Over three million lights throughout the historic district make up the extraordinary Nights of Lights display in St. Augustine.

Status of 2021 Nights of Lights/Holiday Events in St. Augustine

St. Augustine will absolutely light up each night for the 2020 holidays. Learn about which events are happening, which have changed, and which have been cancelled for 2020.

  • St. Augustine is getting ready to celebrate Nights of Lights 2020 when millions of lights will make the Historic Downtown sparkle from November 14, 2020, to January 31, 2021. Nights of Lights tours will be operating, some with some modifications, and you can find a list of these tours here.

    Open and Happening in St. Augustine

    • The lights were illuminated on November 14 and will stay up until January 31.
    • To enjoy the lights, you can take tours on land and the water, or simply walk around town.
    • While all of the events that draw thousands of people have been cancelled, many of the smaller events will happen this year. To see what's happening, go here.
    • Most restaurants are open, some at 100% capacity, others at 50%. Some have outdoor dining and some of those have heaters. We have a list in progress. To see that go here.

    What's Changed in 2020 Due to Covid?

    While St. Augustine will again light up the nights for the holiday season, some holiday events will continue as normal, others have been adjusted to allow for social distancing, and a few have been cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From restaurants to churches, and from carolers to tours, everyone in St. Augustine is working to provide a festive holiday season while keeping those who work here and those who visit as safe as possible. 

    Here is a list of holiday events, and changes or cancellations that have been made due to these interesting times.

    Visit here for complete information on Nights of Lights events.

    We are continuing to research the status of holiday and Nights of Lights events, and will post current information as soon as it is available.

    Updated on December 10, 2020.





  • Reviews

    Hi! Will the lights be lit all night Christmas Eve? Or will they be turned off early?

    Good morning, Heather. I contacted the City of St. Augustine to find out the answer and if I could reveal it. I can. The lights on Christmas Eve and any night through Nights of Lights remain on until 2:00 a.m. I presume elves turn them off each morning on their way to bed.

    We hope you enjoy our Nights of Lights in St. Augustine.

    Hi, I see the Beach Blast Off is cancelled, however I'm trying to find out if there will be any fireworks displays anywhere in the city for New Years Eve?

    Hi, Nicholas. 

    No, traditionally, the City Fireworks are in July, the Beach Fireworks are on New Year's Eve. There are no fireworks in either location because they have cancelled everything that would encourage big crowds to gather in one place. 

    Barb

    Is this a drive thru event and is there a map available online

    That's a great question, Lisa. The short answer, is there is no map for driving through St. Augustine to see the nights of lights and no official driving option. It is certainly possible, but I assure you the driver will not enjoy the lights or the driving on most of the busy nights. (After Christmas on a weekday may be better for that.) After living here for a few years, the best way to see the lights is to take one of the tours. Most of the land tours have spaced seating with plexiglass between the rows.Depending on the size of your party, going in a smaller electric vehicle, such as those offered by Gold Tours may be the best option.  Many of the water tours have voluntarily reduced the number of their passengers to allow more social distancing. Now, there is a drive-through tour a bit west of St. Augustine proper in the township of Elkton at Sykes Farm, where they have decorated their buildings, tractors, and other farm gear and offer a drive through tour. I hope this helps and that you get to see the lights in a way that is comfortable for you to do so.

    Will there be free park and ride for the Night of Lights?

    There is no park and ride with a free shuttle downtown this year. Most tour companies (trains, trolleys, and others) have free parking available while you are on their ride. Other than that, you have to find parking on your own.

    hank you for your inquiry. Sorry I couldn't offer better news.

    Hi, is there any celebration like fireworks show for New Year Eve?

    Thank you for your question, Yuriannis. The answer was on this page, and as a result of your question, I realized we didn't have a clear description of the event. Beach Blast Off, is the only local New Year's Eve fireworks celebration. It's usually presented by St. Augustine Beach and it has been cancelled for this year. I have edited the page for clarity.

    Do all the lights stay up through Jan 31? I’ll be arriving in St. Augustine on the 31st and am hoping to still get a tour that night. Should I try to change my plans to come earlier?

    Yes, the lights will remain lit through Januray 31. Enjoy!

    Will Santa mad Mrs Clause be setting up again for the children?

    Good morning, Denise. Unfortunately, Ancient City Tours will not be hosting Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves this year. We look forward to seeing them back in town next year and wish you well during the holidays.

    Thank you for all the updates Barbara! Can you recommend a NYE restaurant for families to attend this year? The Aviles at the Hilton looks nice. Thank you.

    Are the downtown shops still open? My wife and I are hoping to visit the week prior to Thanksgiving.

    What times are the lights on until on weekdays and weekends?

    There is no time listed for turning them out, but they are often lit well past midnight. Many businesses stay open later during the Nights of Lights. 

    The horse carriage ride through the town to see the lights. Anyone know if that is a go?? If so, anyone know the cost?

    Yes, the carriage rides are operating. You will have to check with them for pricing. Here are two links. https://www.visitstaugustine.com/thing-to-do/country-carriages  and  https://www.visitstaugustine.com/thing-to-do/southern-carriages

    We will be visiting Christmas Day; what will be open, what tours will be operating, etc on the 25th?

    Few attractions, shops, and tours are operating on Christmas Day, though the Old Town Trolley and Red Trains will have their tours for Nights of Lights after dark.  During the day, the Alligator Farm and the Midieval Torture Museum will be open, as will Escape U (with a reservation). Some restaurants will be open, mostly those who offer a holiday meal and reservations will be required. A few of the smaller, local eateries may be open as well as the ubiquitous national chains. Of course, if it's a nice day there are miles of beaches and a number of parks.

    Will shops and cafes be open xmas eve night?

    Most restaurants will be open at least through dinner, but many do close early on Christmas Eve. You will want to call to check. 

    I'm sure that stores will be open until at least 6:00 p.m. and some beyond. There will be sites to see, places to eat, and shops that are open on Christmas Eve, but many will close a bit earlier than they normally do.

    From what I see here the lights are still a go? Also, will there be shops and restaurants open to public during the Thanksgiving holiday? Specifically Nov. 24-28

    Yes, the lights will all be up by this Saturday. Some of the larger events, such as the lighting ceremony, the Christmas Parade, and the Regatta of Lights have been cancelled for this year. Many of the shops, attractions, and restaurants will be operating on Thanksgiving. All of them will be open for the rest of your trip.

    We plan to be in St Augustine the week of the 26th through the 30th. Will the lights still be up then? Do you have to use a tour to view the lights or can you just walk around to view them? Also, will the Light house be open? Will restaurants and shops be open that week? Thank you for your help with these questions.

    Hi Ann,

    That's a lovely time to visit. The lights remain lit through January 31 so you are sure to see them. And yes, simply walking around (including out on the Bridge of Lions) is a great way to view them. I always walk through Lincolnville, too, to see the homes that have colorful decorations. and lights. Right now, the lighthouse, most restaurants, and all shops are open for business. We have no reason to expect a change at this time.

    We wish you a lovely holiday,

    Barb

    What time will the lights be turned on?
    Thanks

    There will be no ceremony, so no actually posted time. The lights will be shining after dark on Saturday, November 14th. 

    I see the list of events that have been cancelled in St Augustine this December 2020.
    Will the city and business' be displaying light for walking tours and trolley tours?

    Absolutely. The lights will all be lit by November 14 and most of the Trolley, Train, and water tours will start that day. 

    Just trying to find out if you will have the Christmas lights this year or if everything has been cancelled before we travel there

    The lights will shine beginning November 14 and will stay lit through January 31. The larger events have been cancelled, but shops and restaurants are open and tours are taking place by land and by sea.

    is the largest garage sale still on in early November, or canceled too?

    Absolutely! It takes place on Saturday, November 21 this year. Enjoy.

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Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2020

Barbara Hart

Originally from Maine, Barbara arrived in St.Augustine in 2015, after a 5-year Atlantic cruise. Now that St. Augustine is "home," Barb still enjoys acting like a tourist — something she excelled at when she was a cruising sailor.