Christmas on the Coast

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

“Oh, by gosh, by golly, It’s time for mistletoe and holly …”

Another year and it is time for Santa, parades, carols and more. It is also time to help those less fortunate through donations to local charities. For a complete list of events on the Emerald Coast, visit thedestinlog.com.

Photos with Santa

Get free photos made with Santa from 2-3 p.m. every Saturday through Dec. 20 at Grand Park at Grand Boulevard in Sandestin.

Geek Lights

Season 7 of the “Geek Lights on the Corner” Christmas lights and music show take place through Jan. 4 at the corner of Bluewater Boulevard and Antiqua Way in Bluewater Bay. Shows begin on the hour and half hour starting at 6 p.m., with the last show starting at 9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. This year’s display features approximately 85,000 lights. There is an all-new story to open the show and guests should always be prepared for a surprise. All donations will go to the Junior League of the Emerald Coast’s Child Clothing Project in Okaloosa and Walton counties.

ADSO Christmas Art Market

The Arts & Design Society’s members host the annual Christmas Art Market through Dec. 20 at First Street, SE, in Fort Walton Beach. Features include an assortment of special artistry, including jewelry, paintings, clay works, decorations, photographs, and note cards, all created by the members. Works are reasonably priced, from stocking stuffers to larger gifts. Call 244-1271.

Catholic Charities Donations

Catholic Charities of NW Florida is asking the community for donations, either with food and/or financial assistance, to help them provide for Thanksgiving and Christmas to families in need. Your generosity will help meet the needs of those who are struggling with low or no employment in our area. 

Catholic Charities is an organization whose mission is to offer assistance to residents of Okaloosa and Walton Counties (emergency financial) with adoption services, free pregnancy and Christian counseling. The impact and contributions we make to our community are made possible through community participation.  

Donations can be dropped off at the Catholic Charities office, 11 First Street SE, in Fort Walton Beach from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

12 Nights of Lights

Enjoy a festive light show set to your favorite holiday music at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in December in the Events Plaza at Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin. The light show will also be featured during the holiday editions of the Wednesday Night Concert Series.

Wednesday Night Concert Series

Enjoy a free holiday concert with Boukou Groove from 7-9 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Events Plaza at The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin. Call 267-8186.

• Dec. 10: Heritage

• Dec. 17: Niceville Opus One

The Marvel of This Night

The Northwest Florida State College sponsored Schola Cantorum vocal ensemble presents a series of free Christmas concerts titled “The Marvel ofThis Night” at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 at St. Simon’s on the Sound Episcopal Church on U.S. 98 in Fort Walton Beach. The concert is free with donations accepted to support the music programs at NWFSC.

Christmas Tree Lighting

The 28th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, hosted by the City of Destin, will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Destin Community Center. This will be an outdoor event for the entire family with a visit from Santa Claus and entertainment provided by Noah’s Ark Bell Choir, Skylar Babin, Emerald Coast Theatre, and Destin Elementary Choir. Refreshments will be served after the lighting of the tree. Donations of toys and canned food will be collected for families in need. Call 654-5184.

Holiday Baking

A Holiday Baking class will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Destin Community Center for ages 8-14. The fee is $40/residents and $45/non-residents. Each student will learn how to bake and bring home several holiday cookies, treats, and more. Pre-registration is required at 654-5184 or recreation@cityofdestin.com.

Sounds of the Season

The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s 18th annual holiday music spectacular will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 at Village Baptist Church in Destin.

Christmas Open House

The Arts and Design Society hosts its annual Christmas Party from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 5 at 17 First Street in Fort Walton Beach. A variety of festive activities include an auction of holiday decorations made by members and a potluck dinner provided by the members. Call 244-1271.

By Golly, Be Jolly

The Emerald Coast Community Band presents a concert, By Golly, Be Jolly,” to benefit Covenant Hospice at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Fort Walton Beach Municipal Auditorium, 107 Miracle Strip Parkway SW. A medley of Christmas and other seasonal music will be featured, as well as special guests nJoy A Cappela Quartet. Tickets are $10/advance and $12/door. Advance tickets can be purchased at P.S. Gifts and Playground Music in Fort Walton Beach, Bayou Book Company in Niceville, and Covenant Hospice’s local branch offices, 220 Eglin Parkway NE in Fort Walton Beach and 4100 S. Ferdon Boulevard in Crestview or by phone at 850-729-1800.

A Christmas Carol: In Concert

The classic Charles Dickens tale “A Christmas Carol” takes a delightful twist at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 6 and 2 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Mattie Kelly Arts Center’s Spring Theater on the Niceville campus. The customized adaption by NWF State College combines vibrant song and dance along with acting, period costumes, narration, set design and more to bring to life the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and the spirits of Christmas. Included in the ticket price of $25 will be Victorian style desserts and beverages. Tickets are on sale through the center’s Box Office, by phone, web or in person.

Breakfast in Bethlehem

A family pancake breakfast and celebration with crafts, cookie decorating and fun will be held from 9-11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Destin Life Center at Destin United Methodist Church. Suggested donation is $5/person or $15/family.

‘Yes, Virginia The Musical’

Emerald Coast Theatre Company presents “Yes, Virginia The Musical” at 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at the Destin Community Center, 101 Stahlman Ave. For more information, call 687-1637, email info@emeraldcoasttheatre.org or visit www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org.

Santa’s Arrival

Santa arrives in the courtyard in front of Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th at Silver Sands Dec. 6. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. there will be face-painting, a holiday craft project and a performance of “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)” by the Seaside Repertory Theatre.

Gingerbread House Decorating

Come decorate your own gingerbread house at this family event from 3-4:45 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. Rain date is 3 p.m. Dec. 7. Sponsored by Abrakadoodle and Emerald Coast Theatre Company, the cost is $50/house and includes all decorations and box. Bring a chair and/or blanket to enjoy the Improv-ing Elves of the Emerald Coast Theatre Company as they perform at 5 p.m. on the stage. Reservations required at www.abrakadoodle.com/FL07 or call 424-5058.

Shop-a-Thon Fundraiser

A Christmas fundraiser, sponsored by Gilmans Loving Leogane Kids with all proceeds going to children in Haiti, will be held from 12-4 p.m. Dec. 6 at Turkey Creek pavilion, after the Niceville Christmas Parade. Vendors will donate all their personal profits to the Léogne children. For a donation, there will be entertainment for children with an opportunity to have photos taken with the Ice Queen and Snow Princess from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Gingerbread House Decorating

Come decorate your own gingerbread house at this family event from 3-4:45 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. Rain date is 3 p.m. Dec. 7. Sponsored by Abrakadoodle and Emerald Coast Theatre Company, the cost is $50/house and includes all decorations and box. Bring a chair and/or blanket to enjoy the Improv-ing Elves of the Emerald Coast Theatre Company as they perform at 5 p.m. on the stage. Reservations required at www.abrakadoodle.com/FL07 or call 424-5058.

Breakfast with Santa

Bring the holiday season to life as children enjoy breakfast with Santa from 8-11 a.m. Dec. 7, 14 and 21 at Grande Vista Bar and at the Emerald Grande. For reservations, call 424-0621.

White Tie Holiday

Have a “White Tie Holiday” with the Northwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra at 2 p.m. Dec. 7 held in the mainstage theater at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville. The NFSYO welcomes back the White Tie Rock Ensemble of Pensacola for a Christmas music extravaganza featuring the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, holiday tunes, favorite holiday movie moments, a carol sing-a-long, and multimedia light show. The event is free with donations accepted at the door to support the youth orchestra programs of Northwest Florida State College

A Dickens Christmas

Three professional actors from Emerald Coast Theater Company seamlessly change from character to character as they bring to life the tale of Scrooge and his transformational night with three ghosts at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, 13 and 21 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 13 and 20 in the HarborWalk Village Veranda Room above Crab Island Cantina. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Share cookies and tea with family and friends in a cozy, festive atmosphere. Tickets are $20/adults and $10/children ages 5-12. Tickets can be purchased at 687-1637 or http://www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org.

Holiday Pops Concert

The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra will ring in the holiday season in festive style at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville with a Holiday Pops concert. The sounds of the season will fill the air as the NFSO, joined by the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale, performs some of the most beautiful season music ever written and have a  carol sing-along with the audience. Tickets are $25/adults and $18/Active Duty Military and their guests and youth age 18 and younger.

Orchestral Holiday

Sinfonia Gulf Coast will present its annual holiday concert, “Orchestral Holiday,” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at Destiny Worship Center. Joining the Sinfonia will be The von Trapps, descendants of the family who inspired “The Sound of Music.” Tickets range from $29.50-$42.50 and can be purchased at SinfoniaGulfCoast.org or 269-7129.

Christmas Parade

The City of Destin’s 30th Annual Christmas Parade, “Christmas Trees & Memories, Celebrating Destin’s 30 Years,” will be held at 10 a.m. Dec. 13. The floats will start at Downtown Destin Shopping Center (Old Time Pottery) and travel West down Harbor Boulevard (Hwy. 98) to Nightown on Stahlman Avenue. Please stand on the north side of Harbor Boulevard to watch the floats. Call 654-5184 for information on entering a float.

Visit with Santa

Bring your wish list and come visit with Santa and special guest Coca Cola’s Holiday Polar Bear from 12-6 p.m. Dec. 13 and 12-4 p.m. Dec. 14 at HarborWalk Village Main Stage! All children will receive a special treat! This event is free for all ages!

Tuba Christmas Concert

The free Tuba Christmas Concert begins at 5 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. The annual Holiday Lantern Parade, with commissioned paper lanterns in the shapes of iconic symbols of the holiday, will follow at 6 p.m. All individuals and groups are invited to participate by making their own paper lanterns. A showing of the movie “Elf” begins at 7 p.m.

Peter White Christmas

A Peter White Christmas featuring Rick Braun and Mindi Abair returns at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College with smooth jazz and jingle bells. Tickets are $40/general admission and $80/front section and are available at 729-6000 or http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?orgid=21891.

Dream Catchers Concert

Celebrate the spirit of the season as the “Dream Catchers” perform A Christmas Wish, including all of your favorite holiday melodies,  at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 on the HarborWalk Main Stage. Free and open to the public.

Holiday on the Harbor ArtWalk

A special edition of ArtWalk from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14 at HarborWalk Village. Local and regional artists and vendors display their work with entertainment from the Emerald Coast Community Band at 4 p.m. and the Village Brass Band at 5 p.m. Dec. 14. The event is free.

Gift wrapping

The UPS Store at Grand Boulevard, 755 Grand Blvd. in Miramar Beach, will offer complimentary gift wrapping Dec. 13-22 and sell donation cards for donations to benefit Toys for Tots Literacy Program. One hundred percent of each dollar donated helps purchase books for children who need it most in Okaloosa and Walton counties. Call 267-6050. For more information on the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, visit toysfortots.org/literacy.

Boat Parade

The 28th annual Destin Harbor Boat Parade begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at HarborWalk Village. Enjoy live music, children’s arts and crafts, hot chocolate, and Santa visits from 12-4 p.m. A fireworks display over the harbor begins after the parade.

NWF Ballet

Get into the holiday spirit with a lively spectacle as elaborate costumed dancers take the stage at 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at HarborWalk Village to perform excerpts of the timeless holiday classic, The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker

Join Ballet Conservatory and Destin School of Music and Dance for its annual presentation of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, at 2 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21 in the South Walton High School auditorium in Santa Rosa Beach. Tickets are $15/reserved seating before Dec. 17 and $20/cash only at door. Call 837-1133.

Chanukah Celebration and Menorah Lighting

Special seasonal music, glistening decorations, a memorable menorah lighting, facepainting and fun crafts for children begins at 4 p.m. Dec. 21 at HarborWalk Village. Call 424-3304 or visit chabademeraldcoast.org.

Festival of Trees

Grand Boulevard at Sandestin’s fifth annual “Festival of Trees” will showcase 12 uniquely decorated Christmas trees from area non-profit organizations through Dec. 31 in Grand Park.

Street Party Countdown

Family friendly and free to the public, HarborWalk Village’s Street Party Countdown includes a live concert by Departure, The nation’s TOP Journey Tribute Band, at 7 p.m. Dec. 31. Firework shows begin at 8 p.m. and midnight with the Seventh Annual Ball Drop.

Baytowne Countdown

The Village of Baytowne Wharf’s free end-of-year celebration begins at 7 p.m. Dec. 31. Come dance the night away and enjoy fireworks as they light up the sky over the lagoon at midnight.