Amelia Island Area’s Best Family-Friendly Events: April 21-27, 2017

This week you can enjoy the fun of an old-fashioned festival and parade celebrating railroad days gone by in Callahan; see a race featuring 100 go-karts; help with Earth Day cleanup efforts; or adopt a pet at Nassau County’s first-ever Adopt-A-Palooza.

Read about these events and more in this week’s Top 10 list of local family-friendly events, but don’t forget there are MANY more events for your family on Amelia Island, in Jacksonville and beyond, which you can see in our Special Events Calendar. We also have a separate calendar for the events offered every week, such as library story times, and of course we still have our popular Kids Eat Free calendar. If you prefer to see all of these events in one place, we also have a Master Calendar.

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The Fernandina Beach Pirate Parade will kick off the 2017 Shrimp Festival

The 2017 Fernandina Beach Pirate Parade will kick off a weekend of fun on Thursday, May 4.

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Mamamelia’s Top 10 Event Picks for the Week Ahead

1) 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday: 12th Annual Railroad Days Festival / Callahan

One of the most exciting events of the year in Callahan is back, with a parade, model trains, caboose tours,car show, arts, crafts and food vendors. Shriners Railroad Days Parade kicks off at 11 a.m.  A kids’ zone will be offered 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and includes bounce houses, games and a photo booth. For more information, visit or call (904) 879-3406.

2) 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday: Nassau County Animal Services and the Nassau Humane Society Adopt-A-Palooza / Fernandina Beach

Nassau County Animal Services and the Nassau Humane Society are teaming up for the first-ever Adopt-A-Palooza at NCAS’s location near the Fernandina Municipal Airport. They’re trying to find forever homes for sweet pets, who can be adopted at reduced prices at this special event. There will also be free food and drinks, special activities and a bounce house for kids and lots of snuggle time with the adoptable pets. All animals are spayed, neutered and microchipped and vaccinated. RSVP on the Facebook event page at this link.

3) 6 p.m. Saturday: Callahan Speedway Go-Karts Race / Callahan

Over 100 go carts will compete at Callahan Speedway tonight in a final championship points race. Practice starts at 3 p.m., racing starts at 6 p.m. Admission is $10 per person (6 years & Under FREE). The speedway is across from the Northeast Florida Fairgrounds on US 1. For more information, call 904-254-7085.


4) 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday: St. Marys River Cleanup Event / Various Locations

The 20th Annual St. Marys River Clean Up will be held this Saturday, April 22 from 9-11
a.m. Come celebrate Earth Day by volunteering to help clean up our St. Marys River. This is the 20th Anniversary of the annual event. Pick the location nearest to you and sign up on the St. Marys Riverkeeper Facebook page or at Come and be a part of helping the river remain fishable, swimmable and drinkable. An hour after volunteering, river clean up volunteers ONLY are invited to White Oak Plantation for a volunteer appreciation event! You must have a wrist band to enter White Oak, no exceptions. Wrist bands will be passed out at each clean up site. At this unique Earth Day event volunteers will receive free hot dogs, refreshments and the chance to meet with conservation partners and special guests!
For more volunteering information, call (912) 673-7150.

5) 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday: Jax Landing Earth Day Celebration / Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Landing welcomes families including pets to celebrate Earth Day. This FREE celebration will include: Earth-friendly vendors, an Artisans Market, a Kids’ Play Zone, Animal Encounters (chickens, guinea pigs, bunnies, goats, sheep, a calf and others),  a Rocking Climbing Wall, the Jax Kids’ Mural Festival Painting, River Walking Tours and more. There also will be live entertainment on the main stage, prize giveaways and more.


Summer-House-Realty6) Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23: National Parks FREE Entrance Day / Nationwide

“America’s Best Idea” — the national parks — is even better when it’s free, and they’re free to enter April 22-23 in honor of the National Park Week. Local national parks include Cumberland Island in St. Marys; Fort Caroline in Jax; Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island; and Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas in St. Augustine.

7) 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday: Healthy Kids Day at Baseball Grounds of Jax / Jacksonville

The First Coast YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, hosted at  the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in partnership with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, is a fun event to kick off the summer. This FREE event includes: bounce houses, games for kids, info about YMCA camps and more.

8) 6 to 8 p.m. Friday: “Women of the American Revolution: Lost Voices of America’s First Generation” at Amelia Island Museum of History / Fernandina Beach

Amelia Island Museum of History invites you to attend Dr. Roger Smith’s presentation, Women of the American Revolution: Lost Voices of America’s First Generation. This talk is about some of the most amazing, yet little-known, participants in the American Revolution, gathered from various collections of reports about women from each colony, of all races, free and enslaved. These women dared to resist the “norms” of 18th-century western culture in order to stand for their beliefs and their rights. This program is free for museum members with a suggested donation of $5 for non-members. Seating is first-come/first-served. For more information contact Gray at 261-7378 ext 102, or Amelia Island Museum of History 233 S. 3rd St.


9) 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday: Fernandina Beach Christian Academy’s 1st Annual Cook-Off – Team Chili vs. Team Mac / Fernandina Beach

Not your ordinary cook-off! Teams serve their chili or mac-n-cheese and compete to see who’s the fan favorite…Team Chili or Team Mac? Individual prizes also awarded to the teams voted by local “celebrity” judges. A fun & yummy family night out on Amelia Island! Tickets are $5/person for entry into the event plus 5 tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets available at the event. Children 3 & under are FREE. Tickets will also be on sale at the door. Questions? Call the FBCA Main Office at (904)491-5664.

** Also at Faith Christian Academy TONIGHT:

6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday (TONIGHT, April 20): Faith Christian Academy Open House / Fernandina Beach

Open House Celebration!  Please join FCA on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at the location of their Upper School on the campus of New Life Baptist in Yulee.  Join them between 6:30pm and 8:00pm for a time of food, fellowship and fun.  Pizza will be served, along with Kona ice.  Bounce houses will be there, too!  Bring the whole family.

10) Today, April 20, through Sunday, April 23: Broadway Spectacular: A Musical Review / Fernandina Beach

Over 100 people, ages 7-70, from all over Nassau County are involved in this production featuring several favorite Broadway shows at Fernandina Beach Middle School. (See flyer below for more details).

Broadway Spectacular

Don’t forget this is just a roundup of our top 10 local family-friendly events. There are many more events listed in our special events calendar. Thanks for reading! ~ Mamamelia

Do you know about an event that should be on Mamamelia’s calendar? Tell us about it! This website is managed by busy moms on a bare-bones budget, so it’s a huge help when folks drop us a note about an event when it’s not already on the calendar. If you hear about a great local family-friendly event, send us an email at, message us on Facebook or use the “Submit an Event” link on the website to make sure it gets added to the calendar.

A special thank you to all of the sponsors who help keep Mamamelia going! Please consider using these great local businesses, including:

  • Two Sisters Travel Agency: Whether you’re planning the trip of a lifetime or a quick family getaway, Ginger Joiner can help you find the deals and details that will make it spectacular.
  • Surf Asylum: This fantastic Amelia Island-based business empowers boys and girls to learn to surf and understand water safety, as the two must go hand-in-hand. Offerings include lessons, summer camp, birthday parties and more!
  • Summer House Realty: Offering local and residential commercial real estate as well as rental properties. Call Licensed Realtor Kristi Garber at 904-335-7512.


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