Center beginning at 7 p.m. This concert is free.
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