St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival in Santa Rosa Beach March 17

Everyone is Irish on St Patrick’s Day, and where better to be green than the 30A St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival March 17. The parade kicks off on Scenic Hwy. 30A at 2 p.m. and the festival at 3 p.m. at Arnett’s Gulfside Farm and Stables on CR393 in Santa Rosa Beach. The entertainment after the parade will start with the Drake School of Irish dance, followed by an afternoon of Irish jigs and reels with The O’Mericans. There will be an array of activities for the kids and adults, including face painting, best dressed pet, Best Redhead (girl) Best pirate (boy), 30 ft. slides, live music by the O’Mericans, and more. Food vendors with traditional corned beef and cabbage and green beer will be available.

Ticket prices begin at – $10 for adults, kids are $5 each, kids 4 and under are free. Click here for tickets: www.30aparade.com.

The parade begins on Scenic Highway 30a and heads 4 miles west, ending at CR393 near Gulf Place. Walton County Commissioner Tony Anderson will be this year’s Grand Marshal.

The Best in Parade perpetual trophy is up for grabs for the best decorated car, trucks or floats, won last year by ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation rentals. Festival goers can purchase commemorative T shirts, experience arts and crafts, kids activities, face painting, and of course a variety of food and drinks.

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Where to find Easter eggs March 10

Helen McCall Park, Santa Rosa Beach

10 – 11 a.m.
Free

Seagrove Baptist Church will be hosting a community Easter egg drop at Helen McCall Park on March 10. They will have some eggs already on the ground and will drop 3,000 eggs from a helicopter. A toddler area will be available, and the church give away a family of 4 season passes for Big Kahuna’s Water Park in Destin. Registration for give way starts at 9 a.m. A photo booth and face painting will also be available.

Helen McCall Park is located at 325 Moll Dr., Santa Rosa Beach.

E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center, Freeport

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Cost: $10

Get outdoors and enjoy a Nature EGGstravaganza and Egg Hunt at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center on Saturday, March 10.

Hundreds of eggs filled with goodies will be scattered on the lawn and throughout the Biophilia trails. There will be three age divided hunts with the first one starting at 10:00 a.m. Meet the Easter Bunny, play games in the Egg Olympics, decorate eggs, hang out with Alaqua Animal Refuge’s Spring time farm animals, and explore the Center. Hot dog lunch and other snacks will be available for purchase. You must pre-register online because of limited availability in each age group. Cost is $10 per child. To register, click here.

* Free admission to adults with participating child. Make sure to bring your own basket. Extra prizes will be awarded to those that find the eggs with the Biophilia Logo inside. Local Organizations are welcome to sponsor Easter Basket Prizes for winners.

Schedule of Events:9:00-11:00 Egg Olympics (ongoing)
9:00-12:00 Turtle Bob’s Reptile Room Open
10:00 Egg Hunt (Ages 3 and Under)
10:30 Egg Hunt (Ages 4-7)
11:00 Egg Hunt (Ages 8-12)
11:30 World Of Wonder Exhibit
12:00 Birds of Prey Show

E.O.Wilson Biophilia Center is located at 4956 State Hwy 20 East, Freeport, Florida 32439. For more information call 850-835-1824.

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Americana music in the lodge at Camp Helen State Park March 3

The last of the Americana Music in the Lodge concerts will be a sweet adieu on March 3rd with the trio 2PM from South Florida. The sweetest harmonies, some of the most beautiful lyrics and instrumentation in the country will make this last concert a bitter sweet finale to the 2018 series.

Come prepared to buy CDs and merchandise from all of these performers. You will want to take a little piece of the evenings performance home with you.

Concerts start at 6:30 p.m. and the doors open at 6 pm. You will be given a number upon your arrival at the lodge and the opportunity to select your seat by placing your number on a chair. Then, feel free to roam around Camp Helen and enjoy the beauty of our park. From the view of the pristine waters of Lake Powell, one of the world’s largest barrier dune lakes, to the out buildings that create the “camp” aspect of the park and the natural beauty, even in the dead of a Florida winter, you can appreciate the wonders that make Camp Helen a very special place in the heart of the Florida Panhandle.

While the concerts are free, the Friends of Camp Helen request a donation to help with the continuance of the series and special projects that benefit the park. Refreshments will be available for a donation.

Driving Directions
Camp Helen is located at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, FL, just west of the Phillips Inlet bridge on the Bay County and Walton county line. The entrance is south of U.S. Hwy 98. ::MAP::

Phone: 850–233–5059

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Choctawhatchee Audubon Society activities for March

Program: March 1: Florida is for the Snowbirds…and wintering Shorebirds. By Dr. Caroline Stahala, Panhandle Shorebird Program Manager. When winter comes around it’s best to head south for some warmer weather.  Humans do it and so do our feathered friends! Dr. Stahala will discuss some of our local winter shorebirds, who are they, where can they be found but also what are we doing to learn more about them and how you might participate in her projects. Also on the agenda is Emily McKiddy, Panhandle Rooftop Nesting Coordinator. McKiddy needs help fencing rooftops to protect nestling shorebirds and volunteers to monitor the success of adult rooftop nesters. It is fun and informative!

The program will be held in room 302 (changed from 308/309) of the student services building 400 at the Northwest Florida State College Niceville campus. Socializing begins at 6:30 PM and the program at 7:00 PM. Admission is free and open to the public. Call or e-mail Dr Don Baltz at (225) 252-2760, dbaltz@LSU.edu for more information. Please visit our website at Choctawhatcheeaudubon.org and our Face book page at Choctawhatchee Audubon Society.

March 10: Bird Walk to Fuller Lake Coffeen Nature Preserve and Four Mile Village in South Walton County. Join resident Jim Wilson and birder Bruce Purdy in an expedition through this historic site. Meet at Silver Sands Shopping Center at traffic light, behind Starbucks at 7:30 AM. Call Bruce at (305) 926-6030 for details. Wear closed toed shoes and bring a sack lunch. Please visit our website at Choctawhatcheeaudubon.org and our Face book page at Choctawhatchee Audubon Society.

March 17: Field Trip to Bay Audubon’s Laidlaw Preserve. Join leader Dr Neil Lamb and members of the Bay and Choctawhatchee Audubon Society at a 300 acre preserve in Bay County. Meet at the CVS parking lot Hwy 20 Oak Creek Shopping Center in Niceville at 7:00 AM or the Publix Parking Lot in Freeport at 7:30. Wear closed toed shoes and long pants bring sack lunch. Contact Dr Lamb at (850) 814-1276 for additional information. Please visit our website at Choctawhatcheeaudubon.org and our Facebook page at Choctawhatchee Audubon Society.

March 31: Bird Walk. Join Bruce Purdy in a birding tour of the parks on the north shore of Destin bordering Choctawhatchee Bay. Meet at the CVS parking lot at the corner of HY 98 and Main St Destin opposite Regions Bank at 7:30AM. Be prepared to carpool. Wear long pants and closed toed shoes. Bring binoculars and scopes. Contact Bruce at (305) 926- 6030 for details. Please visit our website at Choctawhatcheeaudubon.org and our Face book page at Choctawhatchee Audubon Society.

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Walton County Master Gardeners share pass along plants March 7

The next installment of the Walton County Master Gardeners Lecture Series will feature not only a program on pass along plants, but a plant swap! Participants may bring a plant to share and bring another home to plant.

Master Gardeners, Marianne Burbach and Barbara Young will team up to discuss an old-fashioned gardening ritual, the sharing of plants from your garden. They will cover pros and cons of this practice plus feature some of their favorite success stories.

Please join us on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the UF/IFAS – Walton County Extension Office.  The location is 732 N 9th Street in DeFuniak Springs.  The cost is $5, cash or check only please, payable at the door.  Light refreshments will be served, and a plant list will be available.

Other Master Gardeners will be on hand to take gardening questions and help with soil testing. Seating is limited, and reservations are required.  Call 850-622-0192 or bayoubarbara120@aol.com to reserve your place.

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Bird life along the Emerald Coast workshop in Niceville Feb. 23

Photo courtesy Walt Spence.

Mattie M. Kelly Environmental Institute presents their latest 2018 workshop: “Bird Life Along the Emerald Coast,” with guest presenter Dr. Caroline Stahala, program manager for Audubon Florida. Through the classroom and field portions of the workshop, participants will be introduced to identifying a variety of coastal birds along with information on their behavior and conservation efforts.

The workshop will be Friday, February 23, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Robert E. Greene, Jr. Science Building (Building 350), Room 110 on the Niceville Campus.

Free and open to the public.

Dr. Caroline Stahala is the program manager for Audubon Florida in the panhandle. Her objective is to implement conservation efforts for shorebirds and seabirds found along Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. Dr. Stahala has a diverse educational background including a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of North Carolina, a Master of Science in Zoology from North Carolina State University and a doctorate from Florida State University. She has been involved in bird conservation efforts for the past 17 years.

For more information Email: mkei@nwfsc.edu, Tel: 850-729-4915.

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