Whether you're looking to catch red, white and blue fireworks with the family, or celebrate with an "American" pub crawl, look no further than HarborWalk Village for Fourth of July fun.
Visit HarborWalk 6 p.m. on July 3 and welcome the RUSH Student Choir to the stage as they tour the Gulf States leading worship events and performing mission projects.
On Thursday, expect a fireworks finale in the sky, but before that HarborWalk will honor Lt. Col. Samuel Lombardo for his dedication and service to the United States at the 4th of July Extravaganza: Red, White and Blue Celebration.
"I don't consider myself a hero, but a patriot," Lombardo humbly told The Log in a hand written letter.
The Fourth of July is the perfect day to recognize Lombardo as it is his favorite holiday.
"I'm wearing my WWII uniform, mainly for the children," he said. "Most of them probably have never seen one. I'm speaking only for five to 10 minutes, which is difficult since I want to say so much about the America I knew and know."
Lombardo's military career began with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. In 1944, Lombardo and his platoon were the first 99th ID soldiers to cross the Rhine River into Germany. His unit created an American flag from scratch, because the Army-issued Stars and Stripes were unavailable. Lombardo later served in Korea and Vietnam as an intelligence officer.
After the ceremony, the extravaganza continues with concerts from Clinch 46 and the Andy Velo Band and, of course, Independence Day fireworks. The celebration begins at 7 p.m.
As the weekend rolls on, HarborWalk delivers more fun with a performance by Departure: the Journey Tribute Band starting at 7 p.m. on July 5. After the concert, the Destin Nights present an "American" pub crawl, which benefits the Wounded Warriors. Your $10 pub passport unlocks drink discounts throughout the night.
On July 6, watch competitors go head to head — or rather stomach to stomach — in the 4th Annual HarborWalk Village Hot Dog Eating Contest sponsored by Dave's Dogs. Departure then closes out the festivities, reminding the audience to "Don't Stop Believing."
A week’s worth of fun
During the summer, there is always something going on at HarborWalk Village.
Monday-Friday: Children in first to sixth grade get to spend an exciting week learning about exotic animals and their natural habitats through the Summer WILD Children's Camp, all week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact Susan Leveille of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge at firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Tuesdays: When the sun goes down, the beads come out during the weekly Pardi Gras Parade, a New Orleans style, family-friendly parade starting at sunset.
Wednesdays & Fridays: From 4 to 7 p.m., the kids get to release their artistic side through the Summer Art Camp with Abrakadoodle. Cost is $30 and includes all art supplies and a snack. Contact Emerald Grande's concierge for reservations.
Thursday: Every week throughout the summer is the Fourth of July at HarborWalk Village. The Red, White and Blue Celebration starts at 7 p.m. and includes a flyover by a historic World War II airplane, fireworks and the honoring of a local hero.
Saturday: If you've ever dreamed of singing on stage, then Saturday is your chance to shine at Rock the Docks with Déjá vu. The karaoke-style show begins at 7 p.m.
Sunday: The kid's get their own swashbuckling adventure with the interactive children's show, Pirate Pete and the Case of the Missing Fisherman. Children get to join Pirate Pete's crew singing and dancing whole searching for Fred, the missing Fisherman. The show begins at 6 p.m.