Upcoming Events

Kayak eco tour of Lake Powell at Camp Helen State Park June 27

Join Camp Helen State Park Ranger staff for a leisurely 90-minute paddle on Lake Powell, the largest Coastal Dune Lake in North America. Learn about the history, natural communities and wildlife that make this Outstanding Florida Water so unique and important. This guided kayak tour will be enjoyable for individuals, families and groups. All levels of experience are welcome. The event will be held on Thursday, June 27 from 9 – 11 a.m.

Space is limited. Advanced reservations are required to participate and can be done by calling Camp Helen State Park 24 hours prior to tour at (850) 233-5059.

Fees: Cash only. Single kayak $30, Tandem kayak $40. Fee includes watercraft rental, life jacket, paddle, and a donation to the Friends of Camp Helen State Park. Entrance Fees into the Park are waived. Watercraft and gear from outside the park are not permitted. Be sure to bring sun protection and drinking water.

Additional Information: 

Program is weather dependent. Please check the forecast prior to arrival. If there is a chance of inclement weather on program day, call the Park for further information. As with all water sports, there is a chance of getting wet so dress appropriately. Please help us keep the trip on schedule by being on time and bring everything that you need with you to the Visitor Center.

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::

Park Fees
There is an honor entrance station. The fee is $4.00 per vehicle and $1.00 per bicyclist or pedestrian. Click here for park website.

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Panhandle Watermelon Festival June 28, 29

A Northwest Florida tradition, the 63rd Annual Panhandle Watermelon Festival will feature live entertainment on Friday, June 28, 2019 by William Michael Morgan and Sara Evans. There will also be activities for the children and good eats supplied by the Chipley Fire Department. Gates open at 5 pm and the concert is free to all participants.

Saturday kicks off the traditional festival with loads of arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, free watermelon slices, an antique car show, a watermelon auction, beauty queens as well as a live performance by Jimmy Fortune. A watermelon parade begins at 10am and wraps around Downtown Chipley. There is also a pancake breakfast hosted by the Shrine Club and a 5K Hot Trot.

Learn more at their website here.

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Rags 2 Riches Hobie Cat Regatta in Grayton Beach June 29

The 23rd Annual Rags 2 Riches Regatta will return to Grayton Beach, Florida, on Saturday, June 29, 2019. Originally organized by the residents of Grayton Beach and Seagrove Beach, the annual tradition is a celebration of America’s Independence Day. Competitors, families and friends gather at the access at the end of Garfield Street. to watch two-manned teams navigate 16’ Hobie Cats in the race from Grayton Beach to Seagrove Beach. In addition to the action taking place on the Gulf of Mexico, onlookers can enjoy craft beer from Grayton Beer Company, merchandise for sale. 

Race registration begins at 8:00 a.m. on the beach. The Captain’s Meeting will begin around 11:00 a.m. and the race will begin soon thereafter. The entry fee is $45 per Hobie Cat. The entrance to the event is at Grayton Dunes Access. The ADA accessible access has freshwater showers and parking on the street and is located at the end of Garfield Street behind the Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Florida.

Sponsorships are available for area businesses and individuals interested in supporting the events beneficiary, South Walton Artificial Reef Association.

For more information on how to get involved, please contact Chelsea@GraytonBeer.com or call (850) 399-7004.

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Fourth of July celebrations in north and south Walton

Enjoy Independence Day with parades, fireworks, and family fun around Walton County.

North Walton:
DeFuniak Springs Fourth of July parade and fireworks
4 p.m. – Along Circle Drive.
The DeFuniak Springs Business Professional Association presents their Fourth of July celebration on Circle Drive and Wee Care Park. Parade around the Lakeyard on Circle Drive at 4 p.m., followed by entertainment and fireworks at Wee Care Park on Walton Road. Entertainment starts at 6 p.m. with fireworks at dark.

South Walton:
8:30 a.m. – Grayton Beach 4th of July parade. Meet in front of the Red Bar area and enjoy a fun neighborhood parade. Decorate your bikes, cars, or you!

Seaside Fourth of July parade, music and fireworks
Travel to Seaside for this patriotic celebration. Start the day out at 8 a.m. with the annual July 4th Parade down Scenic Highway 30-A from Seagrove to Seaside

Sister Hazel will start performing at 7 p.m. followed by fireworks finale at 8:30 p.m. Make sure to grab your seat on the lawn early, as space fills up quickly for this festive event. Free.

Red, White & Baytowne
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Cost: Free
4th of July for our Red, White, and Baytowne celebration beginning at 6 pm enjoy lawn games, inflatables, kids crafts, and face painting. Then enjoy live music on the Events Plaza Stage at 7 pm, followed by a fireworks display that will light up the night sky at 9:15 p.m.

Alys Beach
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Cost: Free
Live music with Rhythm Nation. Fireworks show to follow. Food and drink available for purchase.

Fireworks and live music locations in South Walton:
• Rosemary Beach – 8:45 p.m.
• Alys Beach – 9 p.m.
• Seaside – 9 – p.m.
• Hilton at Sandestin – 9 p.m.
• Village of Baytowne Wharf   – 9:15 p.m.

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Stargazing at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park July 5

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the Northwest Florida Astronomy Association for an evening of viewing the sun, moon and stars through telescopes on July 5, 2019 from 5 – 9:30 p.m.  Solar telescopes will be out until the sun sets for you to safely view the sun.  Then the astronomy association will switch telescopes and assist you in viewing any constellations, planets and other celestial objects that are visible. 

The program is weather dependent, and a decision is made by 2 p.m. the day of the program as to whether the program can occur. Please call the ranger station before heading out for the program.

Participants need to be in the park before the gate closes at sunset so please be in the park by 6 p.m. This program is free and admission to the park is free until Labor Day weekend.

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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Guided bird walk at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park July 10

Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society on the second Wednesday of the month from 8:15 – 10:15 a.m. for a guided bird walk. Learn about the birds you are seeing in the park along the trails. Don’t have binoculars? There are a limited number of binoculars available at the park store that can be borrowed for the program.

This program is free and admission to the park is free until Labor Day weekend. 

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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Movies and more at Camp Helen State Park July 10

The sixth annual Movies & More series at Camp Helen State Park will be offering family fun on Wednesdays, July 10 and 24.

The fun begin at 6:00 p.m. in the park’s Recreation Hall with a brief interpretive program led by a Camp Helen Park Ranger or other expert.  The program will be followed by an old-fashioned campfire cookout of hot dogs and s’mores provided by the Friends of Camp Helen.  Each evening will conclude with a family-oriented movie in the Recreation Hall, where seating will be provided.  A parent or guardian must accompany all children.

On Wednesday, July 10:  Moana (Rated PG) – A teenager, leaves her safe island on a journey to save her people. She convinces the mighty demi god Maui to join her mission. Together, they voyage across the ocean on an action-packed adventure. The marine touch tank interpretive program will be about sea life in the area by the Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance.

These special movie nights are sponsored by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Friends of Camp Helen State Park.  Admission into the park for this event is free, although donations are accepted.  Donations will go directly to the Friends of Camp Helen State Park to benefit the park’s resource management projects and interpretive programs.

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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Kayak eco tour of Lake Powell at Camp Helen State Park July 11

Join Camp Helen State Park Ranger staff for a leisurely 90-minute paddle on Lake Powell, the largest Coastal Dune Lake in North America. Learn about the history, natural communities and wildlife that make this Outstanding Florida Water so unique and important. This guided kayak tour will be enjoyable for individuals, families and groups. All levels of experience are welcome. The event will be held on Thursday, July 11 from 9 – 11 a.m.

Space is limited. Advanced reservations are required to participate and can be done by calling Camp Helen State Park 24 hours prior to tour at (850) 233-5059.

Fees: Cash only. Single kayak $30, Tandem kayak $40. Fee includes watercraft rental, life jacket, paddle, and a donation to the Friends of Camp Helen State Park. Entrance Fees into the Park are waived. Watercraft and gear from outside the park are not permitted. Be sure to bring sun protection and drinking water.

Additional Information: 

Program is weather dependent. Please check the forecast prior to arrival. If there is a chance of inclement weather on program day, call the Park for further information. As with all water sports, there is a chance of getting wet so dress appropriately. Please help us keep the trip on schedule by being on time and bring everything that you need with you to the Visitor Center.

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::

Park Fees
There is an honor entrance station. The fee is $4.00 per vehicle and $1.00 per bicyclist or pedestrian. Click here for park website.

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Kayak eco tour of Lake Powell at Camp Helen State Park July 25

Join Camp Helen State Park Ranger staff for a leisurely 90-minute paddle on Lake Powell, the largest Coastal Dune Lake in North America. Learn about the history, natural communities and wildlife that make this Outstanding Florida Water so unique and important. This guided kayak tour will be enjoyable for individuals, families and groups. All levels of experience are welcome. The event will be held on Thursday, July 25 from 9 – 11 a.m.

Space is limited. Advanced reservations are required to participate and can be done by calling Camp Helen State Park 24 hours prior to tour at (850) 233-5059.

Fees: Cash only. Single kayak $30, Tandem kayak $40. Fee includes watercraft rental, life jacket, paddle, and a donation to the Friends of Camp Helen State Park. Entrance Fees into the Park are waived. Watercraft and gear from outside the park are not permitted. Be sure to bring sun protection and drinking water.

Additional Information: 

Program is weather dependent. Please check the forecast prior to arrival. If there is a chance of inclement weather on program day, call the Park for further information. As with all water sports, there is a chance of getting wet so dress appropriately. Please help us keep the trip on schedule by being on time and bring everything that you need with you to the Visitor Center.

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::

Park Fees
There is an honor entrance station. The fee is $4.00 per vehicle and $1.00 per bicyclist or pedestrian. Click here for park website.

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Monarch butterfly science project at Henderson Beach State Park Nov. 2

Come out and experience the beauty of the monarch butterfly at Henderson Beach State Park on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019. By participating in a citizen science project, you will get to tag your very own monarch butterfly. There will be a short talk about the monarchs, their migration, food source, native plants and pollinators within Florida. The Florida Native Plant Society will also be joining in. This is a great opportunity for you and your family to help such a renowned butterfly that’s in decline.

This is a free event to participate in with paid park admission. Limited butterflies available.  Event starts at 10 a.m. at Pavilion B. For more information please contact Park Ranger Jeni Toll at 850-837-7550.

There is a $6 admission fee per vehicle. Henderson Beach State Park is located in Okaloosa County, on Highway 98 just east of downtown Destin.

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