Nights of Lights Sets the Stage for Festive Holiday Performances

Florida’s Historic Coast is the epicenter for music, theater, and celebrations this holiday season

St. Augustine, Fla. (November 28, 2023) – With millions of twinkle lights illuminating the Nation’s Oldest City, people flock from around the world to take in the splendor of the holiday season on Florida’s Historic Coast. While the 30th Annual Nights of Lights festival is not to be missed, there are several performances that celebrate in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra this holiday season.

The performances begin on December 2 with the 66th Annual St. Augustine Christmas Parade. This traditional, family-friendly parade features floats, horses, carriages, cars, and even Santa, begins at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission of Nombre de Dios and proceeds through the city. After the parade, grab a photo with Santa at the Plaza de la Constitución. Then, on December 3, enjoy a free community concert at the Plaza’s Gazebo.

Vilano Beach will host an entire month of activities at the Vilano Holiday Village featuring visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus and live performances. It begins with the tree lighting on December 2, then on December 9, a book fair with Carol Aebersold, author of the popular “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” will be featured. On December 16 an artisan market with a live performance by pianist Jeremy Weinglass will take place. On December 23, Cirque Adventure: Elf Christmas, an aerial and acrobatic show set to holiday tunes will entertain all.

On December 8, the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center will host an evening of joyful celebration at their annual Holiday Soiree. Enjoy food, fun, and live performances from vocalist Terry Graham, pianist Donna Zerbato, and folk guitarist David Reed.

When Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed on the shores of St. Augustine in September of 1565, his mission’s priest conducted what was to be the first parish mass in the New World. Today, a small mission chapel stands in honor of Our Lady of La Leche. On December 16, the public is welcome to participate in “Noches de Navidad” and Las Posadas which features a live Nativity, and a 16th-century Spanish procession of “Las Posadas”. Reservations are required.

Traditional Choral performances include the December 1, the Chamber Singers, Osprey Treble, and Coro Profundo ensemble groups for “A Choral Christmas” with the UNF Choirs ,at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. Their rousing renditions will have guests singing along. For those who prefer to pair their music with art, the Cathedral Basilica in historic St. Augustine offers free classical concerts during the popular First Friday Art Walk, hosted on December 1.

The St. Augustine Community Chorus’ jubilant singers offer three performances.  Christmas Joy, takes place December 9 and 10 at the Cathedral Basilica in St. Augustine. Then, on December 17, the choir performs its annual rendition of Handel’s The Messiah at the Memorial Lutheran Church.

On December 17, St. Augustine’s Community Orchestra provides the Sounds of the Season at beautiful Kelly Farm. Orchestral arrangements include holiday classics like “Sleigh Ride,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “Carol of the Bells”.  The rich wood interior of the barn space provides a Christmas-time country setting.  

The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall is pleased to welcome jazz guitarist Peter White for A Peter White Christmas 20th Anniversary, featuring Mindi Abair and Vincent Ingala. White’s 20th Anniversary performance takes place on December 6.

On December 9 and 10, the St. Augustine Winter Spectacular, a family-friendly production follows the story of a young girl’s journey home for the holidays takes place at Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College. Then on December 12, the Emma Concert Association  presents Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops Concert.

The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall is pleased to welcome jazz guitarist Peter White for A Peter White Christmas 20th Anniversary, featuring Mindi Abair and Vincent Ingala. White’s 20th Anniversary performance takes place on December 6.

On December 9 and 10, the St. Augustine Winter Spectacular, a family-friendly production follows the story of a young girl’s journey home for the holidays takes place at Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College. Then on December 12, the Emma Concert Association  presents Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops Concert. Benefit) What do I want them to do here?

Also taking place at Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, St. Augustine Ballet’s annual performance of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, the classic story of Clara and her journey into the Land of Snow with the Nutcracker Prince takes place December 15 through 17.

And, on December 20 and 21, Zoika’s Dance School, will perform Christmas Fantastique, a modern interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s beloved The Nutcracker. This fusion of classical ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and other modern dance and music creates a new interpretation of the timeless work.

On December 30 and 31, performances at the Lewis Auditorium wrap up with the First Coast Opera’s presentation of Puccini’s La Bohème.

December 7-16, Limelight Theater presents Erin Vogel’s “The Trouble with Traditions: A Holiday Detour.” It follows the story of the Novak family, whose Christmas tradition of having dinner on Christmas Eve. When Richard Novak finds out his family plans on skipping this year for a theatre play, he becomes desperate to keep their tradition alive.

The St. Augustine Amphitheater will feature a free movie night on December 15, showing the modern classic, “Elf,” starring Will Ferrell as the indomitably cheery Buddy. A donation of a non-perishable food item is requested. Then, on December 18, an ensemble of actors from Apex Theater Studios perform a live radio performance of the holiday favorite, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  

December 17, at the historic Waterworks enjoy storytelling at Deck the Halls with Holiday Stories. Talented performers, including Debra Weller, known as “Mrs. Sunshine Santa Claus” will delight children and adults with stories, songs, dancing, and cookies.

Florida’s Historic Coast is bursting with holiday cheer. No matter how you celebrate the holiday season, there’s an event for you. Find out what the magic of the season is all about in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and The Beaches. Images to accompany the story are available here (access code is NOL 2021).

Located midway between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida’s Historic Coast includes historic St. Augustine, the outstanding golf and seaside elegance of Ponte Vedra, the rural beauty of Hastings, Elkton, St. Johns, and 42 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches. For information call 1-800-653-2489 or go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com and www.ViajaStAugustine.com

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