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Saturday, December 8, is going to a GREAT day to be in St. Augustine.

It is Day 1 (of 2) of the 19th Annual Bed & Breakfast Holiday Tour. Over the years, the tour has become a much-anticipated highlight of the city’s Nights of Lights celebration (touted in National Geographic’s 2011 Top 10 List of Places to See Holiday Lights) and features 25 historic inns, each uniquely decorated for the holiday season. This year’s festivities will celebrate the age-old English Christmas carol Twelve Days of Christmas, with each Inn putting its own spin on its favorite verse of this can’t-get-it-out-of-your head holiday ditty! The tour is self paced and self guided. Tickets are $25 per person, are good for both days, and can be purchased online at www.staugustinebandbtour.com.

At Casa de Solana (on Saturday), the St. Augustine Belly Dancers (www.StAugustineBellyDance.com) will represent Nine Ladies Dancing with performances to Mariah Carey’s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). The girls will be giving belly dancing lessons, and the audience will vote on their favorite belly dancer, the winner of which will receive a complimentary warm-bamboo fusion massage by local licensed massage therapist, Kelly McCormack of Bodyworks by Kelly.

Local artist Jackie Rock will be on site to greet guests and talk about her inspiration for creating the wall mural in our dining room as well as her other work and latest commissions. In fact, Jackie will present an original canvas that she has painted just for this occasion, that which will be raffled off to tour participants on tour day! To preview Jackie’s other work, visit http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/jackie-rock.html.

Partial proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the B&B Tour’s official charity--First Coast Technical College’s Fresh Start Culinary Arts Program, which will provide training for area homeless that will lead to certification from the American Culinary Federation and local and national health departments.

Hilde Wilkens, professional seamstress schooled in the fine art of sewing and knitting in Avelgem Belgium, with over 30 years experience in high-end garment making and will present her Scarves and More by Hilde collection. Come ready to buy something ladies; Hilde’s collection is gorgeously affordable! For a preview, visit www.scarves-and-more-by-hilde.com!

Casa will kick off tour day with an exclusive and complimentary pre-tour reception for the first 50 ticket holders who reserve their spot. Reception guests will enjoy a glass of Solana Sangria and other holiday treats as well as a story-telling session and tour before the crowd arrives! These 50 guests may purchase their tour tickets in advance from Casa so as to avoid the will-call line at the Tour booth! To claim your spot at this exclusive holiday reception, call 904.824.3555! Only ticket holders with advance reservations will be admitted to this special reception.

Seafood by Harry’s has once again agreed to cater the event from 1 to 5 pm and will offer tour guests/ticket holders complimentary treats to include their famous Rice Jambalaya (with shrimp, chicken, and sausage) and Pasta Chicken Louie, fresh bread, boursin butter, and drinks. If you haven’t dined at Harry’s yet (on Avenida / Charlotte), this will send you there immediately post tour; if you have, same scenario! www.hookedonharrys.com

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Also on Aviles Street on Tour Day

Also on Aviles on Tour Day Making its B&B Holiday Tour debut this year is the Ximenez-Fatio House. Currently a historical landmark and popular museum that depicts early tourism in Florida, Fatio House was one of St. Augustine’s very first Inns owned and operated by a woman, opening its doors to travelers in the early 1800s. The distinguished Colonial Dames of America purchased the property in 1939 and have been absolutely meticulous in its true-to-form renovations and furnishings. For the tour, the House will emulate an 1800s Florida Christmas, the décor of which will include Spanish moss, various types of citrus, sea shells, magnolia leaves, Florida sand pine, and plants native to the period. www.XimenenzFatioHouse.org

From 1 pm to 4 pm Plum Gallery, Aviles Gallery, Worley Faver Pottery Studio and Galley, Amiro Art & Found, and Natural Reflections Glass bring to you Art on Aviles: A Festive Holiday Trunk Show. Enjoy the Old world charm of the nation’s oldest street as you purchase unique and one of-a-kind gifts created by the talented artists of Saint Augustine. Shopping doesn’t have to be a hectic and hurried affair. Stop to take a break and recharge at one of the many great Aviles Street cafes.

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Even More Fun in the Evening!

Even More Fun in the Evening!

The annual Regatta of Lights is hosted by the St. Augustine Yacht Club. This holiday parade of boats lights up Matanzas Bay between the Bridge of Lions and Castillo de San Marcos. Avenida Menendez at 6 pm!

From 6 to 8 pm at 41B King Street/St. George, Patchington Boutique, Filthy Rich Celebrity Jewelry, the Ancient Olive, and Hot Shots Bakery are pleased to announce a Holiday Extravaganza Open House and Fashion Show. The event will feature holiday fashions from Patchington Boutique (located in the Casa Monica Hotel), jewelry from Filthy Rich Celebrity Jewelry, hors d’oeuvres from The Ancient Olive and dessert from Hot Shot Bakery.

So come join the fun! You’ll have some excellent food; you’ll be more than entertained by all the themes and theatrics of the day; and all the hype, the happy, and the hospitality will leave you breathless and super excited to bring in the holiday season!

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Holiday Tour of St. Augustine's Bed and Breakfasts