Latest Area News

Your guide to 3 days of July 4th fun

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 11:16am

Celebrate July Fourth at local parades, fireworks, festivals and more.

The wealth of activities this weekend provide something for everyone.

July 2

- This week’s Red, White and Blue Celebration will honor the Air Commando Ruckers at HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd. There will also be live entertainment, free kid’s crafts, face-painting and a vintage World War II aircraft flyover. The celebration starts at 7 p.m. Fireworks at 9 p.m.

- Listen to music by David Seering at the Concerts in the Village, 7-9 p.m. at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village Dugas Pavilion & Vil-lage Green. Bring a chair, wine and picnic dinner or buy dinner prepared by Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q. Admission is $10 per person or free for MKAF members and children 12 and under.

Fort Walton Beach
- Make your way to the Downtown FWB Freedom Pub Crawl 5-10 p.m. The entry fee of $15 gets crawlers a reusable Downtown Fort Walton Beach cup, prize drawing stamp card, wristband for beer and drink specials at participating bars and restaurants, and (if still avail-able) pub crawl T-shirt. Participating bars and restaurants include Luxe Sports Grill, The Boardroom, Mama Goldberg’s, KC’s Sandbar & Grill, Sotil Tequila & Mezcal, Props Brewery, Coasters, Caffe Italia, Burrito Del Sol, and The Salty Duck. Register 3-7 p.m. behind Run With It on Brooks Street. Participants should turn in their stamp cards at 9:50 p.m. to KC’s Sandbar & Grill to be eligible for raffles and prizes.

July 3

- Celebrate July Fourth early at the Riverfront Park in Apalachicola. The schedule includes: 4 p.m.: Food vendors and children’s activi-ties open; 6 p.m.: Johnny Barbato and the Lucky Dogg perform; 6:30 p.m.: parade across from the historic district in Lafayette Park begins; 8:30 p.m. : Veterans Tribute; Apalachicola City Commissioner Jimmy Elliott is the featured speaker. Debbie Fletcher will sing “God Bless America” and right afterward, the 20-minute fireworks show will begin.

- Twenty local restaurants and BBQ fans will compete in the Smoke on the Coast BBQ and Fireworks Festival 2-10 p.m. at Destin Commons. There will also be fireworks after dark, children’s activities, street performers, and live music. Starting at 5 p.m., for $1 per sam-ple, people can vote for People’s Choice winners with proceeds benefitting Building Homes for Heroes, Children in Crisis and Food For Thought.

Fort Walton Beach
- Check out local art and artists, listen to live music and more at the Downtown FWB Art Walk from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

July 4

- “A Capitol Fourth,” a nationwide live TV broadcast of the Independence Day Celebration at the U.S. Capitol will air on PBS 7-8:30 p.m. The event will be led by Barry Manilow. It will feature performances by Alabama, Nicole Scherzinger, Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band, and the National Symphony Orchestra.


- Fireworks at Twin Hills Park, 100 N. Hathaway St., at 9 p.m. 

DeFuniak Springs

- The 4th of July Celebration will feature a parade at 4:30 p.m. followed by activities, food, fireworks after dark and entertainment at The Lakeyard.

- Celebrate at the 4th of July Extravaganza on the Harbor starting at 5:30 p.m. at HarborWalk Village. There will be live music by Vic-tory Belles at 5:30 p.m. and The Modern Eldorados at 7 p.m. Fireworks will start around 9 p.m.

- The 30th Annual City of Destin Independence Day Fireworks Show will have fireworks at 9 p.m. over the Destin Harbor-East Pass.

Fort Walton Beach
- Enjoy the 4th of July Celebration at Fort Walton Landing 4-10 p.m. on Brooks Street. Enjoy fireworks around 8:45 p.m. food, live mu-sic, entertainment and children’s activities like bounce houses, inflatable slides, and face-painting. Schedule of Events: 4 p.m., Fort Walton Beach Kids Got Talent; 5 p.m., Opening Ceremony; 5:30 p.m., Reid Soria; 6 p.m., Continuum; 8:15 p.m., Coast Chorus Men’s Quartet; 8:45 p.m., fireworks; and 9-10 p.m., Continuum.

- The 11th Annual Freedom Festival will have food, water slides, and other activities 6-9 p.m. at the Fort Walton Beach First United Methodist Church, 103 First Street S.E.

- Downtown will feature arts and crafts, food, fireworks after dark, live entertainment and more at the July 4th Riverfest. The schedule of events includes: 9 a.m.-noon, 14 Annual Firecracker Motorcycle Show and the Freedom Car Show; 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Treasure Island Chil-dren’s Activity Area open; 5 p.m., The Great Mill Town Duck Race; 6-8 p.m., live entertainment by Robby & Mia; 6:30 p.m., Veterans Salute; and 7 p.m., karaoke with Boogie Inc.

- Watch fireworks at 9 p.m. from the Navarre Beach Marine Park. Fireworks will be visible from both the beach and the sound side east and west of the Navarre Beach Causeway bridge.

South Walton
- A 4th of July Concert with live music by Compozitionz will be held at Alys Beach Amphitheatre 6–9 p.m. Fireworks will follow. Piper’s will offer food and drinks.

- A Fourth of July Celebration Picnic will be held 7-10 p.m. on WaterColor Beach behind WaterColor Inn. There will be live music, re-freshments and fun activities. Advanced reservations/tickets required. Call 534-5041. Fireworks will light the skies around 9 p.m.

- No registration is needed to enjoy the Grayton Beach 4th of July Parade. Just line up around 8 a.m. at The Red Bar on 70 Hotz Ave. The parade will start at 8:30 a.m.

- Join the 19th Annual Rags 2 Riches Regatta in honor of Independence Day. Registration starts at 8 a.m. on Grayton Beach. Captains meeting at 11 a.m. Admission is $45 per Hobie. Contact with questions.

- Celebrate with live music (Soul Track Mind 7-9 p.m.), children’s activities, fireworks at 9:15 p.m. and more at Red, White and Baytowne starting at 6 p.m. at the Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin.

- Enjoy a Pensacola Symphony Orchestra Pops performance at 7 p.m. at the Seaside lawn with fireworks following.

- The South Walton 4th of July Parade will start in Seagrove Beach at 8 a.m. and travel along Scenic Highway 30A, concluding at Seaside.

Twin Cities
- The 4th of July Duathlon and 3.2K Paddleboard Race will start at 7 a.m. at Lincoln Park in Valparaiso. The schedule includes: 7 a.m., duathlon; 7:05 a.m., 5K; 8:15 a.m., Family Fun Run; 10 a.m., paddleboard race. Registration forms for the events can be found at under calendar. The registration fee for the duathlon, 5K walk, and paddle board race is $25. There is no charge the Family Fun Run.

- Fireworks show over Boggy Bayou between Lincoln Park in Valparaiso and Lions Park in Niceville. Preshow music starts 8 p.m.

French fry throwdown: Which fries reign supreme? (VIDEO)

It didn’t take TOO much persuading to get a few coworkers to judge our second Fast Food French Fry Taste-Off. (The first was in 1998, so it was about time for another one, right?) 

Education reporter Katie Tammen, military reporter Kelly Humphrey, photographer Nick Tomecek and sports editor Seth Stringer trooped into the Daily News conference room June 23 Tuesday to test the fries.

They take their fries seriously.

We initially considered going exclusively “local” with our french fries — but problems arose.

Restaurants local to Fort Walton Beach weren’t necessarily local to other areas like South Walton or Navarre and vice versa. Getting french fries from different cities and keeping them warm didn’t seem doable.

So, we stuck to the quintessential Burger King, McDonald’s, Whataburger, Wendy’s and Zaxby’s.

Watch the shenanigans as our judges fill their bellies with fries. >>

Do you agree with the winner? Disagree? I’d love some feedback!

What do you want us to taste test next?

Self-Portrait: Susan Lucas

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 12:07pm

Staring at a unique piece of art, you can’t help but wonder at the mind that envisioned and created it.

In its semi-regular feature “Self-Portrait,” the Daily News “picks the brains” of local artists about their development, their medium and more.

This week, we learn more about Susan Lucas.

The Sketch
Name: Susan Lucas

Homebase: Santa Rosa Beach

Primary medium: Acrylic painting.


Facebook: Susan Lucas Art page (It’s a visual art magazine with a variety of art images and information.)

The Canvas
How did you discover your artistic ability?
I grew into being an artist. Although I always loved to draw (I got into trouble in grade school making paper dolls instead of doing math), I didn’t pursue art in school. Later, as an Air Force wife, I started taking the painting classes offered at every base as a hobby. Pretty soon, my interest was ignited, and I was getting serious about learning as much as I could. I attended college art classes and sought out teachers. Af-ter all these years, I am still learning and working at my art. It is a real passion now.

Describe your artwork.
I paint colorful and contemporary acrylic paintings that celebrate the coastal landscape. Every painting is inspired by a particular place and time, even though it may be so loosely painted you can’t tell. I like painting in the area between abstraction and representation. We all have cameras in our pockets, I want to tell you more about the feeling than the description of a place.
Right now, a lot of my paintings are looking at the ways water and land meet in our bayous, lakes and bays.

What are your influences?
My greatest influence is the natural beauty that surrounds me. I am inspired every day. Teachers and mentors have influenced me, and looking at art in museums and galleries continues to instruct and inspire. Artists who inspire me are Wolf Kahn and Brian Rutenberg, both masters of color in the landscape, and Joan Mitchell, who managed to combine landscape inspirations and abstract expressionism.

What drew you to your primary medium?
Through the years I think I’ve tried almost every medium! I painted in watercolor for 10 years, experimented with pastels, printmaking, drawing mediums and oils. But I threw them all away when I started painting in acrylics. Acrylics are quite versatile, but what I most love is the ability to layer, so I can build surfaces that are rich, with hints of underlayers showing through.

Describe the place where you create.
I am fortunate to have a wonderful art-making space... a remodeled detached garage that offers plenty of room for art projects and stor-age of supplies. I paint on several paintings at once, one on an easel and the others on a wall. Someday I will clean out the excess stuff and it will look like the artists’ studios in magazines, but until then, it is very much a working studio!

What do you hope people who see your art experience?
I hope viewers feel an emotional connection to my art. When I paint, it is in hopes of conveying the feelings I have about a place, or feel-ings that I attribute to a place. I am honored when collectors tell me that looking at my paintings brings them peace, or joy, or serenity. What more could an artist hope to do?

Whose artwork is in your home?
In my home there is a lot of my art, often a new piece I want to live with and think about, and also art of teachers and artist friends.

How much of your own artwork have you kept?
I have kept artwork that represents different stages in my art. It is interesting and instructive to look back and see what came before.

Do you have anything you'd like to share (upcoming showings, etc)?
In addition to painting, I am an art coach, working individually with artists at to strengthen their art and develop a plan for taking that next step in their development. It is very rewarding.

Locally, my art can be seen at Tracery in Rosemary Beach, Homeowner’s Collection in Seaside, and my studio/gallery on the west end of 30A. I welcome visitors to contact me through my website or at for an appointment.

The Unveiling
Want to participate? Readers can nominate an artist, or artists can participate by contacting Features Reporter Lauren Delgado at 850-315-4406 or

Masquerade Dance kicking off

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 11:38am

FORT WALTON BEACH — Emerald Coast Convention Center will host Masquerade Dance’s 2015 National Finals for the 8th year in a row. The popular event kicks off June 28 and runs until July 3.

It is expected to bring in more than 3,000 competitors and spectators to the area from all over the nation, including as far as Minnesota and Illinois. Masquerade Dance offers a unique experience to all involved with the “Spirit of New Orleans” as their “krewe” and judges toss beads and Mardi Gras trinkets to the crowd.

From ballet to hip-hop, every dance style is represented. For more details, visit or call the Emerald Coast Convention Center at 877-574-5123. 

Headliner: Stevie Ray Moseley

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 11:34am

What do you think your favorite local band or musician does before a performance?

Listens to on his or her MP3 player? Believes are influences on their own music?

In its semi-regular feature “Headliner,” the Daily News asks local or visiting bands and musicians those questions and more.

This week, let’s get to know Stevie Ray Moseley.

Moseley’s new album titled “Shady Gravy’ was recently released by independent record label Tate Music Group. It can be purchased at the iTunes Store,, or directly from

The Opening Act
Name: Stevie Ray Moseley

Homebase: Fort Walton Beach


YouTube: Stevie Ray Moseley on Youtube

The Performance

How did you get started?
I got started from my dad and all his bands. Some of them still play. Some were Harley “Mo Lightnin” Johnson from Small Amount and Johnny Z from the Grateful Dead Head stuff. There were all kinds of bands and people who loved music and wanted me to learn stuff from them. Basically my dad took me to every music venue and person that played music and said play this.

Who are your influences?
My influences early on were Johnny Winter, Delta Blues players like Son House, Albert King, Bob Dylan, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dimebag Darrell. Then, as I got a little older, it was Duane Allman, Little Feat, and of course Jimi Hendrix. I got into a lot of Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Notorious B.I.G., Wilson Pickett, K-Ci & JoJo, Jerry Garcia, Tony Rice(bluegrass picker), and pretty soon you just start to evolve into drawing inspiration from anything and everything kind of like Indian flute music or bagpipes.

Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
My pre-performance ritual is just not really anything. I’m really so pumped by the time I hit the stage that I’m dying to get up there. Kind of a throw-yourself-to-the-wolves ideal.

What do you hope your listeners think or feel after hearing your music?
I think after somebody hears my music, it really gives them a sense of well being, something for somebody to get through the day or to party to. It’s like an Asian secret seasoning — it goes good with everything

What are some top songs you listen to on your "playlist" (i.e. iTunes playlist)?
On my playlist, there are not a lot of songs, but I listen to these artists: Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Symphony X, Dream Theater, Blackberry Smoke, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Reed, Dread Clampitt, Gregg Allman’s “Low Country Blues,” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”

What song (or songs) are you embarrassed to admit you listen to?
The song that I am embarrassed about really is “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Wrecking Ball.”

Do you have anything you'd like to share (upcoming shows, new music, etc)?
Something that I would like to share is that I’m like the World’s Coolest Guy so like people out there in Fort Walton Land y’all need to recognize.

The After Party
Want to participate? Readers can nominate a local or visiting band, or bands can participate by contacting Features Reporter Lauren Delgado at 850-315-4406 or

Buzzworthy events for June 26-July 2

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 11:29am

Want a few suggestions for what to do, where to go and who to see? You’ll find them here each week. Look for details and more ideas throughout Showcase.

CAA Summertime Tour of Homes: The touring of five homes for the Cultural Arts Alliance Summertime Tour of Homes in South Walton, will run 1-5 p.m. each day June 25-27. General admission tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at or at Smith’s Antiques in Destin, Fusion Art and Glass at Grand Boulevard, Sundog Books in Seaside and the Bayou Art Center in Santa Rosa Beach.

Blueberry Bash: The 6th Annual Blueberry Bash will be held June 27 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 6225 Dixie Road, 4 miles South of NAS Whiting Field, off State Road 87, Milton. There will be blueberry picking, plants and blueberry sale, art and food vendors, crafts, live entertainment, kid’s activities, Show and Shine Car Show and more. All proceeds benefit the Arc of the Emerald Coast Santa Rosa.

Family Summer Camp: Bass Pro Shops Family Summer Camp features fun games for kids, and activities and workshops where families can learn the skills they need to enjoy great outdoor adventures together. And, it’s all free! Family Summer Camp begins June 27 at 71 Bass Pro Shops including the one in Destin. During the Family Summer Camp event, free workshops, conducted by experts, will be held every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday through July 26. All workshops are about 20 minutes long, and kids will get a free lanyard and earn a free, collectible pin for every workshop completed (while supplies last). For more details visit,

Masquerade Dance: Emerald Coast Convention Center on Okaloosa Island will host Masquerade Dance’s 2015 National Finals for the 8th year in a row. The popular event kicks off June 28 and runs until July 3. From ballet to hip-hop, every dance style is represented. Visit or call the Convention Center at 877-574-5123.

USO open house: The public is invited to an open house 5-7 p.m. June 29 to celebrate the USO’s fifth anniversary in the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport. Tour the facility and meet the USO’s volunteers and community supporters. Parking will be free. Those attending should park in either the airport’s long or short term parking lot and the USO will validate your parking. Call the USO at 609-4738.

Sinfonia season tickets: Sinfonia Gulf Coast’s 10th Anniversary Gala Event, to be held on Nov. 13 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center, will feature the award-winning star of stage, screen and TV, Kristin Chenoweth. Season tickets, which feature preferred seating for all five concerts, are available to the public for $195 per person starting July 1. Single tickets for the 10th Anniversary Gala range from $49.50 to $500 each and tables of 10 are available. Tickets for the Seagar’s cabaret and wine dinner, which begins at 5:30 p.m., are $225 each. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of the gala, which begins at 8 p.m. To purchase tickets, go to or call 269-7129.

“Mr. Mac”: Michael McCartan is better known as “Mr. Mac” to thousands of children along the Emerald Coast. McCartan is a multi-dimensional musician and educator from Escambia County whose songs encourage kids to “get moving” and this summer at the Destin Library, to “never stop reading.” On July 2 at 6 p.m., “Mr. Mac” will be at the Destin Library to promote the library’s 2015 summer reading program. Pre-registrations are required for this event. Call 837-8572.

26 letter-perfect ideas for summer fun

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 10:56am

Summer on the Emerald Coast brings a multitude of things to do.

Our “ABC’s of Summer” lists some fun local things we want to do this season.

Hopefully, you get some ideas! What’s on your to-do list this summer?

See our chart. >>

Go on an Adventure.

Spend a day at the Beach.

Catch a wave.

Watch Dolphins.

Enjoy some Extra daylight.

Wear Flip Flops.

Work on your Golf game.

Hike at a local state park’s trail.

Eat Ice cream before it melts.

Celebrate July Fourth.

Fly a Kite.

Slather on some suntan Lotion

Watch a blockbuster Movie.

Go on a Nighttime turtle walk.

Enjoy an Outdoor event.

Picnic with friends.

Admire our beautiful Quartz sand.

Run on the beach or at a local race.

Photograph an epic Sunset.

Sleep in a Tent.

Snorkel and see some Underwater life.

Watch or play beach Volleyball.

Munch on Watermelon.

Slurp down an X-tra large smoothie.

Use a YOLO Board or other paddleboard.

Visit the Zoo.

Fill up on more than coffee at Café Bolo

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 10:18am

Café Bolo has been serving up fresh coffee, baked goods and lunches along County Road 30A for two years now. Just east of Ed Walline Park in Santa Rosa Beach, the eatery is the perfect stop before, or after, hitting the beach. In fact, many customers often get picnics to go.

The food
On a recent scorcher of a Saturday, my mom and I ate lunch at Café Bolo. She chose the refreshing chicken salad sandwich, while I went with the half sandwich (brisket) and soup (tortilla).

They also had split pea soup and black bean soup from which to choose. There also was a turkey sandwich option and a house salad you could add grilled chicken or turkey.

The soup was jam packed with Mexican flavors, even though it was simply a broth to which you could add cheese and tortilla strips.

My sandwich was good. However, I thought the meat was a bit dry and could have benefited from a sauce. It came on a baguette with melted cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion.

My mom’s chicken salad had a nice crunch from tiny slivers of apple that didn’t overpower the salad.

Café Bolo also offers breakfast, including an egg omelet (build your own), scrambled eggs, French toast, ham-and-cheese croissant and a ham-and-cheese panini.

The real star of the show came from our dessert, which we got to-go and later ate at home.

The “cronut” sandwiches were filled with a freshly made crème anglaise and blueberries and strawberries and sprinkled with powdered sugar. It was not too sweet, just right.

They have a changing assortment of desserts including flan, cinnamon rolls and tres leches cake.

Café Bolo also is famous for its coffee. They serve Amavida coffee.

They have regular coffee, café mocha, latte, café Americano, cappuccino, café au lait, iced coffee, iced latte and an iced mocha. Drinks come in 12-, 16- and 20-ounce sizes.

If coffee isn’t your thing, they also have smoothies, juice and soda.

The atmosphere
Café Bolo has a relaxed, casual feel you get from any coffee shop.

You arrive, go up to the counter and order. Your order is delivered to you at the table of your choosing. Soft popular music plays in the back-ground.

The service
The young man at the counter was helpful explaining the menu choices. He was very friendly and answered all of questions I had.

A final taste
Next time you’re in the area, definitely grab a pastry at Café Bolo.


Quick Bites

Location: 4368 County Road 30A in Santa Rosa Beach
Phone: 267-2060
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Handicap accessibility: Fair

Price range

Coffee drinks
$2 to $5.15

Other drinks
$1.80 to $4.25

$4.99 to $6.99

$5.95 to $9.95

Major credit cards

Sinfonia tickets go on sale July 1; dinos, Pratt rule with ‘Jurassic World’

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 10:00am

If you were paying attention last week, you saw some huge news in this space. If you weren’t, no worries because I’m about to repeat it:

Kristin Chenoweth will star in Sinfonia Gulf Coast’s 10th anniversary season gala set for Nov. 13 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center on Okaloosa Island.

I was fortunate enough to be in the room at the Hilton Sandestin last Wednesday when Sinfonia Music and Artistic Director Demetrius Fuller made the announcement.

It was a blast watching people try to figure out whom he was describing in the buildup.

The audience of about 100 gasped and burst into applause when he said Chenoweth’s name and her picture appeared on the screen of a PowerPoint presentation.

The Tony and Emmy award-winning singer/actress of stage and screens both big and small recently co-hosted the 69th annual Tony Awards show.

Fuller told me he has been working for two years to make this happen, and a key turned out to be Chenoweth’s passionate interest in arts education.

“She’s a huge supporter of arts in education,” he said, “and so is Sinfonia.”

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which will close the season on April 9, 2016, also at the convention center, received an enthusiastic response of delight as well.

Tickets go on sale to the general public July 1. Get price details online at or call 269-7129.

Judging by the excitement expressed to me personally about Chenoweth’s upcoming appearance, it’s likely the gala will sell out.

Additional events of the landmark season include the kickoff Sept. 24 with singer Nikki Yanofsky and a special wine dinner at Seagar’s.

French clarinetist Raphael Severe will be featured during the Nov. 7 Classical Connections concert at Grace Lutheran Church in Destin.

On Dec. 11, Broadway singer and actress Morgan James will perform with Sinfonia in its annual holiday concert at Destiny Worship Center.

Vocalist Julia Bullock will perform selections by George Gershwin, Josephine Baker and Leonard Bernstein on Jan. 29, 2016, also at Destiny Worship Center.

Jamie Bernstein will appear at the concert as narrator for Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait.”

And on Feb. 12 and 13, the Miro Quartet will be featured in the annual Sinfonia chamber music weekend at Rosemary Beach.

It’s shaping up to be another knockout season for “symphony redefined.” Congratulations to Sinfonia Gulf Coast.


Dinosaurs rule the earth — and box office —once again, or at least their genetically modified CGI counterparts do.

“Jurassic World” is breaking records and exceeding expectations.

I’ve seen it twice. You’re welcome Amblin Entertainment, Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures.

My husband and I went opening weekend, and then took our sons to see it when they came home for Father’s Day.

My one-sentence overall review: It’s a rip-roaring romp second only to the original “Jurassic Park.”

Yes, there are some continuity quibbles (such as when older brother asks younger brother whether he “still has those matches,” which we’ve not seen until that moment) and the dialogue can always be better in places, but mostly it’s a blast thanks in large part to Chris Pratt’s performance.

A note to parents: “Jurassic Park” traumatized a couple of youngsters sitting in front of us at the theater in 1993.

Tykes surrounded us Saturday, and none seemed the worse for wear during the movie — no anguished wails, no pleas to leave.

However, one little guy did succumb to the power of advertising, declaring, “I’m hun-ga-ry!” repeatedly after the Cupcakery commercial.

Special magic experience to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast

Destin, FL (June 22, 2015) – Bart Rockett announced a special matinee showing of his world-renowned magic show at the Emerald Grande’s HarborWalk Village to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. The Boys & Girls Clubs will be selling tickets to the matinee showing of Bart Rockett's magic show on June 28 at 4 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Boys and Girls Clubs at 850-862-1616 or online at . For more information, contact Rob Engel at

“We are honored to partner with Bart. He truly is a world-class performer with an unforgettable show. We are excited for the opportunity to work with Bart and HarborWalk Village. Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast and all of our clubs and families appreciate their commitment to our community and our youth,” said Shervin Rassa, Chief Executive Officer.

The special matinee show will be at the Magic Theater in the Emerald Grande’s HarborWalk Village located at 34 Harbor Blvd. Suite 214 Destin, FL 32541.

Tickets are $25 for VIP seating, $15 for up-front seating and $10 general seating. 100% of ticket proceeds will go directly to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. There are only 150 tickets available, so get your tickets soon. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Boys and Girls Clubs at 850-862-1616. For more information, contact Rob Engel at

Raising the Bar: 10 On the Harbor

The Emerald Coast is home to a number of bars that all offer a little some-thing different.

It can be hard to pick from the variety.

In Raising the Bar, we chat with local bar owners and managers about their establishments — what makes them different as well as their food and drink specials.

This week, we chatted with Jamie Hall, HarborWalk Village's director of marketing, about the bar at 10 On the Harbor.

Describe your bar
A swanky lounge with a cool, polished vibe and stylish decor.

Do you have games or special activities?
Yes, we have wifi –but we prefer you talk to each other.

When is happy hour?
Every night until sunset and yes, two cocktails for 10 bucks is a steal.

What drink would you recommend?
Mojto, Martini, French 75, there is a reason the call them classics.

What are some popular drink and food specials?
Full half pound of succulent crab claws.

Burgers bigger than your plate.

Snapper so fresh, you should smack them.

The bar fare menu available in the comfortably stylish lounge area downstairs includes favor-ites like the daily flatbread creations, fried oysters with bacon cream gravy and wagyu beef burgers. A food friendly wine list and a quality hand crafted cocktail list is served up by a lively and friendly bar staff. DJ music every weekend. Stellar views of the sunset.


Want to go? 10 on the Harbor is located at 10 Harbor Blvd. in Destin (in HarborWalk Village). 

Books for Father’s Day gifts

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 12:26pm

Some of the books stacked on my desk right now might make good Father’s Day gifts if you’re looking for some last-minute ideas.

One of them is a clever little thing titled, “The Minibook of Minigolf” by Tim Hollis.

Hollis is the author of “Florida’s Miracle Strip: From Redneck Riviera to Emerald Coast” (2004) and many other regionally-centered books.

The miniature golf book is 4½ x 6 inches and cele-brates courses across the country.

Fort Walton Beach’s own Goofy Golf is included. Hollis describes it as “one of the most lovingly main-tained vintage courses ...”

There are also four pages on the Goofy Golf at Panama City Beach.

The 120-page paper-back retails for $14.95 from Seaside Publishing, but you can get it for less on Amazon.


Another is “The Great Florida Craft Beer Guide” by Mark Denote.

It’s arranged by region. Look at the chapter titled “Beer in the Panhandle: Brewing in Florida’s Northwest” and you’ll find McGuire’s Irish Pub and Brewery (both locations), Pensacola Bay Brewery, Grayton Beer Co., Idyll Hounds Brewing Co., Props Brewery and Grill to name a few.

Breweries in Tallahas-see are in this chapter, which I’d quibble about being “Northwest,” but it’s still interesting.

The Florida Beer Time-line in the back of the 250-page book is also interest-ing, tracing the brew’s state milestones from 1824 to 2000.

It retails for $19.95 also from Seaside Publishing.


“Into the Nest” by Laura Erickson and Marie Read offers “intimate views of the courting par-enting and family lives of familiar birds.”

Very appropriate for a bird-watcher dad.

It’s a beautiful 208-page full size softcover book from Storey Publishing filled with flocks of photos, diagrams, illustrations and maps.

It retails for $16.95.


If Dad is into gardening, he might like “Florida Landscape Plants: Native and Exotic” by John V. Watkins, Thomas J. Shee-han and Robert J. Black.

It’s from the University Press of Florida and re-tails for $22.95 in softcover format.

It’s organized by category: trees, shrubs, palms, grasses, wildflowers, vines, ferns, ground cover, wetland and aquatic, drought tolerant and salt tolerant.

There are no photo-graphs but lots of draw-ings and illustrations, in-cluding a model planting guide and zone map.

Ballet to present 2 free performances under the stars

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 11:45am

The Northwest Florida Ballet will stage its annual free community performance series featuring a mixed repertoire of classic and modern works this summer at Rosemary Beach and Grand Boulevard. 

The first performance, Starlight Ballet, will be at Rosemary Beach on June 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Owners’ Pavilion at the St. Augustine Green. The second performance, Ballet at Twilight, will take place in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin on June 27 at 7:30 p.m.

This popular performance series will feature NFB company dancers as well as international guest artists, and will include:

The Pas de Trois from Act 1 Swan Lake, staged by Dorothy Daniels Lister with original choreography Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov and music by Peter Tchaikovsky featuring NFB dancers Jonathan Carter, Ellie Borick and Brooklyn Burbidge; the ballet “Majisimo” staged by NFB guest artist Zoica Tovar with original choreography by Jorge Garcia and music by Jules Massenet featuring a mix of NFB company dancers and international guest artists; and a world premier duet choreographed and danced by Sean Hilton and Lindsay Kelley Brewer.

The show will also feature the NFB dancer and Youth American Grand Prix Semi Final winner performance of the female variation from the Pas de Deux Diana and Acteon with original choreography Marius Petipa and music by Riccardo Drigo; NFB dancer Jonathan Carter performing the male variation from the Don Quixote Pas de Deux with original choreography by Marius Petipa and music by Leon Minkus; “Sposa Son Disprezzata” choreographed by Sharon L Allen with music by Geminciano Giacomelli; and “Lunette” choreographed by Lindsay Kelley Brewer with music by the Junior Boys and Antony & the Johnsons.

Various other solo works will be performed by a host of additional contemporary choreographers. The show will close with Jazz Swing, a piece that brings the joy of classical dancing to the rhythm of Jazz with original choreography by Fernando Bujones and music by Louis Prima and Eddy Higgins.

The performance at Grand Boulevard will also feature a special piece from students attending NFB’s summer workshop choreographed by Sean Hilton.

To find out more information about the summer performance series and all the NFB has to offer visit or on Facebook.

“Dancing Brave” by Theresia McInnis

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 11:45am

SANTA ROSA BEACH — The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA) A+ Art Committee in partnership with Northwest Florida State College announces a solo exhibition with artist Theresia McInnis to run June 19 through Aug. 21 at Northwest Florida College’s South Walton Center.

The exhibition will kick off with an opening reception on June 19 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the college in the main building’s reception area. 

Email or call the Cultural Arts Alliance at 622-5970.

Buzzworthy events from June 19-25

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 11:38am

Want a few suggestions for what to do, where to go and who to see? You’ll find them here each week. Look for details and more ideas throughout Showcase.

Blue Marlin Classic: The 2015 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic is underway June 17-21 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The fishermen aboard a fleet of more than 80 sport-fishing yachts will be trolling for giant blue marlin, tuna, dolphin and wahoo while vying for prize money. On Friday and Saturday nights the Baytowne Marina is filled with spectators as the prize-winning fish are weighed in. The nightly weigh-ins are open to the public. The boats start fishing June 18 at 3 p.m. and continue until lines out late June 20. The weigh scales are open Friday 4-9 p.m. and Saturday 4-10 p.m. at the Baytowne Marina at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Visit

Ballet under the stars: The Northwest Florida Ballet will stage its annual free community performance series featuring a mixed repertoire of classic and modern works this summer at Rosemary Beach and Grand Boulevard. The first performance, Starlight Ballet, will be at Rosemary Beach on June 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Owners’ Pavilion at the St. Augustine Green. The second performance, Ballet at Twilight, will take place in Grand Boulevard at San-destin on June 27 at 7:30 p.m.

SUNday event: The NorthWest Florida Astronomy Association will hold an International SUNday event on June 21. Several telescopes will be set up to safely view the Sun. This year, International SUNday coincides with the summer solstice with the Sun as high in the sky as it will get all year. The event will be held at Bass Pro Shops in Destin, from 10 a.m. until sunset. Visit or call 678-6483 before SUNday.

Sailing camp: Emerald Coast Sailing Association ( non-profit ) is conducting summer sailing lessons camp for ages 8-80-year-olds. The two-week camps start dates are June 22 and July 6. The first two camps are at the Fort Walton Yacht Club and the third at Bluewater Bay Marina. Morning class starts at 9 a.m., and afternoon class starts at 1 p.m. The cost is $250. Registration can be done at or call George Goodall at 862-7276

’Nunsense’ auditions: “Nunsense” is a musical comedy that became a Stage Crafters classic in 1996. Now they’re giving a fresh retake. Auditions: Five talented women of varying ages are needed to fill this cast. Be prepared to sing selections from the musical and read dialogue at 7 p.m. June 22 and 23. Scripts available at 6:30 p.m. at the Rehearsal Hall, 40 Robinwood Drive S.W., Fort Walton Beach. Directed by Don Goodrum , show dates are Aug. 14-16 and 21-23.

ADSO luncheon: Charlotte Arnold, award winning portrait painter, plein air, and watercolor artist, illustrator, and teacher, to name a few of her areas of interest, will be the speaker at the ADSO Luncheon on June 24 at the Art Center Gallery, 17 First St., Fort Walton Beach. The luncheon, which is open to the public, will begin at 11:30 a.m. Cost is $12. Reservations must be made no later than June 22. Send reservation requests to: or call 376-3901.

Cym Lowell: Come to the Walton County Coastal Library 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. June 25 for a discussion and book-signing with Cym Lowell who will talk about his book “Jaspar’s War.” Lowell is a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam and a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Call 267-2809. Coastal Branch Library is at 437 Greenway Trail.

Dancing with Desire fundraising for The Arc of the Emerald Coast

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 10:06am

Editor's note: Noah Galloway has canceled his performance June 18. Actress Willow Shields will perform as well as Mark Ballas. 

The 10th annual Dancing with Desire will bring “Dancing with the Stars” and local celebrities to the Mattie Kelly Arts Center stage tonight at 7.

There will also be a special performance by the winners of the local talent contest, singers Christopher Gaines and Jacklyn Henley.

The event is presented by the Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Proceeds from the event benefit a non-profit. For the past two years, it has benefited The Arc of the Emerald Coast (formerly Horizons).

“It’s just heartwarming to know all these people are performing on our behalf,” said Donna Tashik, who does community development with The Arc of the Emerald Coast Foundation.

The $10,000 raised last year helped the non-profit with its goal to provide services to children and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syn-drome, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. It has more than 450 clients.

The money likely went into day-to-day operations as well as remodeling two group homes in the last year, Tashik said.

“The needs of The Arc are ongoing,” she said. “When we can get funds that we can put into our general use, that is huge.”

Last year’s event was stunning, Tashik said. The dancers from Fred Astaire alone are amazing, she said.

Tashik expects nothing less this year.

“The atmosphere is elegance, fluid motion,” she said. “Just talent, plain talent.”

Want to go? Tickets at the door cost $50 for general admission, $35 for a military/senior discount in balcony seats, and $100 for VIP, which includes a meet-and-greet with the stars after the show. Doors open at 6 p.m. at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville.

Here are the dancers participating in this year’s event:

Senior Master Sgt. Christian Hendrick: An active-duty airman who has been awarded the Bronze Star, Meritorious Commendation Medal and Army Commendation Medal. 

Danny Wuerffel: A former professional quarterback and Heisman Trophy recipient. He was a star athlete at Fort Walton Beach High School, where he graduated from in 1992 before going on to the University of Florida.

Tony Dovolani: A professional ballroom dancer on “Dancing with the Stars” for 19 seasons. He and Melissa Rycroft won the Season 15 competition. He’s been a frequent participant in Dancing with Desire.

Mark Ballas: A professional dancer on “Dancing with the Stars” for 16 seasons. He won Season Six and Eight with Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson, re-spectively.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy: A professional ballroom dancer on “Dancing with the Stars” for 14 seasons. He won Season 18 with Meryl Davis.

Ye Olde Brothers Brewery catching on in Navarre (PHOTOS)

Northwest Florida Daily News - Entertainment - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 10:00am

There’s something satisfying about sitting in a rocking chair with a cold beer in your hand.

Only a few months after their opening, Ye Olde Brothers Brewery in Navarre was packed during our visit, so we waited on their front porch for our table.

It was easy to see why there were so many people at the restaurant after our meal.

See more photos of the meal. >>

The food
The brewery hasn’t started selling its own beers yet, but it has a revolving selection of craft beers from local spots like Pensacola Bay Brewery and Grayton Beer Co.

Unfortunately, just after we dined there, their menu changed. According to a Facebook post, certain dishes were property of a manger who has left.

A new menu hasn’t been posted online yet. I won’t be listing items in their old menu, but I will talk about what we tried.

We started off with the bacon-wrapped scallops, which are served with garlic butter, parmesan cheese, and “secret spices.” Dunking the savory-sweet bacon-wrapped scallop into the warm, melted butter was the highlight of the meal.

My guest’s entree came with a loaf of brown bread and honey butter and a tossed salad with lettuce, cucumbers, mozzarella cheese and tomato as well.

Other appetizers include stuffed mushrooms, chicken wings and a garlic loaf.

I noticed a number of people carrying out pizza boxes, so I opted for one of the brewery’s brick oven pizzas for my entree. The “Marquis Lafayette Cajun Shrimp Pie” (all of the specialty pizzas are named after Revolutionary War-time figures) is topped with onions, sausage, green peppers, sliced tomato, shrimp, green onions, “secret spices” and double cheese.

The pizza was tasty — imagine succulent shrimp, crispy-yet-tender roasted vegetables and brown, bubbly cheese.

My guest ordered the Original Navarre Orleans Shrimp Fettuccine. It was rich, creamy and spicy — the slow burn in the back of your throat kind of spicy.

The atmosphere
The brewery has a comfortable and cozy feel to it. The front porch is well stocked with rocking chairs, tabletops and benches for waiting patrons.

Inside, there’s a bar area as well as booths, tables and tabletops. Old photos, kitchen gear like cast iron pans, and more hang on the walls.

The service
We waited to be seated for about 30 minutes on the front porch. A cocktail waitress circulated the porch taking drink orders.

The kitchen was backed up due to a large party as well, so it took some time for our food to come out.

Our waitress was friendly, funny and cheerful. She did her best to refill our drinks and deliver our food in a timely manner.

A final taste
With its casual atmosphere and delicious food, Ye Olde Brothers Brewery is sure to be a Navarre mainstay. I can’t wait for it to start brewing its own beers!


Location: 4458 Highway 87 N. in Navarre

Phone: 684-1495

Mondays through Thursdays, 3 - 9 p.m.
Fridays through Saturdays, 3 - 11 p.m.

Handicap accessibility

Price range


Dinner entrees



Children's Menu

Specialty Pizza

Major credit cards

Chenoweth to star in Sinfonia’s 10th anniversary gala

MIRAMAR BEACH — Keeping tempo on the Emerald Coast cultural scene since 2005, Sinfonia Gulf Coast will mark its milestone 10th season by offering a stellar lineup of concerts and educational initiatives featuring the orchestra, world-renowned guest artists and a gala event headlined by an award-winning singer and actress.

The season was announced Wednesday during a special lunch at the Sandestin Beach Hilton Golf Resort & Spa.

Maintaining the nonprofit’s tradition of “symphony redefined,” the Sinfonia 10th Anniversary Gala Event, to be held on Nov. 13 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center, will feature the star of stage, screen and TV, Kristin Chenoweth.

Winner of the 2009 Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on the ABC series “Pushing Daisies,” and a 2010 and 2011 Emmy and a 2011 People’s Choice Award nominee for her role as the quirky former songstress April Rhodes on Fox’s hit comedy, “Glee,” Chenoweth has become a star in her own right on television.

However, theater lovers may best remember her for her 2003 Tony Award-nominated role of Glinda the Good Witch in “Wicked,” and 1999 Tony-winning performance in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Sinfonia will likewise start its season on a high note Sept. 24 with an intimate cabaret-style performance by Nikki Yanofsky at Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood at the Sandestin Hilton Beach.

Yanofsky released her album “Little Secrets” last year, which was executive produced by entertainment legend Quincy Jones.

The event, the sixth in an annual series with Seagar’s, will feature a special wine dinner created by award-winning executive chef Dan Vargo.

With its continued commitment to education and emerging guest artists, Sinfonia will present two winners of New York City’s Young Concert Artists, who were also awarded the related Sinfonia Gulf Coast Prize.

French clarinetist Raphaël Sévère, winner of the 2013 Sinfonia Gulf Coast Prize, will be the featured soloist performing W.A. Mozart’s “Concerto for Clarinet & Orchestra” during the Nov. 7 Classical Connections concert at Grace Lutheran Church in Destin.

The 2012 Sinfonia Gulf Coast Prize winner, vocalist Julia Bullock, will take the Sinfonia stage on Jan. 29 at Destiny Worship Center when she will perform selections by George Gershwin, Josephine Baker and Leonard Bernstein.

Sinfonia’s annual holiday concert on Dec. 11 at Destiny Worship Center, will feature orchestral arrangements of several seasonal classics and the return of Broadway singer and actress Morgan James.

Also at Destiny Worship Center, Jamie Bernstein will return on Jan. 29, 2016, to host two morning performances for Okaloosa and Walton County’s third through eighth grade students. The program, titled “Cowboys, Caballeros and Copland,” explores the music of American composer Aaron Copland.

Bernstein will also join Sinfonia during an evening performance as featured narrator for Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait.”

The annual Sinfonia chamber music weekend returns to the intimate setting of Rosemary Beach Town Hall on Feb. 12 and 13 featuring the world-renowned Miró Quartet.

The season comes to a festive finale on April 9, when Sinfonia lets the good times roll with the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the Emerald Coast Convention Center.

Season tickets, which feature preferred seating for all five concerts, are available for $195 per person. Single tickets for the 10th Anniversary Gala range from $49.50 to $500 each and tables of 10 are available. Tickets for the Seagar’s cabaret and wine dinner, which begins at 5:30 p.m., are $225 each.

All performances begin at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of the gala, which begins at 8 p.m.

For more information or to purchase tickets starting July 1, go to or call 269-7129.

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