The holiday season hits full stride this weekend as Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach ring in the Christmas season with events for revelers of all ages.
The annual Christmas on the Coast events kicks things off Saturday morning in Port St. Joe.
Beginning at 7:30 a.m. the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast will be held at Peppers Restaurant on Reid Avenue. Tickets for the breakfast, a major fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club each year, are $5 per person and breakfast will last until 10 a.m.
At 9 a.m. ET a special SaltAir Farmer’s Market will be held at City Commons Park with the usual fresh produce along with vendors selling unique Christmas gifts. The market will continue until 4 p.m.
The third annual Junior Service League Chili Cookoff will be held at 3 p.m. ET during the Farmer’s Market at City Commons Park.
The Chili Cookoff is the major fundraiser for the JSL each year and helps fund their outreach to the needy through programs to provide backpacks and school supplies to 100 children and a shopping trip to Sears for school clothes for more than 50 students.
The JSL also sponsors the annual Community Easter Egg Hunt.
The annual Port St. Joe Christmas Lighted Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m. ET with lineup on Williams Avenue, the parade moving south on Reid Avenue from City Commons Park.
Of course, no parade would be a Christmas event unless Santa came along for the ride.
Meanwhile, local downtown merchants will have their doors open all day with great specials and something for everyone on any Christmas list.
Day of Declaration
The “Day of Declaration” celebration will kick off at 11 a.m. ET in Constitution Park.
The event is a celebration and affirmation of faith and patriotism, celebrating the signing of Florida’s Constitution in December 1838 and that documents foundation if faith in Almighty God.
Congressman Steve Southerland will be among the speakers along with State Rep. Marti Coley and Port St. Joe Mayor Mel Magidson.
The Port St. Joe High School NJROTC program will present the colors and a community choir comprised of choir members in churches around the community will be singing patriotic and spiritual songs.
“This has nothing to do with politics,” said Pastor James Wiley of Oak Grove Church. “People of faith are still here. We need to come together and show people that there are people of faith here.
“I don’t think you can truly be patriotic without faith. And if you are of faith, you have to be patriotic. What I hope is there will be such an overwhelming response. It is a celebration. We want it to be celebratory. It is a celebration of who we really are.”
The City of Mexico Beach, The Mexico Beach Community Development Council and the Special Events for Mexico Beach invite all to attend the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony held at Sunset Park (next to El Governor Motel) on Sunday.
The evening will start off at 6 p.m. CST as Mayor Al Cathey introduces this year’s tree lighter, Jim Middleton, a true hero and distinguished resident of Mexico Beach. Once the tree has been lit, local musicians will lead the crowd in singing classic Christmas carols that will get everyone into the holiday spirit. There will be an assortment of delicious homemade desserts, coffee and hot chocolate available while waiting on Santa to arrive.
The annual golf cart parade will start to come down the street where Santa will follow behind to make his visit with all the boys and girls. Those wishing to have pictures taken with Santa are asked to please bring cameras.
The golf cart parade is gearing up once again and with the help of special elves golf carts will be adorned with Christmas lights, pink flamingos, angels and even a special sock monkey that will excite even Scrooge. If interested in participating in the golf cart parade please contact Traci Gaddis at 648-5474.
The Mexico Beach Department of Public Safety is asking for donations of new, unwrapped toys that will deliver to families in need in our area. If you would like to donate to this cause, please bring your donation to the park.
For any questions about the event please contact the Mexico Beach Welcome Center at 648-8196.