Red, white and blue ó all thatís missing is you! There are plenty of patriotic parties happening in the Walton County/Destin area. Hereís your guide to the fun.
Smoke on the Coast
The third annual Smoke on the Coast BBQ and Fireworks Festival, a BBQ cook-off and fireworks extravaganza, will take place from 7-9 p.m. July 2 at Destin Commons. Sample and vote for the People's Choice Award to be announced at 8:30 p.m. Captain Davy will entertain with balloon sculpting and a magic show. Abrakadoodle will have arts and crafts tables, as well as face painting, and Encore Productions will host street dancing. Fireworks finale begins at 9 p.m. Proceeds benefit Children in Crisis and Fisher House of the Emerald Coast.
Celebration in the Park
Children ages 14 and under, decorate your bike, wagon, stroller, etc., and show your patriotic spirit as Celebration in the Park kicks off with Destin's fifth annual Independence Day Celebration and Bike Parade from 6:30-9 p.m. July 3 at Morgan Sports Center. Check in for the Parade at 5:45 p.m. at the concession stands in the middle of the complex. After the parade, there will be volleyball, kickball, moonwalks, ultimate Frisbee and more. A concert on the lawn (bring blankets and/or lawn chairs) by local Chuck Lawson and the night will end with a fireworks show. Admission is free. No pets allowed.
Bike Parade and Carnival
Fourth of July is family friendly at WaterColorís Marina Park July 3 with movies, concerts, bike parades, fireworks and even a kidís carnival. Kick off the holiday with a bike decorating contest from 10-10:30 a.m. and parade beginning at 10:30 a.m. in Cerulean Park. Carnival is from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Marina Park. Abrakadoodle Summer Art Classes will be held from 1-2 p.m. at Little Red.
First Baptist Church, 201 Beach Drive, will serve up ice cold slices of juicy watermelons to all at midweek fellowship at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday night, July 3 as part of its First Wednesday night community fellowships. Refresh service, a full gospel service with music and more, will follow in the sanctuary.
The free second annual Easy on 30A Benefit Concert takes place from 6-10 p.m. July 3 at WaterColor's Marina Park, 34 Goldenrod Circle. Performers include Tim Jackson, Ike Bartley & Band, Matt Miller, Jimmy Ward and the Forrest Williams Band. A raffle with more than 70 prizes donated by local businesses will benefit Lighthouse Family Retreat and Alaqua Animal Refuge. Picnic blankets, chairs and coolers are welcome. Beverages and food will be available for purchase.
Concerts in the Village
The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundationís 18th Annual Concerts in the Village presents David Seering, An American Patriotic Tribute, at 7 p.m. July 3 at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village Dugas Pavilion in Destin. Admission is $8/adult and children under 12 and MKAF members are free. Call 650-2226.
HarborWalk July 4th Extravaganza
After the weekly Red, White and Blue Celebration honoring local community heroes from 6-8 p.m., Clinch 46 performs at 8 p.m. July 4, followed by fireworks at 9 p.m. and the Andy Velo Band at 9:15 p.m. On Friday, July 5, the evening begins with Departure, the Journey Tribute Band at 7 p.m., followed by an American Pub Crawl with Destin Nights at 9 p.m., benefitting Wounded Warriors.
On Saturday, July 6, the Third Annual Hot Dog Eating Contest begins at 6 p.m., followed by Departure at 7 p.m. The Extravaganza ends Sunday, July 7 with a children's Interactive show, Pirate Pete & the Case of the Missing Fisherman, at 6 p.m.
American Legion Post 296 will serve hot dogs and hamburgers with the fixings from 2-5 p.m. July 4 with live music at 311 Main Street in Destin. Call 837-3818.
City of Destin's Fireworks
Come out to watch the fireworks on July 4th over East Pass at 9 p.m. Tune into Z96 (96.5 WZNS FM) to listen to the soundtrack that will be played during the fireworks show. For a great view, try the new Destin Harbor boardwalk.
Red, White & Baytowne
Celebrate Independence Day from 6-10 p.m. in the Baytowne Wharf Events Plaza. Events are free. Evening Includes live music and children's activities. The Amazing Hat Band performs from 7-9 p.m. and a patriotic fireworks show lights up over the lagoon at 9:15 p.m.
SeasideParade and Fireworks
Start the day with the annual Seaside 4th of July Parade at 8 a.m. from SeagrovePlaza and head west on 30A to Seaside. Residents and visitors share in the glory as participants march 1.5 miles, decked in patriotic costumes and on festive holiday floats, all vying for the crowdís favor. Upon arrival in Seaside, a panel of judges will select a winning parade entry. The crowd always loves patriotic pooches dressed in their finest holiday costumes. Guests on bikes, scooters, golf carts and floats are invited to participate. Register for parade at 231-6107. That evening, Seaside welcomes the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra at 7 p.m. July 4 to the Amphitheater stage for a pops concert under the stars. At 9 p.m., end the holiday with a fireworks spectacular over the Gulf.
The Summer Concert Series features the Atlanta Allstars followed by a fireworks display from 7-10 p.m. at the Amphitheatre at Alys Beach.
Topsail Hill Celebration
An all day celebration of the 4th of July begins at noon in the amphitheatre. Band line up includes Bridget Kelly, Lucky Mud, and Pierce Pettis. Admission into the park is free and a $5 donation is suggested, with proceeds to go to the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State park. Hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, and soft drinks will be available for purchase, or bring your own food or beverage. Fireworks are not allowed in the park and flashlights should have a red filter on the lens when used on the beach to prevent disturbance to nesting sea turtles.
A Fourth of July Celebration Picnic will be held from 7-10 p.m. July 4 at WaterColor's Marina Park. Tickets are $85/adults and $45/children and include food, beverage, bar, private concert, and children's activities. Reservations required at 534-5041. The free Fourth of July fireworks begin at 9 p.m. at WaterColor Beach.
Fourth in Rosemary Beach
Enjoy a day-long celebration beginning with a Bike Decorating Breakfast and Bike Parade at 7:30 a.m. in North Barrett Square. Bring your bike, or rent one from Bamboo Bicycle, and create a star-spangled masterpiece with red, white and blue decorations, enjoy doughnuts and juice and get ready to ride along at 8:45 a.m. in the annual bike parade through town. Prizes awarded for Most Original Use of Decorations, Most Patriotic Theme, Best 6 and Under Decorated Bike, Best Family Entry and Best Overall Decorated Bike.
The Family Field Day will be held from 9-11 a.m. on the Western Green. Sack races, three-legged races, hula-hoop contests and a water balloon toss plus music, airbrush tattoos, go fish, balloons and moonwalks highlight the free event.
Bring a blanket and enjoy a free evening of music with Beach Mice under the stars with Concert On the Green from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Western Green. Fireworks end the day at 8:45 p.m.