Around Town January 2023


38th Annual Destin Christmas Parade “Elf on the Shelf’ 2022 Winners:
Noel Award/Band Award: Fort Walton Beach High School and Destin Middle School Bands
Elf Award/Children Service: Destin Middle School Cheerleaders
Santa’s Helper Award/Children Commercial: Studio6twenty5
Angel Award/Religious Award: Destin United Methodist Church
Chamber Award/Commercial: Legendary Marine Service Department
Civic Club/Civic Award: Miss North Florida Scholarship Pageant
Crowd Pleaser: Destin Water Users

Hospice 101: Dispelling the Myths
The Friends Guild of the Destin Library will host an afternoon informational workshop about Hospice Care and Dispelling the Myths about such care on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 2 p.m. at the Destin Library (Calhoun Room). Amanda Middleton, a RN Clinical Liaison, and Suzanne McCarthy, a RN Hospice Care Consultant, from the Emerald Coast Hospice at Miramar Beach, will be on hand to outline what hospice care entails and to answer questions for family members as they learn to navigate the journey of care and transition while experiencing a life limiting illness.

The 7th Annual Mardi Gras Golf Scramble to benefit the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida will be held at Regatta Bay Golf Club on Sunday, Feb 26. Shotgun starts at 8:30 am. A buffet lunch, hole-in-one opportunities courtesy of Step One Automotive, raffles, prizes, a silent auction and the chance to WIN A CAR will be included. Call The Heritage Museum to register at 850-678-2615 OR visit online at Sign up as an individual player or in teams of four. Regatta Bay Golf Course. 465 Regatta Bay Blvd, Destin FL. 32541

Tickets are on sale for the Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation’s 2023 Emerald Ball to benefit Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of th hospital, the event is Saturday, Feb. 4, 6 p.m., at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort Golf and Spa and is presented by Howard Group, Grand Boulevard and Silver Sands Premium Outlets.

Proceeds from this year’s event will go toward purchasing a new computerized tomography (CT) scanner for both adults and kids. This is the third year for the event, with the previous two events each raising approximately $200,000. A new CT scanner will improve diagnostic image quality and save patients time during the scan. The hospital plans to install the scanner next year. Tickets are $150, which includes reserved seating, dinner, two drink tickets, live music and dancing. Sponsorship opportunities at all levels are also available, with a special reception for sponsors before the main event. Guests clad in shades of emerald will enjoy a wine and bourbon pull, a photo booth and an opportunity drawing for a $5,000 shopping spree at McCaskill and Company.

For more information on tickets or sponsorship, contact Lisa Wainwright at or by phone at (850) 278-3702.

Okaloosa Airports bring $2.9 billion economic impact to the area
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recently published its Florida Aviation Economic Impact Study, which highlights aviation as an economic engine and determined the industry is responsible for a total economic impact statewide of $336 billion. The three combined airports in Okaloosa County bring over $2.9 billion of economic impact annually to the area. This represents a 67% increase over the estimated $1.7 billion reported in FDOT’s 2019 study. Airport activities in Okaloosa County are responsible for the creation of over 18,500 jobs and $785 million in payroll annually that largely flows back into the local economy.

Join the Destin Chamber for its upcoming Tourism & Hospitality Lunch: Focus on Ecotourism with Alex Fogg, Wed., Jan. 18, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at The Palms Coffee House & Sports Lounge. Okaloosa County’s Coastal Resource Manager Alex Fogg will talk ecotourism and his work with lionfish, artificial reefs and more. To register, visit

On Thursday, Feb. 2nd, Choctawhatchee Audubon hosts Fred Bassett of Hummingbird Research, Inc., who has been studying hummingbirds in the Southeastern U.S. for over 20 years. Fred will discuss ruby-throated hummingbirds in depth and introduce many species of western hummingbirds that winter in Florida. Room 800 on the 2nd floor of the Chandler Center (NW door of 519 Helms St.) at the Crosspoint Church in Niceville. Signs will lead you in from where Partin Drive South connects to Helms Street. Socializing with refreshments begins at 6:30 PM, and the program begins at 7:00 PM. Admission is free and open to the public. To see a full schedule of bird walks, please visit