holidays on 30A

Aug 5, 2022Emerald Coast, Local Experiences, Travel

Holiday Celebrations along the Emerald Coast.

30A, Destin, and Panama City Beach Christmas and New Year’s Eve Events

Did you know Santa Claus is a big fan of the Emerald Coast? It’s true! Each year the man in the red suit kicks off his busiest time with a visit to 30A, Destin, and Panama City Beach. We can’t say we blame him—there’s nothing better than the beach, no matter the time of year!

Scenic 30A transforms into a twinkling winter wonderland with decorated Christmas trees and holiday lights, while Destin stays true to fishing village form with a beloved boat parade. Panama City Beach has a fabulous two-day event to usher in the Christmas season, and historic DeFuniak Springs displays more than 10 million lights! There’s even a New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge! 

So what are you doing? Let’s make plans to visit this holiday season!

November 

30A 10K
Nov. 24
Rosemary Beach

Now in its 11th year, this popular race has donated more than $550,000 to local charities! And don’t worry if you’re not quite ready for a 10K; there is also a 5K and a 1-mile fun run. 
Held Thanksgiving morning, the 30A 10K is a great way to give back to the community and do something a little different with family and friends. 

Rosemary Beach Tree Lighting
Nov. 25
Rosemary Beach

Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas celebration in Rosemary Beach’s town square. Carolers stroll beneath twinkling lights as Santa Claus lights the Christmas tree! 

Beach Home for the Holidays
Nov. 25-26
Aaron Bessant Park

Enjoy incredible live concerts, s’mores, pictures by Santa’s Village, a holiday movie, visits with Santa Claus, and fireworks each night! 

Christmas Reflections
Nov. 25-30
Historic DeFuniak Springs

Enjoy more than 10 million lights reflecting off Lake DeFuniak, a perfectly round spring-fed lake surrounded by Victorian-era homes. Horsedrawn carriage rides, a holiday market, and a Festival of Trees are held on select nights.

South Walton Holiday Parade
Nov. 26
Seagrove to Seaside

Who doesn’t love a small town parade? Locals and visitors are welcome to decorate cars and golf carts and join in one of 30A’s most beloved traditions. Cheer on the dancing team from Gigi’s Fabulous Kids’ Fashion & Toys, wave to Santa and Mrs. Claus, and then watch the Christmas lights sparkle as Seaside officially “Turns on the Town.”

Old Florida Holiday & Winter Market
Nov. 26
WaterColor

Enjoy an outdoor holiday market and horse-drawn carriage rides around Cerulean Park, s’mores, food trucks, and pictures with Santa Claus! Kids will love the “snow” that begins to fall once the Christmas tree is officially turned on! 

December

 

Christmas Reflections
Dec. 1-31
Historic DeFuniak Springs

Enjoy more than 10 million lights reflecting off Lake DeFuniak, a perfectly round spring-fed lake surrounded by Victorian-era homes. Horsedrawn carriage rides, a holiday market, and a Festival of Trees are held on select nights. 

Eden Gardens Christmas Luminaries
Dec. 10
Eden Gardens State Park

The grounds of beautiful Eden Gardens State Park will be lined with more than 2,000 luminaries so the public can enjoy the magic of Eden Gardens at night. The Friends of Eden Gardens hosts the event and invites the public to enjoy live music, carolers, cookies, and hot beverages. Christmas decorations inside the Wesley House may be viewed during regular park hours, Thursdays through Mondays. 

Destin Boat Parade
Destin Harbor
Date TBD, typically around Dec 10

Being the fishing village that it is, Destin kicks off the Christmas season with a boat parade! Watch fishing boats, dolphin boats, and maybe even a pirate ship float by bedecked in lights. The parade begins near Boshamps restaurant on the east side of the Destin harbor and ends with a spectacular firework show. 

Tuba Christmas with Santa Claus
Dec. 3
The Village of Baytowne Wharf

You won’t be able to stop smiling at this quirky Christmas concert! Enjoy Christmas music performed by, you guessed it, tubas! And then let Santa Claus know what’s on the list this year. 

Music and Visits with Santa
Dec. 7, 14, & 21
The Village of Baytowne Wharf

Visit The Village of Baytowne Wharf for a holiday music concert that ends with a visit with Santa Claus.

Countdown Seaside
Dec. 31

Celebrate the end of 2022 in Seaside with a family-friendly event that includes free kids activities, a DJ, and a fireworks extravaganza over the Gulf. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and arrive early for the best spot!

Baytowne Countdown
Dec. 31
Fireworks at 8 PM and Midnight
The Village of Baytowne Wharf

A family-friendly evening includes face painting, kids’ activities, and live music with a fireworks display at 8 PM. The fun continues for those 21 and older after 10 PM with a second fireworks display at midnight.

Beach Ball Drop
Dec. 31,
8 PM and Midnight
Pier Park

Join thousands for one of the most popular New Year’s Eve countdowns on the Emerald Coast. An enormous beach ball drops at a family-friendly 8 PM, with 10,000 inflated beach balls falling from above and a fireworks display. The giant beach ball drops for the official countdown at midnight, accompanied by live concerts and a second fireworks display. 

January

 

Polar Bear Plunge
Jan. 1

Get your adrenaline pumping with a cold dip in the Gulf for a great cause! It’s a refreshing way to kick off the new year. The South Walton Fire District hosts the popular Polar Bear Plunge at the Ed Walline Regional Beach Access to raise money for local causes.

Near I-10

 Main Street Farmers Market in the historic district
From March 19-Nov. 19
Every Saturday
From 8 am-noon
DeFuniak Springs

Near Cape San Blas

 Salt Air Farmers Market
In the park downtown!
February-Dec. 3
The 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month
From 9 am-1 pm (eastern time)
Port St Joe 

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