Upcoming Events

:: Ongoing ::

Farmer’s markets every Saturday and Sunday

tomatoesSeaside Amphitheater – Saturday, Market Shops Sandestin Sunday
Time: 8 a.m. – 12 Noon – Come and reap the benefits of purchasing locally grown food as local farmers and vendors offer their wares. Fresh eggs, vegetables and fruit, honey, breads, cookies, cheeses, milk, organic chickens and broth, handmade jewelry, soaps and more. Buying locally grown food benefits you and our community. ::MAP::

Rosemary Beach Barrett Square – Sunday and Thursday
Reap fresh produce and more from local farmers on Thursdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Rosemary Beach. Market located on N. Barrett Square.

Gulf Place – Sunday and Thursday
Farmers market at Gulf Place every Sunday specializing in exceptional homemade products, crafts, and goodies from local vendors around Northwest FL.Gulf Place is located at the corner of Scenic Hwy. 30A and CR 393, Town Center Loop, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459. For more information, call 850-200-6805 or 850-879-7296.

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Upcoming canoe/kayak/stand up paddleboard paddles in Northwest Florida

The West Florida Canoe and Kayak Club and the Florida Panhandle Canoe & Kayak Connection offer a variety of paddles in the Northwest Florida Panhandle.

Guests are welcome on trips as long as they have the skills to safely navigate the waters being paddled.  Guests must sign a waiver form and have an Eglin Recreational Pass if the trip is on the Air Force Base.  Paddlers must supply their own boat.

Area stand up paddle board clubs:
Paddle Destin
Panama City Paddleboard Club

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Take a hike or a paddle with the Florida Trail Association

The Walton area has two Florida Trail Groups, Choctawhatchee and Panhandle Chapters. Click the links below for upcoming events:

Click here for Choctawhatchee Chapter

Click here for Panhandle Chapter

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Getting to know the natives – garden and trail tour in Santa Rosa Beach every Wednesday through July

 Time: 3 p.m.

Hosted by Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, Discover Roads Less Traveled eco-tours will introduce you to some very special places in South Walton.

Get acquainted with the local flora and fauna as you enjoy a guided tour of the Native Plant Demonstration Garden and Trail at Northwest Florida State College (South Walton Center). Plants featured in the Garden, Trail and Wildflower Meadow are critical to habitat preservation, providing food and shelter for hundreds of species of pollinators, amphibians, reptiles, birds and small mammals.  The area is mostly handicap accessible. It is established as a teaching/demonstration/leisure site for students and the general public.  Session will include an overview/introduction followed by a two-hour docent-led walk, approximately 1 mile. Appropriate for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Space is limited to 16 participants. Minimum of 4. Leaders: Friends of the Garden.

Location: South Walton Center of Northwest Florida State College, 109 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach

Fee: $15. Call to register 850-200-4160. Have your credit card ready.
July 23 – Ref# 91976, July 30 – Ref# 91977

All events subject to cancellation. In the case of inclement weather, registrants will be notified by email or phone the afternoon/evening prior, and fees will be fully refunded. Individual cancellations will be accepted and fully refunded up to 1 full business day (24 hours) prior to the tour. No-shows forfeit entire payment.

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Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge comes to Henderson Beach State Park July 24

  Date: Thursday, July 24, 2014 11:30 a.m. – Noon

Henderson Beach State Park will host the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge staff and their animal ambassadors on Thursday, July 24. In addition to learning how the animals were rescued, you will learn what they eat, where they live, and how they survive in the wild.  Be sure to bring your camera for some great photo opportunities.

Fees:  Program included in the park admission fee. Call (850) 837-7550 for more information.

Directions:  Henderson Beach State Park is located in Okaloosa County, on Highway 98 just east of Destin.

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Americana under the Stars every Thursday at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

luckymudTime: 6 – 8 p.m.
Starting with an open mic at 6 p.m. in the amphitheater/clubhouse Topsail presents an evening of music. Free admission into park and a suggested donation of $5 goes to the Friends of Topsail Hill. Bring a chair, your favorite beverage and enjoy some music in the park. This is family/ pet friendly and fun for all ages.
July 24– Katherine Archer
July 31– John French

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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Fishing clinic offered at Kellogg Bayfront Park on Thursdays in July

ErniemartinHosted by Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, Discover Roads Less Traveled eco-tours will introduce you to some very special places in South Walton.

A two-hour hands-on fishing clinic at Kellogg Park. This clinic will allow students a chance to put their new-found knowledge of bay fishing to the test. Techniques for wade-fishing in the bay will be the topic of choice. All equipment will be provided and there will be a small amount of walking/wading involved with the class.

Space is limited to 12 participants. Minimum of 6.

Location: Kellogg Bayfront Park, 1129 Nellie Drive, Santa Rosa Beach

Fee: $35

Call now to register at 850-200-4160. Have your credit card ready and reference number:   July 24 – Ref# 91942. July 31 – Ref# 91943

CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY:
All events subject to cancellation. In the case of inclement weather, registrants will be notified by email or phone the afternoon/evening prior, and fees will be fully refunded.

Individual cancellations will be accepted and fully refunded up to 1 full business day (24 hours) prior to the tour. No-shows forfeit entire payment.

Ranger program, cookout and a movie at Camp Helen State Park July 23

lodgeCamp Helen State Park is offering a movie, food, and fun with a family-oriented movie, environmental interpretive program, and old-fashioned campfire cookout.

The event will start at 5:30 p.m. in the recreation hall with an interpretive program led by a Florida Park ranger. The program will be followed by a cookout including hotdogs and s’mores, provided by the Friends of Camp Helen.  Each evening will end with a family movie in the Recreation Hall, where seating will be provided.

A parent or guardian must accompany children.

On July 23, “Shark Tale” will be featured.  In this film, a gangster shark boss’s son is accidently killed while on the hunt.  His would-be prey and his vegetarian brother both decide to use the incident to their own advantage. (Rated PG)  The interpretive program topic will be on Jellyfish.

These special movie nights are sponsored by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection and the Friends of Camp Helen State Park.  Admission into the park is free, although donations are requested. Donations will go directly to the Friends of Camp Helen State Park to benefit the park’s resource management projects and interpretive programs.

Camp Helen State Park is located at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, Florida 32413. Phone: 850–233–5059 :: MAP::

Click here to learn more about Camp Helen State Park.

More information is available at facebook.com/FriendsOfCampHelenStatePark, by calling (850) 233-5059, or by emailing CampHelenFriends@gmail.com.

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Lear what critters have been walking the dunes at Grayton Beach State Park July 23

raccoontracksmOn Wednesday, July 23 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. join Ranger Chad for “Whose Been Walking in the Dunes” animal tracks interpretive program. Ranger Chad will discuss the different animal tracks found in the park and participants will be able to make a plaster mold of some of the animal tracks. This is a fun program for the entire family. Meet at the small beach pavilion located at the Northeast corner of the beach parking area overlooking Western Lake.

All programs are subject to change. Outside programs will be cancelled during severe weather/rain. Pets are not allowed.

Admission is $5.00 per vehicle. Grayton Beach State Park is located at 357 Main Park Rd., Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459. For more information, call: (850) 267-8300

::MAP::

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Learn about endangered beach mice at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park July 23

 Date/time: Wednesday July 23rd, 3-4 p.m.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park presents a program on the endangered Choctawhatchee Beach Mouse. They live in a fragile habitat near the beach and only come out at night. Come learn what we to do monitor and protect this important species . Enter the park through the main gate and the staff will direct you to the park’s 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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Learn surf fishing at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park July 25

surffishingDate/time: Friday July 25, 2-3 p.m.

Surf fishing is a popular sport along the beaches of Topsail Hill. This program will teach you what types of bait will work, what times of year certain fish can be caught, and common fish you can catch from the beach.  Fishing gear is optional, the park has fishing gear. This program will take place at the Beach Access, park in the Day Use parking area and catch the 11:00am Tram to the beach. The program will take place once the 11:00am Tram arrives at the beach.

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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Enjoy a guided canoe/kayak tour of the Chain of lakes on the Choctawhatchee River July 25

    Cypress trees tower above as you paddle the Chain of Lakes.

Time: 9 – 11:30 a.m.

Hosted by Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, Discover Roads Less Traveled eco-tours will introduce you to some very special places in South Walton.

Meeting location: Northwest Florida State College South College, 109 South Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach. Vehicle caravan to event location.

Chain of Lakes is a beautiful slough off the Choctawhatchee River on the East side near the SR20 bridge. Ecology is similar to the Choctawhatchee River, but without strong currents. Birding opportunities are common, and the scenery is stunning. Discussions will vary, but recent local history, Native American history, history of the Choctawhatchee River as a commerce route and natural history of the area are fair game.

Moderate exertion level, depending on wind conditions. Participants are asked to bring at least one quart of water per person, forecast-compatible clothing and personal comfort items (i.e. sunscreen, bug spray, etc.).

There is a small parking fee ($3 cash) at the put-in location. Carpooling recommended.

Personal craft recommended, but rentals can be arranged. Fee is $45 if you bring your own canoe/kayak; $60 includes craft rental.

Space is limited to 8 participants. Minimum of 4. Leader: Karl Renelt

Fee: $60 w rental / $45 without

Call now to register at 850-200-4160. Have your credit card ready and reference number including canoe/kayak rental ($60) - Ref# 91935
BYO canoe/kayak ($45) - Ref# 91934

CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY:
All events subject to cancellation. In the case of inclement weather, registrants will be notified by email or phone the afternoon/evening prior, and fees will be fully refunded.

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Nick’s Seafood Restaurant hosting Kid’s Catfish Tournament July 26

Nick’s Seafood Restaurant is hosting a Kids Catfish Tournament on July 26, 2014. Entry fee is $35 per angler with proceeds to benefit the Backpacks of Love Foundation and Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance. All anglers must register at Nick’s Seafood at Basin Bayou by 7 p.m. on Fri., July 25.

Rules- Kids age of 14 years or under, Four (4) catfish limit saltwater species. Fishing in the Choctawhatchee Bay or estuaries thereof. Fish may be caught in a boat, on a dock, or from the shoreline. Adults may assist kids with handling fish but may not reel fish in for them. (Baiting and Casting and use of landing net only). Live or artificial bait, rod and reel only, no jugs, cast nets, or noodling. Note: Catfish have three spines use caution when handling these fish. (Cut the line when the fish is in the boat, hooks are cheap.)
Scoring: Heaviest weight for a single fish, and a combined weight of 3 Catfish (saltwater species).
Entry Fee: $35 per angler-All proceeds to benefit the Backpacks of Love Foundation and the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance (CBA).

Kid’s Catfish Tournament REGISTRATION download.

GRAND PRIZE: A brand new boat by TRACKER MARINE!
Hardhead Division -Total weight of three Hardhead Catfish.
Grand Prize: New Boat by Tracker Marine; 2nd – 5th place, prizes and trophies.
Sailcat Division -Single heaviest Sailcat.
1st – 5th place , prizes and trophies.
The TOP FIVE participants in each division will receive prizes and trophies.
(All fisher girls and boys will be recognized)
GRAND PRIZE: A brand new boat by TRACKER MARINE!
Starting Point: Anglers may start from their desired location in waters on or adjacent to the Choctawhatchee Bay in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. Tournament starts at safe daylight on Saturday July 26th.
Weigh-in time: 4:00-5:00 PM. Scale will open at 4:00 and close at 5:00 PM. Contestants must be checked in with a tournament official by 5:00 to have their catfish scored. Weigh in will be at Nick’s Seafood Restaurant 7585 Hwy 20 West Freeport, FL 32439. 850-835-2222 or 850-830-6161.
**All fisher kids must be registered by 7:00 pm Friday July 25th**.
Mullet Toss for all ages will be held following the weigh-in.

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Take a historical tour of Coffeen Nature Preserve July 30

A JB-2 missle preparing to be launched over the Gulf of Mexico. Photo courtesy Coffeen Nature Preserve.

A JB-2 missle preparing to be launched over the Gulf of Mexico. Photo courtesy Coffeen Nature Preserve.

Time: 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Hosted by Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, Discover Roads Less Traveled eco-tours will introduce you to some very special places in South Walton.

Explore the Coffeen Nature Preserve and its history of World War II missile testing.  The 220-acre nature preserve is owned by the Coffeen Land Trust, a local environmental non-profit organization dedicated to preserving it “as a place of peace and quiet and a haven for all God’s creatures.” Its history however is far from quiet. It was used as a secret missile test site by the Army Air Force during World War II. Hundreds of JB-2 “Buzz Bombs,” (the first pilotless, jet propelled missiles), were launched from the dunes into the Gulf of Mexico.

Join Susan Paladini, resident manager, and explore the site where America’s strategic missile program began. You will view the original military photographs inside the “mess hall” and learn about the generous gift of the founder, the late Dorothy Coffeen.

This will be followed by a hike of approximately 1½ miles around the property, which will include walking along two original missile launch ramps, stepping down into concrete launch bunkers and viewing other military buildings. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Preserve and Fuller Lake. This is the most western of Walton County’s globally rare and imperiled coastal dune lakes.

Participants are encouraged to wear a hat, sunscreen and insect repellant and to bring bottled water. Closed-toed or other suitable walking shoes are a must.

Space is limited to 16 participants. No minimum.

Location: Coffeen Nature Preserve, Santa Rosa Beach

Fee: $20. Call now to register. 850-200-4160. Have your credit card ready and reference number July 30 – Ref# 91961.

CANCELLATION & REFUND POLICY:
All events subject to cancellation. In the case of inclement weather, registrants will be notified by email or phone the afternoon/evening prior, and fees will be fully refunded.

Individual cancellations will be accepted and fully refunded up to 1 full business day (24 hours) prior to the tour. No-shows forfeit entire payment.

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Learn about sea turtles at Grayton Beach State Park July 30

 On Wednesday July 20 at 1 p.m. join ranger Lawrence aka Rooster as he gives an interpretive talk on sea turtles. Everyone is invited to come learn about the endangered sea turtles that nest on the beautiful beaches of Walton County. Participants will meet at the large beach pavilion at the beach parking area.

All programs are subject to change. Outside programs will be cancelled during severe weather/rain. Pets are not allowed.

Admission is $5.00 per vehicle. Grayton Beach State Park is located at 357 Main Park Rd., Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459. For more information, call: (850) 267-8300

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Learn about sea turtles at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Aug. 1

seaturtle2Date/time: Friday August 1, 2-3 p.m.

The majestic Sea Turtles have begun another reproductive season. Last year was one of the best on record at the park. Learn the basic facts about common Sea Turtles found at Topsail.  Be a part of an enlightening program and see what you can do to help preserve these awe inspiring creatures of the sea. This program will take place in the clubhouse, upon entering the park the staff will direct you to the clubhouse, entry fee is 6.00. This program is suitable for all ages.

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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Highway 83 yard sale Aug. 2

hwy83yardsaleOn Saturday, Aug. 2 locals will be lining up State Road 83 selling their yard sale items. The sale starts at the intersection of Highway 90 and 83 in DeFuniak Springs and and extends north to Troy, AL.

Sites are located along this stretch of road and include churches, organizations, and family-shared locations. For information about finding a set up area, contact Robert Barley at (850) 585-3674.

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E.O.Wilson Biophilia Center presents Reptile Round-up Aug. 2

turtlebobCome face to face with reptiles of all shapes and sizes. Discover the world of reptiles through arts and crafts, and other amazing activities. Alligators, snakes, turtles, and lizards oh my!

General Admission: Adults: $8, Children $5, 2 and under Free

Snacks and lunch available for purchase.

For more information, call (850) 835-1842. The E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center is located at 4956 State Hwy 20 East, Freeport, Florida 32439

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Camp Helen history tour Aug. 2

camphelenhistorytourTime: 10 – 10:45 a.m.
The Department of Environmental Protection’s Camp Helen State Park invites you to their history walk at Camp Helen State Park. Come learn about the early history of the park and local area while wandering on a guided tour around Camp Helen’s restored historical buildings. The history walk takes place the first Saturday of each month.

Participation Requirements:
• Must have the ability to follow visual and/or verbal instruction independently or with the assistance of a companion.
• Must have the ability to withstand exposure to the outdoors for a period of 1- 2 hours.
• Must have the ability to traverse wet, sloped, and uneven terrain for .5 -1 miles, independently or with the assistance of a companion.

Fees: The tour is free with paid park admission fee of $4.00 per vehicle. Please use the honor box to pay fees. Correct change is required. Limit 8 people per vehicle.
$2.00 Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.
Contact: (850) 233-5059 ::MAP::

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Abrakadoodle Art Education hosts All About Owls at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center Aug. 6

eowilsonbiophiliaTime: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Abrakadoodle Art Education for kids is hosting summer day camps at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center. On Wed., Aug. 6, have a hoot with the Biophilia feathered friends, and learn all about how these creatures eat by dissecting an owl pellet. Create an owl collage using paper, use air dry clay to mold your own special feathered friend, and paint an owl peeking out of a tree! Pack a snack, drinks, and lunch.

Cost is $45. Registration is at www.abrakadoodle.com/fl-northwest-register/

For more information, call (850) 835-1842. The E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center is located at 4956 State Hwy 20 East, Freeport, Florida 32439

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Ranger program, cookout and a movie at Camp Helen State Park Aug. 6

lodgeCamp Helen State Park is offering a movie, food, and fun with a family-oriented movie, environmental interpretive program, and old-fashioned campfire cookout.

The event will start at 5:30 p.m. in the recreation hall with an interpretive program led by a Florida Park ranger. The program will be followed by a cookout including hotdogs and s’mores, provided by the Friends of Camp Helen.  Each evening will end with a family movie in the Recreation Hall, where seating will be provided.

A parent or guardian must accompany children.

On August 6 the movie The Lorax will be shown. The Lorax” concerns 12-year-old Ted who will do anything to find a living Truffula Tree in order to impress the girl of his dreams. As he embarks on his journey, Ted discovers the incredible story of the Lorax, a grumpy but charming creature who speaks for the trees and fights to protect his world. (Rated PG)  The interpretive program topic will be Trees.

These special movie nights are sponsored by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection and the Friends of Camp Helen State Park.  Admission into the park is free, although donations are requested. Donations will go directly to the Friends of Camp Helen State Park to benefit the park’s resource management projects and interpretive programs.

Camp Helen State Park is located at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, Florida 32413. Phone: 850–233–5059 :: MAP::

Click here to learn more about Camp Helen State Park.

More information is available at facebook.com/FriendsOfCampHelenStatePark, by calling (850) 233-5059, or by emailing CampHelenFriends@gmail.com.

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Pickin’ on the Porch at Freeport City Hall Sunday Aug. 10

pickinontheporchLocal musicians gather at the Freeport City Hall to play bluegrass, country and gospel music every second Sunday of the month (except holidays) from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Bring your acoustic instruments for an afternoon of clean family fun. Bring a blanket or lawn chair.  A family-oriented non-alcohol event. Free.

For additional information call Latilda Hughes at (850) 835-2340 or via email at lhughes@freeportflorida.gov.

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Abrakadoodle Art Education hosts Who’s Afraid of the Dark, Nocturnal Animals at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center Aug. 13

eowilsonbiophiliaTime: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Abrakadoodle Art Education for kids is hosting summer day camps at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center. On Wed., Aug. 13, enjoy Who’s Afraid of the Dark, Nocturnal Animals. Take a trip to the bat house, hang with a skunk, and roam around like a raccoon at the Biophilia Center! Learn to draw a mischievous raccoon, sculpt a cute (but not stinky!) skunk out of Model Magic, and paint a watercolor bat hanging around! Pack a snack, drinks, and lunch.

Cost is $45. Registration is at www.abrakadoodle.com/fl-northwest-register/

For more information, call (850) 835-1842. The E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center is located at 4956 State Hwy 20 East, Freeport, Florida 32439

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Pleasant Ridge Arena hosts Neigh and Bray fun show Aug. 16

Pleasant Ridge Arena in DeFuniak Springs is hosting a Neigh and Bray Fun Show. Sponsored by owners Diana and Rex Brannon, young children will enjoy stick races, and lead line while the more seasoned riders will compete in pole bending, barrel racing Western and English pleasure and more. There is a class for everyone and every breed. The Neigh and Bray show is held the third Saturday of every month. To find out more, go to their website at pleasantridgearena.com. Phone: (850) 892-5398. Show starts at 4 p.m. and is free for spectators.

Location: Pleasant Ridge Arena is located at 1917 Pleasant Ridge Road in DeFuniak Springs.

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