Events Around 30A and the Emerald Coast: February and March 2024

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Sealights Festival

February and March are full of fun events around South Walton!

The SeaLight Festival Debuts at Seascape Resort
A dazzling world of light featuring more than 1,000 handmade Chinese lanterns comes to the Panhandle following roaring success in New York City, Atlanta and Washington D.C. The SeaLight Festival is making its Florida debut following three consecutive years of sell-out runs in New York City, Atlanta and Washington D.C., where it welcomed more than 500,000 guests. On Thursdays – Sundays from 5-9 p.m., Feb. 1 to March 31, 2024, Seascape Resort will undergo a breathtaking transformation into an extraordinary world of illumination. This captivating spectacle will feature over 1,000 handcrafted Chinese lanterns and lights, guaranteeing an unforgettable experience. Tickets, all ages, start from $17.99 children and $25.99 adults. Purchase at sealightfestival.com.

Grand Canine Carnaval Feb. 8!
A Brazilian Carnaval Doggie Social, Dog Harmony’s inaugural Grand Canine Carnaval, will be held Feb. 8, 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin and will feature a carnaval-themed doggie dance party and contest, photos of your pups, music, treats for both dogs and owners and a chance to win fabulous prizes. For information, contact fundraising@dog-harmony.org.  

Eden Gardens camilla FestCamellia Festival Feb. 10
The majestic grounds of Eden Gardens State Park in Point Washington have more than 370 camellias and many will be in bloom for the annual Camellia Festival on Feb 10, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Every February, The Friends of Eden Gardens State Park and guests pay tribute to the Camellias, provide an array of educational displays and presentations, and invite visitors to stroll through the Camellia gardens and grounds. There will also be Camellias for sale as a fundraiser for the park! Between the months of November and April, the Camellia bushes bloom. The camellias at the park were strategically selected and planted to provide blooms throughout the cooler months. The event is free with paid park admission ($4 per car). Additional parking is at Bay School with tram service. There will be educational stations throughout the park and camellias available to purchase. Summer Kitchen will be selling delicious food and drinks near the pavilion and Bo Adams will be playing music from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the Bayou stage. 

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler Feb. 11
It’s the Annual Mardi Gras Parade on Sun., Feb. 11, 2 p.m. at the Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestion. No cost to attend, the Village streets will be filled with costumed dogs and their humans along with unique and colorful floats, golf carts, vehicles, pick-up trucks and Mardi Gras cheer. Let the good times roll with dressed-up marchers in their Mardi Gras best and Mardi Gras music filling the air as four-pawed friends and parade participants shower parade-goers with a barrage of beads, moon pies and other trinkets. Baytowne is looking for Krewes to join in the Mardi Gras festivities. To participate, register by Friday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. at baytownewharf.com. Participants who register by Feb. 5 will receive five points added to their score.

Toast ‘n Jam Featuring Brubeck Brothers Quartet Feb. 11
Savor the exquisite blend of jazz mastery at Toast ‘n Jam featuring the Brubeck Brothers Quartet on February 11th at 10:30 a.m. in the Crystal Ballroom of Henderson Beach Resort. Indulge in an elegant brunch, complemented by a Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar, as the Brubeck Brothers Quartet pushes musical boundaries, seamlessly fusing funk, blues and world influences into their spellbinding straight-ahead jazz style for an unforgettable morning of melodic majesty. Tickets: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=sgc.

Baytowne Mardi Gras ParadeBaytowne Mardi Gras Street Pardi Feb. 13
Break out the beads and get ready for a night to remember at the Baytowne Mardi Street Pardi Tues. Feb. 13, 6-8 p.m. Starting at 6 p.m., join the Village of Baytowne Wharf for a festive Fat Tuesday celebration complete with music from Boukou Groove, street performers, entertainers and more. The post-pardi celebration continues into the night with parties at various Baytowne establishments. No cost to attend.

Register for the Seaside Race Feb. 16-18
Benefiting the Seaside School, Inc., public charter school, the Seaside School Half Marathon & 5K, presented by SEASIDE®, launches its 22nd Race Weekend, Feb. 16-18. Registration for the 5K is $95 and the half marathon is $130. Exclusive VIP experiences for both racers and spectators are also available for $125 with dedicated parking or $95 without parking. Kids can also take part in the VIP experience for just $25 [limited to two kids per adult]. Weekend parking passes are also available for purchase. Military personnel, first responders and teachers are eligible for a $20 discount upon presentation of valid identification. The half marathon (13.1 miles) starts at 7 a.m. and the 5K (3.1 miles) at 7:30 a.m., on Sun., Feb. 18. Both races – the half marathon and 5K – start in the town of Seaside with an out-and-back run along the coastal dune lakes of Scenic Hwy. 30A. To register, visit runseasidefl.com.

Sand Up Comedy Festival February 14-17
Laugh your heart out at the Inaugural Sand Up Comedy Festival, February 14-17 2024. Join for a hilarious weekend with over 20 top-notch touring comedians, playing at 4 incredible venues, all for a great cause. Venue Partners SOWAL House, Distillery 98, Grayton Beer Company, and Seaside Institute. Tickets on sale NOW! https://www.sandupcomedyfest.com.

This event will benefit the SOWAL Foundation, a local non-profit dedicated to empowering and uplifting emerging artists and filmmakers in Walton County and surrounding areas. Get ready to laugh out loud for a great cause!

30A Wine Festival Feb. 21-25
The 30A Wine Festival, underwritten by The Alys Foundation, returns to the beautiful community of Alys Beach for its 12th year: Wednesday, February 21 through Sunday, February 25, 2024. Cleanse your palate and prepare for five days of exquisite wines, delectable dishes, and beautiful surroundings. 

The festival showcases renowned distillers, vintners, and culinary favorites over five days of celebration – a series of events and workshops where wine enthusiasts and bourbon lovers alike relish in the festivities within the captivating town of Alys Beach.

All proceeds from the festival benefit the Children’s Volunteer Health Network, a local charity that provides health services to uninsured or underinsured school children in Walton and Okaloosa Counties.

Learn more: 30awinefestival.com.

2024 30A Wine Festival Schedule

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 6-9PM – Wine Dinner at Caliza Restaurant
Thursday, Feb. 22, 6-8PM – Oysters + Champagne
Thursday, Feb 22, 6-8PM – Tapas & Tequila
Friday, Feb. 23, 5-6:30PM – Mixology Seminar
Friday, Feb. 23, 6:30-9PM – Bourbon, Beer & BUtts
Saturday, Feb. 24, 3:30-6:30PM – Grand Tasting
Sunday, Feb. 25, 10AM-12PM – Gospel Brunch
Sunday Feb. 25, 12PM – 3PM – Rose & Croquet

Pursue the Roux at the 35th Annual Sandestin Gumbo Fest Feb. 24
Gumbo Anyone? This winter festival favorite is back for its 35th year at The Village of Baytowne Wharf on Feb. 24, 12-4 p.m.! Gulf Coast restaurants will compete for the title of ‘Best Gumbo on the Emerald Coast.” Vote for your favorite as the “People’s Choice” winner as celebrity judges deliberate over who will take home the top prize. The afternoon will also feature live music and children’s activities. Visit sandestingumbofestival.com for more information.

Caring and Sharing Spring Fashion Show Feb. 25
Join Caring and Sharing of South Walton at the Annual Spring Fashion Show and Luncheon. The event will be held Sunday, February 25th at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa beginning at 12:30 p.m. During the event, guests will enjoy a fashion show, lunch, silent auction, DJ and a photo booth. 

Tickets are $65 and can be purchased at the Caring & Sharing facility located at 112 Lynn Drive, SRB.  

All funds raised at the Annual Fashion Show will allow Caring and Sharing of South Walton to continue providing food, utility, prescription, and basic need assistance to residents of South Walton County. Visit https://linktr.ee/caringandsharing.

Adventures in Alys March 4-April 1
Proudly presented by the Alys Foundation, Adventures in Alys, a completely original storytelling experience for children of all ages takes place Monday & Thursday at 10 a.m., March 4 – April 1, in the Amphitheatre. Watch as The REP Theatre actors perform a masterfully improvised story based on audience suggestions.

The Repertory Theatre is Northwest Florida’s premier professional theatre company. Visit LoveTheRep.com for main stage performances and concerts throughout the year for music and theater lovers.

Alys Improv Hour March 6-April 3
Alys Improv Hour takes place Wednesdays at 10AM in the Alys Beach Amphitheater, March 6 – April 3. Join The REP’s improv troupe, The Awkward Oxen, as they play improv games, and make up scenes and songs on the spot based on audience suggestions. Don’t worry, if you suffer from a bit of stage fright you’re free to hang out and watch and get some laughs.

Soiree On The Bay: Act III March 8
Soiree On The Bay: Act III, benefiting Children’s Volunteer Health Network, will take place Friday, March 8th from 5-9pm & Saturday, March 9th from 2-7pm. Enjoy a lavish gathering with fine wine, food and spirits. This weekend is presented by the Dugas family and will take place on their stunning family estate overlooking the Choctawhatchee Bay in Santa Rosa Beach. TICKETS: cvhnkids.org/soiree-on-the-bay.

Festivities begin Friday with an intimate evening under the stars where guests can walk the beautiful grounds while enjoying wine tastings, incredible cuisine, a live DJ, and an exciting live auction where attendees can bid on incredible prize packages like over-the-top wine experiences and unique travel. Saturday is a spirited daytime affair, kicking off at 2:00 p.m. with bocce ball, bubbly, wine samples, and light bites. Back for the third year in a row, musical guest, The Tip Tops, will have guests on their feet, dancing to their favorite Motown hits. 

The mission of CVHN is to eliminate the barriers to accessible and affordable healthcare for children in need through mobile solutions and community partnerships. Visit cvhnkids.org to learn more.

ECCAC Presents its Signature Gala & Golf Events March 8 and 10
The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) is putting on its annual signature Gala & Golf events this year March 8 and 10. The Gala features a cocktail hour starting at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8, at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Guests will enjoy dinner and live entertainment by the popular Will Thompson Band and DJ Chris Henson; exciting live auction by famed auctioneer Dawn Marie Kotsonis, also known as The Gavel Girl; as well as a featured guest speaker. The Gala proceeds benefit children by providing services at no cost to help identify, treat and support child victims in abusive situations.

The Golf Tournament, also to benefit ECCAC, will take place on Sunday, March 10, at Kelly Plantation Golf Club with registration and a cookout meal from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. to be ready for a tournament shot gun start at noon. An Awards Ceremony will follow the tournament. Tournament cost is $400, which includes two tickets to the Gala. Gala tickets only are $250 per couple. Please make reservations on-line at eccac.org. Sponsorships are still available. Contact Lee Curtis at 850-400-3488 or email Lee@eccac.org.

Mac And Cheese FestMac & Cheese Festival at Destin Commons March 10
Join us at the Mac & Cheese Festival on Sunday, March 10 from noon – 3 p.m. ​benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. This family-friendly event will feature gourmet, chef-inspired twists on the South’s favorite comfort food. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/6th-annual-mac-and-cheese-festival-tickets-769177820567.

All proceeds from this event will go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, which works in our community to promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence through its programs focused on academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles.

Dust Off Your Boots and Get Ready to Rodeo! March 22-23
The 5th Annual Westonwood Ranch Pro Rodeo returns March 22-23 to the City of Freeport Sports Complex. The professionally sanctioned rodeo benefits Westonwood Ranch, an organization whose mission and programs serve teens and young adults with Autism and related developmental disorders.

Come watch some of the nation’s top cowgirls and cowboys compete. Contestants will compete in events including bareback riding, calf roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, breakaway roping, barrel racing, team roping and bull riding. Rodeo gates open at 6 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. each night. Come early to enjoy live pre-rodeo entertainment at 6:30 by David Gautreau, food vendors, children’s inflatable play area and more! Tickets for the Westonwood Ranch PCA Rodeo are sold at the gate: $20 adults; $15 children 12 years and younger. Free admission for children ages 2 and under. No ticket presales. Want to become a business sponsor? Email admin@westonwood.org or visit westonwood.org.