Upcoming Events

Ice skating at Baytowne Wharf through Feb. 1

Dust off those skates and get in the winter spirit at The Village of Baytowne Wharf’s Baytowne On Ice. For those visitors who miss the cold and ice, Baytowne’s seasonal ice skating rink is the perfect opportunity to share some of your favorite holiday traditions.

Admission $11 for an hour and a half, $3 skate rental. Rink hours vary daily.

Click here for hours.

The Village of Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, 9300 Emerald Coast Parkway West, Miramar Beach.

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Take a hike and learn about native plants as food and medicine every Wednesday at St. Andrews State Park

Enjoy a short hike and learn about native plants as food and medicine at St. Andrews State Park every Wednesday from 10 – 11 a.m. The hike is free with park admission. 

Meet at Gator Lake Trail Head for a 1 hour, 0.5 mile hike through the maritime hammock and explore the natural and cultural significance of many native plants.

4607 State Park Lane, Panama City, Florida 32408
(850) 233-5140

Admission Fee:
$8.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
$4.00 Single Occupant Vehicle

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Campfire stories at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Jan. 24

Enjoy stories around the campfire while you learn about park history and what is occurring seasonally. Campfires will be held on the fourth Friday of the month just after sunset, so make sure to enter the park before the gate closes. This activity is a part of the Topsail After Dark Series, which allows visitors to enjoy the park as the wildlife does, nocturnally. The event will be held on Fri., Jan. 24 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

This program is free with regular park admission.

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::

For more information, call (850) 267-8330.

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Americana music concert at Camp Helen State Park Jan. 25

Join the Friends of Camp Helen for the Americana Music Concert Series in the historic lodge on Sat., Jan. 25 from 5:30 – 9 p.m. Artist Mean Mary will join us for this concert. A Florida native who currently resides in Nashville, she writes beautiful original songs and can play a mean banjo, fiddle and guitar! Pick up FREE tickets for each show in the Visitor’s Center upon paying $2 park admission fees. Tickets are limited to the first 100 guests beginning at 5:30 p.m. Doors to the Lodge will be open for seating or selection of seating (your choice). Food & drink will be available beginning at 6 p.m. Concerts start promptly at 6:30 p.m..

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::

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Free living history exhibits in DeFuniak Springs, Jan. 24-26

Forest Service tree giveaway Jan. 25

Cannon blasts, turpentine demonstrations, native American storytelling, an indoor nature trail, a vintage camper show, a Civil War and Florida Frontiersmen Settlement Camp, Black History presentations, a tree give-away, and many other living history exhibits, demonstrations and presentations will be in full swing Friday, January 24 through Sunday, January 25 at Chipley Park, 3 Circle Drive in DeFuniak Springs, Florida.  These events and parking are free and compliment the activities of the annual, historic Florida Chautauqua Assembly taking place during the weekend.  The free exhibits in Chipley Park are sponsored by the City of DeFuniak Springs.

The Walton Guard’s Civil War Camp and Battle Reenactments return to educate and “wow” visitors of all ages with educational presentations and battle reenactments.  Civil War interpreters will portray life on and off the battlefield Saturday, January 25 at 12:30 while Sunday at 1:30 p.m. the Battle at Eucheanna will be depicted. Sunday’s battle will be the first time in recent history that the essence of this local history will be dramatized.

The Florida Forest Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Indoor Nature Trail, which will be located behind the historic Hall of Brotherhood at 95 Circle Drive, is best known for the interactive nature of their display.  Adults and children will find “things to do” and “places to explore” set up inside the large tent where a contingent of rangers, foresters and 4-H representatives will be on hand with explanations and information about the exhibits.

Interpreters of the Florida Frontiersmen Settlement Camp will depict life on the Florida Frontier in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Visitors spend time looking at the unique collection of quilts, enjoy watching live cooking demonstrations and sometimes even get to taste the delicacies cooked on an open fire.

New to these many free exhibits which families covet from throughout NW Florida is Turpentine Demonstrator Ramsey Kent who will share his knowledge of this industry which was an economic engine for northwest Florida in its early history.  Mr. Ramsey’s demonstrations take place Friday and Saturday, 8am-5pm.

The Walton County Heritage Museum generously invites the public to meander into their building to see the colorful and informative displays explaining the history and founding of the town of DeFuniak Springs and the development of the county on Friday and Saturday.

Visitors walking around Chipley Park will see Plein Air artists dotting the landscape as they choose vignettes to capture on their palettes and can later buy their works of art (still wet) later in the day at a “Wet Paint” sale at nearby Hotel DeFuniak, 400 East Nelson Avenue.

The Tin Can Tourists Vintage Campers will circle the drive with the classic restored campers of the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Peeking inside one of these is a trip back in time when the pace of life was slower and more deliberate as families explored America.

A free art show is scheduled a few blocks away from Chipley Park at the DeFuniak Springs Community Center where visitors will enjoy a display of our region’s artistic talent and will learn some techniques from our area’s art experts who will be demonstrating their craft and selling their wares (art, quilts and ceramics) Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24-25, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., at the Community Center, 361 N. 10th Street.

While many of the exhibits are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the Assembly, some events and displays will only be up one day only:

Friday, January 24, 2020 (only): 

  • 8 am-5 pm: The Muscogee Nation will be using storytelling techniques to acquaint visitors with the colorful history of this local tribe and share the exciting developments taking place in 2020 to bring their story to the local area in the form of a permanent museum.
  • 8 am-5 pm:  Presenters of a new exhibit, Florida Public Archaeology out of Pensacola, will be sharing and interpreting local artifacts explaining how shards, bones, buttons, etc. help to explain the history of the area.
  • 8 am-5 pm: The DeFuniak Springs Library will host Maria Milton sharing stories of the civil rights movement of Black Americans on the first floor in the room which overlooks Lake DeFuniak.
  • 10:45 am, Urban Forestry Program Manager William Liner is providing a free seminar, “Tree Care 101” and will discuss tree pruning, maintenance and care as well as how to avoid common tree problems.
  • 1:00 pm, the annual tree planting ceremony commemorating the founding of Florida’s Arbor Day annual celebration at the original Florida Chautauqua Assembly in 1885 takes place to the immediate right of the indoor nature trail at the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood in honor of former Disney Executive Pamela Landwirth who is now president & CEO of a special, whimsical resort for critically ill children called Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Florida. The public is invited to meet Pam during the brief ceremony.  Mayor Clayton of Give Kids The World is coming, too!  He is the adorable and lovable storybook character at the Village who tucks these special children in at night during their week-long, cost-free vacation at the Village made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and other wish-granting organizations.

Saturday, January 25, 2020 (only)

  • 9 am:  Tree give-away by the Florida Forest Service, in front of historic Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood, 95 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs.  The give-away begins at 9am and lasts until all the trees are gone.  Species include may haw, crabapple, red maple and wild plum.

Full schedule and times at www.FloridaChautauquaAssembly.org or call (850) 892-7613.  Follow the events on Florida Chautauqua Assembly Facebook page.

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Mardi Gras parade and festivities in DeFuniak Springs Feb. 1

The Krewe de Yak’s annual Mardi Gras Parade and Festival will be held on Feb. 1 on Circle Drive in DeFuniak Springs. The street fair and car show will be held from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. along the Lakeyard, with the parade starting at 3 p.m.

For more information, visit the Krewe’s website at www.krewedeyak.org or contact Samantha Graves, Krewe de Yak, at 850-419-5977 or krewedeyak@gmail.com.

Krewe de Yak was established in 2009 as the only Mardi Gras Krewe in Walton County. The Krewe consists of community members from all walks of life who come together as a fun-loving carnival society that brings fun to the County on a year-round basis.

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Lecture on hiring landscape professionals in Santa Rosa Beach Feb. 5

The February offering of the Walton County Master Gardeners ongoing lecture series will be on the subject of hiring qualified landscape professionals. The presentation will be focused on commercial landscape contracting and will be directed toward homeowners associations, professional property management firms and others with large property responsibilities.

The presentation will be in a panel discussion format.  The panel will consist of:

  • Sheila Dunning, Okaloosa County Commercial Horticulture Agent speaking on the training opportunities, continuing education requirements and testing requirements for professional landscape licensees.
  • Mike Walters, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bureau of Inspection and Incident Response, speaking on the various types of licenses, how to verify an individual or corporate license status and employee identification documents.
  • Michael McCabe, Senior Partner, McCabe Law, Jacksonville.  Mr. McCabe’s firm represents over 500 HOAs and Property Management Firms in Florida.  Mr. McCabe will speak on the liability issues which attach to property owners who fail to perform due diligence in hiring a landscape contractor, contract language and contractor insurance requirements.

Following a 10-15-minute presentation by each panelist, the panel will take questions from the floor.

The program will be on Wednesday, February 5 at 10:00 a.m. at the UF/IFAS – Walton Extension Coastal Branch, 70 Logan Lane in Grayton Beach. This program is FREE and open to the public, but reservations are required; call 850-892-8172 or email haneyc@ufl.edu by the Monday before. Master Gardeners will be on hand to take gardening questions and help with soil samples.

The February offering of the Walton County Master Gardeners lecture series will be on the subject of hiring qualified landscape professionals. The presentation will be focused on commercial landscape contracting and will be directed toward homeowners associations, professional property management firms and others with large property responsibilities.

The presentation will be in the panel discussion format.  The panel will consist of:

  • Sheila Dunning, Okaloosa County Commercial Horticulture Agent speaking on the training opportunities, continuing education requirements and testing requirements for professional landscape licensees.
  • Mike Walters, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bureau of Inspection and Incident Response, speaking on the various types of licenses, how to verify an individual or corporate license status and employee identification documents.
  • Michael McCabe, Senior Partner, McCabe Law, Jacksonville.  Mr. McCabe’s firm represents over 500 HOAs and Property Management Firms in Florida.  Mr. McCabe will speak on the liability issues which attach to property owners who fail to perform due diligence in hiring a landscape contractor, contract language and contractor insurance requirements.

Following a 10-15-minute presentation by each panelist, the panel will take questions from the floor.

The program will be on Wednesday, February 5 at 10:00 a.m. at the UF/IFAS – Walton Extension Coastal Branch, 70 Logan Lane in Grayton Beach. This program is FREE and open to the public, but reservations are required; call 850-892-8172 or email haneyc@ufl.edu by the Monday before. Master Gardeners will be on hand to take gardening questions and help with soil samples.

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Americana music concert at Camp Helen State Park Feb. 8

Join the Friends of Camp Helen for the Americana Music Concert Series in the historic lodge on Sat., Feb. 8 from 5:30 – 9 p.m. Webb Wilder joins us as a true phenomenon of musical wildness and genius all wrapped in a neat package. Originally from Mississippi, he now calls Nashville home and has written hits like “Scattered, Smothered, Covered in Love” and “Human Cannonball.” Pick up FREE tickets for each show in the Visitor’s Center upon paying $2 park admission fees. Tickets are limited to the first 100 guests beginning at 5:30 p.m. Doors to the Lodge will be open for seating or selection of seating (your choice). Food & drink will be available beginning at 6 p.m. Concerts start promptly at 6:30 p.m.

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::

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Camellia Festival at Eden Gardens State Park Feb. 15

Join the Friends of Eden as they celebrate the annual Camellia Festival at Eden Gardens State Park in Santa Rosa Beach on Sat. Feb. 15, 2020 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The festival includes presentations on camellias, from how they are air layered to floral arrangements. There will also be heritage presenters throughout the park, demonstrating skills such as blacksmithing, chair caning and candle making, and more. The band Earth Vibes will provide musical entertainment on the bayou stage. Bring your chairs or blankets and plan to spend the afternoon at the park. Food vendors will be on-site as well. The event will take place throughout the grounds of park, as well as the screened pavilion area.

Directions
Eden Gardens State Park is located in Point Washington, off U.S. 98 on C.R. 395.
For more information, call (850) 267-8320.
181 Eden Garden Road, Point Washington, Fl. 32459 ::MAP::
The park’s website is
https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Eden-Gardens

Fees
Park fees apply of $4 per vehicle. Event is free. Separate cost associated with food vendors. CASH ONLYAdditional parking available at Bay Elementary School.
House Tours:
$4.00 per adult.
$2.00 per child.

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Guided plant stroll at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Feb. 17

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and Master Gardener Bill Kuenstler on the third Monday of the month for a guided plant stroll. The event will be held on Mon., Feb. 17 from 9 – 11 a.m.

Take a stroll through the park and the campground to explore the plants visible and to see what is in bloom. Please wear weather appropriate clothing and comfortable walking shoes as you’ll be walking on uneven terrain.

This program is free with regular park admission.

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::

For more information, call (850) 267-8330.

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Americana music concert at Camp Helen State Park Feb. 22

Join the Friends of Camp Helen for the Americana Music Concert Series in the historic lodge on Sat., Feb. 22 from 5:30 – 9 p.m. Lucky Mud wraps up our season as both a local and concert series favorite. They write and perform SwampTonk and Folkabilly music. Their music has taken them around the world and we’re looking forward to this fun musical duo! Pick up FREE tickets for each show in the Visitor’s Center upon paying $2 park admission fees. Tickets are limited to the first 100 guests beginning at 5:30 p.m. Doors to the Lodge will be open for seating or selection of seating (your choice). Food & drink will be available beginning at 6 p.m. Concerts start promptly at 6:30 p.m.

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::