On July 3rd, the much anticipated expansion of Destin’s outdoor shopping mall will have a grand opening with a BBQ festival. The 4th Annual Smoke on the Coast Festival begins at 1pm with barbecue samplings and live music on two stages featuring Heritage and Jones and Company. The best BBQ will be voted on and the People’s Choice Award will be announced at 9pm. Last week, Charming Charlie’s and H&M opened to big crowds along with the move of Zoe’s restaurant. The grand opening will include the additions of Chipotle Mexican Grill and Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl and Grill. For those visiting the area, accommodations can be made nearby at Edgewater Condo Resort.
In celebration of Independence Day, many locations along the Emerald Coast will be hosting festivities and fireworks. The Village of Baytowne Wharf will celebrate on July 4th with live music by Mama’s Blue Dress, games, and a grand fireworks finale over the lagoon. There will also be children’s activities including face painting and balloon animals. At HarborWalk Village, festivities will kick off on July 3rd with a Red, White and Blue Celebration honoring Tom Rice. The Victory Belles will be performing live with classic throwback tunes. Saturday night, Gypsy Riot will perform at 7pm. Destin vacation rentals are available for overnight accommodations. South Walton will host a parade along 30A to celebrate the holiday. The parade will begin in Seagrove at 8am and end at the Seaside Amphitheater. The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra will perform at the end of the parade followed by fireworks.
Farmers Markets are spreading throughout the Panhandle making it even easier to purchase fresh produce. Many of the new spots offer fresh bread, seafood, juices and specialty items. The Market Shops in Sandestin have a display set up each Sunday morning year round. There is a 30A market in Rosemary Beach open every Sunday morning and on Thursdays throughout the summer. The Green at Gulf Place in Santa Rosa Beach opens a market each Sunday until 2pm and offers fruit and vegetables as well as handmade crafts. These popular markets provide a convenient stop to stock up on the freshest food in season.