Jekyll Island along Georgia’s coast is a captivating destination year-round. While our serene beaches and maritime forests are attractions that guests seek out regardless of the time of year, what adds an extra layer of charm to this island paradise are its annual events. From cultural celebrations to outdoor adventures, Jekyll Island’s event calendar is brimming with activities for every taste. Here are some of the top annual events that make a visit to Jekyll Island truly unforgettable.
January 1 – February 29, 2024
An exciting annual event that captivates both locals and visitors alike. Held during the winter months, this unique island tradition involves the deliberate hiding of handcrafted glass floats and other artistic treasures along Jekyll Island’s shores. Treasure hunters of all ages flock to the beaches, each hoping to stumble upon these beautiful and coveted pieces of art. It’s a blend of exploration, art appreciation, and community engagement, making Island Treasures a cherished event that adds an extra layer of enchantment to the island’s natural beauty.
Jekyll Island Arts Festival
March 10-12, 2023 (2024 dates TBA)
Celebrate the island’s artistic spirit at the Jekyll Island Arts Festival. Local and regional artists showcase their talent through a diverse array of visual arts. It’s a wonderful opportunity to appreciate and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces while enjoying the island’s scenic beauty.
Turtle Crawl Triathlon
April 29, 2023 (2024 dates TBA)
If you’re a fitness enthusiast, the Turtle Crawl Triathlon is a must-do. This race takes you on a scenic journey through the island’s paved bike paths, pristine beaches, and maritime forests. It’s a challenging yet rewarding experience set against the backdrop of Jekyll’s natural beauty.
Independence Day Fireworks
July 4, 2024
Independence Day is a magical time to visit Jekyll Island. As the sun sets over the Atlantic Ocean, the island’s skies come alive with a brilliant display of colors, illuminating the pristine beaches and surrounding maritime forests. Families, friends, and visitors gather along the shore, sharing the joy of this patriotic celebration. It’s a time-honored tradition that embodies the spirit of freedom and community on this enchanting coastal haven, making Independence Day on Jekyll Island a truly unforgettable experience.
Tortuga Jack’s Tiki Hut Summer Concert Series
May – September (2024 dates TBA)
For those seeking a laid-back musical experience, the Tiki Hut Summer Concert Series at Tortuga Jack’s is a must. This outdoor venue hosts a variety of live music acts, from reggae to rock, all set against the backdrop of the beach.
Shrimp & Grits Festival
November 3-4, 2023 (2024 dates TBA)
Kickstart the fall season on Jekyll Island with the annual Shrimp & Grits Festival, a food lover’s dream! Local Jekyll Island restaurants showcase their culinary prowess, serving up delicious variations of this southern classic. Beyond the food, you’ll find live music, arts and crafts vendors, and a charming coastal atmosphere.
Paulk Cup Golf Classic
October 26-27, 2023 (2024 dates TBA)
The Paulk Cup Golf Classic is an annual event that brings together golf enthusiasts and community supporters on Jekyll Island. Named in honor of its founder, the late Glynn Paulk, this tournament is not just about the love of golf but also about giving back to the community. It’s a day of camaraderie, friendly competition, and philanthropy, where participants tee off on Jekyll Island’s picturesque courses, all while contributing to local charitable causes.
Labor Day Weekend
August 31 – September 2, 2024
Labor Day on Jekyll Island is a joyful celebration of summer’s end and a fitting farewell to the season. Families and friends gather on the island’s pristine beaches for one last sun-soaked hurrah, relishing picnics, beach games, and relaxation. Enjoy live music, and various family-friendly activities. The highlight of the day is the spectacular beachfront fireworks display that lights up the night sky, casting its colorful reflection on the tranquil waters. It’s the perfect way to bid farewell to summer.
Holly Jolly Jekyll
November 24, 2023 – January 7, 2024
Holly Jolly Jekyll is a festive 2 1/2 month-long holiday extravaganza that transforms Jekyll Island into a winter wonderland. The event typically spans the holiday season, offering an array of family-friendly activities and merry festivities. Visitors can expect to find beautifully adorned Christmas trees, twinkling lights, and cheerful holiday music throughout the island. There are visits from Santa Claus, horse-drawn carriage rides, and even a dazzling light show. Holly Jolly Jekyll captures the enchantment of the holidays, creating a magical atmosphere for all to enjoy on this serene coastal paradise.
November 23, 2023
The Cold-Stunned Plunge on Jekyll Island is an exhilarating and heartwarming tradition that takes place during the winter months. Unlike the typical New Year’s Day polar plunge, this event is more than just a chilly dip in the ocean. It’s a meaningful endeavor that brings together brave participants to raise awareness for a crucial cause: the conservation of sea turtles. The timing coincides with the season when these cold-blooded creatures can become cold-stunned, a potentially life-threatening condition. By taking the plunge, participants not only show their support for sea turtle conservation but also contribute to the island’s commitment to protecting its unique and cherished natural environment. The Cold-Stunned Plunge embodies the spirit of community and environmental stewardship on Jekyll Island.
These annual events not only showcase the island’s cultural richness but also provide a unique opportunity to connect with the local community and fellow travelers. Whether you’re a foodie, music lover, fitness enthusiast, or simply seeking a memorable experience, Jekyll Island’s calendar of events has something special for everyone throughout the year. So, when planning your trip to this coastal paradise, be sure to check the event schedule and join in the festivities that make Jekyll Island a year-round gem.