St. Augustine's Famed Nights of Lights Will Sparkle to Life Nov. 20th | Arts & Culture

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St. Augustine's Famed Nights of Lights Will Sparkle to Life Nov. 20th

The 17th annual edition of St. Augustine's famed Nights of Lights will sparkle to life at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 20 when the flick of a switch will illuminate the oldest city's historic district with the gentle glow of more than two million tiny, white lights. Selected last year by AAA as one of the 12 best places in the United States and Canada to experience holiday cheer and named this year as one of the top 100 events in the U.S. by the American Bus Association, the Nights of Lights provides a luminous setting for an exciting agenda of holiday events and fun through January 31.

During the nearly 250 years when St. Augustine served as the capital of Spanish La Florida, the residents marked the holiday season with a single white candle burning in a window at each home.  Today, the Nights of Lights continue that happy tradition in a grand style that reflects the city's 445 years of history. In addition to the enjoyment that comes from strolling the ancient streets lit by the glowing lights or enjoying the nightly reflection of lights on the waters of Matanzas Bay, both visitors and residents can enjoy a wide range of memorable events, including:

November 19 - January 2

WINTER WONDERLAND AT ST. AUGUSTINE AMPHITHEATRE

Winter Wonderland features a real ice skating rink, ice slide, Elf Express train rides, The Elf Village, sleigh rides and SNOW!  There are even scheduled visits from Santa.  St. Augustine Amphitheatre is located at 1340 A1A St. Augustine. Hours are November 19 through December 17, Monday through Thursday 4 to 10 p.m.; Fridays from 4 to 11 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m. and Sundays noon to 10 p.m.; and December 18 through January 2, Sunday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m. Admission is free with activity participation fees.    For more information, call 904.209.0367 or visit www.WinterWonderlandFlorida.com.  

November 19 & 20

HOLIDAY SHOPPES

Get extraordinary one-of-a-kind holiday gifts from hand-picked vendors at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach, 50 Executive Way.  Gifts for the whole family! Proceeds benefit the Center's art programs.  For more information, visit www.ccpvb.org or call 904.280.0614.

November 20 - January 31

17th ANNUAL NIGHTS OF LIGHTS CELEBRATION

Selected by AAA in 2009 as one of the 12 best events for holiday cheer in the U.S. and Canada and named one of the American Bus Association's top 100 destinations for 2011, Nights of Lights is a two-month long celebration of the Holiday Season.  More than two million tiny white lights glow along the ancient streets and historic buildings of the Nation's oldest city. Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a lighted white candle during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting in St. Augustine reflects the city's 445-year history while creating a beautiful setting for the holidays through January 31.  For more information, call 800.653.2489 or visit www.NightsofLights.com. 

November 26 & 27, December 18, 27- 30

CANDLE LIGHT TOURS OF VILLA ZORAYDA

Explore the beautiful Villa Zorayda, decorated for the Holiday season, featuring a Christmas tree in the "Court of Lions", decorated in the Villa's traditional red and gold and a beautiful crèche nativity scene that that has been a Villa tradition since the 1930s.  Starting at 6:30 p.m., enjoy refreshments of cookies and punch. Then the guided candlelight tour begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children 7 -12, children 4 -6 are free (not recommended for children under 3).  Villa Zorayda is located at 83 King Street in St. Augustine. Reservations are suggested. For more information, visit www.VillaZorayda.com or call 904.829.9887.

November 27 & 28

FALL ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL

See art created from lace to limestone and crayons to crystal.  Enjoy unplugged entertainment, plein air artists at work, and the Kids Art Zone. One of the region's most prestigious juried art festivals, it takes place at Francis Field behind the St. Augustine Downtown Historic Parking Facility located on West Castillo Drive in St. Augustine.  The festival is sponsored by the St. Augustine Art Association and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is a $1 donation.  For more information, call 904.824.2310 or visit www.staaa.org.

November 27 & January 29

UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT

Galleries, antique stores and unique shops on St. Augustine's San Marco Avenue between Ripley's Museum and the Mission of Nombre de Dios remain open from 5 to 9 p.m. and feature book signings, live music, refreshments and other activities. The Mission of Nombre de Dios provides FREE PARKING. For more information, call 904.823.9263.

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