It’s a busy year of festivals and events in the Forgotten Coast, so mark your calendarsMay/June 2007Calendar of Events 

Compiled by Ashley Kahn

Through July 14
Artists Limited Exhibit
Apalachicola’s newly restored historic Fry Conter House is home to an exhibition of the work of 10 Tallahassee artists – Mary Apple, Hilda Carney, Nina Freeman, Rosemary Ferguson, Fran Mathis, Judy Nable, Emeretta Rudy, Vivian Sherlock, Susse Sherwood and Mary Wyatt – who have been painting and showing together for more than 20 years. Built in 1845, the Greek Revival landmark was the former home of riverboat captain Bill Fry and local doctor Augustus Eugene Conter. Apalachicola Museum of Art, (850) 653-2090

May 4
First Fridays in Port St. Joe
This summer celebration of the arts is presented by the Gulf Alliance for Local Arts and held the first Friday of each month throughout the summer. An artist’s reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by music and a cash bar from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Port Inn and on the lawn of Coastal Community Bank.

May 5
2nd Annual Derby Day Gala
Held on the grounds of Centennial Park in Port St. Joe, this evening under the stars features food, drinks, a silent auction, live music, carriage rides and more. For ticket information, call (850) 665-6270.

May 5
15th Annual Apalachicola Historic Home Tour
Once a year, the public is invited on a guided tour of buildings of historical and architectural significance throughout Apalachicola. Beginning at Trinity Episcopal Church, the tour covers a dozen private homes, churches and commercial buildings. Tickets, in the form of donations, are $12 in advance or $15 at the event, and proceeds benefit the Trinity Episcopal Restoration fund. (850) 653-9550

May 6
Blue Crab Festival
Following a kick-off parade down U.S. Highway 98, the gates will open at Wooley Park in Panacea for the 33rd Annual Blue Crab Festival. The festival has grown to include live entertainment, dancing, crafts, and contests such as the popular mullet toss. The event culminates with fireworks over Dickerson Bay. For ticket and parking information, call (850) 984-CRAB (850-984-2722).

May 10-20
Great Plein Air Paint-Out
More than 20 nationally acclaimed plein air artists are set to participate in a “paint-out” to capture the beauty of the landscapes and inhabitants of the Forgotten Coast. The artists will paint on location throughout Gulf County, and visitors are welcome to observe from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. More than 250 paintings will be displayed for purchase at the end of their stay. (850) 648-9433

May 12
St. Joseph Bay Cleanup and Kayak Festival
Help beautify the coastline by participating in this annual event. As part of National River Cleanup Week, the festival provides the chance to enjoy a day on the water while benefiting the environment. Free kayak and canoe rentals are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call Happy Ours at (850) 229-1991

May 19
15th Annual Tupelo Honey Festival
Celebrate some of the world’s finest honey at Lake Alice Park in Wewahitchka. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy live music, dancing, arts and crafts, and plenty of locally harvested Tupelo honey. Admission is free. (850) 639-2605

June 2
Presnell’s Saltwater Slam
Catch ’em if you can in the bay or the Gulf in this competition for cash prizes at the marina, located on Highway 30A in Port St. Joe. Back at the dock, enjoy great food prepared by the locals and music from live bands. (850) 229-2710

June 9
The Early Boat Cruise
Experience the morning beauty of the Wakulla River with an 8 a.m. boat tour at Wakulla Springs. Breakfast is available but not included, and reservations are suggested. Tickets: $8 for adults, $6 for children. (850) 224-5950

June 9
Annual Mullet Toss
Fish-throwing has become a unique spectator sport in St. George Island. Sponsored by the Blue Parrot Café, this event is held on the beach and features separate men’s, women’s and children’s divisions with lots of prizes. For a $10 donation, get a T-shirt and two mullet tosses. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (850) 927-2987 

June 15-17
Big Bend Saltwater Classic
Just in time for Father’s Day, sign up for the largest nonprofit fishing tournament in Northwest Florida. This two-day event includes Adult and Youth categories as well as Team and Individual competition, and boasts thousands of dollars in cash prizes. Based in Carrabelle, there are fishing and weigh-in stations along the Forgotten Coast. (850) 216-2272

June 16
Evening Boat Cruise and Dinner
Take a 6 p.m. cruise down the Wakulla River, with dinner to follow at Wakulla Springs Lodge. Tickets: $29 per person. Reservations required. (850) 224-5950

July 4
Sopchoppy Independence Day Celebration
Held at Sopchoppy City Park, this event is all-day and all-American, complete with a mid-morning parade, live entertainment, canoe race and fireworks set to begin around 9 p.m. Admission is free. (850) 962-4611

July 4
Mexico Beach Independence Day Celebration
Celebrate Independence Day with a 5K Walk/Run and a children’s fishing tournament, followed by a fireworks display heralded as the “Best Blast on the Beach!” (888) 723-2546

July 4
Independence on the Coast
Beware of looting as pirates attack passing ships in the waters off Frank Pate Park in Port St. Joe. Later, head over to Port St. Joe Marina for a party featuring live entertainment and, of course, celebratory fireworks. (850) 227-1223

Aug. 18-19
8th Annual Port St. Joe Scallop Festival
In this annual celebration of locally harvested scallops, locals invite visitors to participate in two days of fun including music, arts and crafts, children’s activities and great-tasting scallops. Enjoy them cooked at the festival or purchase them frozen to take home. Located at Marina Cove, just north of Port St. Joe Marina. (850) 227-1223

Aug. 24-27
Dog Days of Summer
Bring your pooch to Apalachicola’s historic Dixie Theatre for a doggie talent and fashion show. Enjoy a cocktail at the social for dogs and their owners. (850) 653-9419

Aug. 25
MBARA Kingfish Tournament
The Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association (MBARA) hosts its annual king-mackerel tournament the weekend before Labor Day. Proceeds are used by the volunteer organization to enhance fishery habitats, educate the public and fund research.

Sept 22
Beach Blast Olympic Triathlon/Duathlon
For the second time, Mexico Beach and Gulf County present this fall event of biking, running and swimming. Olympic distances will be incorporated, with the triathlon’s 0.9 mile swim, 25-mile bike ride and 10K run. The duathlon includes a 5K run, a 25-mile bike ride and a 10K run, all through Gulf County. Visit or call (850) 522-6666.

Sept 29-30
5th Annual Kingfish Shootout
Held at C-Quarters Marina in Carrabelle, all proceeds from the tournament go to the Leukemia Foundation. There is a $25,000 payout divided among several categories, including first through fourth place and largest wahoo. (850) 697-8400

Oct. 5-6
Apalachicola Community Yard Sale
Yard-sale lovers unite over attic treasures and unique merchandise at this event, which aims to be the best yard sale ever. (850) 653-9419

Oct. 5-7
Second Annual Oyster Spat Festival
In an effort to encourage tourism in Franklin County, this event is sponsored by the St. George Island Merchants Association. The weekend of fun includes an onshore fishing tournament with cash prizes, a treasure hunt, a 5K race, a kayak race and a parade. Look forward to great food and live entertainment. (850) 927-5039

Oct. 5-7
Florida Panhandle Birdin & Wildflower Festival
Birdwatchers and wildflower lovers are in for a treat, with guided field trips on land and water to St. George Island, St. Vincent Island, Little St. George Island and St. Joe Bay. Following lectures and educational displays, there will be a reception and shrimp boil. Call the St. Joe Wildlife Sanctuary at (850) 229-WING (850-229-9464)

Oct. 10
4th Annual Apalachicola Bay Chamber Golf Tournament
This tournament is open to the public and benefits Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce programs. Tee time is 1 p.m. at the St. James Bay Golf Course in Lanark Village. (850) 653-9419

Oct. 12-13
The Dixie Does Nashville
Mosey over to Apalachicola’s Dixie Theatre as some of the most talented songwriters from Nashville, Tenn., perform their own material. This is an exciting opportunity to hear music from the writers, whose hits have been recorded by top country stars. For reservations, call (850) 653-3200

Oct. 20
Stone Crab Festival
Ring in the stone crab season with great food, music, and arts and crafts. Held at the Riverside Café in St. Marks, the event starts at 10 a.m. and runs late. (850) 925-5668

Oct. 22
9th Annual Mexico Beach Fall Festival of the Arts
This event celebrates the fine artwork of the southeastern United States and the world of wine with musical entertainment and a live auction. Limited tickets are available in August for the festival, held at the Driftwood Inn on the Gulf. (888) 723-2546

Oct. 27
Monarch Butterfly Festival
Head to the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge to see thousands of monarch butterflies prepare to migrate across the Gulf to their winter habitat in the mountains of Mexico. Bring your cameras to photograph their rare beauty while staff and volunteers provide educational information. (850) 925-6121

Oct. 31
Ghost on the Coast
Port St. Joe’s annual downtown Halloween event is sponsored by the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce. Trick-or-treat throughout the evening and enjoy storytelling and costume contests for children, adults and pets. There is no contest fee for children, but adults and pets pay $5 to enter. Proceeds benefit Gulf County Habitat for Humanity. Reid Avenue, 6 p.m. (850) 227-1223

Nov. 2-3
44th Annual Florida Seafood Festival
The oldest seafood festival in the state combines great food, great people and wonderful entertainment. To pay tribute to Apalachicola Bay’s commercial fishermen, participate in maritime crafts or take your pick of an oyster-shucking or eating contest. (850) 653-9419,

Nov. 2
Downtown Apalachicola Oyster Roast
The Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual oyster roast, complete with musical entertainment and some of the freshest seafood around. Sample roasted and raw oysters, artichoke and oyster soup, shrimp, crabs and homemade desserts under the stars on Commerce Street. Tickets are available through the chamber office at (850) 653-9419.

Nov. 9-10
Jazz Festival at the Dixie Theatre
This two-night concert is the fifth of an annual series that continues to be the Forgotten Coast’s premier opportunity to hear jazz, blues and folk music performed live on stage. (850) 653-3200

Nov. 23
Historic Apalachicola Annual Holiday Celebration
Your eyes will light up as the city lights up with luminaries and holiday cheer. Merchants stay open late, and carolers provide the soundtrack to this exciting event. Santa arrives via shrimp boat at 4 p.m. at the City Dock on Water Street. 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free. Call (850) 653-9419 or visit

Nov. 30
Christmas on the Coast
Port St. Joe’s annual holiday festivities include a tree-lighting ceremony in Frank Pate Park, a recitation of the Christmas story and carols sung by local artists. There also is a traditional parade down Reid Avenue and a charity market to support local organizations. Visit or call (850) 227-1223.

Dec. 1
Island Lighting of the Palms
St. George Island celebrates the holidays in true island fashion with the lighting of the palm trees, food and fun. Santa will be present to hear children’s wishes. (850) 927-2604

Dec. 1
Holiday Fresh Market
Buy handcrafted gifts, from wreaths to vintage jewelry, at this open market. (850) 653-9419

Dec. 8
Parade of Lights on the Carrabelle River
(850) 697-2585,

Dec. 31-Jan. 1
Celebrate Safe and Celebrate Twice New Year’s Eve
(888) 723-2546

February 2008
Forgotten Coast’s Chef Sampler
(850) 653-9419

February 2008
Mexico Beach Gumbo Cook-Off
(888) 723-2546

March 2008
26th Annual St. George Island Charity Chili Cook-off and Auction for Volunteer Fire Department
(850) 927-2753

March 2008
Camp Gordon Johnston Reunion
(850) 697-2585

April 2008
Annual Historic Apalachicola Antique and Classic Boat Show
(850) 652-9419

April 2008
Carrabelle Riverfront Festival
(850) 697-2585

Categories: Forgotten Coast 2007, Forgotten Coast Archive