Events Around Town March 2023

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The Mattie Kelly Arts Center hosts the Northwest Florida Ballet as they perform Peter Pan, March 11 and 12. Purchase tickets online at nfballet.org or by calling the box office at (850) 729-6000. Showtimes Saturday, March 11, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 12, 2:30 p.m. The Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center is located at 100 College Blvd. E., Niceville.

The International Festival March 19
Make plans to attend the 5th Annual International Festival Sunday, March 19 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. at Fort Walton Beach Landing Park. To benefit One Hopeful Place, the festival kicks off our beautiful spring season displaying the multiculturalism of our region. It offers top-quality live and DJ music, food, folklore and art from more than 60 nations and participants travel from as far as Tallahassee, Panama City and the states of Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama.

The festival will launch a series of events, led by Conexión Media Group and partners, that will comprise the “Emerald Coast International Week” celebration in our area March 12-19.
Conexión Media Group is currently accepting many types of sponsorships—deadline for sponsors is March 15. For more information, contact David Triana at 850.368.3505 or via conexionflorida@gmail.com.

On April 6th, The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director and Conductor Todd Craven, will perform its final classics of the season at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville. The concert, entitled “A Dream of America” features all works by American composers. Beginning with Samuel Barber’s first work for full orchestra written in 1931, the Overture to The School for Scandal, the first half also spotlights George Gershwin’s jazzy and vivacious Piano Concerto in F featuring internationally-acclaimed pianist Brian Ganz.

Brian Ganz is widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation. A laureate of the Marguerite Long Jacques Thibaud and the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Piano Competitions. Mr. Ganz has appeared as soloist with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the London Sinfonia, and the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, and has performed with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Mstislav Rostropovich, Piotr Gajewski and Yoel Levi.

The second half of the program presents young actors from the Northwest Florida State College theater department portraying early 20th century immigrants reaching the United States for the first time. The music of Los Angeles based composer Peter Boyer provides the emotional backdrop to these powerful stories drawn from the Ellis Island archives; the perilous journeys across the Atlantic to reach Ellis Island and the relief and emotion of seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time.

Join the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center (ECCAC) for its annual signature Gala in the Garden and Golf Weekend, presented by George and Janice Hendricks. The Gala features a cocktail hour starting at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 10, at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Guests will enjoy live entertainment by The Will Thompson Band, live auction and a featured guest speaker.

The Golf Tournament, also to benefit ECCAC, will take place Sunday, March 12, at Kelly Plantation Golf Club with registration and a cookout meal 10:30-11:45 a.m. for a tournament shotgun start at noon. Cost is $400, which includes two tickets to the Gala. Gala tickets only are $250 per couple. Make reservations online at eccac.org. Sponsorships are still available. Contact Lee Curtis at (850) 684-4422, or email Lee@eccac.org.

The Coastal Conservation Association’s 29th Annual Emerald Coast Banquet & Auction will be held Thursday, March 9 at Destin/FWB Convention Center. Tickets $90 at https://ccaflorida.org/event/emerald-coast-banquet-and-auction-23/.

Spring Up for CALM 2023. The 7th annual spring fundraiser to benefit CALM is Saturday, April 15th from 5 to 8 p.m. at Christ our Redeemer Catholic Church in Niceville. Tickets are on sale for $75 per person. The Spring Up for CALM event will feature music by The John Galt Band, food courtesy of local eateries and live and silent auctions. The ticket price reserves your seat and includes food and two beverage tickets. All funds raised benefit CALM, including CALM Village, the exciting new phase of affordable housing. Visit nicevillecalm.com for tickets, donations and more and the Facebook page at (1) CALM | Niceville FL | Facebook.

Musical Echoes Festival 2023, a family-friendly, Native American flute, art, music and cultural festival, returns to FWB Landing Friday, April 21–Sunday, April 23 at 9 a.m. each day. Admission is free! Experience the unique sounds of the Native American flute as it is brought to life and featuring solo performers and full bands with live music during the entire festival. Dancers offer colorful, rhythmic traditional dances and they share the meaning of each dance offering us a rare experience. Flute makers selling their handcrafted flutes will collaborate with you to find your perfect flute! They’ll provide a few tips on playing as well. Visit art and craft vendors as they share their custom jewelry, baskets, leather work, and more. Traditional Native American fry bread and other delicious festival food add to the fun. Visit the silent auction and raffles at the main tent. Purchase the annual festival t-shirt featuring the butterfly, this year’s totem created by artist Kenneth Maines, Tshirtfactoryfwb.com.

Internationally acclaimed authentic Native American musicians and dancers are part of the festival line up including Nation of Change Native American Dancers, Gareth and award-winning Shelley Morning Song, to name a few. Don’t miss the special performance by Michael D’Maria. A Torchlight Ceremony takes place Saturday at 6pm featuring the Thunderbird Honor Guard and Poarch Creek Indian Traditional Dancers. Visit www.musicalechoes.org for the complete schedule and lineup.

Are you interested in blacksmithing? Think about joining the Florida Artist Blacksmith Association (FABA). Its mission is to teach and preserve the noble art of blacksmithing.
Recently popularized by programs like “Forged in Fire” and “Men at Arms,” blacksmithing has experienced a renaissance. However, FABA has been actively teaching and setting up historical blacksmith shops throughout the state of Florida for the last 35 years. Part of the FABA educational program is to host monthly meetings at eight locations throughout the state. Our local chapter known as “The Far West Panhandle Blacksmiths” is headquartered at Traditions Workshop in Fort Walton Beach and sponsors meetings throughout the panhandle.

Your first meeting with FABA is always on us. After that, we encourage you to join this fine organization. For a family to join, visit https://blacksmithing.org. The cost is only $30 per family, per year. An annual membership allows you and your clan to participate at any FABA event throughout the state (usually one every weekend). Plus, you get generous discounts at our annual convention as well as an e-copy of the monthly newsletter, The Clinker Breaker, featuring Florida blacksmithing news and events. The next Far West meeting will take place Saturday, March 25th (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) in Navarre at St. Michael’s Brewery (2199 Highway 87, Navarre, FL 32566) . Plan to make bottle openers and “might hamster swords.”

For more information, contact david@traditionsworkshop.com or call/text David at 850-974-1548.