Santa is coming to towns, trees will be twinkling and holiday parades will be rolling. Itís beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Destin and South Walton.


Christmas on the Coast: Destin Commons welcomes Santa to light the holiday tree from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 23. Come out for art projects, face painting, live entertainment by Sinfonia Gulf Coast and a holiday parade with Santa, ending with a fireworks finale. Free photos with Santa at Bass Pro Shops.

Festival of Trees: Grand Boulevardís fourth annual Festival of Trees will showcase more than a dozen uniquely decorated Christmas trees from area non-profit organizations in Grand Park Nov. 26 through Dec. 25. The public is invited to attend the kick-off from 4:30-6 p.m. as the trees are lighted, judged on their decorations and winners are announced at 6 p.m. Festival of Trees is free and open to the public.

Here Comes Santa Claus: Welcome Santa and cheer him on as he lights the Village Christmas Tree from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 30 at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Stick around for a preview of the choreographed light show, 12 Nights of Lights, and watch as fireworks light up the sky over the lagoon. Admission is free. Subject to change based on weather.

Holiday Parade: The Annual South Walton Holiday Parade begins at 4 p.m. Nov. 30 at Seagrove Plaza and rolls down Scenic Hwy. 30A and ends in Seaside where Santaís arrival and the Christmas tree lighting will take place.

Christmas Tree Lighting: The 27th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, hosted by the City of Destin, will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Destin Community Center. Entertainment provided by local choruses, musical groups, dancers, etc. with refreshments served after the lighting of the tree. Donations of toys and canned food will be collected for families in need. Call 654-5184 for more information.

Craft Show: Christmas in the Village Craft Show will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Destin Community Center. Cost is $40/residents and $50/non-residents. Visit for an application.

Christmas Parade: The City of Destinís 28th Annual Christmas Parade will be held at 10 a.m. Dec. 14. The floats will start at Downtown Destin Shopping Center and travel west down Harbor Boulevard (U.S. 98) to Stahlman Avenue. Stand on the north side of Harbor Boulevard to watch the floats. For those who wish to put a float in the parade, applications are free and available at the Destin Community Center. Applications must be turned in no later than Nov. 29. Call 654-5184.

Boat Parade: The harbor will be dancing with holiday lights and cheer during the Destin History & Fishing Museumís 27th Annual Destin Boat Parade at 6 p.m. Dec. 15. Boats will line up between 5 and 5:30. The parade can be viewed from docks and restaurants west of Grand Harbor Condominiums on Destin harbor. Enjoy live music, childrenís arts and crafts and hot chocolate. Visit with Santa Claus from 12-4 p.m. A fireworks finale follows the parade. Rain date is Dec. 22.

Holiday Baking Class: Chef Jim Shirah will hold a baking class from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 20 at the Destin Community Center for children ages 8-14. The fee is $40/residents and $45/non-residents. Each student will take home several holiday cookies, treats and more. Pre-registration is required at 654-5184.