Emerald Coast Poker Run begins in Destin

Special to The Log

The 21st annual Emerald Coast Poker Run is one of the largest summer poker runs in the nation. It brings in locals and boaters from around the country to join the course with 10 card stops from Destin to Pensacola. It takes off at 10 a.m. Aug. 14 and each stop offers a fun festival event. The run benefits several youth organizations and raises more than $150,000 each year.

Guests can enjoy a raft-up party at Crab Island on Saturday night Aug. 17 and the poker run continues to Sunday. On the 17th at 10 a.m., The Back Porch Seafood and Oyster House will host the “Paddle at the Porch” stand up paddle board race. There are two recreational races that will be one and three miles long, and a six mile elite race. Food and drinks will be available and awards will be given after the races.

At HarborWalk Village events continue to attract many visitors each week. Rock the Docks takes place from 7-9 p.m. every Saturday night with live entertainment. Every Tuesday night throughout the summer, the Pardi Gras parade brings New Orleans flair to the Harbor. This free parade includes floats, beads, and the Village Brass Band playing live from 6-10 p.m.

The Fifth Annual Flying High on the Harbor takes place on Aug. 24 and 25 with professional kite flyers and demonstrations. Visitors can bring their own kites and enjoy the sites from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. There will be stunt kite lessons, contests, and a Kites With Lights show that begins at sunset over Noriega Point.

For Labor Day weekend festivities, there will be fireworks over the harbor and live entertainment each night from Thursday to Sunday. Those visiting can enjoy performances by the Andy Velo Band and Danny Myrick.

On Aug. 14, Chan’s Wine World and Sweetwater will host Fish Fried, a fundraiser for the Emerald Coast Waterkeeper. The event starts at 6 p.m. and guests will enjoy beer tasting and a fried fish dinner. For wine enthusiasts, Wine World has wine tastings from 5-7 p.m. every Friday evening. Cheese plates are available and discounts on cases of wine. There are two locations in Destin, one in the Commons and another in Grand Boulevard.

For more information, visit www.emeraldcoastpokerrun.com.