Jekyll Island is ready to jingle all the way this holiday season! Throughout November and December, the Island comes alive with the holiday spirit to host a calendar full of seasonal merriment.
Our celebrations kick-off with the Jekyll Island Christmas Tree Lighting Festival, held November 24 in the National Historic Landmark District. During this annual festival, families enjoy a variety of seasonal activities, including candle making, carriage rides and Christmas card decorating. Live music, art vendors and delicious food are also a main part of the annual fest. And naturally, Ol’ St. Nick will be attending the celebrations to ring in the season. As the sun sets over the Island, the festival centerpiece- the spectacular Christmas tree- will be lit to officially begin a bright holiday season.
The Christmas Tree Lighting Festival will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. November 24, with all activities taking place in the Jekyll Island Historic District in front of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Entry to the Festival is free, though some activities require a nominal fee.
Stay after the tree has started to shine for our inaugural Motown Experience Christmas Concert. This remarkable musical showcase combines Motown’s greatest hits with all the favorite seasonal tunes. Hosted by comedian Joe Nipote, the Motown Christmas Experience presents a powerful show of choreography set to holiday classics and impressive harmonies, making it the perfect complement to the Christmas Tree Lighting Festival.
Held November 24 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center, the concert opens its doors at 7 p.m. and music will start at 8:15 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit the Concert web site at www.amotownchristmas.com.
In the days following the tree lighting, the Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District transforms to its Golden Age, with Jekyll Island’s historic buildings glowing in holiday garlands, wreaths and decor. Jekyll Island’s “Holidays in History” tours are a seasonal staple where both guests and residents can take a step back in time and explore the Island’s past life. The “Holidays in History” specialty- themed tours will be held continually from December 1 to 31.
Additionally, professional interpreters will don period piece costumes and lead the separate “Century of Celebrations” specialty tours on December 1 and 8. Both seasonal tour options from the Jekyll Island Museum staff will provide a unique glimpse into the Island’s historic district and the characters who created the original Jekyll Island Club. For more information and tour times, visit the Jekyll Island web site.
On December 8, Jekyll will jog up a jingle for CASA’s annual Jingle All the Way run. This USATF certified race features a 5K course and a fun run to accommodate athletes in all skill levels. Now in its 3rd year, the run is a fundraiser for CASA, a child advocacy non-profit organization rooted in Glynn County.
The Jingle All the Way Run will begin at 9 a.m. December 8, at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. For additional information and to register, visit the Casa Jingle All the Way web site, www.casajinglealltheway5k.com.
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center will also contribute to the weeks of Jekyll Island holiday splendor with the Santa and the Sea Turtles Sea-son’s Greeting Spectacular. Being held December 15, this special turtle-based event brings a very familiar face into the center: the Jolly Man Himself. Santa Claus will meet with good boys and girls to hear their holiday wishes, and guests can try their hand at making holiday ornaments in the arts-and-crafts section. While at the Center, guests will be able to visit with the Center’s shelled patients to hear their holiday stories and learn about our delicate coastal eco-system.
Santa and the Sea Turtles Sea-son’s Greeting Spectacular will be held from noon to 3 p.m. December 15 at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. For more information, visit the Center’s web site, www.georgiaseaturtlecenter.org.