Ways to celebrate during the 25th Annual Nights of Lights

St. Augustine’s sensational Nights of Lights holiday display has been illuminating the Nation’s Oldest City for 25-years. This year, Historic City News readers can enjoy the Nights of Lights through February 3, 2019. During Nights of Lights, white lights glow from the sidewalks to the rooftops, over the Bridge of Lions and trail through approximately 20 city blocks in St. Augustine’s Historic District.

Nights of Lights has been described as an umbrella event. A myriad of organizations schedule their own special events at this time; taking full advantage of the spirit of the season, the pageantry of lighting, as well as the city’s investment in lighting the stage and attracting some of our largest crowds. You could say that Nights of Lights is the Christmas tree and the many events are the ornaments.

When planning a trip to St. Augustine to view the brilliant award-winning light display, keep these popular events in mind.

November 20-January 31 Nights of Pints
Local St. Augustine breweries are hosting Nights of Pints for craft beer lovers to enjoy a free, seasonally brewed pint at each St. Augustine brewery. www.bogbrewery.com

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 from the City Gate down St. George Street to Aviles Street, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. info@staugustinegarrison.com

November 24-25 53rd Annual St. Augustine Art & Craft Festival
The 53rd Annual St. Augustine Art & Craft Festival at Francis Field has more than 100 painters, potters, jewelers, photographers, glass and fiber artists, sculptors, and woodworkers displaying one-of-a-kind handmade goods. Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. www.staugustineartfestival.com

November 30 Castillo by Candlelight: Enemy at the Gates
Begin Colonial Night Watch with this special candlelight tour of the Castillo de San Marcos. Reserve tickets in advance by calling or stop by the Castillo ticket booth.904-829-6506 Ext. 239 www.nps.gov/casa

December 1 Christmas Parade
St. Augustine’s annual Christmas Parade starts at 9 a.m. by the Mission Nombre de Dios off San Marco Avenue and continues through the downtown streets of historic St. Augustine.

December 1 Colonial Night Watch Weekend
In honor of the British influence in St. Augustine from 1763-1784, the Castillo de San Marcos becomes Fort St. Marks for the weekend. Step back in time to explore St. Augustine’s rich heritage with a glimpse into British and Spanish military life. From 9 a.m.-5 p.m. www.nps.gov/casa

December 1 Colonial Night Watch
The St. Augustine Colonial Night Watch activities and parade will take place from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Activities include an encampment area depicting 18th century combined Spanish, British, French, colonial militia and Native American military, Colonial Night Watch Torchlight Parade at 7 p.m. and a Colonial social gathering for the public 1-4 p.m. ribob2013@aol.com

December 1 Miracles: Messiah Favorites and Carols of Mystery at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
The University of North Florida Chorale and Chamber Singers present Miracles: Messiah Favorites and Carols of Mystery. www.pvconcerthall.com

December 1 Tree Lighting Under the Sea at the St. Augustine Aquarium
The St. Augustine Aquarium is hosting tree lighting under the sea in the Florida reef every Friday and Saturday night in December from 5-8 p.m. www.saaquarium.com

December 1 Palm Valley Boat Parade
The Palm Valley Boat Parade takes place in Ponte Vedra Beach through seven miles of the Intracoastal in Palm Valley beginning at 6 p.m. www.palmvalleyboatparade.com

December 5 Luminary Night
Luminary Night at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is a family friendly tradition from 6-9 p.m. with activities for all ages, visits with Santa, yuletide refreshments and the lighthouse’s spectacular holiday decorations and lighting displays. www.staugustinelighthouse.org

December 5 Orchestral Sounds of the Season 2018
St. Augustine Orchestra’s “December to Remember” features a series of performances. www.staugustineorchestra.org

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, 400 E. Harris St. Continue the holiday celebration after the parade at the Hastings Library, 6195 S. Main St. www.sjcpls.org

December 8 Firefighter Chili Cook Off
The annual Firefighter Chili Cook Off at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre takes place 2-6 p.m. Admission is free, and chili sample tickets are available for a small fee. www.facebook.com/safdfirefighters

December 8 Holiday Regatta of Lights
This annual holiday parade of motorized decorated with brilliant lighted displays begins at 6 p.m. The boats will light up St. Augustine’s Matanzas Bay between the Bridge of Lions and Castillo de San Marcos. www.staugustineyachtclub.com

December 8 Castillo Holiday Open House
The Castillo de San Marcos opens its doors for this St. Augustine holiday tradition. Explore the Castillo by lantern light, interact with staff and volunteers dressed to represent the more than 300 years of Castillo history from 6-8 p.m. www.nps.gov/casa

December 9 St. Augustine Makers Fest at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Makers Fest takes place from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre with works of 40 regional artists and artisans for sale, educational workshops, authentic artisan foods, craft beers and live performances. www.staugustinemakersfest.org

December 14 Gamble Rogers Music Festival Holiday Faire
The Gamble Roger Music Festival at the Colonial Oak Music Park features live holiday music, caroling, and holiday gifts and crafts from 7-10 p.m. www.gamblerogersfest.org

December 14 St. Augustine Community Band Holiday Concert
The 70-member St. Augustine Community Band with members ranging in age from 16-80 will perform a holiday concert at Pacetti Bay Middle School at 7:30 p.m. www.staugband.org

December 14-15 Apex Theatre Studio Presents A Christmas Story
The Apex Theatre Studio will present A Christmas Story, a full-length comedy based on the beloved film at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. www.pvconcerthall.com

December 15 The Posadas of Old St. Augustine
For more than 400 years, the colonial Hispanic Christmas tradition of Las Posadas has been celebrated by processions throughout the New World. Florida Living History’s volunteers will present this nighttime, candle-lit heritage event set in the year 1580 from 7-8 p.m. including a Candlelight Procession along St. George Street in historic downtown St. Augustine.
www.floridalivinghistory.org

December 28 North Florida Women’s Chorale Concert
The North Florida Women’s Chorale presents its annual Christmas performance at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. www.womenschorale.org

December 31 Beach Blast Off
This annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display and entertainment at St. Johns County Pier Park features family friendly activities, including a kid’s zone, photo booth, food vendors and live music. The event is from 5-10 p.m., and the fireworks display is at 8:30 p.m. www.sabevents.com

January 12 Changing of the Guard
Changing of the Guard ceremony performed by the St. Augustine 1740 Spanish Garrison at 6:30 p.m. https://hfm.club/sacalendar

January 17-20 Saint Augustine Film Festival
This four-day film festival featuring works from around the world and brings in various directors, producers and actors to discuss their works with high audience interaction. www.staugfilmfest.com

January 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Breakfast and Remembrance March
This event begins with a commemorative breakfast at the Mark Lance National Guard Armory starting at 7:30 a.m. The silent march begins at noon and ends at the Plaza de la Constitución, where there will be a guest speaker and presentation. www.mlkcelebrationcommittee.com

Along with hundreds of events during Nights of Lights, many local attractions offer special Nights of Lights tours. A list of the many tours and events can be viewed in the online calendar on www.NightsofLights.com

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