‘BONDING TIME’: AJ’s gears up for the 5th annual Wagon Parade

Matt Algarin
As part of the annual wagon parade, youngsters and their families create nautically themed wagons and parade down the harbor. Over the years, the team at AJ’s has seen everything from airplanes and speedboats to “Finding Nemo” and Destin’s famed Primrose.

It’s time to dust off your Radio Flyer and give it a creative makeover as AJ’s rolls down the harbor during today’s 5th annual Wagon Parade. “This is a great way to kick off the (Destin Fishing) Rodeo, be creative and the best part is every kid is a winner,” said Alan Laird, owner of AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. “Grab a wagon, build some bonding time with mom and dad, and decorate it.”

As an annual tradition at AJ’s, the parade gives families the opportunity to stroll down the harbor and showcase their one-of-a-kind wagons. Let your creativity fly as you create your nautically inspired wagon.

“Wagons can be decorated as almost anything,” said Tracy McCraw, AJ’s director of marketing. “You are only limited to you and your child’s imagination.” In year’s past, wagons have been decorated as speedboats, characters from “Finding Nemo” and as a replica of Destin’s famous Primrose.

The parade will begin at 2 p.m. at AJ’s and make its way along the harbor toward HarborWalk Village’s main stage, where parade entrants will be recognized for their creations, before continuing along the parade route and making their way back to AJ’s for judging, food, fun, arts and crafts, and the awards presentation.

Each wagon and participant will receive a prize. Awards will be given for “Best of Show,” “Best Theme,” and “Most Creative,” in addition to the “Wow Award,” which is given to the wagon that makes the judges say “wow.”

For more information about the wagon parade visit or call 837-1913.

“I have said this many times before. We need to get kids hooked on fishing — everything fishing and any way we can,”

Laird said. “Come to AJ’s and have some free fun. This is what fishing and our community is all about, and I don’t think it hurts to have a little competition while having fun.”