Thursday, May 31, 2012

What Are You Doing This Weekend? June 1-3

What’s happening on the Emerald Coast this weekend?

Yo ho, yo ho, it’s a pirate’s life this weekend! You guessed it, friends and followers; the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival is upon us. The weekend will be filled with pillaging and plundering all in the name of 18th century adventurer and pirate extraordinaire, William Augustus Bowles. This weekend also marks the beginning of Red Snapper season here on the Emerald Coast, so grab your pole and head into the beautiful jade waters for a little adventure at sea. Need the perfect thing to go with your fresh catch? Check out the Giant Indoor Yard & Craft Sale/Farmer’s Market and find the perfect fresh produce to compliment your catch. If all else fails, head to the beach or an area waterpark, soak up some sun, maybe try your hand at something new like YOLO boarding, surfing, or snorkeling. As always, have a safe and happy weekend my friends, and don’t forget to send us the pictures! Click here to upload your photos!

Multi-Day Events

The Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival is a three-day, family-friendly festival featuring Capt. Billy Bowlegs and his Krewe as they attempt to overrun the City of Fort Walton Beach. The water-front Landing Park becomes a Pirate's village full of entertainment, exotic items and grub and grog fit for any pirate. From the opening Torchlight Parade on Thursday, May 31, until the closing fireworks on June 2, the city will be full of the joys of the pirate life.

Friday, June 1

First Day of Red Snapper Season!

Saturday, June 2

6th Annual Pink Rubber Boots Ladies Fishing Rodeo sponsored by the Triple Crown of Fishin Chix will take place at Flounder’s Chowder House in Pensacola Beach.

It’s time for the annual “Giant Indoor Yard & Craft Sale/Farmer’s Market,” previously known as “Country Store.” This event will be held at the Okaloosa Extension Office in Crestview from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. Come out and check out the fruits and vegetables, arts and crafts and more. For more information, email

Compete for large cash prizes at the North Light Marina Red Snapper Challenge.  Tournament is open to center consoles and fishing boats of all sizes. Anglers will compete for heaviest Red Snapper with opt-ins available in reds, king mackerel, aggregates, ladies and juniors. Spectators are encouraged to join the fun with live music, beer, great food, kid’s activities, a retail village, and of course, exciting weigh-ins!

Bring the family out to the Village of Baytowne Wharf and run for the arts at Sinfonia Gulf Coast's second annual bravo! beat 5K run/walk. Proceeds from the event will benefit Sinfonia’s mission to provide music education initiatives and guest artists in the schools of Okaloosa and Walton Counties.

Sunday, June 3
Head to Niceville’s Mattie Kelly Arts Center for “Sing for a Cure,” a moving performance of orchestral and choral music connected by touching narratives. All proceeds from the concert will benefit the Sacred Heard Foundation for the new Sacred Heart Cancer Center – Emerald Coast expansion. This fundraising event begins at 6:30 p.m. A performance to lift your heart and move your soul; this is truly an event you won’t want to miss.

Have a fun-filled, sun-filled, wonderfully beachy weekend!
            -The Life’s A Beach crew

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Emerald Coast Weekly Summer Events

Music, and movies, and magic, oh my! These are just a few of the spectacular events which you can attend WEEKLY, that’s right folks, WEEKLY here on the magnificent Emerald Coast. Take in a fireworks display every week, hey take in two! Enjoy live performances by talented musicians, be amazed and amused during a magic show, bring the family out for a movie under the stars and more! Had a blast this week? Awesome! Do it all again next week! More music, more laughter, more FUN! That’s what living the Emerald Coast lifestyle is really about my friends, whether you’re a local, just looking for a way to spend an evening, or a visitor trying to fully immerse yourself in the area, FUN is what it’s all about. Here on the Emerald Coast, this is where the fun is! Check it out, there’s always something exciting happening in this lively locale.
Magician Rick Moore will astound and amaze you every Monday night from 7-9 p.m. during Magical Mondays at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. Enjoy an evening full of laughs and illusions on the Events Plaza Stage. To create a little of your own magic, visit his shop after the show.

Enjoy an evening of fun and merriment complete with face painting, kid’s crafts, and live music by Coconut Radio when you head out to the Village of Baytowne Wharf for Boomin’ Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. Stick around! The Village hosts a stunning fireworks show over the lagoon starting at 9:15 p.m.

Pardi Gras transforms every Tuesday of the summer into Fat Tuesday at HarborWalk Village. Enjoy the floats, beads, and lots of swag during the parade, then grab a cocktail and some red beans and rice as you relish in the live entertainment.

The Wednesday Night Concert Series will entertain you with tantalizing live musical performances at the Village of Baytowne Wharf from 7-9 p.m. A complete performance schedule can be viewed on their website.

Enjoy a toe-tapping good time at Concerts in the Park every Thursday in May and June on the Village Green of the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s Cultural Arts Village from 7-9 p.m. Bring your favorite lawn chair, wine and picnic or purchase dinner prepared onsite by local restaurants. Visit their website for a complete performance schedule.
Join HarborWalk Village in honoring local heroes during their weekly Red, White and Blue Celebration on the Harbor. Enjoy live entertainment, free kid’s crafts and face painting, and a WWII replica flyover. The evening is topped off with a spectacular fireworks display over the Destin Harbor. The celebration takes place from 6-9 p.m. every Thursday during the summer.

Head out to the Village of Baytowne Wharf for Sunset Cinema, a weekly showing of your favorite family movies under the stars. Movies start at 8 p.m. every Thursday throughout the summer. Visit their website to see what’s showing this week.

Rock the Docks, a free concert series will rock HarborWalk Village every Saturday from 7-9 p.m. during the summer. For a complete schedule of performances visit their website.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What Are You Doing This Weekend? May 25-27

What’s happening on the Emerald Coast this weekend?
Memorial Day weekend is upon us! How will you spend this holiday weekend? Will you gather the family and head to the beach? Grill some burgers and dogs on the backyard patio? Hit the town and take in a fireworks display? No matter what you decide to do with your holiday weekend, you can’t go wrong when you spend it here on the spectacular Emerald Coast. With no shortage of scenic coastlines, and beautiful beaches, in combination with a wealth of fun-filled activities for the whole family, you’ll be pleased to find there’s something for everyone. Take this opportunity to enjoy this gorgeous holiday weekend.
Don’t Forget! Here at Life’s A Beach there’s nothing we love more than seeing others enjoy this stunning area. Be sure to send us your fantastic vacation photos! Photos may be uploaded to Life’s A Beach here:

Multi-Day Events

Come out to HarborWalk Village for their Memorial Day Concert Celebration at May 26-27. Enjoy a vibrant fireworks display over the Destin Harbor after Sunday night’s concert. Free face painting and crafts for kids each night.

Join in the Memorial Day Weekend Festivities at the Village of Baytowne Wharf May 26-28. Live music, kid's activities and fireworks make Baytowne Wharf the place to kick off your summer this Memorial Day Weekend!

Friday, May 25

Stargazing by the Shore will take place from 7-10 p.m. at Henderson Beach State Park, hosted by the Department of Environmental Protection. Volunteers from the Northwest Florida Astronomy Association will set up several telescopes for public viewing of star clusters, planets, and galaxies, and be available to answer questions about the night sky. All ages are welcome. Please arrive at the park prior to the park’s sunset closing.

Saturday, May 26

The Memorial Day Weekend Car, Truck & Motorcycle Classic hosted by the Choctaw Style Marchers band will take place at Choctawhatchee High School. Event is free and open to the public and will feature multiple classifications, awards, door prizes and food vendors.


Sunday, May 27

Jamfest Comedy Jam will be held at the Emerald Coast Convention Center from 8:30-11 p.m. Don’t miss the laughs!

Head out to the Alys Beach Amphitheatre at 7:30 p.m. for A Night at the Movies with Sinfonia Gulf Coast. Round up the family and enjoy your favorite movie soundtracks such as “Star Wars,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Harry Potter,” and more as performed by Sinfonia Gulf Coast, our region’s only fully professional symphony orchestra. Food vendors and a cash bar will be available throughout the evening. Patrons are encouraged to bring low back chairs for comfortable seating. Stick around! The concert will end with a bang in a fireworks finale.

Have a beautiful, beachy holiday weekend!
            -The Life’s A Beach crew

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Watch the Transit of Venus and Explore the Cosmos at Henderson Beach State Park

Photo taken by Vena-Yvonne Photography
The Transit of Venus and Stargazing at Henderson Beach State Park
What’s more peaceful than looking up at a star-filled night sky? Looking up at a star-filled night sky on the beach of course. Imagine your toes in the silky smooth quartz sand, which shimmers bright white in the moonlight, the celestial beauty twinkles down at you as you breathe the salty air and listen to gulf waves gently breaking onto the shore. Sounds heavenly doesn’t it? Maybe you’d like to get a better look at those sparkling diamonds in the sky. Maybe you’d like to spend an afternoon enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime experience, seen by few men. If this sounds like an evening well spent to you, then you just may want to check out a couple of the upcoming events at Henderson Beach State Park.

This coming Friday, May 25, the Department of Environmental Protection and Henderson Beach State Park will host a star gazing event from 7-9 p.m. Volunteers from the Northwest Florida Astronomy Association will set up several telescopes for public viewing of star clusters, planets, and galaxies. Volunteers will also be available to answer questions about the night sky. All ages are encouraged to attend. Please remember the park closes at sunset, therefore anyone planning to attend the star gaze should arrive to the park prior to its sunset closing.

On Tuesday, June 5, head out to Henderson Beach State Park once again to witness a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon with the pros. The transit of Venus will begin at approximately 5 p.m. and will be seen as a small dot gliding across the face of the sun. This rare and amazing event will not occur again until 2117. Volunteers from the Northwest Florida Astronomy Association will once again be onsite and will set up several telescopes for public viewing of the transit. After sunset, the telescopes will focus on the night sky, for public enjoyment of the stars and constellations.
About the Transit of Venus
A transit of Venus occurs when Venus passes directly between the sun and earth. This rare alignment comes in pairs that are 8 years apart but separated by over a century. These transits follow a strange pattern of frequency. A transit will not have happened for about 121.5 years, then there will be one transit followed by another transit of Venus eight years later. Then there will be a span of about 105.5 years before then next pair of transits occur, again separated by eight years. Then the pattern repeats (121.5, 8, 105.5, 8).

If Venus and earth orbit the sun in the same plane as the sun, transits would happen frequently. However, the orbit of Venus is inclined to the orbit of earth, so when Venus passes between the sun and the earth every 1.6 years or so, Venus is usually a little bit above or below the sun making it invisible in the sun’s glare.

A similar phenomenon happens with our moon. Every month, the moon passes between the sun and the earth, yet we do not see a solar eclipse every month. The reason for this? The moon’s orbit is also slightly inclined to earth’s orbit, so the new moon usually is just slightly above or below the sun.

How Transits Help Us Determine Our Place in the Cosmos and How You Can Help
In 1716 astronomer Edmond Halley calculated that you can quantify the distance from the sun to the earth by having observers across the globe time the passage of Venus across the sun. Knowing he would not live to see the next transit, Halley predicted global sites that would be suitable for viewing a transit and called upon future generations to pursue his plan. For the 1761 transit and every transit opportunity since then, explorers have sailed to distant lands to time the transit.

You can easily be a part of this effort during the upcoming transit, using the latest technologies like the free Transit of Venus phone app. This easy-to-use app will allow individuals to send their transit observations to a global experiment to measure the size of the solar system. Join this unique effort by downloading the app here:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What Are You Doing This Weekend? May 18-20

What’s happening on the Emerald Coast this weekend?

It’s going to be a great weekend for fun in the sun here on the beautiful Emerald Coast. Get out and enjoy a picturesque golf course, take a scenic bicycle ride along the coast, rock the night away at a spirited concert, or make a difference to a local charity. If you don’t see any events that tickle your fancy, there’s always a gorgeous beach waiting, whether you want to relax on the shore, go for a swim, reel in the catch of the day, or take a ride on the wild side with area watersports, these beaches offer a wealth of opportunities for your enjoyment. 

Multi-Day Events

Enjoy the beautiful Emerald Coast sunshine on the greens of the Fort Walton Beach Yacht Club at the 9th Annual Bob Hope Memorial Charity Golf Classic, the Air Force Enlisted Village’s major local fundraising event. Proceeds benefit military widows in need residing at Eglin Air Force Enlisted Village.

For a beautiful tour of the coast come out to the Sandestin Beach Bicycle Tour. This weekend bicycle event is designed for all road cyclists. Participants will get a chance to bike ride along pristine beaches, including a rest stop in charming Seaside.

Friday, May 18

The Expand Your Horizons Lecture Series, a presentation describing geocaching and a unique geocaching adventure created by Florida Public Archaeology Network that will take you through Northwest Florida’s history and archaeology. Lecture is from 6-7 p.m. at the Heritage Park and Cultural Center                                                                       in Fort Walton Beach.

Head out to the Fort Walton Beach Municipal Auditorium at 7 p.m. as the Emerald Coast Community Band Presents “An Evening in the Wild West.” The concert will feature a medley of folk lore, television and movie music, all with a Western flair. Proceeds will be donated to Covenant Hospice.

Saturday, May 19

The Emerald Coast MUDRUN for Orphans starts at 10 a.m. The MUDRUN has something for everyone. Warrior track for hardcore fitness enthusiasts, challenger track for beginners, one mile kids run, family and friends group teams, costume contests, live bands, kids play zone, concessions and food vendors. The MUDRUN is a Heart of the Bride fundraising event to raise money to care for orphans in Africa, Haiti, and Ukraine. For more information on Heart of the Bride, visit

The White Wilson Medical Center Little Black Dress Event will take place at the Emerald Coast Convention Center from 6-10 p.m.

Photo from

Sunday, May 20

Come rock with JT Hodges at his HarborWalk Village concert this Sunday! His original sound and infectious melodies make him a force to be reckoned with in the country music scene. 

Have fun out there, and as always, keep it beachy!
            -The Life’s A Beach crew

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach is Coming Soon!

What: 5th Annual Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach
Where: Alys Beach on Scenic Highway 30-A
When: June 8-9

For a truly unique experience, and a technological adventure in modern art, you do not want to miss the 5th Annual Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach. Attracting digital artists, filmmakers, musicians, interactive designers, photographers, VJs, producers, celebrities, agency executives and fans of art, technology and architecture each year, this awe-inspiring event will have you feeling like a kid again.  Mark your calendars for this magical event!

Alys Beach, located on Scenic Highway 30A between Seaside and Rosemary Beach is a unique resort community comprised of green standard, white-walled structures. These pristine white walls transform the entire town into a blank canvas for artists participating in the annual Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach.

Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach is the world’s first projection art festival, with artists using the latest technologies to project their original works onto the town’s iconic white walls. Sometimes referred to as “phonon bombing,” “guerilla projection” or “urban projection,” underground artists from around the globe have been using the latest design, animation and projection technologies to cast dynamic images onto skyscrapers and other urban structures as a means of artistic expression. Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach is the first outdoor festival specifically organized to celebrate and showcase these unique talents.

During the festival, Alys Beach opens its doors, courtyards and pedestrian paths to innovative companies and ground-breaking artists who fuse design, technology and architecture into entirely new art forms. These artists will transform the entire town into a living work of art. Each year, thousands of dollars in prizes are awarded to artists, with digital submissions being received from all around the globe.

Get your tickets now to this one-of-a-kind event! You’ll be glad you did.

--All photos in this post from

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What Are You Doing This Weekend? May 11-13

What’s happening on the Emerald Coast this weekend?

Happy Mother’s Day weekend! It’s going to be a big weekend here on the Emerald Coast with a little something for everybody! Take in an art show or two, get a new wardrobe at a great price, help the community, enjoy fabulous wine and great atmosphere as you paint with your mom, play a little poker, take in an awesome concert and more!!! This weekend is brimming with options for those who love to get out there and experience the Emerald Coast lifestyle. Browse through the list of amazing events taking place right here along our beautiful shoreline this weekend!

Multi-Day Events

24thAnnual ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival featuring 130 international artists exhibiting over a dozen mediums will fill downtown Seaside, FL for two and a half days, (May 11-13) along with great live music, artist workshops, KidZone and fabulous food & beverage options. 
Talk about an event the ladies won’t want to miss! The Women’s Resale Clothing Event features over 4,800 square feet of brand name fashions, with all items being only $2. No men, no children, CASH ONLY. Event will be held Friday, May 11 from 3-7 p.m. and Saturday, May 12 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. $5 entrance fee applies both days. Proceeds of this event will benefit Head Start.

Friday, May 11

Treat your mom (and yourself) to the Mother’s Day Paint and Wine Party at Chautauqua Vineyards and Winery in Defuniak Springs from 5-8:30 p.m. Spend a fun-filled evening painting with your mother. Don’t miss out on the door prizes!

Saturday, May 12

Billy Bowlegs Poker Run sponsored by the American Business Women’s Association is now open to all types of vehicles, (boats, jet skis, motorcycles, automobiles, bicycles, etc.) The event will feature food, live entertainment, grand prizes for the top three hands, and lots of door prizes. All proceeds go into the scholarship fund for local high school seniors.

The Shelter House Princess and Pirate Ball will be held at Linkside Conference Center in Sandestin from 5-8 p.m. Your entire family is invited to wear their best princess and pirate costumes for an evening of dinner, dancing, treasure hunts, character pictures and more. Advance tickets may be purchased online.

Come spend a free day at the beautiful Henderson Beach State Park for the 5th Annual Family Fun Arts Fest hosted by the Okaloosa Arts Alliance from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Finish your Mother's Day shopping with the many arts and crafts vendors, get something to eat & drink while enjoying performances by local artists like Act4Murder, have fun doing multiple free family activities, and bid on fantastic silent auction items.

The Norriego Point Sea Oat Planting Event will be held at Norriego Point in Destin beginning at 8 a.m. Donations and volunteers are still needed for this public/private project to vegetate the new dune on Norriego Point.

The 20th Annual Letter Carriers Food Drive is the largest one-day food drive in the nation. Place your non-expired, non-perishable food items near your mailbox this Saturday and letter carriers from Fort Walton Beach, Shalimar, Mary Esther, Eglin AFB, Destin, Niceville, DeFuniak Springs and other post offices will pick them up for distribution to community food banks.

Rotolo’s Restaurant will be sponsoring a Blood Drive from 4-7 p.m. Free T-shirts will be provided to all donors! If you would like to make an appointment online visit and use sponsor code W4212.

The 5K Run to Benefit JR Lifeguards starts at Beasley Park on Okaloosa Island at 5 p.m. T-shirt provided at registration and prizes awarded to the top runners. For more information about the run, visit For more information on the JR Lifeguards program, visit

Check out the 6th Ranger Training Battalion Open House with demonstrations at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. featuring snake and reptile shows, ranger squad demonstrations, parachute demo and spot jumps, down pilot/hoist demonstrations, and combative demonstrations. All proceeds benefit Gator Activity Fund and Emerald Coast Fisher House.

Sunday, May 13 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Darius Rucker Headlines at the ANNIKA & Friends Concert at Grand Boulevard in Sandestin beginning at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the concert and from ANNIKA & Friends at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort will go to the ANNIKA Foundation, to help kids in Northwest Florida live better lives through fitness, nutrition, and life skills.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! Have a beautiful and beachy weekend!

            -The Life’s A Beach crew

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Aye Laddies, the 57th Annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival be Just Around the Corner

Aaaargh! Be advised buckos, ‘tis not yer grandpappy’s festival!

What started out as a water skiing festival way back in 1953 has turned into one of the nation’s longest-running and most popular pirate festivals. Designated as one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events, the Billy Bowlegs Festival features something for everyone, including a torchlight parade, a treasure hunt, a fireworks extravaganza and more, all in the name of 18th century adventurer and pirate extraordinaire, William Augustus Bowles.

Bring the lads! Thar be fun fer all ages at the Pirate Village!

This family-friendly event takes place at the Fort Walton Beach Landing, which is transformed, for a time, into a festive pirate village complete with all sorts of grub and grog, trinkets and wares. In addition to vendors, there will be children’s activities, contests, live entertainment and more. Come down to the village and see for yourself.

Yar, Cap’n Billy be a comin’. Ye best be prepared!

During the festival, Capt. Billy’s ship is often spotted in the waters surrounding Fort Walton Beach. This sneaky bandit and his Krewe are sure to make landfall in the city and will inevitably try to take over. Mayor Mike Anderson has a few tricks up his sleeve to defend his fair city from these plunderers, but will it be enough, or will the city be forced to surrender to the dastardly buccaneers once again? Head out to the Fort Walton Beach Landing at 4 pm Saturday, June 2nd to find out for yourself!

Aye, ‘tis true, this shindig be a little different this time ‘round!

What’s different about the Billy Bowlegs Festival this year? Traditionally, this festival takes place on the first full weekend in June with pirate-themed festivities taking place on Friday and Saturday, and the final event being the Carter and Co. Torchlight Parade scheduled on Monday.This year, the festival will be kicking off a little early with Capt. Billy making his first appearance in the city during the torchlight parade, now scheduled for Thursday, May 31.

The 57th Annual Billy Bowlegs Festival – Be thar!

If you’re ready to party like a pirate, you will not want to miss this spirited festival!

For more information about this fun-filled festival and a full schedule of events, visit