Watersound trail opens in St. Joe Origins community

During the fall months, you can spot flowering liatrus and goldenaster along the trail. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

During the fall months, you can spot flowering liatrus and goldenaster along the trail. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

A new five-mile trail has opened in the St. Joe community of Origins. Named the Watersound Trail, the wide, crushed gravel surfaced road winds through a slash pine plantation.

As an old logging road, the trail is a flat, easy trek for hikers or cyclists, and spans across the northern portion of the Origins community to eventually connect to Panama City Beaches Gayle’s Trails, which is part of Conservation Park.

Map at the Origins trailhead. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Map at the Origins trailhead. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

The hiker will see the familiar sightings one is offered in the Point Washington State Forest. Views of long leaf pine restoration areas, cypress domes, wetland areas, and evidence of wildlife such as track prints and scat can be seen along the trail. There is very little shade on your trek, so be prepared and wear sunscreen. One of the many rules (listed below) is not to stray from the trail, making exploring the forest area a no go.

Rest area midway along the 5 mile trail. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Rest area midway along the 5 mile trail. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

The trail is clearly marked at several locations and offers a rest area midway along the journey.

To access the trail, enter the Origins community and drive north to the clubhouse area. The trailhead is just left of the parking lot at 530 Pathways Drive, Watersound, Florida.

The trail is open sunrise to sunset. ::MAP::

TRAIL RULES:
1. Trail is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
2. Watersound is not responsible for articles lost or stolen.
3. Authorized motorized vehicles only.
4. Watersound does not allow discharge of firearms on the trail; however, there are active hunting leases on the adjacent property.
5. Please keep the trail, facilities, and parking area clean. Do not litter, place all waste in receptacles provided.
6. Dogs are permitted, but must be kept on leashes and controlled at all times. No more than 2
dogs per person. Clean up after your pets!
7. No horses or equestrian activity of any kind is permitted
8. No smoking, campfires, or open flames are permitted on the trail.
9. No overnight stays or camping is permitted on the trails.
10. No person shall possess or consume alcoholic beverages on the trail.
11. Stay on the trails at all times; use of any other areas of the forest is prohibited.
12. Respect wildlife and plants while you visit their home. Do not approach wildlife.
13. Release of any animal on the trail is prohibited.
14. Preserve your heritage; do not remove artifacts or vegetation from the forest.
15. Let nature’s sounds prevail. Keep loud voices to a minimum. Wear earphones when using music players.
16. Yield to others.

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Seaside hosts annual Seeing Red Wine Festival Nov. 6-9

seeingredThe community of Seaside is hosting its 24th Annual Seeing Red Wine Festival Nov. 6-9. The Seeing Red Wine Festival, in partnership with the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation (DCWAF), is part of a four-day wine event held at various locations in Seaside.

The Saturday Grand Tasting event allows guests to stroll through tasting areas to sample more than 250 different kinds of wines while enjoying music, southern hospitality and cool autumn air at the beach. Each event and tasting area features live music, food samplings from several local restaurants and served wines available for purchase on site at the retail tent.

The four days of festivities extend even further to reserve wine tastings, dinners and a brunch with featured guest winemakers. Several of Seaside’s well-known restaurants feature specially prepared meals for the event, pairing meals with the ideal reds.

The festivities kick off Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. with the Vintner’s Dinner at Bud & Alley’s restaurant, featuring Seaside’s new wine label, the Seaside Wine Project. Admission is $125 and a limited number of reservations are available.

To reserve tickets, call Elijah Shelly at (850) 231-1846 or email elijah@budandalleys.com.

Friday, Nov. 7, brings the Al Fresco Reserve Tasting at 6 to 8 p.m., featuring an elegant evening of delicious hors d’oeuvres and wines paired perfectly by celebrated local chef, Jim Shirley, all complimented by jazz music. Admission is $200 and a limited number of reservations are available. Tickets can be purchased online at SeeingRedWineFestival.com.

The Grand Tasting, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, takes place in SEASIDE®’s Central Square with an extensive array of tasting tents featuring highly sought after wines from around the world, live music, food booths from top local restaurants, and the opportunity to purchase wine on site. Admission is $145. Tickets can be purchased online at SeeingRedWineFestival.com.

Sunday, Nov. 9, wraps up the weekend at Great Southern Café with a Celebration of Bubbles, as sparkling wine enthusiasts explore Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and more accompanied by great music and perfectly paired eats. Admission is $60. For reservations, please call 850.231.7327 or visit us online at TheGreatSouthernCafe.com.

Shuttle service will be available with free parking at Publix at WaterColor Crossings on County Road 395.

For more information about the Seeing Red Wine Festival, visit SeeingRedWineFestival.com.

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Walton county fishing report for Oct. 22

specktroutFishing is good!

Choctawhatchee Bay area: Trout bite is still on, biting on shrimp. Reds biting too on gold spoons.

River: Hybrids at the mouths of the river, biting on shrimp right now.

Click here for fishing forecast

Bay and river report brought to you by Copeland’s. “Where the locals shop and the tourists are welcome.”

Click here to find out more about Copeland’s.
Copeland’s Gun and Tackle Shop
17290 U.S. Hwy. 331 S
Freeport, Florida 32439
(850) 835-4277
Store hours:
Mon. – Fri.: 6 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sat.: 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sun.: Closed

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Retirement just a word for Walton area lady bass angler

Carolyn Poole shows her LBAA tour plaque. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Carolyn Poole shows her LBAA tour plaque. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Carolyn Poole has been fishing our area waterways all her life. Growing up fishing for bream along the Shoal and Choctawhatchee rivers, Poole has always enjoyed being outdoors with her family, who center their get-togethers along the rivers and creeks.

After marrying her true love in 1985 Poole continued the sporting life. Her husband, John Wayne was an avid fisherman and hunter. Together they would spend entire weekends enjoying the outdoors from Friday evening to late Sunday night.

“I use to get to work early on Monday mornings, just to have time to paint my fingernails,” Poole chuckled. “We were so busy enjoying the outdoors I hardly had time for anything else.”

Carolyn Poole shares a photo from a magazine article that inspired her bass competing career. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Carolyn Poole shares a photo from a magazine article that inspired her bass competing career. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

After retiring from a 32-year career with Eglin Federal Credit Union, Carolyn and her husband continued to enjoy the sporting life. Hunting on a 5,000-acre parcel near Darlington, and recreational bass fishing on Lake Talquin, Suwanee, and Apalachicola rivers … life was good. However, she soon wondered what else she could do to enjoy her new retirement.

“There was something else I wanted to do with my life, then I read an article about ladies pro fishing in a 2001 copy of ‘North American Sportswoman’ and that was it,” she said.

A second career soon arose. Carolyn joined the Woman’s Bass Fishing Association, and entered her first tournament on Lake Wimico. She went on to compete in WBT pro angler tours, WBFA co angler tours, and numerous other tournaments.

Carolyn Poole at the LBAA tournament weigh in. Photo courtesy Warren Sweeney.

Carolyn Poole at the LBAA tournament weigh in. Photo courtesy Warren Sweeney.

When her husband passed in 2007, Poole stopped competing professionally, only fishing a few of her brother Carson Sweeney’s tournaments along Black Creek. That is until this year, when she reignited her pro status and joined the Women’s Pro Bass Tour (LBAA). The tour included tournaments in Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas. The top 12 anglers of the four tourneys received an invitation to compete in the Lady Bass Classic in Alabama, where Poole reeled in 8th place.

“You can do anything you want to. You are never too young or too old,” Poole said with a grin.

Carolyn Poole currently lives on a lake in New Hope with her three beloved dachshunds and a beautiful view. At 71, she shows no signs of slowing down.

Congratulations Carolyn Poole, we are looking forward to seeing what you do next.

Side note: For the past three years, Carolyn Poole has graciously volunteered her talents to helping teach kids fishing at the Walton Outdoors’ Explore The Outdoors Festival. We are fortunate to have such a great lady involved in getting kids engaged in the sport of fishing.

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Public meeting regarding camping in the Choctawhatchee Wildlife Management Area Oct. 30

Campsite at Dead River Landing. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Campsite at Dead River Landing. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

On Thursday, October 30 at 6 p.m., District 1 Commissioner and Chairman Bill Chapman’s office will be hosting a public meeting at the Red Bay Community Center.  This meeting will be in regard to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) proposed camping rule changes on the Choctawhatchee River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), in partnership with the Northwest Florida Water Management District (District).

In order to provide information to the public, representatives from the FWC and Northwest Florida Water Management District will be on hand to discuss a proposed change to camping rules in the WMA.

While there are no changes to the camping rules for most of the WMA, camping in specially designated campsites will be allowed by District permit only under the proposed rule change. This means that camping on a first-come, first-served basis will still be allowed throughout the WMA along the river banks, sandbars, and all other areas that are not within the designated campsites, unless the area is marked as “no camping.”

Designated campsites include popular improved recreation sites that can be easily accessed by vehicles, such as Dead River Landing and Lost Lake along the Choctawhatchee River WMA.

Campers can easily obtain a free permit to use a designated campsite by making a reservation with the District. The District recently launched an online camping reservation system that makes it easier and more convenient for users to find campsites, check availability, view alternative dates and make reservations to ensure that their desired site will be available when they arrive.  Users can make a reservation online at www.nwfwater.com or by contacting the District at (850) 539-5999.

If approved by the FWC, the proposed rule change requiring reservations at the designated campsites would take effect July 1, 2015.  The rules for camping at non-designated sites will remain as currently written, and include:

· In the remainder of the area (meaning non-designated campsites), camping is limited to 14 consecutive days and prohibited where posted as “no camping.”

· Camping is limited to tents, trailers, or self-propelled camping vehicles only. Kitchen stoves, refrigerators and freezers are prohibited, unless contained in mobile campers. Lumber, sheet metal or other building materials are prohibited.

After July 1, 2015, campers will be allowed to camp at the designated campsites with a reservation for a minimum of one night and a maximum of seven nights. Users are allowed to make two non-consecutive reservations at one time, (i.e., reservations cannot be for two back-to-back visits), and reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.  Users can visit reservations.nwfwater.net to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions about camping on District lands.

If you should have any questions about the meeting, please contact the District 1 Commission Office at 850-835-4860.

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Keep your eyes to the sky for white pelicans migrating through Northwest Florida

White pelicans resting along the Choctawhatchee Bay. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

White pelicans resting along the Choctawhatchee Bay. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

By Stan Kirkland, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

One of the many benefits of living in the Florida panhandle and particularly near the coast is the vast variety of wildlife we often see. Daily, you’re apt to see bald eagles, ospreys, fox squirrels, black bears, wild turkeys, deer and numerous other species. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time.

One species you may miss that’s migrating through our area now are white pelicans. Just like a number of other migratory birds, white pelicans leave their summer home in the West and Midwest and head south as winter approaches.

Where our common brown pelican has a 6 ½ -7 ½ foot wingspan, white pelicans have a 9 – 9 ½ foot wingspan. White pelicans are also substantially heavier, weighing up to 17 pounds. Brown pelicans rarely weigh more than four pounds.

White pelicans take flight along the Choctawhatchee Bay. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

White pelicans take flight along the Choctawhatchee Bay. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Stephen Nesbitt spent 35 years working as a wildlife biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). He’s retired now but still does a significant amount of work with the FWC on brown pelicans and bald eagles.

He says white pelicans nest in early summer along freshwater lakes in Northern California, Utah, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, and well into Canada. Unlike the brown pelican, which is a “plunge diver,” white pelicans scoop and eat all sorts of small freshwater fish such as various minnows, suckers, shiners and anything small that’s unfortunate to swim near them.

Nesbitt said it’s in the fall, as temperatures change, that the pelicans begin a southward migration that can lead them to Florida, Louisiana, Texas or even Mexico.

“To be such a big bird they’re fairly light but they have a big wingspan. Like many birds, they migrate following fronts on high pressure. They catch the thermals and they can go forever,” he said.

According to Nesbitt, the white pelicans that end up in Florida likely follow the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, and then head east. He said they’ve probably been coming to Florida for thousands of years.

Nesbitt said typically there’ll be large flocks of wintering white pelicans near Cedar Key on the Gulf Coast, but most spend their winter months on lakes and rivers from the St. Johns River down to the Kissimmee chain of lakes and Lake Okeechobee.

He said one noteworthy characteristic of both white and brown pelicans is they’re sensitivity to harmful chemicals or pesticides in the water. He said they are “the canary in the coal mine” when it comes to dangerous pollutants.

Just a few years ago, several hundred white pelicans and several other species of birds died when they fed on a flooded vegetable farm near Lake Apopka in North Central Florida. The culprit – highly toxic pesticides that lay bound in the soil until the lake was filled.

Around 1960 a similar pesticide spill or case of illegal dumping cost the state of Louisiana virtually all of its brown pelicans, according to Nesbitt. Overnight almost 40,000 pairs of pelicans disappeared. Nesbitt said Florida later played a part in restoring their populations by sending dozens of pairs of birds.

For now, though, look to the sky, particularly to the west, as you drive anywhere along the coast. If you’re lucky enough to see a flock of migrating white pelicans, they’ll typically be 2000-3000 feet high and drifting along in a lazy line, or as they are prone to do, flying in a circle on the thermals.

Their stay here in the Sunshine State in fairly limited. By March or early April they reverse the process and leave Florida behind as they fly back to familiar grounds.

White pelicans soar above the bay. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

White pelicans soar above the bay. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

About the American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos):

Size & Shape: A huge waterbird with very broad wings, a long neck, and a massive bill that gives the head a unique, long shape. They have thick bodies, short legs, and short, square tails. During the breeding season, adults grow an unusual projection or horn on the upper mandible near the tip of the bill.

Color Pattern: Adult American White Pelicans are snowy white with black flight feathers visible only when the wings are spread. A small patch of ornamental feathers on the chest can become yellow in spring. The bill and legs are yellow-orange. Immatures are mostly white as well, but the head, neck, and back are variably dusky.

Behavior: American White Pelicans feed from the water’s surface, dipping their beaks into the water to catch fish and other aquatic organisms. They often upend, like a very large dabbling duck, in this process. They do not plunge-dive the way Brown Pelicans do. They are superb soarers (they are among the heaviest flying birds in the world) and often travel long distances in large flocks by soaring. When flapping, their wingbeats are slow and methodical.

Habitat: American White Pelicans typically breed on islands in shallow wetlands in the interior of the continent. They spend winters mainly on coastal waters, bays, and estuaries, or a little distance inland.

Information Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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Witches of South Walton take flight Oct. 31

witchesofsouthwaltonThe Witches of South Walton will take flight on their 11th annual ride from Gulf Place to Butler Elementary on Friday, October 31, at 7 a.m.

The Witches of South Walton is a group of women founded by Carol Stafford and Le Thompson dedicated to raising money for the Children’s Volunteer Health Network. The fundraising ride began with just a few friends and has grown over the years to include a registration pre-ride party, a post-ride breakfast with an exciting raffle featuring items from local businesses. Prior to the race the witches will enjoy their morning coffee at Sunrise Coffee Company at Gulf Place before riding west along Scenic Highway 30A approximately 2.2 miles to Butler Elementary to greet children before school begins.

Following the ride the witches will reconvene at La Playa in Gulf Place for celebratory breakfast and mimosas. The YOLO Board + Bike store at Gulf Place will be providing free bike rentals to any witch needing a bike for the ride. Those looking for more information can visit The Witches of South Walton website at http://www.witchesofsouthwalton.com/.

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Halloween events and fall festivals in and around Walton County

Hammack Farms corn maze in Bonifay offers good old fashioned family fun through Nov. 22

5.3 acres of corn maze fun in Bonifay. Photo courtesy Hammack Farms

Interested in enjoying some family fun this October and November? Head over to Hammack Farms in Bonifay for an afternoon or evening of corn maze fun and fall treats.

The corn maze isn’t the only fun at Hammack Farms. There is a pumpkin patch with a variety of assorted sizes and colors the children can purchase and decorate, a mini hay bale maze, corn box for kids 7 and under, a tractor train for smaller children, hay ride, farm animal zoo, and a playground. Other items available are novelty pumpkins, gourds, dried cornstalks, and mum plants. A concession will be open with hot dogs, boiled peanuts, popcorn, soft drinks, apples, and baked goods. Hot chocolate, coffee, and smores will be available during the cooler weather.

Hammack is open every Friday from 5 – 10 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. through Nov. 22.

Admission: ages 10 and up – $8, under 10- $5, 2 and under – free. Ask about group pricing for 20 or more. Call 850 768-9673 or 850 768-9672. Hammack Farms is located at 2387 Joe White Road, Bonifay, just north of Hwy. 90. ::MAP::

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge hosts haunted house at Destin Commons every Fri. and Sat. through Nov. 1

thedarkThe Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge officially kicks off its annual haunted house, “The Dark” this Friday, October 10. This terrifying adventure through endless rooms of horror will leave you speechless with fright.

“The Dark” runs every Friday and Saturday night in October from October 10 to November 1.
Dates: Oct. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31, Nov. 1.
Time: 7 p.m. until the last terrified guest has been through. Proceeds benefit the Refuge.
Location: Destin Commons, at the former Hard Rock Café (across from Bass Pro Shop)
Cost: $10.00 per person, “cut-the-line” tickets are available.

Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park hosts haunted trail walk Oct. 24

rockyviewTime: 4 – 7 p.m. Join the Rocky Bayou Park rangers and staff on Friday, October 24th, 2014 for a haunted trail walk. The Walk will fallow the half mile Red Cedar nature trail. The Haunted walk will be from 4 – 7 p.m.. The park asks that you please bring younger children from 4 – 5 p.m. for a less spooky version and then all ages from 5 – 7 p.m.

The Haunted trail is known to inhabit ghosts, spiders, wolves, and spooky sights.  Come join us for a night of fright and fun. Park admission fees will be waived.  Please leave all furry friends at home. Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park is located at 4281 S.R. 20, Niceville, FL. For more information, call (850) 833-9144.

Fall Festival and haunted tram ride at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Oct. 24-25

You never know what monsters are waiting along the Terrifying Tram Ride at Topsail. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Time: 6 – 10 p.m.

It’s time again for Topsail’s annual Fall Festival. There will be a haunted tram ride, activities, food, and games for children. This is an all ages event although there may be age restrictions on the haunted tram ride. All proceeds go to support the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. There is no entry fee to the park for this event.  For more information please contact the park directly at 850-267-8330.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located at 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459. For more information, call (850) 267-8330 ::MAP::

Seacrest Wolf Preserve hosts Howl-O-Ween event Oct. 25-26

seacrestwolfCamp out with the wolves at The Oaks Farm in Chipley, Florida and enjoy a unique experience. The weekend long Howl-O-Ween camping events offers learning and fun along with wolf encounters at the Seacrest Wolf Preserve.

Enjoy a weekend of wolf encounters, camping, campfires, hayrides, costume contests, story telling, and more.

Gates open 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24 for campers. Camping near the wolves requires reservation in advance with deposit. Unlimited primitive camping with limited electrical hook-ups. For camping reservations and/or more information on this event, please contact Seacrest Wolf Preserve at  seacrestwolfpreserve.org or call (850)-773-2897.

The preserve is located at 3449 Bonnett Pond Road, Chipley, Florida 32428 ::MAP::

Halloweener Derby in Seaside Oct. 25

halloweenerEnjoy a morning of wiener dog fun on Oct. 25 in Seaside. Dachshund races, all breed costume contest at more starts at 9 a.m. Chris Alvarado will perform this year on the Seaside Amphitheater after the all-breed pet costume contest.
Schedule of Events:
9 a.m. – Check-in and same-day registration begins
9:45 a.m. – Dachshund races begin
11 a.m. – Championship race begins
All-breed pet costume contest to begin shortly after races. Award ceremony will begin after the costume contest.

Harvest Market and Kids Halloween Bash in Rosemary Beach Oct. 25

pumpkin patchMore than 60 artisans will be highlighted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 25 at the annual Harvest Market on North Barrett Square in Rosemary Beach.

Bring the little ghosts and goblins for trick-or-treating through the Town Center businesses and the Harvest Market booths from 2-5 p.m. There will be a pumpkin carving contest and costume contest with prizes, hayrides, a moonwalk, pumpkin painting, games and more. Event is free.

Tour the haunted cemetery and Ohana Institute’s Annual Halloween Scarecrow Lane while gobbling up goodies at the bake sale.

Noche de los Muertos adult costume party at Alys Beach Oct. 25

nocheNoche de los Muertos Costume Party at Caliza Pool, Alys Beach will be held on Oct. 25 from 8 – 11 p.m.

DJ Roonie G returns, cash bar, costumes required and all attending must be over 21.  $50 advance, $60 at the door. Purchase tickets at nochedelosmuertos.com ’til midnight October 24, or at the Alys Beach Bike Shop, Alys Shoppe, or Fonville Press, Alys Beach ’til close of business on Saturday, October 25. Tickets available at the door for $60. Ticket prices include tax and A&E fee (online ticket fees are not included in ticket price). Tickets are non-refundable and the party will be a hit rain or shine. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Children’s Volunteer Health Network, Inc.

Alys Beach is located at 9581 E. County Hwy. 30A.

Gulfside Trail Rides Pumpkin Festival Oct. 25-26

gulfsidetrailridesGulfside Trail Rides Pumpkin Festival will be October 25-26 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Please come bring the family for a fun day of riding horses, hayrides, bounce house, painting pumpkins, hotdogs, candy, drinks, pumpkins for purchase.  Perfect setting for wonderful family pictures. Call (850) 208-3114 for prices or more information.
Gulfside Trail Rides is located at 613 CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach.

Learn more and register at halloweener.org.

Halloween and Fall festivals Oct 26

WaterColor Fall Festival Oct. 26

pumpkinEnjoy fall foods and drinks, live music and crafts, a pumpkin carving contest and pictures with a scarecrow at WaterColor’s Fall Festival from 2-5 p.m. Oct. 26 in Marina Park. Bring a blanket or chair and enjoy watching a Halloween themed movie under the stars from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 26 at Marina Park in WaterColor. The movie will begin shortly after sunset. Free admission.

Call 534-5975 for more information.

Trunk or Treat at Good News United Methodist Church Oct. 26

Trunk-or-Treat: This year’s event is from 2 – 4:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Good News United Methodist Church in Santa Rosa Beach. Sign up in the narthex at the church to be there with your car and candy.

Halloween happenings Oct. 31

candycornDeFuniak Springs:
5 p.m.
Bring your trick-or-treaters to the Historic Downtown business district and to the homes on the original grounds of Florida’s Historic Chautauqua for some real Halloween experiences.  Sponsored by Downtown Business and Professional Association and the DeFuniak Springs Woman’s Club.

Village of Baytowne Wharf:
6 – 8 p.m.
Location: The Village of Baytowne Wharf
Trick or treat through the Village and visit merchants for your favorite Halloween treats. The DJ will be playing frightening good tunes on the Events Plaza stage, Fly board extraordinaire Ben Merrell will perform a special Halloween show in the lagoon, and to end the evening enjoy spooky fireworks as they light up the sky at 8 p.m.

Seaside:
4-6 p.m.
Treat or treat door-to-door at the merchants along with a hayride and hear spooky stories from the Seaside Repertory Theater.

Merchants of Gulf Place:
The Merchants of Gulf Place will host a safe and fun trick-or-treating event Friday, October 31, 2014, from 4 – 5:30 p.m. The merchants will be handing out treats to children dressed in costumes. Children accompanied by adults can visit the stores at their own leisure.

E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center hosting Fall Festival Nov. 1

Fall Fest FlyerThe E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center’s​ annual Fall Festival ​will be held on Saturday, Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Activities include a spooky trail, hay rides, festival food, live music, face painting, Alaqua animal adoptions, fun games, fall themed arts and crafts, bounce house, dunk tank, local vendors, and more.

Plus another chance to wear your Halloween Costume! The event is sponsored in part by greenology/Okaloosa Gas, Florida Transformer Inc., and local Walmarts.  ​

General admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children. Children two and under free. Please visit eowilsoncenter.org to learn more about this non-profit educational center or call 835-1824.

Jail Break Zombie 5K Fun Run Nov. 1

jailbreakzombiesDate: November 1st, 2014
Location: Walton County Sheriff’s Office – 752 Triple G Road – DeFuniak Springs, Fl. 32433
Registration and Packet Pickup begins at 7:00 am
Race begins at 8:00 am
Runners $50.00/Zombies $25.00  (T-Shirt with registration)
Call 850-892-8186 for more information
Early Packet Pick-up will take place the day before the race, Oct. 31st from 12:00pm-5:00pm at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (located at 752 Triple G Road in Defuniak Springs.)
If you register to be a zombie and would like your zombie makeup done, you will need to arrive early. Please note that the course for this race will have obstacles.
Additional t-shirts will be available for purchase on-site for $15.
All funds raised by this event will benefit the North Florida Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF.)

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Learn about Florida black bears at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Oct. 31

bearTime: 2 – 3 p.m.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invites you to an informational program on the Florida Black Bear. This program will cover the basics of the bears life in Florida, such as life span, denning habits, eating habits, and much more. This will be an all ages program and will take place in the clubhouse.

A $6.00 entry admission per vehicle into the park. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located at 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459. For more information, call (850) 267-8330 ::MAP::

 

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Survivalist, Preparedness and Homesteading Expo in Wausau Oct. 25 – 26

mason-canning-jarsTime: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.,
Possum Palace, Possum Palace Drive, Wausau, FL

Traditional survival and preparedness vendors will be in attendance as well as fire arms dealers for the Survivalist, Preparedness and Homesteading Expo in Wausau Oct. 25 – 26.

The vendors will have many items to help you along your way to becoming self-reliant. Many homesteading vendors with how-to demonstrations as well as items to make your homesteading life a little easier, including self defense and survival techniques.

Exhibitors include: Firearm dealers, gunsmith, survival gear vendors, food storage containers, books on preparedness and homesteading, grain mills & wheat, military surplus items, self defense (hand to hand combat), storm shelters, heirloom seeds, different types of “homestead” animals for sale as well as demonstrations of how to care for, canning supplies, beekeeping, hide tanning, flint napping, cast iron cookware, broom making, quilting, and more.

There will also be an in-depth class on Saturday evening, after the Expo closes for the day on survival preparedness. Subjects will include but not be limited to overview of preparedness, long term food storage, emergency kits, medical necessities, communication, and more. This class will include a notebook with lists and information for you to take home. Cost is $20.The class will begin at 5:30p.m. and last until around 8:30 p.m. (light refreshments will be offered during a brief intermission). Area hotels will have a special rate for Expo attendees from out of town. You must pre-register at SPHexpo@yahoo.com.

For more information, call 850-596-1452 or e-mail SPHexpo@yahoo.com

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