Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration – Saturday, Nov 28

Editor’s Note: The annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration will take place at the foot of Centre Street Saturday, November 28. The following information is received from the City of Fernandina Beach website, and various Facebook posts.

Christmas Tree LightingJoin the City of Fernandina Beach for the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree on Saturday, November 28th. There will be arts and crafts, pirates making smores and food vendors beginning at 1:00pm. Santa will be on site to take pictures from 3pm – 5pm and there will be Christmas tunes playing all day long.

The tree lighting will have an extra flare this year because when we turn on the tree, we will also unveil the downtown building lights that were installed in conjunction with Dickens on Centre. Be there to see downtown like you have never seen it before!!!

– 1:00pm – Vendors open to the public
– 3:00pm – Santa arrives
– 3:00pm – 5:00pm – Santa available for pictures
– 5:00pm – 5:55pm – Live music/caroling
– 6:00pm – Welcome message from Mayor-elect Johnny Miller
– 6:05pm – Tree lighting
– 6:05pm – 6:15pm – Caroling

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Another Book Sale Record! $14,200 for Fernandina Beach Library

Submitted by Wilma Allen
Friends of the Library
Communications Chair

November 27, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Volunteers staff the check out line during the November FOL Book Sale.
Volunteers staff the check out line during the November FOL Book Sale.

On top of last spring’s record breaking book sale, book lovers flocked to Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library’s (FOL) Fall Sale two weeks ago and scooped up enough bargain books, DVDs, and other items to generate another record – $14,200+ for Library programs. “Since almost everything is priced at $2.00 or less, this is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Annie Sparkle, FOL book sale chairman. Proceeds from the semi-annual book sales are a major part of FOL’s annual grants to the Nassau County Library System for use in the Fernandina Beach Branch.

Last year’s donation purchased specialized databases, network access, books, e-books, periodicals, and other materials. According to Sparkle, more than 20,000 books and other Continue reading

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Black Friday PJ Party Friday, November 27 Centre Street Fernandina

Media Release
November 25, 2015 10:00 am.

Pajamas Charlie 2-1_ResolutionPlus
Photo courtesy of Charlie Hutchins

The Historic Fernandina Business Association and Pajama Life will be hosting its annual Black Friday Pajama Party & Costume Party in dowtown Fernandina. Downtown merchants will be offering special discounts and refreshments for shoppers. Dress in pajamas and enter the pajama contest. Prizes will be given for the best individual, best Continue reading

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Fernandina Little Theatre presents “A Christmas Carol” – Dec 5 – 12

Media Release
November 27, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Christmas Carol
Scrooge receives a frightening visit from the ghost of his deceased partner Jacob Marley, in Fernandina Little Theatre’s production of the classic holiday favorite, “A Christmas Carol.”

Fernandina Little Theatre will present the classic holiday favorite, “A Christmas Carol,” based on the novella by Charles Dickens, Dec 5-12. Arguably his most well-known story, this lively, contemporary adaptation is directed by Amelia Hart, and features an ensemble cast including Annette Rawls, Doris Davis, Doug Nemeth, Isabella Homans, Karen Continue reading

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Adkins to file local bill revising port charter

Press Release
Submitted by Joseph Zimmerman

November 26, 2015 9:50 a.m.

Janet AdkinsFernandina Beach, Florida. State Representative Janet Adkins announced that she will propose a local bill that will make changes to the charter for the local Ocean, Highway and Port Authority.

“After taking time to listen to people from all sides of the county and the members of the Port Authority, I believe that changes to the Port Charter are essential to move Nassau County forward,” said Adkins.

“While there is significant community conversation underway, the speed of progress is beginning to impact economic development for the entire county. It is essential that all levels of government come together to craft a solution that benefits both the community goals, and support the long term growth of the port. I believe we are at a critical juncture of the process and need to Continue reading

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A gift from WestRock to help those in need

Submitted by Susan Hardee Steger
November 25, 2015 1:00 a.m.


Wanda Lanier, executive director of Barnabas and Colin Campbell, WestRock’s community relations manager gather with WestRock employees.

A Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings will be delivered to families in need thanks to Barnabas and the generosity of WestRock and its employees.   WestRock supplied 76 turkeys (18 pounds each), and Barnabas gathered the trimmings.

“Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate the gifts we have and WestRock and its employees Continue reading

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Little known facts about Thanksgiving

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
November 25, 2015 1:00 a.m.

T-birdFirst Fact:  The Fernandina Observer will issue an abbreviated Weekly Update on the Friday following Thanksgiving Day, so that our staff may also enjoy the holiday. But our website will up and available for reading throughout the holiday weekend.

And now for some little known facts about Thanksgiving, courtesy

  1. The famous pilgrim celebration at Plymouth Colony Massachusetts in 1621 is traditionally regarded as the first American Thanksgiving. However, there are actually 12 claims to where the “first” Thanksgiving took place: two in Texas, two in Florida, one in Maine, two in Virginia, and five in Massachusetts.


  1. Thanksgiving is an amalgam of different traditions, including ancient harvest festivals, the religious New England Puritan Thanksgiving, the traditional harvest celebrations of England and New England, and changing political and ideological assumptions of Native Americans.

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CBC National Bank of Fernandina announces acquisition

Press Release
Submitted by Michael Brooks
VP & Chief Marketing Officer

November 24, 2015 10:00 a.m.

First Avenue National Bank of Ocala to Merge with CBC National Bank of Fernandina Beach

FNB Merger LogoCoastal Banking Company Inc., (OTCQX: CBCO), the holding company of CBC National Bank (“CBCNB”), which operates branches in Fernandina Beach, Fla., Beaufort and Port Royal, S.C., announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire First Avenue National Bank of Ocala, Florida (“First Avenue”). Upon completion of the merger, Coastal Banking Company Inc. (“Coastal”) expects to merge First Avenue’s operations into CBCNB.

First Avenue, headquartered in Ocala, Fla., was founded in 2006 and operates two Continue reading

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Fernandina Municipal Airport – An opinion

Submitted by Lou Goldman 
November 24, 2015 6:00 a.m.

FOpinions_-Smaller-Cropped-300x108Over two years ago 8 Flags Aviation approached the City with a request to lease space for a second FBO at the airport. 8 Flags wanted to go on the north side of the field next to the current FBO where there is existing ramp space, land for a building and available infrastructure. The City wanted 8 Flags to lease on the east side of the airport where there is no access or infrastructure. The negotiations went on for a long time and gave the appearance of the City dragging their heels to allow a second FBO on the airport. The issue was presented to the FAA and the City received a letter from the FAA saying that a private company cannot have a monopoly on the airport and that the City had to deal with 8 Flags.

Now, it gets a little convoluted and the short story is- the City decided they wanted a Continue reading

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Barnabas Center recipient of Women’s Giving Alliance funding

Media Release
November 23, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Women's Giving AllianceAt its Annual Meeting today, the Women’s Giving Alliance (WGA) announced $395,000 in grants to five Northeast Florida organizations providing mental health services to women and girls in the region. The grants are part of WGA’s five-year, research-based focus on funding mental health services for women and girls in Northeast Florida, a recognition that community mental health support can create a foundation for women and girls to flourish.

“Today, we’re continuing our commitment to make major investments toward WGA’s vision of transforming the way that Northeast Florida addresses the needs of its women and girls,” said Paula Liang, Women’s Giving Alliance president. “This year’s grantees Continue reading

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