Wonder what you can do with extra junk on your property? Take care of it this weekend.
Bay County's annual Waste Amnesty Days and Recycling Round-up will be Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Steelfield Landfill located at 11411 Landfill Road in West Bay, off State 79.
Residents may drop off yard debris, household garbage and hazardous waste at no charge and are encouraged to bring recyclable materials as well. Fish ponds stocked by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission will be open to fishing for customers who drop off any recyclable item from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Customers must supply their own fishing equipment and bait, and children must be accompanied by an adult.
This event is open to Bay County residents only. Proof of residency is required (e.g., driver's license, power bill, voter registration card).
Regulations prohibit disposing appliances, household hazardous waste, small engine-containing devices and tires in landfills. The landfill accepts these items but must process them separately from other waste. If possible, please stage these materials in the load so they can be dropped off at the designated area.
Bay County will not accept gas cylinders, explosive materials, ammunition or flares. However, residential-sized propane tanks are accepted. The normal tipping fees will still apply to commercial customers.
"This is something we do as a service to the community, giving people an opportunity to clean up their properties and also dispose of household hazardous waste properly without concern about it damaging the local environment," said Solid Waste Director Jamie Jones.
For more information, contact Bay County Solid Waste Management at 236-2212.
3203 Fitness Center's celebration of National Senior Health and Fitness Day will take place at 3203 East Hwy 98 Business in Panama City on 29 May 2013
3203 Fitness Center will join an estimated 1,000 local events to celebrate the 20th Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day (NSHFD) on May 29, 2013. As an official host site, 3203 fitness Center will hold a day of Free Fitness Class Demonstrations, Information, Speakers and give a ways on the 29th.
On this day, 3203 Fitness Center will join with an estimated 100,000 seniors across the country expected to help promote active, healthy lifestyles through physical fitness, good nutrition and preventive care. According to Charlie Kitzmiller, “Our Senior Health and Fitness Day is a wonderful opportunity for seniors to make, renew, and revitalize their commitment to live healthier lives through better health and fitness and live our motto of “Good Health and Long Life”.
3203 Fitness Center's celebration of National Senior Health and Fitness Day will take place at 3203 East Hwy 98 Business in Panama City on 29 May 2013, starting at 10:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm.
For more information about the 3203 Fitness Center National Senior Health and Fitness Day, companies and organizations wishing to display information or co-sponsor the event please contact Lucretia Wentworth at 850.481.1396 or email@example.com. To read more about this event and the fitness center, please visit the fitness center website.
Covenant Hospice present their 11th annual Mask Parade and Gala Under the Sea
Enjoy an exciting evening filled with dinner, dancing and entertainment. The 2013 silent auction includes masks painted by celebrities such as: Crosby, Stills & Nash, Tony from Dancing with the Stars, Arnold Palmer, Jim Belushi, Coach Bobby Bowden and many more! Make sure to stay for the fun as we kick off the live auction towards the end of the evening. For more info and to purchase tickets visit the official event website.
The next Warrior Beach Retreat begins today, April 9th, with a ceremony on Thursday, April 11th. For approximate times and locations where you can show your support for these heroes, visit their events page on their website.
The brand new amphitheater at Aaron Bessant Park, adjacent to Pier Park, will open tomorrow evening, April 5th. with a Grand Opening celebration. The free event will include a Pops concert and fireworks display.
The event kicks off at 6:30pm with a ribbon cutting, followed by the concert and then fireworks to top off the night. Seating is on the lawn so make sure you bring your chairs and blankets.
Two fun Easter events are planned back to back on Saturday morning, March 30.
First, at 10am the City of Panama City Beach will hold the official Easter Egg Hunt at Frank Brown Park.
The Easter Bunny will be at Miracle Strip at Pier Park for this year's Easter Egg Scramble. From the news release:
"Children will have an ‘egg’cellent time as they collect Easter eggs filled with sweet treats and fun surprises. The scramble will consist of four different age groups: ages three and under; ages four and five; ages six through eight; and ages nine and up. Registration is not required and as always, entry into the park is free.
As an added bonus, families are invited to jump on the Scrambler after the scramble or relax while taking in the breathtaking sites of Pier Park and Panama City Beach from atop the ferris wheel, with specials on unlimited rider armbands for the whole family. Who knows – you may even have the chance to sock hop with the Easter Bunny himself!"
The 3rd annual Aaron Rich Invitational Chicken Wing Championship is to be held this Saturday, March 16 from noon until 6pm. The event is a fundraiser for The Humane Socety of Bay County. For information on tickets and to purchase go to the tickets page on the website.
Join Beachside Grill, the starting point for the benefit ride for Rob Rexford. Rob was in a motorcylce accident and suffered multiple injuries. Proceeds from hot dog and chili sales plus all donations brought in from this event will help with his medical bills.
The ride starts at Beachside Grill, goes to Shades, then the Outpost, then Whiskey's Saloon then back to Beachside by 5:30pm for fun and raffle drawings.
The 2013 Magic Broadcasting Women's Expo will take place on Saturday, March 2 at the Palms Conference Center from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM. This is a FREE event filled with local businesses that want to speak directly to the women of Panama City and the surrounding areas. There will be shopping, goodie bags, live demonstrations, educational presentations, forums and lots of FREE stuff and even job opportunities. For any questions on this promotion, please contact Angie Phillips at (850) 230-5855.
Zumba-Thon on March 2, 2013@ 9:30 am until 11:30 am at 3203 Fitness Center to assist with the cost of medical expenses for Caleb, a local little boy struggling with a host of medical disorders.
3203 Fitness Center is dedicated to “ Good Health and Long Life” for all members of our community and to assist with the cost of Caleb's medical expenses there will be a Zumba-Thon on March 2, 2013@ 9:30 am until 11:30 am at 3203 Fitness Center. Cost will be $10.00 per person, with light refreshments provided after the Zumba-Thon.
Caleb is an extraordinary little boy with a tremendous heart and an iron will. He struggles daily with a severely depleted immune system, a dysfunctional gastrointestinal system, an impaired respiratory system, and significant developmental and physical delays. While doctors feel these individual disorders may comprise a single syndrome, an appropriate diagnoses has yet to be found. Caleb spent the majority of his first year in an pediatric ICU and was not expected to survive.
Despite the odds stacked against him, he has persevered and recently celebrated his second birthday. The daily struggle with these disorders is taking it’s toll on Caleb as well as on his family and medical expenses have become an issue.
A major step in improving Caleb’s quality of life would be a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, without an accurate diagnoses, it is not certain that this procedure would be effective and could potentially prove fatal. A test exists which could provide this family with the answers they need, but the cost of the test exceeds their means and insurance will not cover the cost of the test.
The Pinta and Nina, two Columbus replica ships, are currently docked in Panama City Marina and can be toured for just $8 per person.
The Nina is the most historically accurate Columbus replica ship ever built. It is a floating museum, visiting ports throughout the Western hemisphere. The Niña was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools.
The Pinta, recently built in Brazil, is a larger version of the archetypal caravel and offers larger deck space for walk-aboard tours and has a 40 ft air conditioned main cabin down below with seating. Pinta is available for private parties and charters.
Says the Both The Niña and Pinta will be touring together as a new and enhanced ‘sailing museum’, for the purpose of educating the public and school children on the ‘caravel’, a Portuguese ship used by Columbus and many early explorers to discover the world.
The ships will be available to view from 9am til 5pm through February 20th. Cost is $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens, $6 for students 5-16 and free for children under five. Visit the ships website to learn more.
The annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games are coming up once again. On Saturday, March 9th, from 10am to 4pm you can visit the booths, featuring unique Celtic and other items, many of which are hand made. Listen to Celtic music and watch Irish dancers.
Athletes in kilts will compete in a variety of games, including caber toss, Scottish hammer throwing and more.
The event, which is held on the grounds of Grace Presbyterian Church at the corner of Lisenby and Airport Rd. in Panama City will begin at 10am. The opening ceremony is at noon. Proceeds from this event benefit Grace Cares Food Pantry, Boy Scouts, Sheriff's Dept., Explorers and Teen Court.
Join the Science & Discovery Center in Panama City as they dissect a sheep heart. February 14th from 6pm to 7:30pm. Cost is $20 per person or $15 for members. Spaces are limited so be sure to RSVP. Call (850) 769-6128 or visit their website.
Buster's Beer & Bait, a new liquor store, beer and wine bar and bait shop on the East Side of Panama City Beach, will have their huge locals appreciation party starting at 4pm on Saturday, February 23. There will be free beer as well as food provided by Sweet Racks BBQ and The Green Parrot, a new Latin American restaurant nearby. Buster would like to thank all of the locals who helped get his new business through his first Winter! Visit the event on Facebook or the website for more information.
Haney Technical Center will host their 26th Annual Bay County Job Fair on Friday, February 15 from 9:00AM until 1:00PM. Veterans can come early for priority access from 8-9:00AM. Registration forms and more information are available on the job fair website or you can call Kimberly Drayton at (850) 767-5500.
Sex Please, We're 60 at Kaleidoscope Theatre the next three weekends.
Coming February 8th for three weekends to the Kaleidoscope Theatre is Sex, please, we're Sixty. Student tickets are just $8 at the door or pre-purchased and adult tickets are $15 or $16 (discounted for senior or active-duty military.
Just about an hour north of the white sandy beaches of Panama City Beach, visitors and locals are invited to escape to a peaceful, history filled section of the panhandle. Jackson and Washington Counties offer plenty of nature to explore and historic sites to visit. There is even a winery!
The two counties have teamed up and now offer day trips from Panama City Beach.
The first one was today, however, there are three more scheduled and self guided tours are also encouraged.
The next day trip is for Washington County and will be on Monday, February 11. The bus leaves at 8am from Grand Panama Resort and will take you to Fallilng Waters State Park. This is the tallest waterfall in Florida. Tour participants will take a guided tour with a Florida park ranger, through the park to the waterfall. You will learn about the Civil War era grist mill, the first oil well in the state as well as tales of the native Americans who occupied these lands for 5000 years.
The tour continues on to the Washington County Historical Museum, where you will learn about the stories that make up this area, including the story of how kudzu, the vine that you see all over the South, got its start here. Next stop, Moss Hill Church, one of Florida's oldest standing church buildings, followed by a visit to Three Oaks Winery in Vernon, where you will tour the winery and taste wines made from Muscadine and Conquistador grapes.
Scheduled Dates for this tour are:
Monday, Feb. 11 8am - 4pm
Monday Feb. 25 8am - 4pm
Additionally, you may choose to make the drive yourself and explore Washington Country on your own. Make sure you visit the tourist development website for all of the information on where to go and what to see while you are there.
The Jackson County tour is set for Monday, February 18 and also leaves from Grand Panama Resort at 8am, returning at 4pm. This tour will take you on a 45 minute guided cave tour in Florida Caverns State Park.
Next, you will be treated to an historic homes and buildings tour in Marianna, which includes a walking tour and a driving tour. This tour will take you inside two antebellum homes plus you will be driven through Marianna's historic district to view homes, churches, Confederate Park and cemeteries.
You may visit these sites and more in Jackson County on your own as well. Visit their tourist website for more information.
Both tours give the participant time for lunch on their own and will point out the various restaurants that are available.
To make reservations or to find out more, contact Heather Lopez in the Washingotn County TDC at 850-638-6013 or Pam Fuqua in the Jackson County TDC at 850-482-8060
Dine Downtown, a restaurant association located in historic downtown Panama City, will hold their next Taste of Dine Downtown on Saturday, February 23rd.
From 4pm to 8pm on the 23rd, participants are treated to tasty sampling at each of the ten participating restaurants and cafes. The tickets are just $15 and can be purchased at any of the following locations or by calling the association at 850-785-3010.
Buccaneer Grill Dan-D-Donuts Ferrucci's Millie's Sugar Boogers Tally Ho The Place Tom's Hotdogs Trigo Willow's
Planning a wedding? If you are a bride to be or wedding planner, this is an event that you will not want to miss. Vendors will be set up to give out information and answer your questions to help you plan the big day.
The event is to be held at The Palms Conference Center at 9201 Front Beach Rd. at Joan Ave, located just next door to the Sleep Inn & Suites.
The Spring Bridal Fair is Sunday, February 24 from 1pm til 4pm.
The Lucky Puppy, a dog rescue organiztion in Bonifay, is currently planning their 4th annual "Spay-Ghetti" Cook Off and fundraiser event. The event will he held on Saturday, February 23rd from 11-4 at Pineapple Willy's.
For just a $10 donation and a wish list item you get to sample all of the spaghetti and vote for your favorite.
There will be a full bar and live remote by Island 106, plus raffles and live auction. This is a great event if you have not been before.
Donations for the live auction and raffle are still needed and there is still room for more cook-off contestants. Please contact Lorrie Black at 707-262-4388 to get involved, donate an item or share your favorite spaghetti recipe for a great cause.
Wish List: Dry Dog & Cat Food, Wet Dog & Cat food, Dog & Cat Treats, Blankets, Towels, Laundry Detergent, Paper Towels, Sanitary Wipes, Bleach, Puppy Pads, Flea Preventative, etc.
It is hard to believe, but we are just a little over two weeks away from the beginning of Spring Break. The first of the college students begin to arrive in Panama City Beach on February 16.
Whether you are a local business planning for the influx, a student anticipating the fun or a visitor hoping to avoid the craziness, the dates will come in handy to you.
Though Spring Break season (College) officially begins on February 16 and lasts through April 20, there are typically two very heavy weeks, the ones that include the majority of students from the Southeast. This year, those weeks are March 9-16 and March 16-23. Expect crowds the week of March 2-9 as well.
Once again, Luke Bryan will come to Spinnaker Beach Club for concerts on March 12 & 13th. The concerts are free and begin around 4pm.
This will be the 5th consecutive year that Luke Bryan has made his appearance during Spring Break in Panama City Beach. He even co-wrote and performs a song for Panama City Beach.
As March ends and April begins, there are fewer colleges on Spring Break and we begin an entirely different phase of the season. Families with school age children take their breaks and spend a week relaxing on the beach and enjoying everything that Panama City Beach has to offer, from attractions and dolphin tours to favorite restaurants visited year after year.
We enjoy the Spring season in Panama City Beach for the variety of visitors that it brings and welcome the 2013 crowd with open arms and hope that everyone stays safe!
On Saturday, February 9th, Blue Heron Fine Gifts offers a chocolate sipping and tasting and a look at the unique handcrafted jewelry selection in their gift gallery. The pourable chocolates are paired with unique foods to create a very special treat for your taste buds. The event will be held from 10am until 4pm that day.
An event for book lovers, Books Alive, is happening this Saturday, February 2nd. It's a full day of author presentations which are free to the public. There will be a luncheon ($20 for the luncheon) with keynote speaker, Dr. Judith Bense, President of the University of West Florida and premier Florida Archaeologist.
Friends of Zoo World Panama City Beach will host a Zoo World Appreciation Day on Feb. 9, 2013 from 9:30am til 4pm. Admission to the zoo is only $5 per person on this day and attendees are encouraged to show their support in any way they can.. with a handwritten note, a batch of fresh baked cookies for the staff, or by making a purchase in the gift shop.
Ladies this night is for you.. the first Ladies Night Out at The Palms Conference Center. Entry is a $2 donation and there will be live entertainment, door prizes, raffles, tastings, and plenty of goodies for purchase. In addition there will be a cash bar with beer, wine, sodas, water and hors d'oeurves. The party starts at 6pm and lasts til 9.
The Lucky Puppy holds a fun monthly fundraiser on the first Saturday of the month.
A fun event for the family is held each month on the first Saturday. The Lucky Puppy hold their "Paws Day" at a large open park in Callaway, with room for your dog to run off-leash and plenty for the entire family to do.
The address is 7228 Boatrace Road, Callaway, FL and the event lasts from 9am to 5pm. You can stay and enjoy the entire day! Entrance costs just $10 per person or $20 per family and benefits the dog rescue.
East Side Eateries has the latest events, drink specials, lunch specials, fundraisers and more that are happening on the East Side of Panama City Beach. If there will be food there, it is on the events calendar! Check it at least once a week to keep informed of all the happenings on the East Side of the Beach! (R. Jackson to Hathaway Bridge)
This is a concert in memory of Anthony Grogan, who tragically passed away recently. The Dudes, a local group, will be donating their pay and tips to the family to help cover funeral costs. Please come support the family and have a beer in memory of Anthony. More information on the Facebook Event created by the group.
There will be a chili cook off to benefit Panama Animal Welfare Society and the Veterans Task Force. Beach 95.1 Radio will be there. There will be a bouncy house for the kids. Prizes and raffle. $5 to taste the chili contenders.
Boatyard Little Black Dress fundraiser event is this Thursday, January 17.
Boatyard reopened after a brief stint for the off season and their first Little Black Dress fundraiser for the year is this Thursday, January 17. For information on this and future Boatyard events go to their calendar on their website.
Easily promote your Florida Panhandle/Northwest Florida events through the Panhandle OnLine Event system.
Northwest Florida is all about events. Festivals, concerts, performances, exhibits, tournaments, and many other types of events all abound here and often compete with each other during the season. If you have a business, you are likely involved in many events (and, if you're not, you should be). PCBeNews parent site, Panhandle OnLine, has a quick and easy way to help you promote your events.
It's simple, just like Nwfla on Facebook, or follow nwfla on Twitter. Then, just send us a message with a link to your event and we will pass it on and publish it at Florida Panhandle Events
Introducing a great way to keep up with events in the Florida Panhandle/Northwest Florida area.
So many fun things to do in the Florida Panhandle/Northwest Florida/Emerald Coast area. So little time to do them. Your personal days and vacation days may seem fewer and farther apart of late and when they do come, you want to get the most out of them. That's where our parent site's new Florida Panhandle/ Northwest Florida Events system comes into play.
When you are looking for the best way to spend your time in the Florida Panhandle, you need one spot in cyberspace that aggregates all the information on all the festivals, concerts, performances, exhibits, tournaments, and other type events happening throughout Northwest Florida and makes that information readily available to you . . . so you can view all the competing events quickly and efficiently and make the best choices for your outings. That one spot is now available at the new Panhandle On-Line Events Page (panhandleonline.com/events.cfm).
(We're not just puffing when we say you will find all of the important Florida Panhandle/Northwest Florida events on this page. We have come up with a trick or two to ensure that we include them all. Our next blog addresses those promoting events in the area and explains how they can very easily ensure their events are included.)
But, you say, no matter how great this new site is, my favorites tab is a mile long already and all of my gadgets for saving cites and organizing them are a jumbled-up mess. Well, if you use Facebook or Twitter, all you have to do is like NWFLA on either and all the important events in the Panhandle will show up in your newsfeed.
>Tuesday evenings are full of dancing and fun at the City Arts Cooperative.
A few Tuesday evenings ago, I was invited to an Open House for the City Arts Cooperative's Downtown Dance event. I arrived to a room full of beautiful art work, decorations, wine and hors d'oeuvres. People came filing in soon after me, and I witnessed several minutes of cheerful mingling, catch-ups and introductions. I met local dancers at all levels and from all types of backgrounds. Once the festivities were in full swing, Downtown Dance director, Russell Mace, stood at the center of the room to introduce himself and explain a little about what we could expect this Tuesday evening. As the music was cranking up on the dance floor in the adjacent room, he invited everyone to join him for an evening of dancing. Time flew past as people swirled and dipped and whirled around the room! After a few hours, as the general dancing portion of the evening drew to a close, we were all treated with special dance routines performed by talented couples from the advanced classes. The evening was a spectacular array of fun, friends and entertainment! Dance lessons for beginners and advanced persons are held every Tuesday evening at the Co-op. Information on this, and many more events from the City Arts Cooperative can be found on their website, www.cityartscooperative.com
Panama City Beach Seafood, Wine, and Music Festival, Oct. 8-10, 2010, at Frank Brown Park to include Lynyrd Skynyrd
Panama City Beach Seafood, Wine, and Music Festival, Oct. 8-10, 2010, at Frank Brown Park to include REO Speedwagon, the Little River Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more. See http://www.panamacitybeachfest.com/ for more info.
Five Minutes of Fame Fridays at DockHoppers this week was another night of fun, this time with PC Belly Dancers Brittany Millard, Carrie Green, Kira Burdeshaw entertaining the crowd through the evening.
Friday, August 20, 2010, the crowd was treated to Panama City Belly Dance, with dancers Brittany Millard, Carrie Green, Kira Burdeshaw; putting on a couple of great performances and mingling with all the happy folks around the pool deck. During breaks of the always fantastic beach music of the Acoustix, guests had photo opportunities with the trio of dancers and brief lessons in the fine art of the belly dance. With the great food and drink, great music, and great entertainment, alot of smiling faces transitioned from the work week into the weekend last week at DockHoppers.
Panama City Belly Dance host open-to-the-public classes each Thursday 6:30-7:30pm Classes are held at CityArts Cooperative, located at 318 Luverne Avenue, downtown Panama City. $7 adults, $5 children Classes are always open, you do not need to pre-register to come.
A Friday night of fun on Independence Day weekend 2010 in Panama City Beach, Florida.
On this the eve of Independence Day, we will leave it to others to tell you how beautiful our beaches remain. We decided to jump into some landlubber's fun. We started Friday evening at Dockhockers Pool Deck and Tiki Bar (as usual), where the tranquility of Friday happy hour on the lagoon is quintessential. There for our weekly Five Minutes of Fame Fridays.. We cut our Dockhopper's hop a bit short this week, however, to keep our date with the Rock and Roll Trolly. We rightly thought it would be fun to catch a glimpse of the passengers' party as they moved from fun location to fun location in Panama City Beach.
After rocking out to the great karaoke songs available on the Rock and Roll Trolly, we were drawn, as we approached Pier Park, by the Rastafarian rhythms of the de Lions of Jah at Reggae J's . . . and just couldn't resist getting off to partake.
As you round the last rung of stairs to the Reggae Roof, the Rastafarian rhythm syncs you in motion with those already present and possessed. With a view of 98 and the Pier as a backdrop, de Lions of Jah kept us dancing for quite some time.
From there, a quick drop-in to Margaritaville and Tootsies, both slammed with partying vacationers, and a final stop for nourishment at Buffalo Wild Wings, before back on the Trolly.
There is definitely fun to be had at Panama City Beach this July 4th weekend.
(We use indie music in our videos. If you like the music, hear more.)
Hands Across the Sands had three hand joining ceremonies in Bay County, Florida, on June 26, 2010. Spinnaker, Pier Park, and Laguna Beach. Here is a video of the Spinnaker ceremony.
Hands Across the Sands had three hand joining ceremonies in Bay County, Florida, on June 26, 2010. Spinnaker, Pier Park, and Laguna Beach. Here is a video of the Spinnaker ceremony. We hope to have the Pier Park video up sometime tomorrow.
Hands Across the Sands will hold it second peaceful demonstration in opposition to drilling in the Gulf this Saturday, June 26, 2010, at three locations in Panama City Beach: Spinnakers, across from Pier Park, and at Laguna Beach.
Hands Across the Sands will hold it second peaceful demonstration in opposition to drilling in the Gulf this Saturday, June 26, 2010, at three locations in Panama City Beach: Spinnakers, across from Pier Park, and at Laguna Beach.
Hands Across the Sand is a movement made of people of all walks of life and crosses political affiliations. This movement is not about politics; it is about protection of our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife, fishing industry and coastal military missions.
The first event took place at several locations across Florida in February. Saturday's event has become international with 701 locations around the world, in over twenty-one countries, participating. The event has received national and international news coverage.
Hands Across the Sands was started by a PCB neighbor, Dave Rauschkolb, owner of Bud and Alleys at Seaside, last fall. Here is a video of his (now prophetic) explanation of the origins of the movement, taken after the February event. Now with the Deepwater Horizon incident still out of control, the movement has gained much momentum and a very large turnout is expected Saturday.
SECOND ANNUAL LEUKEMIA CUP REGATTA RAISES OVER $55,000 - see video.
(We use indie music in our videos. If you like the music, hear more.)
A record 18 boats signed up for the second annual Leukemia Cup Regatta at Bay Point on Saturday, May 22nd. For the second straight year the charity event raised over $55,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Mother Mother Ocean - The Gulf of Mexico -The Magic of Panama City Beach - will the oil spill end the magic?
You know, as the dry white sand rolls upward between your toes as you crest the dunes. You know, as the salt spray gently brushes your face. You know, as the wetter sands begin to mush-up between your toes as you approach the water's edge. You know, as the reliable sound of rolling waves resonates into your ears, resetting you with its rhythm. You know, as you observe the white wings of sea birds battling with the winds and hear the cacophony of their calls. You know, as you watch little bird footprints made in the sand, wiped away by the waves, then made again. You know, as the glistening path across the wave tops, made by the setting sun, invites you to somehow follow it into some wondrous new dimension. You know.
You know, as you experience these things and more, that Panama City Beach is a magical place. It is magical to those who travel from far reaches to vacation here occasionally. It is magical to those from Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, and South Carolina who visit here often. It is magical to the Canadians who take warm respite here in the winter. It is magical to hordes of college students from across the United States and the world who have their rights of passage here. It is magical even to those who live just a few miles inland and visit constantly. It is even magical to those who live and work here everyday.
There is a theory in anthropology that modern humans' migration into the Americas was entirely along coastal regions. Indeed, some of the earliest evidence of human mark on the New World consists of remains of ancient coastal oyster 'bars', where stacks of opened oyster shells and other evidence of a good time for all have been unearthed. Most everyone acknowledges a strong primeval sense of connection to the coastal environment.
Panama City Beach, a pristine example of the coastal experience, is a place that relaxes. It is a place where families connect, where lovers find love, where the salt spray and the warm salt waters refresh, rejuvenate, and restore tired minds and bodies. It is a place where people relax, feast on seafood, enjoy music, party, stay up late, romance, play, exercise, compete, or even meditate as their needs may be at the time. It is a place where inhibitions are loosened, emotions explored, and feelings often healed. The motherly bosom of the Gulf of Mexico draws us comfortably into these experiences that are often neglected elsewhere. Panama City Beach is truly magical to both its visitors and its residents.
The question arises now, however, sadly, of whether the magic can last.
Deepwater Horizon, an ultra-deepwater offshore drilling rig, owned by Transocean and under lease to BP, which had drilled the deepest underwater oil well in history, had an explosion on April 20, 2010, burned and then sank into the Gulf of Mexico on April 22, 2010. The broken riser created at least three leaks. As a result, huge quantities of oil are being released in the Gulf of Mexico. As of the date of this writing, no efforts to contain the spill have been successful.
We cannot begin to estimate the ultimate effect of this disaster until the spill is successfully contained. Each day it continues to leak, the worries increase along with the speculations. Due to the lack of a starting point for damage estimation, the issue manifests as much as a battle of opinions as it does an assessment of the facts. Many of us, long in the habit of siding on issues in tune with our cultural and political alignments, have come up with amazingly different predictions . . . ranging from 'everything will be fine in just a few weeks' to 'the extinction of marine life as we know it in the Gulf of Mexico with all the resulting consequences'.
Reactions and conflicts in our local community have been at times surreal. At a community meeting on May 7, as lawyers from Louisiana foretold of extreme environmental and economic consequences, they were strongly challenged by a local fisherman. The lawyers were accused of being part of the reason for the anticipated economic harm, because they were spreading fear of toxins. The fisherman's description of the majority of the Gulf remaining open and good for fishing was in stark contrast to the lawyers' description of the toxins rapidly spreading through the Gulf.
Another popular local Internet news site first addressed the spill with a bleak outlook and an emotional response. The same site just a few days later, softened its prognosis and has focused on optimism since.
Some local business people have wondered aloud if the oil rig was not somehow sabotaged by terrorists of some sort. Others scream for the executives of BP and Haliburton (the already infamous company that provided the cement encasements for the well-bore, which appear to have failed along with other equipment on the rig) to be jailed for reckless disregard of human safety.
All of this confusion and conflict is certainly understandable. There is really no hard evidence yet for us to know where we stand. We want to think its going to be alright . . . that it will be contained and then the oil removed from the Gulf in short order. But with each passing day the evidence more and more suggests the opposite could be the case.
In the meantime, this has all created a public relations nightmare for local businesses. The beach right now is as beautiful and apparently safe as it was last summer. There is no official or supported reason to believe that any seafood prepared and served here now is in any way unsafe. At least one local business, the Chateau Motel, has offered an 'Oil Free Guarantee', which provides for a refund if the beaches are closed during a guest's stay and provides for short cancellation option if the beaches are adversely affected by the oil spill, but not closed.
In a way, the current situation, if accurately and correctly understood by all, should promote a rush of current business to the beach. 'Fear of loss' is a huge marketing motivator. To some extent, everyone who enjoys Panama City Beach may now be in fear of it losing some of its magic in the future. There should be a strong desire to come now, while everything is still fine.
PCBeNews is going to the beach this afternoon. And, along with others at Spinnakers today, we are taking flowers to our Mother Ocean on Mother's Day. We will enjoy the magic today.
Then, early next week, we will post another article on preparations that can be made as the spill approaches. The way we have to approach it . . . the only way we can approach it . . . is to hope for the best, yet prepare for the worst. Today we go to experience and celebrate our Magical Mother Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico.
Update from the International Jet Sport Boating Association. Plans still on.
International Jet Sport Boating Association says:
Over the past few days we have had numerous inquiries about what is going to happen with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
We wanted to reassure anyone planning on attending the May 15-16 race in Panama City Beach, Florida that we are working with the local officials on a contingency plan for the event weekend.
Panama City Beach officials told us today that "it is business as usual - all parties involved are keeping a close eye on the situation."
UWP proposed today to local officials to identify an alternative race site in the event that the beach is closed. Please check the Bay County, Florida official website for up-to-date information on the oil spill www.baycountyFL.gov.
PCBeNews and Dockhoppers are gonna give you Five Minutes . . . Whatever talent you have, come on out to Dockhoppers Waterfront Bar and Grill 3901 Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach on Fridays from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Starting Friday May 7, 2010.
Wanna be a Big Star?
Just waiting to be famous? Wait no more!
PCBeNews and Dockhoppers are gonna give you Five Minutes . . .
Whether you . . . play an instrument, sing, rap, dance, belly dance, ballet dance, break dance, boogie dance, or just wiggle your ears rythmically . . .
Whether you are . . . a comedian, a magician, a mime, an impressionist, a storyteller, an impersonator, a juggler, a sword swallower, or just do stupid human tricks . . .
Whatever talent you have, come on out to Dockhoppers Waterfront Bar and Grill (3901 Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach) on Fridays from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Starting Friday May 7, 2010.
Racing event and test and tune sessions to be held off of 231 at the Panama Beach Raceway
Test and tune sessions, bracket racing and grudge racing will all be featured in this weekend's event. "Everyone is welcome to join in the fun" according to the Raceway website. The gates open at 1pm Saturday and 'high noon' Sunday. Visit http://panamabeachraceway.com for details.
City of Panama City Beach and Local Chapter of the Red Cross to Host Concert for Haiti
Saturday, February 20th, the Panhandle Chapter of the American Red Cross hosts an all day Concert for Haiti. From 10am to 6pm bands Bitter Sweet, Tony Vegas Group, Steve Wiggins Band and Curt McCarty will play at the Pier Park Ampitheatre to raise money for the recent earthquake victims in Haiti. To read more about this upcoming event: http://PierParkHaitiConcert.com
Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend will be full of performing singers and songwriters all along Highway 30A near Panama City Beach and Destin.
This coming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend will be full of performing singers and songwriters all along Highway 30A near Panama City Beach and Destin. The inagural 30A Songwriter's Festival will begin Friday, Jan 15th at 7:00 p.m. and continue through the weekend to Sunday afternoon. Performers such as Shawn Mullins and Chely Wright will take the stages of local bars and restaurants along scenic Highway 30A. Tickets are $20 per day or $40 for a weekend pass. For more information about the festival and a list of all scheduled performers visit http://30asongwritersfestival.com/.
1st Annual Battle of the Batons presented by the Panama City Pops at Arnold High School.
The Battle of the Batons, presented by Panama City Pops Orchestra, will feature guest conductors with local celebrity status. Rep. Jimmy Patronis, WJHG anchor Paris Janos, and Bagel Maker owner, Jim Hayden will compete for the title of best conductor and the opportunity to conduct the last song of the evening and the Pops next concert. More information can be found at Foster Folly News.
2009/2010 New Year's Eve Celebration at Pier Park in Panama City Beach.
It seemed like all of Panama City Beach was celebrating the New Year at Pier Park Thursday night. We enjoyed mingling with the crowds and getting some great video of performers and fellow celebrators. It was a wonderful time!
Students from the Psychology Club and Social Work Club at FSU-PC co-hosted a Second Chance Olympics on campus Friday morning, Nov. 6th. The event was a great success for both the adults of Second Chance and the students. Second Chance of NW Florida is an organization which assists individuals who have experienced Traumatic or Acquired Brain Injuries. The activities featured bowling, trivia, a frisbee and bean bag toss, an FSU-logo drawing contest and more! To learn more about Second Chance of Northwest Florida visit their website at http://secondchancenwfl.com.