Jacksonville’s annual tree lighting ceremony will be a virtual event Tuesday evening, Dec. 8.

Patricia is one of the dogs available for adoption at the Jacksonville Humane Society.
Jacksonville Humane Society

Beginning on Black Friday, Nov. 27, and running through Sunday, Nov. 29, all adoptions at the Jacksonville Humane Society (JHS) and city-run Animal Care and Protective Services (ACPS) will be free. 

Two storm systems could affect outdoor plans across the Sunshine State this holiday weekend, with the latter potentially being more disruptive to those with travel plans Sunday or Monday.

While holiday travel is expected to decline this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Highway Patrol is out in force this week on interstates and major highways, focusing on speeders, seat-belt violations and impaired drivers.

Last year, Florida had more than 10,000 traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving travel period, which starts on the Friday before Thanksgiving and continues through the Sunday after the holiday. Those crashes led to 392 serious bodily injuries and 98 deaths.

What can we say about a year unlike any other? 2020 will forever be known for a divisive election, the toll of coronavirus, and economic hard times. Many are glad this challenging year is nearly over. But while a global pandemic and deep recession have changed all of our lives, one thing that hasn’t changed is the joy of the holiday season and the enduring spirit of giving.

Pictured is the fireworks display that took place immediately following the 2019 Downtown Jacksonville boat parade.

Jacksonville kicks off the holiday season next Saturday, November 28, with the annual Light Boat Parade along the St. Johns River.

David Luckin / WJCT

Two Northeast Florida beach cities are taking different approaches to the holidays.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Are there a bunch of Scrooges in Florida or here on the First Coast?


Every Christmas Eve, Santa Claus flies around the world in his magic sleigh, delivering presents to good little boys and girls.

City of Jacksonville

The city isn’t letting the demolition of The Jacksonville Landing interrupt its Downtown holiday traditions.


There’s certainly no shortage of holiday fun across the First Coast this Thanksgiving week. Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest events on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday across the First Coast.

Rob Bixby / Flickr

With New Year’s Eve and the Taxslayer Bowl fast approaching, there’s plenty to do downtown between now and the end of the year. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars, Publix, PepsiCo, Pajcic and Pajcic and more than 20 First Coast area nonprofits are joining together to make the holidays brighter.

Bill Bortzfield/WJCT News

79 First Coast children will have a brighter Christmas thanks to the kindness of others.

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristopher Regan / U.S. Navy

Santa is making the rounds across the First Coast.

Beaches Museum

The Beaches Museum & History Park is going all out for the holidays.



There is much to do and enjoy during the week of Thanksgiving. Jacksonville and the surrounding areas will host events for everyone to partake in during the holiday weekend.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

We've noticed Christmas displays are already popping up around town, including this one at the St. Johns Town Center. What do you think? Is it too soon?

Andre Roman / WJCT News

With the holidays around the corner, Amazon customers can take advantage of Amazon Locker service available to ensure protection against package theft.

If you envision having the best lighted holiday display on the planet this year, Duke Energy can tell you how much you’ll likely spend on electricity.

The utility’s Holiday Lighting Calculator lets you enter the kind of lights you have and how many strings you plan to use and then tells you what all that light’s probably gonna cost you.

Say you want to outline your house in lights, and you want to turn them on 7 hours a night for a month.

Rob Bixby / Flickr

The Christmas season seems to start earlier every year, and 2015 is no exception. The Avenues Mall and the St. Johns Town Center kicked things off with Santa's Arrival and the Holiday Spectacular, and St. Augustine Night of Lights and Jax Illuminations begin this weekend. Here is WJCT’s list of holiday events happening in Northeast Florida.

Tree Lightings & Light Displays

St. Augustine Nights of Lights

Nov. 21 - Jan. 31

Closed sign
Liz Ferla via Flickr

Most Jacksonville city offices and buildings are closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Those include

  • City Hall,
  • Duval County Tax Collector's office 
  • Duval County Property Appraiser’s office
  • County courthouses
  • Duval County Supervisor of Elections office

Also closed are all community and senior centers managed by the city, all library branches, the Ritz Theatre and the Tillie Fowler Park Nature Center.

1904 Music Hall / Facebook

Looking for somewhere to be this New Year's Eve? Look no further because we've got some options for having a good time and getting home safely.

Magic Madzik / Twitter

Saturday night, a beloved holiday tradition will take place on the First Coast.

Escaped convicts, downtown Jacksonville, and The Satanic Temple are in the headlines today.

J.B. Hill / Flickr

The holiday season is supposed to be fun and joyous, yet for many it is one of the most difficult times of the year. 

School grades, Union Cty. Sheriff Jerry Whitehead, and Pastafarians are in the headlines today.

asenat29 / Flickr

Many children looking for a home will get one this year because of a First Coast holiday tradition.

Jason Eppink / Flickr

It's the time of the season for holiday workplace parties, and one local attorney wants to make sure you keep your job, and keep your record clean this year.

Karen Feagins / Instagram

A unique holiday concert with events around the world is taking place this weekend, including a return engagement in Jacksonville.