Community

Now – December 9th: Cops For Kids Applications Being Accepted

For many North Okaloosa County parents, affording Christmas presents for their children can really stretch an already tight budget. As this unusual year draws to a close, many families are finding it harder than ever to buy gifts to place under the tree on Christmas morning. Fortunately for those parents, the Crestview Police Department’s Community Services Division is again accepting applications for its annual Cops For Kids toy distribution. Applications are available now and will be accepted until Wednesday, Dec. 9th. The Cops For Kids program provides new, unwrapped toys for children between the ages of 2 through 16 to families in need. With many people unemployed or working fewer hours due to COVID-19, the program is anticipating more applications than in the past. Here’s what Cops For Kids applicants need to know:

• Applicants must be the child(ren)’s legal guardian.

• To help as many families as possible, if applicants received assistance through Cops For Kids in 2019, they are not eligible to apply this year.

• Because the program is donation-based, there is a possibility that not all applicants can be assisted.

• Only North Okaloosa County, Florida, residents may apply.

• Children must be between the ages of 2 and 16.

• Providing false or misleading information in the application will result in permanent disqualification from the program.

• Applications must be turned in at the Police Department by Dec. 9 by the applicant in person. All information is kept strictly confidential. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

• Applications are available at the Police Department in the Whitehurst Municipal Building, 201 Stillwell Blvd., or online at www.CrestviewPD.org.

Families accepted in the Cops For Kids program will have two ways of receiving gifts. Children may opt to Shop With a First Responder on Saturday, Dec. 12, during which the child(ren) will join a Crestview police officer or firefighter to pick out gifts of their choice. Otherwise, families may pick up sacks of gifts at Warriors Hall in the Whitehurst Municipal Building on Thursday, Dec. 17th between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Donations of new, unused, unopened toys and cash gifts are welcome and may be dropped off at the Police Department. Toys may also be dropped off at any Dollar General store in Crestview, Baker, Laurel Hill or Holt. Cash gifts must be given directly to a police officer. For further information, call Officer Hulion at 305.7282 or Officer Kimmons at 612.1832.

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Now – December 16th: Christmas Outdoor Decorating Contest

The City of Destin’s Holiday Committee will be forming to survey and select the best Christmas holiday decorations within the incorporated areas of Destin in six major categories:

  • Best Decorated Business: This will include restaurants, shops, department stores, schools, professional
    offices, etc.
  • Best Decorated Condominiums: This category includes condominium entrances and property.
  • Best on the Harbor: This category is for homes on the harbor.
  • Best Overall Holiday: This category includes all homes, business, and organizations throughout the city
    limits that go above and beyond.
  • Best Decorated Home: This will include single homes, duplexes (best side), mobile homes, etc.
  • Best Decorated Organization: This category includes entrances to homeowner’s associations, golf
    courses, etc.

Judging will take place December 16th through December 17th within the incorporated city limits of
Destin. Contest entry is free, and all nominations must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., Monday,
December 14th. The contest is for exterior decorations only (judges will not enter property to view back
or side of yards) and participants agree to have photos shared on the City’s Facebook page. For residents
who wish to enter the contest please call (850) 651-5184 or email Recreation@cityofdestin.com. All
nominations must include name, phone number and address. Winners will be announced and recognized
by Mayor Gary Jarvis during the regularly scheduled council meeting.

Click flyer to enlarge

 

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December 3rd: Destin Christmas Tree Lighting

The City of Destin will host its 34th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting event on Thursday, December 3rd, 2020, starting at 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Destin Community Center parking lot, located at 101 Stahlman Avenue. Join us by cruising through our Christmas light decorations and patrons will be able to see our Christmas Tree lit up from the comfort of their vehicle. A visit from Santa & goodie bags will be available for all children. We ask that you please bring one non-perishable food item for admission. Donations will be given to our local food bank, Harvest House. For more information call the Destin Community Center at (850) 654.5184.

 

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December 5th: Crestview Christmas Parade

Please join us for our annual Christmas Parade! This year the theme will be Christmas Night of Lights. There will be a tree lighting at 5pm and the parade will start at 5:30pm. We hope to see all of you there!
Register HERE to secure your spot in the parade.

 

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December 5th: PAWS Adoption Event at Subaru

Dogs and cats ready to be adopted from the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society will be showcased at the NEW Subaru dealership in Fort Walton Beach, 916 Beal Pkwy, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec 5th. Adoption fees range from $45 to $125 for dogs, and $45 to $100 for cats. Fees cover spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, flea/tick/heart worm control and microchip. Subaru hosts a PAWS adoption event monthly. Social distancing is respected, and masks and face shields are available.

 

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December 5th: Jingle Bell Jog

Click flyer to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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December 5th: Navarre Jingle Bell Run

Benefiting Navarre Chamber Foundation’s Community Projects
When: SATURDAY DEC. 5, 2020 at 8 am
Where: NAVARRE FIRE STATION, 8618 ESPLANADE ST., Navarre, FL (Behind McDonalds on Hwy. 98)
This family friendly, non-timed 5K fun run/walk is great for kids and adults. Several shortcuts to grandma’s house for refreshments
if the run distance is a little much. Pet and Stroller friendly event. Dress in your favorite holiday sports attire.
Register online at www.runsignup.com or Download Application
Registration Drop Off: Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce at 1804 Prado Street, Suite B, Navarre, FL 32566
  • Refreshments and door prizes after event.
  • Prizes for most festive.
  • Christmas in the Park parade will be later that afternoon.
  • You can bring your leashed pet, skates, skateboards.
  • Fun for the entire family.
Long Sleeve shirts guaranteed to first 200 registrants.
Register HERE
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December 5th: Artisans Alley Craft Fair

Artisans Alley (behind Publix on Racetrack Road) in Fort Walton Beach will host a craft fair on the first Saturday of each month, from 9am-2pm. Booth rental fees will being donated to a different animal non-profit group each month. Those groups will also be on hand holding pet adoptions.

 

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December 6th – December 20th: Chautauqua Theater Sunday Matinee Series 

The Florida Chautauqua Theater, located in Downtown DeFuniak Springs, announces their Sunday Matinee Series. The first movies to be shown in the historic theater in over 35 years, the series will be a collection of holiday films beginning at 3:00 p.m. weekly. Sponsored by Main Street DeFuniak Springs, the schedule includes:

December 6th – The Grinch

December 13th – Disney’s A Christmas Carol

December 20th – A Christmas Story

Tickets are available for purchase in advance atfcweb.org.Cost is $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Remaining tickets will be available at the theater box office, located at 848 Baldwin Avenue, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435 prior to the start of the show.

For more information on The Florida Chautauqua, Inc. including future matinees, theatrical performances, and how you can get involved, follow The Florida Chautauqua, Inc. onFacebook and Instagram.

 

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December 11th: Winter Wonderland Toy Drive & Community Event

click flyers to enlarge

 

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December 12th: “Joy To The World” Christmas Parade in Destin

The 36th annual “Joy to the World” Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 12th, 2020, at 10 a.m. The floats will begin at the Downtown Destin Shopping Center (Old Time Pottery) and travel west down Harbor Boulevard (Hwy 98) to Stahlman Avenue. Spectators are asked to stand on the north side of Harbor Boulevard to watch the parade.

The City of Destin wants to bring hope and enthusiasm during this time of year while being mindful of the challenges due to COVID-19. All parade participants and spectators are strongly encouraged to protect themselves and their loved ones by doing the following:

  • Wear a mask/face covering.
  • Maintain physical distance of at least 6 ft between individuals not within the same household.
  • Please limit spectator groups to no more than 8 people.
  • If you are sick, exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, please stay home.
  • City staff is working on ways to live stream the parade and more details will be forthcoming.

Please call 850-654-5184 for more information.

 

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December 13th: Holiday On The Harbor Lighted Boat Parade

click flyer to enlarge

 

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December 19th: Wreaths Across America at Beal Memorial Cemetery

The Veterans Tribute Tower Committee is pleased to join the Air Force Association Chapter 365 from Eglin Air Force Base and Chapter 398 from Hurlburt Field in bringing Wreaths Across America to Beal Memorial Cemetery. From its early beginnings at the Arlington National Cemetery, this program honors our fallen Veterans during the Holidays and strives to honor those that serve by teaching about the price paid for Freedom. These organizations and volunteers will focus on honoring the over 1700 Veterans laid to rest at Beal Memorial Cemetery with the goal of laying a wreath of remembrance on each grave, ensuring our hometown heroes are not forgotten. The National Wreaths Across America Day placement ceremony will be celebrated at Beal Memorial Cemetery at 10:00 AM on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at the Veterans Tribute Tower Green. For more information on Wreath Sponsorship and Volunteer Opportunities, please contact Air Force Association Liaison Daquiri Champion at: Champion.daquiri@gmail.com or Veterans Tribute Tower Committee Chair Tom Rice 850-302-0266 or at pegtom2003@yahoo.com.

 

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December 21st – 23rd: Emerald Coast Science Center Winter Workshops 

Join us for new activities December 21-23 to celebrate the season! The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day with Winter Workshop activities ongoing from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

DECEMBER 21: SNOW DAY – Make your own instant snow, craft a unique ornament, and create a masterpiece with snow paint. All activities included with general admission.

DECEMBER 22: BUILD-A-BOT – This is an excellent activity for elementary-age students (with the help of parent) and a fun project for middle or high schoolers. Each robot takes approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours to build, paint, and then code, resulting in a completely unique gift for the holidays! Build-a-Bot To-Go Kits are also available for preorder only. Reserve your workshop spots or preorder kits at ecscience.org or by calling 850-664-1261. Pick up for To-Go Kits begins December 21. Get creative while making reindeer headbands and winter slime, too (these activities included with general admission).

DECEMBER 23: ENGINEERING DAY – Engineer catapults for snowball fights, construct a marshmallow igloo, and test out the tinfoil skier challenge. All activities included with general admission.

For more details click HERE

 

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December 22nd: Costa Blood Drive in Niceville

Costa Enterprises McDonald’s will host monthly blood drives with OneBlood at their Niceville location through the end of 2020. The OneBlood Big Red Bus will be parked at 1090 John Sims Parkway from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Tuesday, December 22nd for all guests and community members who are willing to donate.

All donors will receive a complimentary COVID-19 Antibody Test in addition to the regularly administered wellness checkup consisting of blood pressure, pulse, temperature and iron count, including cholesterol screening. Those planning to donate can schedule an appointment ahead of time by visiting https://www.oneblood.org/donate-now/. Walk-ins are also welcome to donate blood on the day of the event. 

All donors will also receive various OneBlood swag items, a $10 eGift Card, and a voucher for one free small fry to be used at any of the 24 Costa Enterprises McDonald’s locations.

The antibody test is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms. Donors will be able to see their results approximately 48 hours after donating by logging into their donor portal at www.oneblood.org.

OneBlood is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) community asset responsible for providing safe, available and affordable blood. Generally healthy people ages 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds and have a valid photo ID can donate blood at any one of the drives hosted by OneBlood and Costa Enterprises McDonald’s.

One in three people will need blood in their lifetime. Blood that is donated at any one of these drives will likely be transfused within two to three days. The turn-around is fast and the need is constant. Many potential blood donors believe that they cannot donate blood due to medical or other reasons. If you are curious if you are a candidate for donation or to learn more about the importance of blood donation and how donors can target the power of their blood type, visit oneblood.org

 

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December 29th: SMALLab Winter Games 

Join in on winter games from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in SMALLab, and enjoy the rest of the museum from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. SMALLab is Limited to 1 family per 20-minute time slots; call 850-664-1261 to reserve your space as online reservations are not available for this event. SMALLab access is included with general admission to the Emerald Coast Science Center. For more info, click HERE

 

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January 1st: 12th Annual Penguin Plunge n’ Paddle

Juana’s Pagodas and Sailors’ Grill would like to invite you to a New Year during their upcoming Penguin Plunge ‘n Paddle event. All funds raised will benefit Healing Paws for Warriors. Their program mission is to—Save a Veteran / Rescue a Dog.

At 12:30, participants can show off their paddle skills in a stand-up paddle board adventure course. At 1:30 participants will take a dash from the beach and plunge into the Santa Rosa Sound. Last year, over 450 people took the plunge with hundreds more “chicken” spectators braving the cold to watch. Afterwards in Juana’s beach tent, participants can “chill” and enjoy complimentary food, drink, live music, and buy raffle tickets for a chance to win prizes.

Entry fee per person for the Plunge starts from $20 and the SUP Adventure starts from $30. The sooner one registers, the less the cost is, and one can register on the day of the event. Registered participants will receive a long sleeve t-shirt while supply lasts. Participants can register on-line at juanaspagodas.com/penguinplunge.htm

 

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Ongoing: Various Programs

A REQUEST FROM THE DESTIN CHARITY WINE AUCTION FOUNDATION: Our friends in the wine industry are the life behind our events, and we would not be able to help children in need within our community without their generosity. Our hearts go out to those that have lost their homes and businesses to the 2020 wildfires in California, and ask that you consider joining us to lend support during this critical time by donating to our emergency relief fund. Funds raised will be donated to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund and Sonoma County Vintner Foundation Emergency Relief Fund. Please accept our sincere gratitude for your compassion during these extraordinary circumstances. We also encourage you to buy and drink wine from those wineries that have been most effected. For a running list of damaged and destroyed wineries, please click HERE. And to donate, please click HERE.

PTSD FREE FLOAT THERAPY: Float Brothers is offering FREE Float Therapy sessions for veterans who have been diagnosed with PTSD every Monday by appointment. To sign up, bring in military ID or DD 214 and letter from your doctor with PTSD diagnosis. Participants should call the spa to make appointment. Online booking is not available for the PTSD program. Contact Float Brothers for more info at 850-460-8720

DESTIN SENIOR MEMBERSHIP: Join the Destin Seniors Membership to enjoy multiple festivities including the senior lunch bunch, potluck, casino trips, bingo, chair exercise, knitting, scrabble, and Mexican dominoes. Members must be a Destin Resident to join. For more information about becoming a member of the Destin Seniors, please call the Destin Community Center at 850-654-5184.

DESTIN SENIOR CHAIR EXERCISE 50+ YEARS: Destin Senior Chair Exercise classes are offered at Buck Destin Park Monday and Wednesday mornings from 10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m., for Destin residents. The chair exercise consists of performing light exercises to help improve balance, flexibility, strength, and circulation. The class is free for Destin residents.

DESTIN SENIOR WALKING CLUB: Join the Destin Senior Members for a walk around the Destin Community Center’s gymnasium on Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. All the miles that you walk will be added to our “team map” as we travel from one region to the next. The team’s miles are reported on the 4th Friday of each month at the Destin Senior Membership’s Potluck.

SENIOR DROP-IN HOURS: The Destin Senior Center located at Buck Destin Park, 724 Legion Drive, offers senior drop-in hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Seniors (50 years and older) meet to enjoy each other’s company, participate in games such as Mexican Train Dominoes, Scrabble, Poker, etc.

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