All area codes are 850 unless specified. 

 

Polar Plunge: Gulf Place on 30A will host the South Walton Fire District's Fifth Annual Polar Plunge at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 at Ed Walline Beach Access. Registration begins at 11 a.m. on the corner of S. Co. Hwy. 393 and Scenic Hwy.30A at Gulf Place. A costume contest will be held with a $20 donation suggested. All proceeds will benefit the SWFD Department Relations Committee. Event is open to all ages, and attendees are encouraged to bring a change of clothes. Following the plunge guests will enjoy food, music and a bonfire.

 

First Day Hike: Explore the park with a Ranger from 9-11:30 a.m. or 2-3:30 p.m. Jan. 1 at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Wear weather appropriate clothing and closed toed shoes. Bring water bottle, hat and sunscreen. Check in at the Ranger Station for starting location. Program is free with regular park admission.

 

ECMS: Pat Carlyle will speak when the Emerald Coast Meditation Society meets at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 4 at Christ the King, 480 N. Co. Hwy. 393. Her topic will be “Creating Mindfulness Practices in the New Year.”

 

Choctawhatchee Audubon Society: “Florida’s Fisheries — Independent Monitoring Program: Implications for Management and a Glimpse at Efforts from the Panhandle Region and Beyond” will be presented by David A Gandy, fishery scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Re-search Institute, Apalachicola Bay Field Lab, East Point, Fla., at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 4 at a new location in room 308/309 of the student services building (bldg. 400) at NWFSC, Niceville campus. Admission is free and open to the public. Call 225-252-2760 or email dbaltz@lsu.edu for more information.

• Jan. 27: Walt Spence will lead a Bird Walk around the Twin Cities Shorelines. Meet at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Mattress Store in Bayou Plaza at the junction of 85 S and Rte 20, John Sims Parkway in Niceville.

 

Bingo: St. Rita Catholic Church, 137 Moll Drive in Santa Rosa Beach, will meet for dinner at 5:30 p.m. and Bingo at 6 p.m. Jan. 5 and 19; and Feb. 2 and 16.

 

Topsail program: Topsail Hill Preserve State Park hosts “Pruning Properly” presented by Master Gardener Bill Kuenstler at 8:15 a.m. Jan. 5. Program is free with regular park admission. For more information, call 267-8330.

 

Winter Concerts at Market Shops: The Market Shops at Sandestin presents the Winter Concert Series on the lawn with Boukou Groove from 1-3 p.m. Jan. 6. Bring chairs and blankets. In the event of rainy weather, the concert will be relocated to the covered patio outside of Bijoux at The Market Shops.

• Jan. 13: Michael J Thomas

• Jan. 20: David Seering

• Jan. 27: The Graytones

• Feb. 3: Donnie Sundal

• Feb. 10: Ron Adams

• Feb. 17: Chuck Lawson

• Feb. 24: Chris Alvarado

 

Americana Music: The Americana Music at The Lodge concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 6 with The Currys at Camp Helen State Park. Doors open at 6 p.m. Concerts are free with a requested donation to help Friends of Camp Helen with the series and special projects that benefit the park. Refreshments available for a donation.

• Jan. 20: Sally Spring and Ted Lyons

• Feb. 3: Mike and Maggie McKinney known as Lucky Mud, hosts of the series

• Feb. 17: Brian Smalley

• March 3: 2PM from South Florida

 

Fish Fry: St. Rita Catholic Church, 137 Moll Drive in Santa Rosa Beach, will hold fish fry dinners from 3-7 p.m. Jan. 12 and 26; Feb. 9 and 23; and March 9. Adults are $10 and children under 10 are free. Call 267-2558.

 

Art in the Park: Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach will hold a watercolor session from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 12. Fee is $25 and includes materials. Regular park admission applies and is paid at ranger station. Registration is due seven days before class in the park store or at www.topsailparkfriends.org.

• Feb. 9: Basket Weaving for $35.

 

Topsail Talks Series: Topsail Hill Preserve State Park presents WWII: Bombs Away by Coffeen Nature from 10-11 a.m. Jan. 12 in the Clubhouse. Free with regular park admission. Topsail Talks is a monthly educational discovery series with presentations from organizations and government agencies from outside the park.

• Feb. 9: Topsail’s Artificial Reef by South Walton Artificial Reef Association

 

Songwriters Festival: The ninth annual 30A Songwriters Festival takes place Jan. 12-15 along scenic Highway 30A. Main stage perfor-mancesby Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, The Zombies, North Mississippi Allstars and Lee Ann Womack will be held in Grand Boulevard’s Town Center. Event will feature 175 songwriters and more than 225 performances at more than 25 venues in south Walton County. Weekend passes can be purchased at www.30asongwritersfestival.com and locally in South Walton at the Cultural Arts Alliance office in Santa Rosa Beach, the Foster Gallery in Grand Boulevard and at Central Square Records in Seaside.

 

Embroiderers’ Guild: The Sand Dunes Chapter of Embroiderers' Guild of America will hold a stitch-in from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Jan. 14 in the Religious Education building, Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 1200 Valparaiso Blvd. in Niceville. Meeting will be Jan. 28. Call 496-3466 with any questions.

 

Plant/Tree Sale: The Walton County Master Gardeners’ annual Plant and Tree Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 20 at the County Fair Grounds.

 

The REP: Folk-rock duo Ryanhood brings virtuosity, heart and humor to Santa Rosa Beach at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at The Repertory Theatre-Seaside. Tickets are $25 at http://lovetherep.com/ryanhood/.

 

SIN Night Party: The Bay in South Walton's Tuesday night SIN Night with Heritage will be held from 6-9 p.m. and will feature food and drink specials, live music and a place for locals to kick back and enjoy their down time.

 

Annual Mardi Gras Parade/Street Festival: DeFuniak Springs will "Let the Good Times Roll" as Krewe de Yak’s Fifth Annual Mardi Gras Parade and Festival takes placebeginning at 11 a.m. Jan. 20 on Circle Drive. Food, fun, and family-friendly entertainment celebrate the Carnival season with a Street Fair, Car Show, Parade and After Party. For more information, call 419-5977 or email krewedeyak@gmail.com. Complete schedule of events is at www.krewedeyak.org.

 

Classical Connections Concerts: The Classical Connections series presented by Sinfonia Gulf Coast features SYBARITE5 string quintet at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at Grace Lutheran Church in Destin. Tickets range from $29.50 to $45/person. To purchase tickets, visit SinfoniaGulf-Coast.org or call 460-8800.

• March 3: Violinist Corinne Stillwell

 

Pasta Dinner: St. Rita Catholic Church, 137 Moll Drive in Santa Rosa Beach, will hold a Pasta Dinner from 4-7 p.m. Feb. 3 to benefit Boy Scouts Troop 562. Adults are $8 and children under 10 are free.

 

Love Tracks: A 5K Fun Run/Walk, Love Tracks takes place from 7-11 a.m. Feb. 17 at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Those running or walking the 5K without a dog will start at 8 a.m. Those running or walking with a dog will start at 8:45 a.m. Race entrance fees are $5/children, $10/adults, $15/adults with a dog ($5 for each additional dog). Dogs are only allowed to enter with an adult. All race participants registered by Jan. 26 will get a bag and a T-shirt. The registered dogs will get a bandanna. All funds raised will benefit the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park and help them further their mission of supporting the park. Register at www.topsailparkfriends.org.

 

Coastal Branch Library: Chess on Mondays is at 4 p.m. for all ages and levels of players; Preschool Story Hour at 10 a.m. Thursdays for stories, crafts and music; Book Lovers Club at 10 a.m. the second Tuesday of the month through May. Call 267-2809 for book titles. The Joy Art Group meets from 9 a.m. to noon Fridays for artists of multiple genres to collaborate and broaden their horizons.

 

Baytowne on Ice: Dust off those skates and get in the winter spirit at The Village of Baytowne Wharf's Baytowne on Ice through Feb. 3 in the Events Plaza. For details, visit www.baytownewharf.com or call 267-8184.

 

Mommy & Me: Hope Lutheran Church, 3834 U.S. Hwy. 98, has a faith based ministry for moms and their children the first and third Mondays of the month from 9:30-11 a.m. Moms and their children can learn and grow together through music, Bible stories, crafts, snacks, and more. Each class is $5. Call 267-0322, email jstein@hopeonthebeach.org, or visit Facebook page Mommy & Me Faith Based Program.

 

Family Challenge: Check in at the Topsail Hill Preserve State Park camp store between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays for the challenge package. When completed, return to camp store for a treat.

 

Sunday Pickin' at The Bay: The Bay Restaurant, on the Choctawhatchee Bay at the southern foot of the 331 bridge, will host Sunday Pickin' at The Bay every Sunday while the weather is nice. Local musician Mike Whitty and friends will get together in the garden at The Bay for a jam session. All local musicians are invited to come and join in. Happy Hour is from 4-6 p.m.

 

Geocache Around Topsail: Explore Topsail Hill Preserve State Park with a special 10 station geocache program from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Check in at the camp store for your coordinates. Upon completion, return to the camp store for a prize.

 

Beach Service: Worship at the beach with Hope Lutheran Church from 8-9 a.m. at Ed Walline Regional Beach Access across on Scenic Hwy. 30A in Santa Rosa Beach. Bring a towel, chair, or stand on the boardwalk. Call 267-0322.

 

30A Farmers’ Market: Walk through the park like setting with shade trees, a fountain, cobblestone walkways and visit friendly farmers, makers and bakers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays year round at 12805 US Hwy. 98 E in Inlet Beach. Find fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs, honey, cheese, sauces, beef, chicken, ready-to-eat-foods and more at the new location.

 

Emerald Coast Farmers' Market: Fresh from the farm produce, dairy, honey, eggs, grass-fed beef, beef jerky, pork products and sausages; fresh local seafood, crab cakes, tuna and shrimp dips; homemade pita, hummus, salsa's, guacamole, jams, preserves, pickled veggies, cheeses, homemade pastas and sauces, and artisan breads and desserts are for sale at Seascape Resort, 100 Seascape Drive in Miramar Beach, from 1-6 Tuesdays year round and 12-6 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day.

 

Grand Boulevard Farmers’ Market: The market will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday in Grand Park in Miramar Beach between Cantina Laredo and Tommy Bahama’s. Vendors will offer locally sourced food-based items including produce, eggs, milk, butter, grass-fed beef, chicken, lamb, and pork, honey, pickled vegetables and gourmet jams. Market is held on Wednesdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

 

Seaside Farmers Market: Get your pick of fresh produce, baked goods, dairy products, native plants and other unique offerings Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Amphitheatre behind Raw & Juicy. Enjoy special cooking demos and activities.