Events Around Town May 2024

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Paddle at the Park TakeoffPaddle at the Park Stand Up Paddleboard Race Offers Races for All Age & Skill Levels

The 12th Annual Paddle at the Park Sponsored by HCA Florida Healthcare will take place in the Gulf of Mexico behind The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island on Saturday, May 11, 2024. This standup paddleboard race features 1- and 3-mile recreational races, a 6-mile elite race and a kids’ fun out-and-back paddle. Racers and spectators alike will enjoy the festive atmosphere with displays and booths set up along the beach. The races have staggered start times, beginning at 9 a.m. The event will conclude with awards.

Registration is now open at https://paddleguru.com/races/12thAnnualPaddleatthePark. Find all race details at PaddleAtThePark.com or follow Facebook.com/PaddleAtThePark.

Thank you to our race partners BOTE and The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island; title sponsor HCA Florida Healthcare; platinum sponsors Destin – Fort Walton Beach and Shibumi Shade; silver sponsors Eglin Federal Credit Union, T-Mobile, and VivanaMD; bronze sponsors Florida CFY, Harmony Beach Vacations, and The Island Resort at Fort Walton Beach; and media sponsor Destin Life!

MKAF Showcases a Range of Music At 2024 CIV

The area’s first live concert series is being held Thursday evenings at the MKAF Dugas Pavilion in Destin. This year’s 29th annual family-friendly series began April 4 and continues to June 6.

May 9: Rumours ATL: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute takes the stage. Since 2014, Rumours ATL has set stages ablaze across the U.S. with their scorching Fleetwood Mac renditions. With meticulous attention to detail and infectious energy, Rumours sells out venues and leaves fans dancing, singing, and discovering new facets of Fleetwood Mac’s magic at every performance. Believe in miracles and join the unforgettable experience of Rumours.

May 16: Gotta Groove Band will put a fresh spin on popular cover tunes from the ‘60s to today. With outstanding vocals and top-shelf musicianship, they feature own arrangements and mixing many popular tunes together to create a fun flow of entertaining energy. You will not want to miss the party this Land O Lakes, Florida, band throws down.

May 23: Mitch Malloy will rock Destin. Former front man of Great White, rocker Mitch Malloy is a studio veteran and award-winning songwriter. With a career spanning decades, he’s navigated the music scene since the ‘80s, achieving chart success and even turning down a role as Van Halen’s lead singer in the ‘90s.

May 30: Haley Reinhart’s timeless voice will transport you. With talent that transcends eras, blending pop, rock, and jazz in her 2019 album, Lo-Fi Soul. A finalist on American Idol, this Chicago-born singer is influenced by ‘50s music and enjoys playful lyrics. With a decade-long grind, platinum hits, and diverse collaborations, Reinhart’s multifaceted artistry shines, promising a lasting connection with her audience.

June 6: Adam Ezra Group closes out the series. Fusing folk intimacy and rock energy with soul power and pop charm, the band first emerged from Boston in the early 2000s and quickly garnered widespread acclaim for their bold, insightful songwriting and interactive, euphoric performances.

Gates open at 6 p.m. with concerts beginning at 7 p.m. for this come-as-you-are family-friendly outdoor concert series. Bring a lawn chair, picnic, wine or purchase food and beverages on-site prepared by featured restaurants and food trucks. A drawing will be held at each concert to award valuable raffle prizes donated by local businesses.

General admission varies per concert. Prices range from $20 to $35 for adults. Discounts offered for active-duty military (must show ID). Purchase tickets prior to day of the concert and save $5 per ticket. Children (12 and under) are free. Purchase tickets at MKAF.org/events.

Proceeds fund cultural outreach programs through ArtsReach serving K-12 students, adults and children with special needs, at-risk youth, and through MKAF’s Warrior Arts program serving active/veteran military. For more information, call (850) 650-2226.

ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival! May 4-5

In its 36th year, ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival will be held May 4th-5th! Produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and presented by Grand Boulevard Town Center, ArtsQuest provides an opportunity to view and purchase original art from over 100 artists from throughout the country. ArtsQuest is a juried show that awards $10,000 in cash prizes. The rain or shine event also features live performances, artist demonstrations, hands-on learning opportunities, student exhibits, ImagiNation: where kids rule, food, beverages and more! Join us in the Town Center of Grand Boulevard, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 4th and again on Sunday, May 5th, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. A $5 donation will be accepted at the entrance gate.

11th Annual Tequila & Taco Fest | May 10-12 | Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin

Get ready to indulge in the ultimate fiesta experience as the 11th Annual Tequila & Taco Fest returns for another unforgettable celebration of Tequila Love! Established as the second longest running Tequila & Taco Fest in the U.S., Tequila & Taco Fest promises an unparalleled culinary adventure coupled with live music, family-friendly activities and thrilling competitions.

Kick-off Party: The festivities commence with the electrifying Brews, Blues & BBQ Kick-off Party on Friday, May 10th, hosted by Sandestin® Beer, Buffalo Chip Bourbon and Black Sheep Tequila (voted the best tequila in the world) at the popular Marina Bar in Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort® at the Baytowne Marina overlooking the Choctawhatchee Bay.

Main Event: Taco Extravaganza unfolds on Saturday, May 11th, at the iconic Village of Baytowne Wharf, transforming the picturesque locale into a taco lover’s paradise. With an impressive lineup on Saturday, May 11th from 1 to 4 p.m., the main event takes center stage. With 25 plus taco vendors competing for the esteemed title of “Best Taco in Northwest Florida” and a grand prize of $2,500 for first place, attendees are in for a culinary delight. The festival will also host Best Margarita Competition, vying for the coveted title and bragging rights. Aficionados of Mexico’s famed spirit can rejoice as they explore the 25 tequila tents and an assortment of imported beers from South America.

Families can enjoy kid-friendly activities including face painting, live music and even a Chihuahua Beauty Pageant. For those seeking a VIP experience, the exclusive VIP area at Landshark Bar and Grill will feature the finest tequila, courtesy of Black Sheep Tequila, and exotic tacos that are unavailable in the main festival area.

Farewell Brunch: Wrap up the festivities on Sunday, May 12th, with the Bye Bye Brunch at the Beach House overlooking the Gulf of Mexico from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Purchase tickets online at www.efestevents.com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit two worthy causes: Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and the Sandestin® Foundation for Kids.

Sinfonia Gulf Coast Presents Jurassic Park in Concert May 18

Sinfonia Gulf Coast “redefines the symphony experience” once again with Jurassic Park in Concert, Saturday, May 18, 7:30 p.m. at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach.

Featuring visually stunning imagery and groundbreaking special effects, this epic action-packed adventure pits man against prehistoric predators in the ultimate battle for survival. Sheer movie magic 68 million years in the making, Jurassic Park in Concert tells the story as never before: projected in HD with Sinfonia Gulf Coast performing John Williams’ iconic score live to picture.

Tickets to Jurassic Park in Concert are $30 to $55 per person. Discounts are offered for students and active-duty military with valid ID. Purchase tickets online at SinfoniaGulfCoast.org or by calling the box office at (850) 460-8800. Proceeds benefit Sinfonia Gulf Coast and its education and community outreach engagement initiatives throughout Northwest Florida.

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