Thanksgiving day in Jacksonville
- SWATHI RAMASWAMY
- UPDATED May 09, 2018
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Thanksgiving is the harbinger of what America regards and refers to as 'the holiday season'. Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year, is indeed the perfect day to start the Christmas celebrations. The beginnings are humble, in traditional family dinners with the turkey occupying a special place at the table. But roasting a turkey eats up too much of the time reserved for family, and as the holiday kicks off, many families find themselves making vacation plans to get away to local siestas in order to fully enjoy, without having to deal with the hassle of preparation.
Jacksonville offers one such great destination. The beach weather feels amazing for people traveling from colder areas as the Florida sun warms them up in the day. The beach city, known for its live music and great entertainment, does not disappoint during the festive season. Here is a range of things-to-do at Jacksonville during Turkey Day, and after:
WinterFEST at the Beach
The WinterFEST at Adventure Landing in Jacksonville beach held from November to January promises some fun time for all families willing to spend Thanksgiving drenched in Adventure. The festival captures winter in its true spirit, bringing the goodness of snow to Florida and a range of winter activities with artificial snowfalls every night, an outdoor ice rink for ice-skating, and delicacies like roasted s’mores to feast on. There is a beautiful alpine village for people to wander in. The most thrilling experience of all is offered by the 130 feet long ice slide, known as the Alpine Racer which calls forth both tourists and locals for some well-needed winter adventure.
There is no better way to herald in the Christmas season than with watching Bruce Allen Scudder's 'Christmas Carole’, while feasting on gourmet food and sipping on a drink. The Alhambra Theatre and Dining presents this unique arrangement comprising theatre, dinner, and drinks, providing the perfect opportunity for the spectators to get into the holiday spirit. 'Christmas Carole’ is usually performed from November 22nd, from Thanksgiving Day, to the December 24th, that is, till the Christmas Eve. The Alhambra is a favourite destination during the holidays season.
Heading over to Pete’s Bar for Thanksgiving Day celebrations is a staple for people for more than 25 years. A lot of people show up at the quaint neighbourhood of Neptune Beach on the day of the Thanksgiving feast. There is a range of food, drinks and live music available which promises a lot of fun for any patron. If you find yourself at Jacksonville during Turkey Day, do not forget to visit this famous bar and enjoy the tradition.
The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Thanksgiving is regarded as the day from which the festivities start and the holiday season begins. Nothing implies Christmas more than the lighting of one of the largest Christmas trees in the city of Jacksonville at a grand ceremony involving fun and frolic. The 56 foot long Christmas tree is adorned with more than 100 ornaments is also made energy-efficient with the use of over 78,000 LED lights. There is live music showcasing the local talent at Jacksonville. This ceremony held on November 24th starts off an array of free nightly tree-lighting festivals in the city that go on until New Year’s Eve.
Deck the Chairs at the Beach
Jacksonville is a city on the beach promising seaside fun, but safety is high up in the cards as well. To commemorate this idea, more than 20 American Red Cross Life Guard chairs are decorated with lights and decorations in Downtown Jacksonville Beach. The festivities kick off on the day after Thanksgiving, with chair decoration, provisions for Hot Cocoa, various light ceremonies and events.
Few other places are as famous for Holiday shopping as the St. John's Town Centre in Jacksonville. Festivity shopping begins in mid-November, through Thanksgiving and Christmas and carries on till December. 'Tis the season of gift giving and there can be no better place to buy quality things at reasonable prices. The deal is made sweeter with various holiday discounts making it possible for all to buy gifts of loved ones for Christmas.
Jacksonville has its own quaint charm in the celebration of Thanksgiving as can be seen through the events discussed. It is the perfect weekend getaway for those willing to spend Thanksgiving weekend with family but away from home, an escape from the monotony of daily life.