A weekend of parades: Deck the streets and harbor

Jessica Coker
The Destin Middle School cheerleaders won the Elf Award (Best Children's Civic).

Jingle bells were heard throughout town Saturday as the yuletide spirit filled the hearts of parade-goers when the 27th annual Destin Christmas Parade rolled down U.S. Hwy. 98.

“Great weather, adorable children, wonderful decorations and teamwork,” were the words used to describe the parade by Lisa Firth of the Destin Community Center and parade committee.

The theme of this year’s parade was Christmas Past, Present and Future.

There were 86 entries in the parade — everyone from Legendary Marine to AJ's Seafood & Oyster Bar, and Destin Methodist Church to the South Walton High School Band took part in the festive holiday fun.

Lining the streets, eager children and adults alike caught candy, beads, stuffed animals and even coupons from passing parade floats.

Four-year-old Sarah was particularly happy when she caught a small stuffed dog wearing a Santa hat.

Despite the fact that it was close to 70 degrees during the parade, and the closest to a white Christmas Destin got was the sand on the beautiful beaches, there wasn't a Scrooge in sight during the parade.

Lasting about two hours, this event is a town favorite; it left the residents whistling a jolly tune as they pranced back to their sleighs, starting their Christmas season off on the right stocking.

This years parade winners were: Angel Award (Best Religious): Destin Methodist Church

Chamber Award (Best Commercial): Destin Water Users

Civic Award (Best Civic): American Legion

Elf Award (Best Children's Civic): Destin Middle School Cheerleaders

Santa's Helpers (Best Children’s Commercial): Twinkling Twirlers

Noel Award (Best Band): South Walton High School Band

Crowd Pleaser: Destin Knights Annual Pub Crawl

Grand Marshall: Setco Services. ••• On Sunday, the 26th annual Holiday on the Harbor Destin Lighted Boat Parade was held at HarborWalk Village.

Twenty-five twinkling boats took advantage of the harbor’s beauty and registered for the boat parade.

The boat parade winners were: Private 30-feet and under: Folly II, Capt. David Locht

Private 31-feet and over: Team Galati, Capt. Joe Galati

Charter/Commercial 30-feet and under: Honoring the Promise, Capt. Keith Nelson

Charter/Commercial 31-feet and over: Swoop II, Capt. Matt Wheeler

Tour Boat/Motorized: Emerald Grande Shuttle, Capt. Cindy and Crew

Sailboat 30-feet and under: Miami Merger, Capt. Greg Buchanan

Sailboat 31-feet and over: Daniel Webster Clements, Capt. Chandler Clark

Best Overall Entry: Power Packer, Capt. Norm Leonpacher

City of Destin Award: Daniel Webster Clements, Capt. Chandler Clark.