The Market Shops at the entrance to Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort hosted the fourth annual Bloody Mary Festival on Oct. 6, raising $8,500 for Habitat for Humanity of Walton County. The event featured unlimited tastes of the Emerald Coast’s most creative and innovative Bloody Marys made with Cathead Vodka and served in specialty cups provided by Compass Builders by the finest restaurants and bars on the Panhandle.

Guests were greeted upon arrival with festive décor courtesy of Mingle before entering the bustling courtyard full of restaurants and merchants from The Market Shops. The grand lawn featured the Bloody Marys along with live music performed by the Luke Langford Band on the main stage. Attendees made their way around the tents, sampling each Bloody Mary served by the Emerald Coast’s finest locally-owned restaurants. Upon check-in, guests received a token in order to vote for the coveted People’s Choice Award for the Best Bloody Mary in South Walton.

A panel of select food critics and local celebrities judged each Bloody Mary and selected the following winners for the most delicious and most creative:

1st Place Judge's Award – Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits

2nd Place Judge's Award – Camille’s at Crystal Beach

3rd Place Judge's Award – Emeril’s Coastal Italian

People’s Choice Award – The Surf Hut

All awards were custom made by local artist Maxine Orange.

There was plenty of food to go around during the festival by various restaurants in The Market Shops, including Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits, Maple Street Biscuit Company, and Pizza by the Sea, along with barbecue from Back Beach Barbecue and fresh shucked oysters from Slick Lips Seafood and Oyster House. Apart from the Bloody Marys, guests sipped on fresh-pressed juice from Clean Juice, local craft brews served by Grayton Beer Company, and champagne from the Bubbly Bar.

While sipping their Bloody Marys, guests had full access to the hydration and relaxation station presented by the Salamander Spa, a commemorative photo booth with Epic Photo Company sponsored by My Vacation Haven, a cigar bar by Shore Thing Cigars, and exclusive shopping options from the merchants of The Market Shops. Rent Gear Here also set up flat screen TVs and seating for event goers to watch various college football games.