The ninth annual Smoke on the Coast BBQ and Firework Festival on July 3 brought together locals and visitors alike to celebrate independence and local charities. In total, the event raised $88,000 for 18 local non-profits, making this the biggest donation to date.

"Smoke on the Coast has become Destin Commons’ way to kick-off patriotic festivities surrounding the Fourth of July," said Heather Ruiz, senior director of marketing & leasing at Destin Commons. "It is our way of bringing together the locals and visitors of our community in celebration of our country while giving back in a big way."

Barbecue aficionados enjoyed $1 samples from 18 area restaurants and barbecue groups and gave their vote for their favorite as People's Choice winners. Awards were also given for Judge's Pick and Most Spirited. The winners are:

People’s Choice Awards

1st – Destin Rotary Club

2nd – Hub City Smokehouse/Habitat for Humanity

3rd – Brightview Landscaping/Taylor Haugen Foundation

4th – Buh’s BBQ/Junior League of the Emerald Coast

5th – Big Red Truck/Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast

Judge’s Pick Awards

1st – Smokin Hot Wheels BBQ/Niceville Rotary Club

2nd – Café Rico/Dog Harmony

3rd – Cold Creek BBQ/ Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida

4th – Destin Rotary Club

5th – Bowtie BBQ/Emerald Coast Science Center

Spirit Awards

1st – Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast

2nd – Destin Rotary Club

3rd – Gulf Coast Council Boys Scouts of America

4th – Dog Harmony

5th – Taylor Haugen Foundation