Latest Area News

Oct. 18 Zombie Walk to benefit Sharing and Caring

FORT WALTON BEACH — The 6th Annual Fort Walton Beach Zombie Walk Can Food Drive will take place Oct. 18.

Zombies should bring four cans of food to one of two registration locations starting at 4 p.m. One table will be set up at the corner of Ferry Road & U.S. 98 in front of Burrito Del Sol and the other will be at Fort Walton Landing.

For a chance to win prizes, zombies must register by 5:30pm.

Games, prizes and music for all ages. Trick-or-treating for the kids.

Zombie Walk will conclude with a meandering of Zombies through Downtown to their final destination for Thriller Dance. Thriller dance lessons throughout month of October. Visit facebook:fwbzombiewalk. Or call 244-6666.

Volunteers are needed to help with with registration, advertising, clean-up, make-up booth, Zombie Walk Leaders, and more. Email : or call 240-1857. It is for Sharing and Caring, so volunteer community service hours will be earned.

Pensacola Interstate Fair set for Oct. 16-26

PENSACOLA — The 80th Pensacola Interstate Fair is scheduled for Oct. 16-26. Scheduled performers include
Eddie Money on Oct. 17, country star David Nail on Oct. 18, the Drifters Revue on Oct. 23, Craig Morgan on Oct. 24, Eli Young Band on Oct. 25. Entertainment shows are free with the price of admission.

For more details, call 944-4500 or visit

General gate admission to the fair is $12 for adults, $6 for children age four to 11, and free for children under four, and ride wristbands are $20 for Monday-Thursday (also good on Oct. 26) and $25 for Friday-Sunday. Individual ride tickets will also be available.

There is a $5 parking fee, which will be collected upon exiting the fair parking lot.

Dog Daze brings tail-wagging fun to FWB park

FORT WALTON BEACH — Veterinarian Dr. Carter Zorn and the staff at Friendship Animal Hospital have joined with the City of Fort Walton Beach and the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce to present Dog Daze 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Liza Jackson Park, 388 Miracle Strip Pkwy S.W.

About 1,500 dogs and their families are expected to attend the 12th annual edition of this lively event, which will feature a variety of canine activities, including:

Pet Parade and Costume Contest - Theme: “Under the Sea”
Dachshund Races
Small Dog Stampede
Rabies and microchip clinic presented by PAWS
Pet adoption services by various pet rescues
Agility course
Vendors with dog-related items
Food vendors
Live remote broadcasts from Z96, Coast 93.3 and NASH

All well-behaved dogs above 6 months of age are invited. Suggested donation is $3 per pet. Proof of up-to-date rabies vaccination is required and will be checked at the gate.

There is no charge for accompanying (human) family members. Leash dog(s) with a strong, non-retractable leash.

Complete a registration form in advance by going to and clicking on the Dog Daze banner ad.

Dog Daze is coordinated by the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce and is co-sponsored by the City of Fort Walton Beach, the Emerald Coast TDD, the Northwest Florida Daily News, and Cumulus Stations Z96, Coast 93.3, and NASH. Proceeds from Dog Daze will benefit maintenance and improvements at the Fort Walton Beach Dog Park at Liza Jackson.

Call the FWB Chamber at 244-8191.

Movies at Eden Gardens State Park

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Mon, 10/06/2014 - 11:23am

POINT WASHINGTON — The Friends of Eden Gardens State Park are proud to present the first ever "Eden’s Vintage Florida Film Series" this October.

Films will be shown on the lawn by the stage near the Bayou. All movies being presented were filmed in Florida. The finale film, "Frogs," was filmed at Eden Gardens State Park

This event is free with park admission. Bring chairs, blankets, and loved ones and enjoy the movies under the stars.

Refreshments will be available for sale - soda, water, and popcorn. Costumes are welcomed!

Oct. 15: "Creature from the Black Lagoon" - 6:30 p.m. Filmed in Wakulla Springs.

Oct. 29: "Frogs" - 6:30pm with free Mansion Tours 4-6 p.m. to see where the movie was filmed.

Explore The Outdoors Festival Saturday in DeFuniak

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Sun, 10/05/2014 - 11:35am

DeFUNIAK SPRINGS — Walton Outdoors will hold its annual Explore The Outdoors Festival 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday along the lakeyard on Circle Drive.

The activities will be held behind the First Presbyterian Church. The event is free.

This fun-filled day for all ages is geared toward introducing children to the wonders of exploring the outdoors.
Hands-on activities include fishing, boating, kayaking, wildlife encounters, birding, interactive educational exhibits, nature-based crafts and much more. 

Food vendors will be on hand, and there will be live music by Dismal Creek.
For more information call 267-2064. Visit the website

Dali exhibition coming to Rosemary Beach

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Sun, 10/05/2014 - 11:34am

ROSEMARY BEACH — “Dali: Sublime to Surreal” comes to the Emerald Coast Oct. 10 – 13.

Tommy Crow Studio, 38 Main St., will host the special exhibition featuring original works of art, etchings, woodblocks and lithographs by the renowned 20th century master, Salvador Dali.

An opening reception with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, will be held 5-9 p.m. Friday.

Curators Lisa Burgess and Larry White, of South Florida gallery New River Fine Art, will be on hand throughout the selling exhibition to answer questions and share stories about Dali and his work. 

For more details, call the studio at 231-1300.

Festa Italiana on menu for Oct. 10, 11

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Sun, 10/05/2014 - 11:32am

FORT WALTON BEACH — The Joesph B. Franzalia, Sons and Daughters of Italy Lodge No. 2422, will present the 34th Annual Festa Italiana Columbus Day weekend.

Feast on homemade Italian foods, desserts, cookies, Italian beers and coffee. The festa runs 5-9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday.

There will be Italian novelty gifts, a variety of local vendors, a silent auction, corn-hole games and bocce.

Live entertainment includes Rockers 4 Life on stage Friday 6-9 p.m., the Tarantella Dancers and Eh! Cumpari Muscicians will also put on a show right before 6 p.m. Saturday will feature music by Something Fishy noon-6 p.m. and the Blues Brothers 6-8 p.m. The Tarantella Dancers and Eh! Cumpari Musicians will do two shows on Saturday, at 2 and 6 p.m.

The street party takes place at the lodge at 808 South Drive. Proceeds help support these local charities: AMI Kids of the Emerald Caost Inc., Fresh Start for Children and Families, and Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida.

Local student earns role in touring 'Camelot' production

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 10:15am

NICEVILLE — The national tour of Lerner & Loewe’s “Camelot,” Broadway’s sweeping tale of passion, pageantry and betrayal, appears Oct. 10 in the mainstage theater of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College.

In a local twist on the national production, Ben Tanner of Destin, a 10th grader at Fort Walton Beach High School has been selected to appear in a guest role of “Tom of Warwick” in “Camelot,” alongside the show’s professional cast.

Ben is the son of Jim and Cindy Tanner of Destin and is a member of the Fort Walton Beach High School Thespian troupe.

“To have a local theater student appear in this exceptional national show will be a real treat for our audience as well as phenomenal experience for the student,” said Jeanette Shires, Mattie Kelly Arts Center director, who worked with Christa Whittaker, head of the renowned drama program at Fort Walton High, to select Ben for the walk-on role.

The winner of four Tony Awards and three Academy Awards, never has this classic story of King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table been more captivating than in this intimate and fresh Broadway touring production.

“Camelot” is one of theater’s most legendary musicals and features a celebrated score with classics such as “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “The Simple Joys of Maidenhood,” and the title song, “Camelot” all entwined in an enchanting fable of chivalry, majesty, and brotherhood.

Seats for “Camelot” are $45 each or $40 for groups of 10 or more. A 10 percent discount is also available for patrons who purchase a Season package of six or more of the center’s 10 national shows.

Tickets are available exclusively through the Mattie Kelly Arts Center’s box office by phone or web at 729-6000 or A portion of all ticket sales supports student scholarships at NWF State College.

This all-new national touring production of “Camelot” features a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe and is based on the King Arthur legend adapted from the T.H. White novel “The Once and Future King.”

The “Camelot” tour for North America is produced by Phoenix Entertainment by special arrangement with Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. For official tour information, see
The Mattie Kelly Arts Center is at 100 College Boulevard East on the main campus of Northwest Florida State College.

Destin Seafood Festival: More music, food, fun than ever at 3-day event

The 36th annual Destin Seafood Festival will bring people together this weekend for an event filled with live music, activities and seafood.

This free-admission event lines the Destin Harbor from the Marler Bridge to Heron Harbor.

Hours are Friday 4-10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Festival organizers have worked to grow this year’s festival, said Chairman Jami Jones.

“We want to enrich the festival and increase the quality of the festival as well as its size,” Jones said.

Read more about the musical entertainment. >>

Check out some activities for kids. >>

New entertainment at the festival:

Expect a larger festival, Jones said.

“We want it to grow and add value and have more to appeal to different audiences,” she said.

† Check out about 20-25 additional vendors this year.

† The Heron Harbor Stage will have a full lineup all weekend. AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar will also have their Jumbotron stage set up as well. In addition to the main stage and the Destin City stages, there will be four stages featuring music this year.

5 things to be sure you do at the festival

For first-timers or festival-goers who haven’t attended in a while:

1. Get your commemorative gear  like a festival T-shirt or a poster.

2. Experience the VIP life. There are only 250 VIP tickets for the 60,000 people expected at the festival.  VIPers are treated to special tents that contain catered exclusive food, drink, and liquor as well as private bathroom and seating near the main stage. Tickets are available online only at

3. Watch kids toss mingo: 4th year kids throw a “It’s fun to watch the kids,” Jones said.

4. Enjoy the myriad of food choices: roasted corn, jambalaya, funnel cake, gumbo and, of course, seafood.

5. Visit with familiar faces and listen to music.

Did you know?

The festival itself is a nonprofit. In order for it to be successful, Jones said, it relies on sponsors and volunteers. It also accepts donations. All the businesses along the Harbor have to agree to let the festival use their property free of charge.

“It's kind of evident of Destin’s heritage, how everyone works together,” she said.

2014 Festival Food Vendors

Bayou Billy Sweet Dixie Tea

Black Jack’s Seafood

Cajun Specialty Meats, Inc

Capt. Dave’s

The Caribbean Café

Delta Foods

Laughing Crab Catering

Mcguire’s Rootbeer Trailer

Rubens Concessions

Seafood Unlimited

South Beach Grill

Southern Concessions

Taste Of New Orleans

Team Concessions, Inc

Wild Bill’s Olde Fashion Soda

Harbor Restaurants

AJ’s, 837-1913

Boathouse Oyster Bar, 837-3645

Dewey Destin Harborside, 837-7525

Dockside Ale House, 974-3470

The Monkey Bar, 460-7317

The Red Door Saloon, 424-5974

Harborwalk Village Restaurants

Crab Island Cantina, 424-7417

Fishheads, 460-7860

Harry T’s Lighthouse, 654-4800

Jackacudas Seafood & Sushi, 424-3507

Festival Parking

Park and Walk Locations:

Heron Harbor - 314 U.S. Highway98

HarborWalk Village - 66 Harbor Blvd.

Destin Community Center - North side of the HarborWalk main entrance light. 101 Stahlman Ave. 654-5184

Destin Fishing Museum - North side of the HarborWalk main entrance light. 108 Stahlman Ave.‎ 837-6611

Participating Harbor Business Parking Lots (see map)

City of Destin Public Parking Map (see map)

Shuttle Bus: Morgan's Sports Complex - 4200 Indian Bayou Trail

Seafood Festival Entertainment

Take a look at the Destin Seafood Festival map. >>



4 p.m. - Hope Cassity

6 p.m. - Season Ammons Band

8 p.m. – Heritage


noon - Red 423

2 p.m. - Coconut String Band

4 p.m. - Continuum

6 p.m. - Chronic Jester

8 p.m. - Forrest Williams Band


noon - Jones and Company

2 p.m. - Cadillac Willie



4 p.m. - Ike Bartley

6 p.m. - Bo Adams

8 p.m. - Chris Alvarado


noon - Al Alvarado

2 p.m. - J.B. Dyess

4 p.m. - Ben Friedman

6 p.m. - Hope Cassity

8 p.m. - Bill Garrett


noon - Two of the Younger

2 p.m. - Season Ammons




3 p.m. - Village Bass Band

5 p.m. - Sauce Boss

8 p.m. - Longreef

10 p.m. - Fireworks


noon - Village Belles and the Village Brass Band

2 p.m. - Flash Flood

4 p.m. - Jacob Mohr Band

6 p.m. - Modern Eldorados

8 p.m. - Leah Seawright


noon - Village Belles and the Village Brass Band

3 p.m. - The Blenders

5 p.m. - Fuzion Band



4 - 8 p.m. - Boukou Groove


noon - 4 p.m. - Jacob Mohr Band

4 - 8 p.m. - Black Eyed Blonde


noon - 4 p.m. - Hotel Oscar

4 - 8 p.m. - Heritage

Seafood Fest Chairman Jones’ welcome announcement

Welcome to the 36th Annual Destin Seafood Festival! The Seafood Festival is hosted along the beautiful Destin Harbor and the Harbor Boardwalk right on the water, with the action of the Destin Fishing Rodeo appropriately located in the heart of the Festival.  There is sure to be lots of excitement along the docks; come join the fun!

This is so much more than a festival to us. It is a tribute to the rich history of the Destin Harbor and the Fishing community. The Festival was founded by the Destin Charter Boat Association’s Women’s Auxiliary in 1978 as a fund-raiser and labor of love for the local fishing fleet. Their objective was to attract people to the area, introducing them to the spoils that Destin has to offer in the fall.

Today the tradition lives on with the Destin Charter Boat Association who has teamed up with the local business community, Destin restaurants and seafood markets in an effort to sustain this much loved part of Destin’s heritage.

Come join us along the Boardwalk for a great weekend of seafood, live music, arts & crafts and family fun. More than 60,000 locals and visitors are expected to attend and we are ecstatic to host this event. This three day festival will be full of arts, crafts, music, food, entertainment, fireworks, and excitement for all!

It will showcase the Best that Destin has to offer on the Harbor. Stroll along the Harbor Board Walk from one end to the other with over a mile of Festival on the water showcasing Destin’s Fishing Fleet, Harbor Restaurants & Bars and breath taking sunsets!

The 2014 Festival once again is excited to have Ocean Reef Vacation Resorts on board as our Official Accommodation’s Sponsor of the Destin Seafood Festival. The Ocean Reef Crew represents the "Best" of the Emerald Coast and rank No. 1 in customer service and satisfaction. We are proud to have this great locally owned and operated family business as our partners in hosting the 36th Annual Destin Seafood Festival.


Warm regards,

Jami M Jones   

2014 chairman                                                               

Memorable Destin Seafood Festivals

Memorable moments from 36 years of Destin Seafood Festivals
1988: The Destin Chamber of Commerce dedicates this festival to the fishing community of McClellanville, S.C., which had been battered by Hurricane Hugo.

1993: Capt. Howard Marler takes a new role in the festival. The 82-year-old started telling fish stories.

1995: The festival was rescheduled to November because of Hurricane Opal.

1996: Southeastern Tourism Society names the festival as one of the Top 20 events during October.

2000: A mini zoo was set up at the festival and included pony rides, snakes, monkeys and a bull.

2011: Sandy the Swordfish made its first appearance as the official Destin Seafood Festival mascot,

Memorable entertainment headliners over the years:

2000: The Classic Rock All Stars; a collection of singers from Rare Earth, Iron Butterfly and Sugarloaf performing their hit songs, such as “Inna Gadda Da Vida,” “Green-Eyed Lady,” “Get Ready” and “Tobacco Road.”

2004: Artists Peter Noone and Herman's Hermits, who had hits that include “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” “There’s a Kind of Hush” and “I’m Henry VIII, I Am”; rocker Eddie Money, who has had hits that include “Two Tickets to Paradise” and “Take Me Home Tonight,” will perform as well as Bennie Anderson’s Drifters, who performed hits such as “Under the Board-walk,” “On Broadway” and “Up on the Roof.”

2006: Rock ’N’ Roll Hall of Fame legend Dave Mason, member of ‘60s era band Traffic, as well as Kansas.

2009: Survivor and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.



Seafood Festival events just for kids

The Destin Seafood Festival is a family friendly event on the Destin Harbor. There are three separate Kids Zones in the festival with something for kids of all ages.

Kids Fun Zone at Heron Harbor
The Heron Harbor Kids Zone has inflatable’s, rock climbing walls and activities for older kids and preteens. There will be a skim board and skate board painting workshop along with Capt. Davies Pirate village with a live mermaid for photos with a the kids and free face painting and pirate tattoos applied by Capt Davies Pirate Girls.

On Saturday and Sunday, Capt Davie the Pirate will be performing magic shows at our Harbor side Pirate Village at Heron Harbor. The Heron Harbor Kids Zone has seating tents, food and refreshments close by for when everyone needs to take a break. Restrooms are also located at this Kids Zone.

Kids Fun Zone at East Pass Marina
The East Pass Marina Kids Zone has pony rides, petting zoo, inflatable’s and kids games geared towards younger kids and toddlers. There is a seating tent nearby so that parents can take a break and cool down while the kids play.

Kids Fun Zone at HarborWalk Village
This HarborWalk Kids Fun Zone has Hamster balls, a rock climbing wall and a zip line over the Festival crowds at Harbor Walk. There is a seating tent nearby so that parents and kids can take a break while enjoying the Festival.

Kids Mingo Toss and Treasure Hunt
This event will be held starting at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on top of the hill at the Royal Melvin Heritage Park, behind the Destin City stage.

The annual Mingo Toss contest is for kids up to 11 years old. The Mingo Toss is an old-fashioned “fish-throwing contest” with Mingo snappers. Certificates and awards will be given in all age categories. This is a lot of fun and a great photo op for parents.

Immediately after the Mingo Toss, there will be a treasure hunt down the Harbor for the kids. Capt Davie, resident pirate/magician, will lead the kids east toward Heron Harbor and the Pirate village. The treasure hunt will last about 35 minutes and will make four stops total along the way. The treasure hunt will be easy for younger children. They will make a stop at the Capt. Nemo booth on the dock, then another stop in the kids zone and the petty zoo and the last two stops will be at a refreshment booth for a cold drink and then on to Capt Davies Pirate Village.

Both the Mingo toss and the Treasure Hunt are free events for families and kids.

Highlands House opens new 1946 restaurant

SANTA ROSA BEACH — For years Highlands House on 30A has been known as a lovely bed and breakfast inn and wedding venue. But not long ago as I drove by I noticed an outdoor bar was open downstairs. When I investigated further I found that there was also a restaurant.

The food
The menu at 1946 at Highlands House is the culinary version of resort casual dress. Everything is beautiful but comfortable at the same time.

Local seafood items share the menu with beef, pork and chicken. Enjoy a few small plates, a casual meal of a burger or salad, or a more elegant meal with one of the big plate entrees.

The best dish of the evening was a small plate of fried green tomatoes. Crisp breading gave way to a tangy tender tomato. It was topped with a remoulade that tasted of tarragon, crawfish and avocado salad for a nice balance of flavors.

We also enjoyed a plate of breaded fried artichoke hearts accompanied by a sauce that was similar to a Caesar salad dressing with a hint of anchovy, and a delicious Romesco. Brightness from the roasted red peppers made the Romesco my preferred sauce.

Other small plates included goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, ceviche, boiled peanut hummus, and bruschetta with a goat cheese mousse and roasted tomatoes.

Salads can be had as a side or an entrée, and grilled chicken, shrimp or fish may be added to either of the two salads.

One option is a Caesar with cornbread croutons, Parmesan cheese and cubes of tasso. It was tasty, but would have been improved with a little less dressing and croutons that were cut larger so they were crunchy on the outside and more tender at the center.

The other option is a wedge of butter lettuce with candied bacon, grape tomatoes and blue cheese dressing.

Sandwiches are served with nicely crisp fries. There is a beautiful blackened shrimp BLT, a burger with candied bacon and caramelized onions (cheese is also an option), and the Bibimbap Burger.

Bibimbap is a popular Korean dish, and the burger echoes the original by adding spices to the ground sirloin burger and topping it with kimchee, a fried egg and gochujang (Korean chili paste) aioli. It is a very messy and very tasty burger.

Entrees run from island inspired dishes such as ahi tuna with ginger-lime vinaigrette and grilled or blackened fish with coconut rice, to bistro fare of steak frites and pan-seared duck breast, to comforting Sweet Tea Fried Chicken with Malted Pecan Waffles and grilled double cut pork chops with sweet potato mousseline.

Dessert is different each evening. On our visit, the single dessert offered was a pair of profiteroles. Each crisp shell was filled with a rich peanut butter and banana frozen custard. They were topped with a generous drizzle of caramel, chopped peanuts and bits of bacon. The effect was sweet, salty and savory all in one decadent dessert.

Some of the dinner dishes make an appearance on the brunch menu, along with crepes, French toast and egg dishes.

Beer and wine are offered, with a small selection of wines by the glass or bottle to complement a meal.

The atmosphere
There is plenty of seating at 1946. Inside has the feel of an inn, with soft colors and comfortable chairs.

The most popular seating was on the large porch. It is a beautiful place to enjoy a relaxing time spent catching up with friends. And after dinner the boardwalk provides an easy walk to the beach.

Because of the beautiful setting, Highlands House is a popular wedding and special event venue. That means that some evenings the restaurant is closed. Be sure to call ahead, or check their Facebook page to find out.

The service
Service at 1946 was excellent. Our server was pleasant, and had excellent knowledge of the menu and wine list.

A final taste
Since its inception Highlands House has been limited to those who are staying there or attending an event there. Happily, the rest of us can now visit there for good food in a lovely place.

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