Deciding to book a trip to the fantastic panhandle of Florida is always an inspiring decision. Whether you’re a traveler that has a passion for spending time on the sand, one who loves the sun or someone who can’t wait to make the most of water adventures, boutique shopping, and delicious restaurants, this area promises to have something for you. Fort Walton Beach, in particular, proves to be a scenic place to call your home away from home and offers up proximity to nearby Destin, known for its many fun and exciting stops along the way. When you’re in the area and looking for some intriguing local Destin events, here are a few that belong to Destin that you’ll want to make sure to put on the itinerary.
Mardi Gras by the Sea
Mardi Gras makes its way to Destin each and every year as visitors and locals flock to Harbor Walk Village to celebrate this fun, colorful and vibrant moment. In 2020, the festivities will take place on February 22nd and will be centered around 10 Harbor Boulevard. Guests to this fun event will be able to enjoy a fantastic parade beginning at 2:00 pm and will have a chance to indulge in live musical performances by the band Fais Do-Do. Floats, beads, food vendors and fun are yours for the enjoying during this Mardi Gras event. If you’re in town with a canine companion, this Mardi Gras celebration includes a pet costume contest with registration beginning at 5:00 pm.
Mac n’ Cheese Festival
It sounds too delicious to be true, but the Boys and Girls Club of Destin is proud to host the annual Mac n’ Cheese Festival once again in 2020. Open to locals and visitors alike the Mac n’ Cheese Festival will be held on March 8, 2020, between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm at the Destin Commons. Guests are invited to come and savor the flavors of all types of Mac n’ Cheese as well as savor gourmet variations and enjoy live demonstrations on-site. Proceeds go to the Boys and Girls Club with adult admission starting at $25 and kids entering the fun festival for $10.
Shrimp and Grits Festival
Destin is a destination of fun, but it’s very much a place where water plays a major role in its identity, particularly when it comes to cuisine. For those that have a heart for seafood, a trip to Destin in February should always include participation in the Shrimp and Grits Festival, one of the best food events in Destin FL. The 2020 Shrimp and Grits Festival will take place on February 29th between 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm at Harbor Walk Village. Tasting stations, live entertainment and endless fun await for those that participate in this inaugural festival. The event gives over 100 local vendors the chance to feature their seafood fare and proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club. Admission is $35 at the door with VIP package options available for $50.
Festival of the Arts
Destin is a destination that’s loved by travelers from near and far for its sugar-white shorelines, blue waves, and endless options for fun and entertainment that are seemingly around every corner. That said, it’s also a city that’s packed with artistic inspiration, and every year, that level of creativity is celebrated in abundance at the Festival of the Arts!
Held in October each year, the Festival of the Arts has earned a reputation as Northwest Florida’s standout fine arts show with good reason. Formally known as the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Festival of the Arts, this exciting event will enjoy its 26th year in 2021!
The festival is a fantastic way for art enthusiasts to enjoy the works of artists from across the country. It’s also a chance for amateur artists to find inspiration in unique works and get a sense of the possibilities that are out there. Guests who visit the Festival of the Arts in Destin will enjoy wandering through displays that feature everything from jewelry and mixed media projects to mosaics, woodworks, pottery, photography, sculpture, painting, and more! While these works of art are submitted to the festival for the love of creativity, there are also prizes in store for those that stand out to the crowd. In fact, there are $10,000 worth of cash prizes in over 29 different award categories to be won. Some of the annual awards handed out to deserving artists include People’s Choice and Best in Show, just to name a few.
The Festival of the Arts generally spans a period of two days, during which live musical performances are lined up to set an entertaining scene for the crowd. The performances are included in the cost of admission so once you’re in, you can spend a day or two simply enjoying the sights and sounds of the festival worry-free. A variety of food trucks are on-site to serve up sensational treats to those with cravings to curb. Wine and beer are also readily available for parched guests looking to add some flavor into the already exciting experience.
Those who attend the festival do so for many different reasons. While some come looking for inspiration, others are excited to see what their favorite artists have been working on over the course of a year. Of course, if you happen to find a piece that perfectly matches your vision for that blank wall in your home, the vast majority of what’s on display is also for sale.