Annual Events by month along the Emerald Coast!

emerald coast festival

January:
Senior & Snowbird Expo
An annual trade show geared toward our winter visitors. About 2,000 attend each year and leave with a bagful of coupons, gifts, and giveaways. A must-attend event for snowbirds, and an unbeatable opportunity for exhibitors to reach this valuable market.

February:
Mardi Gras Parade & Ball
Mardi Gras on the Island – a New Orleans-style Mardi Gras parade on Okaloosa Island. This parade is the first Mardi Gras parade on the Gulf Coast!  Local clubs and businesses sponsor floats and walkers – parade goers add to their festive collections of beads.
Annual Chili Cook Off
Join Harbor Walk Village for a day of spiced, spirited competition as Chili experts from near and far don their aprons to prove they have the best chili around. The Emerald Coast Parrot Heads host a fun and exciting Chili Cook-off on the Destin Harbor. Over 20 different restaurants and Chili Master’s compete in this spirited cook-off.

March:
Destin Cobia Tournament
The Destin area offers both in-shore and deep sea fishing. As locals, we all have our favorite fishing seasons and cobia season is always a favorite. These fish swim in near shore areas and are caught by trolling.  The tournament takes place at Harbor Walk Marina on the Destin Harbor. Watch from the docks or charter a fishing boat to participate in the action.
Annual McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Join this much anticipated event that takes place each year in Destin. This is an ideal event if you will be bringing kids, as there is face painting, arts and crafts and a interactive treasure hunt they are sure to enjoy. Green beer, a free whiskey tasting and live entertainments will surely thrill the adults in your party. If you would like to celebrate this festive holiday with some traditional Irish eats, consider visiting McGuire’s Irish Pub. We recommend you head out early to get your name on the list as this is certainly their busiest day of the year. But, don’t worry, the outside bar will be serving up wonderful brews, as well as their infamous Irish Wake’s.
April:
Emerald Coast Volleyball
For over 25 years, Emerald Coast Volleyball Week has brought thousands of people to the Destin area each spring for what has become the largest 4-player beach volleyball tournament in the world. Come on out to watch the players in action and for some fun in the sun.
Easter Egg Hunt
One of the largest Easter Egg Hunts along the Emerald Coast is held each year on the Saturday before Easter Sunday. It’s an early morning event held at Destin’s Morgan Sports Center. There are tens of thousands of eggs spread across the sports fields. There are prizes, light refreshments and fun for all! Ages include crawlers to 12. The Easter Bunny will be present for photos
Music Echoes Native American Festival
Musical Echoes Flute Festival is a celebration of Native American culture, art and music highlighting the extraordinary Native American flute. You’ll hear the soothing and inspirational sounds of the Native American flute music and enjoy the colorful dance, arts and crafts. Traditional Indian fry bread will also be available at the Annual Musical Echoes Flute, Art, and Cultural Festival.

May:
Cinco de Mayo Fest 
A vibrant celebration of Latin music, food, dance and more! Kids will enjoy activities and crafts
Memorial Day Celebration
Kick off the summer with free concerts and fun on the Destin Harbor. Enjoy a vibrant fireworks display over the harbor after Sunday night’s concert. Event and fireworks times are to be determined.

June:
Annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival
Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival Probably the best Pirate festival in the world! This long-running Fort Walton Beach tradition is in its 61st year, and brings a full weekend of nautical fun to the Landing. Watch Capt. Billy and his Krewe invade the city, while the FWB mayor works hard to protect his fair city and citizens. There’s entertainment, grog and grub aplenty for sailors and landlubbers alike. This is the Chamber’s signature event, and is always held the first weekend in June. (Up to 20,000 visitors over the course of two days.)

July:
Fourth of July Celebration
Fourth of July Extravaganza kicks off at Harbor Walk Village with live music on the main stage, fireworks sponsored by City of Destin over Destin Harbor and one, big American celebration of Florida’s Emerald Coast!

August:
4th Annual Paddle at the Porch
Paddle at the Porch showcases the beautiful emerald green water and white sandy shores of Destin, Florida, behind one of its most loved restaurants, The Back Porch. This standup paddleboard event features a one-mile recreational race, a three-mile recreational race, and a six-mile elite race, to be followed by awards, including a cash purse.
Annual Sandestin® Triathlon
Annual Sandestin® Triathlon at Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort will lure more than 800 athletes to compete in a half-mile Gulf of Mexico swim, a 20-mile bike ride along Scenic Highway 30A, and a four-mile run through Sandestin’s® beach and bayside community. Proceeds benefit Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast.

September:
Round the Island Race
The Round the Island Race is a 100 mile circumnavigation around Santa Rosa Island located in Northwest Florida. The event has a long and storied history stretching back over twenty three years. It begins in Fort Walton Beach and continues to Pensacola where the turn is made for the return trip back to Fort Walton Beach. Headquartered at the Gulf Islands National Seashore Park (known locally as Leeside Park) in Fort Walton the race site is a great arrangement of parking and white sandy beaches with clear shallow water. If you have never done the Round the Island Race you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. Just to have finished the race is more than enough for most competitors because it is truly an endurance event combined with minor navigation, sailing in some of the most beautiful surroundings in the United States.
Labor Day Celebration
Labor Day weekend is here so let the celebration begin!  With so many different events along Florida’s Gulf Coast this weekend it’s tough to schedule a good plan. Wrap up your summer with a Labor Day Weekend celebration on the Destin Harbor at HarborWalk Village.  The event itself is free and offers live music, fireworks, waterfront shopping, and dining to complete your holiday weekend.

October:
Annual Destin Seafood Festival
The Destin Seafood Festival takes place right on the water’s edge of Destin Harbor on and around the Harbor Boardwalk. The Destin Seafood Festival was started in 1978 as a tribute to the rich history of the Destin Harbor and the fishing community. Destin’s color really shines during this festival as locals and visitors alike come out to enjoy one of the best local festivals to be enjoyed anywhere. We think you’ll agree – there is something about fresh local seafood served up dockside that is just hard to beat!
Annual Destin Beer Festival  Beer and great music are exactly what you will find at the Destin Beer Festival located at the Destin Wine World at Paradise Key at Kelly Plantation. There will be a Culinary Village tent featuring area restaurants, a VIP tent, merchandise booths and, of course, fabulous, micro-brewed beer to sample! Some of the biggest names in the craft brewing industry will have exhibits at this much-anticipated event.
Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo will take place at the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. It’s not your ordinary fishing tournament—anglers have an entire month to real in a winner! Participants and onlookers are welcome to enjoy this entertaining event with weigh-ins behind AJ’s.
Halloween Haunt Trick or Treat through Destin Commons and enjoy face painting, arts and crafts and a Spooktacular Haunted House, benefitting the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. Pets, families and individual entries are welcome to compete in the annual costume contest!

November:
Pinfish Tournament
The Pinfish Classic is another way the city of Destin quietly encourages kids and their families to connect with the history and the heritage of the harbor and the fishing fleet. Just down the docks, Harbor Docks Charities once again sponsored the Annual Take A Kid Fishing Event. More than 300 kids had the opportunity to spend the morning fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and the Choctawhatchee Bay.
Annual Seeing Red Wine Festival in Seaside combines two great things—wine and the beach. There will be an extensive array of tasting tents with wines sampled from around the world. Upbeat music and Southern hospitality are an added bonus!

December:
Christmas Day
New Year’s Eve Celebration at HarborWalk Village. Dine, drink and dance into the new year throughout HarborWalk Village! Enjoy live music in the restaurants as well as on the main stage. There will also be fireworks and the 5th Annual Ball Drop descending over Destin Harbor!

 

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