The Christmas decorations are up and it’s time to get into the holiday spirit.
The two-day Christmas on the Coast celebration is this weekend as downtown Port St. Joe is transformed into a winter wonderland.
The 13th annual event, put on by the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce, kicks off at 5 p.m. ET on Friday at City Commons Park, next to City Hall.
Santa Claus will be seated in the gazebo and boys and girls will be able to visit for a photo and to whisper any last minute gift ideas into his ear.
For $5, horse-drawn carriages will take riders for a stroll around downtown Port St. Joe and Reid Avenue businesses will be open late for patrons to get started on their holiday shopping.
To further spread Christmas cheer, local musicians will be playing holiday tunes at various places along Reid.
On Saturday, the celebration continues when the Christmas Salt-Air Farmer’s Market begins at 9 a.m. ET at City Commons Park.
“We have 35 vendors lined up,” said Salt-Air organizer John Parker. “They’ll have anything from produce to jewelry to Tupperware to holistic oils.”
Entertainment during the Farmer’s Market will include bands Thirty-Three at 11 a.m., Diane Peavy at 1 p.m., and Greg Wood at 3 p.m. until the market ends at 4 p.m.
At noon, the Junior Service League’s fourth annual Chili Cook-off will begin at Sailor’s Cove in the Haughty Heron parking lot and the title of “Best Chili in Port St. Joe” will be chased by 20 teams. (See related article.)
All funds raised from the event will go toward community service works of the JSL including the purchase of clothing and school supplies for area children. Live music will be provided by Konkrete Soul, a bounce house will be setup for the kids and beverages will be served for adults.
At 5 p.m. ET Reid Avenue will be closed to traffic in anticipation of the annual Christmas parade which will begin at 6 p.m. ET.
The parade will feature more than 50 holiday-themed floats and will shepherd Santa Claus into town. Floats will be judged and prizes awarded in the categories of school and non-profit, family and friends and businesses.
“It’s truly a hometown parade,” said Chamber Director Paula Pickett. “It shows great community spirit.”
What Gulf County lacks in snow, it makes up for in community cheer.
Those interested in registering for a booth at the Christmas Farmer’s Market can contact John Parker at 404-906-2637. The fee is $10 and vendors must supply their own table.
Christmas on the Coast Events
All times ET.
Friday, Dec. 6
5 p.m. at City Commons Park – Photos with Santa Claus, horse-drawn carriage rides
Saturday, Dec. 7
9 a.m. – 4p.m. at City Commons Park - Christmas Salt-Air Farmer’s Market
11 a.m. – Noon - Thirty Three plays at City Commons
Noon – Junior Service League Chili Cook-off at Sailor’s Cove with music by Konkrete Soul
1 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Diane Peavy plays at City Commons
3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Greg Wood plays at City Commons
6 p.m. – Christmas parade on Reid Avenue