Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Are You Doing This Weekend? April 27-29

What’s happening on the Emerald Coast this weekend?

What a great weekend we have ahead of us here on Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast! There is truly something for everyone this weekend. Enjoy some fine wine, take the kids out to fun-filled beach fest, take in a sunset, a symphony performance, an enlightening lecture, and so much more this weekend. No matter what you’re in the mood for the Emerald Coast has something for you. Keep reading to find out about all the fantastic happenings coming up in the next few days, and don’t forget to check back next week for a whole new lineup! Don’t forget to take pictures of your Emerald Coast adventures and send them to your friends at Life’s A Beach. Pictures can be uploaded here:

Multi-Day Events

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The 26th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival at the Village of Baytowne Wharf is a picture perfect event complete with white tents, flowing wine, gourmet food, ladies strolling in hats, and live music. Enjoy this event April 26-29.

The Navarre Fun Fest will take place April 27-28 from 3-10 p.m. at Navarre Beach. Non-stop entertainment with fireworks, arts and crafts, a children’s area, and plenty of food., 850.939.3267

Friday, April 27

Head out to the 4th Annual Sunset on the Harbor Hosted by the Destin Chamber of Commerce. This year’s event will kick off at noon with a “Fishing for Business” Corporate Fishing Challenge. The entire Destin community is invited to the Destin Fishing Fleet Marina between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. for a fish fry, silent auction and “Destin Sunset” cocktail making contest. A live DJ will spin the perfect soundtrack as sun sets over the beautiful Destin Harbor.

Help children with special needs right here in your own community by attending Pandora’s Annual Children’s Invitational Charity Auction at the Emerald Coast Convention Center. This unique event provides funding to four local agencies that work together to improve the lives of our area’s special needs children as they strive to become independent adults. Be sure to check out the wide variety of silent auction items ranging from vacation packages, artwork, home decor items, jewelry, sports memorabilia, and much more. Event will be held from 6 p.m.-12 a.m.
For details call 850.244.8660 or email

Saturday, April 28

Haydn Goes Hawaiian will be performed at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville beginning at 7:30 p.m. It's Hawaiian shirt night at the symphony as the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra spotlights the father of the symphony - Franz Josef Haydn and two of his most famous pupils, Mozart and Beethoven. In addition, a world renowned soloist will be featured. Put away your concert attire and put on your most colorful shirt and kick off summer with flair!, 850.729.6000

It’s World Tai Chi Day. Watch Tai Chi demonstrations at Liza Jackson Park in Fort Walton Beach. Refreshments will be available onsite. Join Tai Chi artists from the local area in a standing meditation at 9:55 a.m. Tai Chi artists in 65 countries will be participating in creating a wave of healing energy for the planet and its people.

Join Entomologist Dr. Walter Tschinkel at the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center as the distinguished research professor discusses metal casting of Harvester Ant colonies. Come learn about these amazing ants and the beautiful structures they create! Observe one of his largest Harvester Ant colonies which is housed at the Center.

Sunday, April 29

Go back in time to the Soul Train line and dance the night at the Beal Street Bottle Club as Q’LaLa Productions, Roundtable Radio, Beal Street Bottle Club, and E&J Productions presents a Soul Train Tribute Show. Events include costume contest, live performances, Soul Train Line, and Scrabble board.

For more information, call 850.642.2221.

Hope everyone has a terrific weekend, and as always, keep it beachy!
            -The Life’s A Beach crew

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s Concerts in the Park Gears up for its 16th Season

It’s that time of year again folks. That’s right, it’s concert time! The 16th season of Concerts in the Park kicks off on Thursday, May 3rd. If you’re as excited as we are, grab your lawn chairs, pack up your wine and your picnic dinner, and head to the Village Green at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin every Thursday in May and June. While you’re there, be sure to wave at your friends from Life’s A Beach. Seriously. We’ll be there. Every time. We’re sort of Concerts in the Park groupies.

This 9-week outdoor concert series, which has been voted one of the Top 10 things to do in Northwest Florida by, is sure to have you snapping your fingers and tapping your toes as you enjoy great music in an outstanding atmosphere. There’s something for everyone, so bring the whole family to this fun-filled community event. The series features a wide variety of music including jazz, blues, classic rock, country, Motown, reggae, R&B, golden oldies, and more, so no matter what your musical preference, there’s a band for you.

If you don’t have time or just don’t feel like preparing your own picnic dinner, not to worry. Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Outback Steakhouse and Jim N’ Nicks Bar-B-Q will be alternating being onsite serving up delicious freshly prepared food.

Concert admission is only $8 per adult or $15 per couple. All concerts are free to MKAF members and children under the age of 12. Don’t forget to get your raffle tickets! At each concert, a raffle is held and there are some great prizes up for grabs. Raffle tickets may be purchased onsite. Get 6 raffle tickets for $5, or 12 for $10.

Now that everyone knows where to find the Life’s A Beach gang Thursday nights in May and June, we’ll wrap things up. We look forward to seeing all of our friends and neighbors out on the Village Green for Concerts in the Park this season. If you’ve never been, definitely check it out.

Concert Schedule
May 3
Conner Lorre

Neil Diamond Tribute Artist
May 10
Emerald Coast Blues Brothers

Blues, Folk & Soul
May 17
Emerald County Line

May 24
The Mike Veal Band

Stump the Band – You Name It, They’ll Play It!
May 31
Emerald Gold

Classic Rock, R&B to Motown
June 7
J. B. Lawson & Friends

June 14
Michael J. Thomas Band

Jazz & R&B
June 21

Reggae, Pop, Funk & Soul
June 28
Cozy Corley & The Blue Gardenia Band

Motown, R&B, Soul, Blues, Jazz & Fantastic Show of Dancing

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What Are You Doing This Weekend? April 20-22

Kick off the Weekend! April 20-22, 2012

What’s happening on the Emerald Coast this weekend?

It’s going to be a HUGE weekend this week. There are so many great things going on in the next few days it may be difficult deciding what things you want to do. If you can’t decide, we hope that our little blog can help you plan accordingly to jump from event to event, and truly optimize your weekend. If you still can’t decide, you can always head to the beach. There’s always something to do here on the beautiful Emerald Coast.

Multi-Day Events

The Seabreeze Jazz Festival will be held at Pier Park in Panama City Beach April 18-22. One of the most exciting, most talked about jazz festivals in the USA, will feature some of the top names in smooth jazz. You will not want to miss this spirited event! Check out their website for more info and a complete schedule of events and performances.

Emerald Coast Volleyball Week will take place April 18-22 at the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island. More than 1,200 players compete in this four player beach volleyball tournament.

Musical Echoes A Native American flute, art, and cultural event will take place at the Fort Walton Beach Landing April 20-22. Enjoy the many musical performances, interact with Native American craftsmen, and take part in the annual Torchlight Remembrance Ceremony.  FREE and open to the public.

Head to the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville this weekend as Northwest Florida State College presents its annual performance of Dance Faucets at the center’s Mainstage. In this year's performance on April 20 & 21, 34 dancers will perform seven original dance presentations featuring: contemporary ballet, modern, jazz and tap. An eclectic array of musical styles will be featured including Bach, Vivaldi, Peter Gabriel, Daft Punk, Bobby McFerrin, and many more. Audiences can expect to be energized and entertained by the choreographic works of these talented performers.

Friday, April 20

Soak up some of that infamous Emerald Coast sunshine!

Saturday, April 21

The 4th Annual Northwest Florida Fair Association Arts and Craft Show benefitting Sharing and Caring will be at the Okaloosa County fairgrounds in Fort Walton Beach from 9:30 am until 4 pm. Admission is 1 canned good per person, or a donation at the door. PAWS will also be onsite from 10 am until 1 pm giving rabies vaccines and microchips.

Fire and Earth: 2012 Coastal Pottery Expo will be at Heritage Park and Cultural Center grounds, from 10 am to 4 pm. Meet award-winning potters as they display, sell, and share their work with the public on the museum grounds throughout the day. Admission to the expo is free and will include reduced admission to the museum (Only $1!).

For a day of family fun head to the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida in Valparaiso for the 36th Annual Saturday in the Park and Heritage 5K Run/Walk. This event features something for everyone including live entertainment, craft and food vendors, re-enactments, a car show, KidZone, bake sale, and old fashioned games and contests for the whole family.
Grab the little ones and head to HarborWalk Village from 12-6 pm this Saturday for Kid’s Fest, Destin’s largest outdoor festival just for kids! Join Kids on the Coast Magazine for tons of great kid’s activities including face painting, fish painting, kite making, sidewalk murals, inflatables, jewelry making, demonstrations from local artisans, kid’s karaoke contest and more!

Sunday, April 22


Have a fantastic and beachy weekend!
            -The Life’s A Beach crew

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Family Fun Arts Fest is Just Around the Corner

What: The Family Fun Arts Fest
Where: Henderson Beach State Park
When: May 12, 2012, 10 am – 5 pm

A Place For Creativity to Flourish
The Okaloosa Arts Alliance has joined forces with the Friends of the Emerald Coast State Parks to bring you the 5th Annual Family Fun Arts Fest. The festival will be held at Henderson Beach State Park in Destin on Saturday, May 12 from 10 am – 5 pm. The festival and park are fee and open to the public all day, with free parking available in the park. This lovely festival offers something for everyone so ring the whole family out to this beautiful state park for a day of cultural fun in the sun.

Browse through the many arts and crafts vendors onsite to find that unique Mother’s Day gift, and don’t forget to pick something out for yourself. Take in performances by local artists while you enjoy delicious food and drinks. You won’t want to miss out on the loads of free activities for families including painting, crafts, chalk, drawing, mother’s day cards, animals, face painting and more. Stick around and place your bid at the silent auction, featuring several fantastic items. All festival proceeds benefit the Okaloosa County Arts Alliance.

There’s still time to enter the 4th Annual OAA Okaloosa Schools Poster Contest
Do you know a young da Vinci? All Okaloosa County School students are invited to participate in the 4th Annual OAA Okaloosa Schools Poster Contest. For this year’s contest the OAA wants to know what you consider “Summer Fun.” Entries can be anything a student creates on paper with markers, paint, pastels, charcoal or crayons. Digital artwork is also being accepted. A 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner will be chosen from each of the following levels; elementary school (grades K-4), middle school (grades 5-8), and high school (grades 9-12). All poster contest entries will be on display at the Family Fun Arts Fest, and winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced at the Fest.

Any Okaloosa County School student may enter. Entries can be mailed through an Okaloosa County School or by an individual student. The poster contest deadline is April 30, 2012.

For more information about the Okaloosa County Arts Alliance, the Family Fun Arts Fest, or the poster contest, visit

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

What Are You Doing This Weekend? April 13-15

What’s happening on the Emerald Coast this weekend?

Friday the 13th doesn’t seem so ominous when you are here on Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast. There are several fun-filled events happening along the coast this weekend, so if you haven’t made your weekend plans yet, browse this list of just a few of the area’s happenings for the upcoming weekend.

Multi-Day Events
The Gulf Coast All-Levels Athletic Championships Cheering Competition will take place April 14-15 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center.

The St. Mary's Spring Fling starts this weekend! It’s the same Spring Fling area families and visitors have enjoyed for years. It’s just moved from the church grounds to behind the fairground buildings to allow more room for the midway rides, games, and the food court. The lively event will be taking place from April 14-18. Admission and parking are free.

The ensemble "Flutes Furioso" of Northwest Florida State College will perform two free concerts this weekend. Saturday, April 14, they will be playing at noon at the Tyler Recital Hall in the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville, and Sunday, April 15, at 2:30 in the atrium of Westwood Retirement Resort in Fort Walton Beach.  The Flutes Furioso ensemble will premiere two new pieces at these performances, in addition to popular and classical favorites from the flute choir repertoire. Both concerts are free and open to the public.

You won’t want to miss the Emerald Coast Boat Show taking place all weekend long. Head out to Santa Rosa Mall April 13-15 to see all the boats on display from 10 am to 9 pm.

Friday, April 13

Head to the Art Wing of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center for the Amy Riddell Reading and Book Signing starting a 7 pm. Listen as poet and professor Amy Riddell reads from her first full-length collection of poetry, Bullets in the Jewelry Box, an inspirational true-crime story.

Saturday, April 14

Come out and run for a good cause at the Run 4 Science, sponsored by the Emerald Coast Science Center. The run and festival will be held at 8:30 a.m. at the Fort Walton Beach Landing. Races will be held for all ages starting with preschool, and activities and information will be available after the race.

Destin Commons guests are invited to join Valley Crest Landscape from 12-2 pm as a butterfly garden is planted in honor of the upcoming Earth Day. Planting will take place in the front greenery area, opposite Sephora. Special guests Off the Vine Organic Produce and Williams-Sonoma will be onsite providing healthy eating tips and tricks for guests. Life is Good will also be hosting an Earth Day Good to Grow Party in-store from 12-5 pm featuring live music, snacks and fun activities for all ages.

Sunday, April 15

A great day for exploring! See if you can find some dolphins or manta rays! If you get a great picture be sure to share it with us at We love to see folks enjoying the beautiful Emerald Coast, so feel free to upload any of your vacation photos!

Have a great weekend! And, as always, keep it beachy!
            -The Life’s A Beach crew

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Sandestin Wine Festival is Just Around the Corner!

What: The 26th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival
When: April 26-29
Where: The Village of Baytowne Wharf 

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The Sandestin Wine Festival is a picture perfect event complete with white tents, flowing wine, gourmet food, ladies strolling in hats, live music, and more. Each year, the Village of Baytowne Wharf, the heart and soul of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, transforms itself into the South of France with a four day event providing patrons with an atmosphere to enjoy fine wine that is both entertaining and enlightening.

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The festival’s bounty of unique events open up a wide range of experiences from attending private dinners, participating in auctions for rare and distinctive wines, and taking part in wine tastings that showcase an unprecedented 800 wines. Wine novices are able to learn more about wines and sample from a comprehensive selection in all varieties, styles, and price ranges. Seasoned wine connoisseurs can enjoy meeting winemakers, asking detailed questions, and acquiring hard-to-get selections. As an added bonus, participants have the opportunity to immediately purchase their favorite selections from the retail tent at discounted prices.

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If you’re ready for an event that combines a great time with some of the best food and wine from around the globe, mark your calendar for April 26-29 and attend this year’s Sandestin Wine Festival. For more detailed information, visit their website at

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What Are You Doing This Weekend? April 6-8

What’s happening on the Emerald Coast this weekend?

Easter is upon us this weekend. That’s right, in just a few short days it will be time for good ol’ Peter Cottontail to be hopping down the bunny trail bearing brightly colored eggs and delicious, teeth-rotting treats. There are Easter egg hunts, Easter celebrations, and of course Easter Bunny appearances galore this weekend, so you will have your choice of festive Easter fun, or HOP from one event to the next, (ha ha!) the choice is yours. No matter how you are spending your weekend, check out the highlighted events below, for all your Easter and non-Easter weekend fun.

Multi-Day Events

Kitty Hawk Kites 8th Annual Beach Kite Festival will take place Friday, April 6 – Saturday, April 7th from 10 AM – 5 PM on at the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island. Demonstrations from professional kite flyers, kite tricks, kite contests, kite making, face painting, and other high-flying, fun activities.

The 12th Annual Hog’s Breath Cobia Shootout Tournament will take place at Hog’s Breath in Destin. The tournament kicks off on Thursday, April 5, at 6:30 PM with a captain’s meeting at Hog’s Breath Café.

Hop over to the Bass Pro Shops Easter Celebration this weekend! Easter egg hunts will be held at 1 p.m., on April 7 and 8 lasting one hour. Free crafts will be available from 6-8 PM on Friday, April 6, and on Saturday and Sunday from 12-3 p.m. Get a free photo with the Easter Bunny Friday from 6-8 PM, Saturday from 11 AM until 3 PM, and on Sunday from 1- 4 PM.

Friday, April 6

Saturday, April 7

The Destin Annual Easter Egg Hunt will take place at Morgan Sports Complex from 9 AM – 12 PM and will include a special egg hunting zone for crawlers and toddlers.

Grab your basket and your sandals and head out to the 3rd Annual Back Porch Beach Easter Egg Hunt Benefiting Alaqua Animal Refuge. The hunt begins promptly at 10 AM on the sugar white beaches directly behind the Back Porch Restaurant. The Easter Bunny will be available for photos in the big beach chair, and many free activities will be taking place immediately following the hunt. Alaqua Animal Refuge will also be there with some of their lovable furry friends.

Hop, skip or jump your way to the Village of Baytowne Wharf for Easter Explosion, an afternoon of family fun. Enjoy kid's activities and most importantly, don’t forget to visit the Easter Bunny!

The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is bringing new meaning to the traditional Easter egg hunt with the First Annual Jolee Island Bunny Hop and Easter Egg Walk. The fun starts at 9:30 AM at the foot of the Jolee Island Bridge. All proceeds for the event will go to the Sandestin Foundation for Kids.

Sunday, April 8 – HAPPY EASTER!!!

Visit the Easter Bunny at HarborWalk Village. Also, enjoy free face painting and crafts from 2-4 p.m.

Easter Sunday Brunch will be held at the following places:

The Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa 
11:00 AM TO 3:00 PM

Ruth's Chris Steak House 
11:00 AM TO 8:00 PM

The Solaris 
12:15 PM TO 3:00 PM

Beach Walk Café At Henderson Park Inn 
11:30 AM TO 2:30 PM

Grande Vista Bar and Grill
10:00 AM- 2:00 PM

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
11:30 AM TO 3:00 PM

Have a beachy Easter weekend!
            -The Life’s A Beach crew

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Attend the Dressed to Give Charity Fashion Show and Support Local Charities

Get your VIP tickets to this fun and unique event today! The Dressed to Give Charity Fashion show will prove to be an entertaining evening of fashion, fun, and giving. This event is approaching quickly and will be here before we know it, so let’s show these community charities our love and support by donating and attending this delightful event. 

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Date: April 19, 2012
Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Location: Silver Sands Factory Outlet – Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH

Preview the hottest spring and summer styles of 2012 at the Dressed to Give Charity Fashion Show and support local charities at the same time at this entertaining event. Proceeds will benefit nine local charities including the following:

Click on each charity name above to learn more about each organization. 

This event is free and open to the public; however, you may show your support by purchasing VIP tickets in advance for only $20. Your $20 donation will get you runway seating during the event as well as a special gift bag. Contact one of the charity organizations above to purchase your VIP tickets today. Hurry, seating is limited!

This lovely evening of fashion and fun will begin with an outdoor reception in the Courtyard in front of Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH with appetizers provided by Carrabba’s Italian Grill.  Attendees can mix and mingle while showing their support for their favorite area charity by purchasing drawing tickets for $5 each for a chance to win some great prizes. Bonus! Each drawing ticket purchased also comes with a ballot to vote for the People’s Choice Charity. The top voted charity will win an additional $500 donation from Silver Sands.
But wait! There’s more!
The community can also show their support for these local charities by shopping at any of the over 100 stores and restaurants at Silver Sands. A portion of the proceeds from Silver Sands’ sales receipts redeemed April 19 – 22 at *Shopper Services will be donated to each charity.

*Shopper Services is located between Michael Kors and DKNY.