It's Autumn in Paradise

Staff Writer
The Destin Log
Seventh Annual Flying High on the Harbor Kite Festival Sept. 26-27

It's the perfect time of year for all ages to enjoy annual festivals and events outside with friends and family. There is something for everyone, whether you like seafood, arts, music, beer ... or especially fishing for 31 days in October.

Beer Festival

The Fifth Annual Destin Beer Festival features 100+ beers, spirits, food in the culinary tent and live music with The Rips Sept. 26 at Destin Wine World in the Paradise Key Shopping Center. All proceeds from the Beer Fest benefit local charities Children in Crisis and Emerald Coast Autism Center. General admission tickets are $35 and VIP are $50 at

Kite Festival

An octopus, a panda, a parrot and more will fly high above the harbor at Destin’s Norriego Point from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 26-27 as Kitty Hawk Kites hosts its Seventh Annual Flying High on the Harbor Kite Festival. See larger-than-life show kites, kite demonstrations with free kite making for the kids, lessons and stunt kite flying. Free shuttle boat service available from the HarborWalk Village docks behind Pirates Alley across to Norriego Point. Shuttles will run every 30 minutes. The Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village will also host a fireworks show at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Destin Fishing Rodeo

The ultimate fishing tournament and biggest "festival" for saltwater anglers of all ages is the 67th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo from Oct. 1-31. The Rodeo is free to angler's fishing aboard a registered boat in the Rodeo and there are Junior, Teen, Ladies and Senior Divisions. Weigh-ins are everyday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the docks at A.J.'s Seafood & Oyster Bar.

Every child who enters a fish in the Destin Fishing Rodeo that weighs 1 lb. or more gets a rod and reel and a certificate suitable for framing. Fishing on pier bridge jetty is free for anglers 14 years and younger.

A $25 fee is required for anglers 15 and over. Virtually every gamefish is recognized with awards during the Rodeo.

Destin Seafood Festival

Celebrate the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village" during the 37th Annual Destin Seafood Festival from 4-10 p.m. Oct. 2; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 3; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Destin harbor. Admission is free for fresh seafood, live music, arts and crafts booths, and more. Donations accepted at Festival Soda & Beer tents and at the Fishermen's Raffle Tent.

Festival of the Arts

Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation hosts the 20th annual Festival of the Arts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 24 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin. The festival showcases the original artwork of more than 100 artists and features a live music lineup, art activities for kids, souvenir posters and T-shirts, art raffle and more. A food bistro, wine and beer garden as well as convenient parking and motor coach shuttle are also available. Tickets are $5/adults and children under 12 are free. Call 650-2226.

Fall Festival

The City of Destin’s 15th Annual Fall Festival will be held from 5-8 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Destin Community Center. Please bring a non-perishable food item for admission. Fun booths with games, activities, a cakewalk, costume contest for ages 0-12 (register 5-6 p.m.), spacewalk, slide, and Jack-o-lantern contest (drop off before 3 p.m. Games tickets are 4/$1 or 20/$5. Call 654-5184.

Blues Brews and BBQ Festival

Restaurants are firing up the grill as they compete in a spirited and fun BBQ competition from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 7 on the Destin harbor. The fun afternoon will feature “tasting stations” with samples of tasty BBQ and signature coastal food and cold beverages all while enjoying live entertainment.

Taste Tickets are $30/advance at and $35 at the door. Under 21 years $15/advance, $20 at the door with 6 and under free. Prices include armbands for BBQ sampling and 7 drink tickets for Craft Beer samples