The Centennial Celebration has come and gone and the annual Scallop Festival is in the rearview mirror, but there’s still plenty to do across Gulf County and Mexico Beach in the coming months.
Summer is the perfect time to get outside and be active and August is no slouch when it comes to fishing-inspired events.
First up, this Saturday, is the 17th annual MBARA Kingfish Tournament in Mexico Beach.
During the one-day event, competitors will seek out King Mackerel, Wahoo and Spanish and weigh-in for cash prizes up to $3,000. Fishing starts bright and early at 5 a.m. CT and ends at 5 p.m.
The entry fee is $160 per boat with as many fishermen on board as desired. Pre-registration can be completed online at www.mbara.org or in person at Bluewater Outriggers and Half Hitch Tackle in Port St. Joe or the Mexico Beach Marina. Two divisions will welcome recreational fishermen as well as professionals. The event will benefit the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association.
A Captain’s Party will be held at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Beacon Hill on Aug. 23.
If that doesn’t quench the fishing thirst, the Gator Classic Flathead Catfish Tournament will be held at Gaskin Park Landing in Wewahitchka on Aug. 30.
A $700 prize will be awarded for biggest catch and $800 to the fisherman with the most combined individual poundage from the 2013 Florida Catfish Classic tournaments.
Competitors will spend some time on the Apalachicola River starting at 4 p.m. CT and fish until 12 p.m. the following day.
Registration forms can be downloaded at www.floridacatfishclassic.com. Registration is $50 in advance or $55 day-of. On-site registration will run from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. The event will benefit VFW Post #8285.
September will have area athletes donning their running shoes for the bi-annual Beach Blast Triathlon and Duathlon at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Beacon Hill on Sept. 14.
Now in its ninth year, the Beach Blast consists of four races that include a sprint triathlon and duathlon and Olympic triathlon and duathlon.
Contestants will swim, bike and run for some early-morning fun. Races begin at 7 a.m. CT and registration can be completed online at www.beachblasttriathlon.com/615.html.
On Friday, Sept. 27, the 15th annual Florida Catfish Classic will kick off at Gaskin Park in Wewahitchka.
The fishing event, which will benefit Wewahitchka Search and Rescue will begin at 4 p.m. CT and end at 12 p.m. the following day.
In addition to door prizes, the largest fish will take home $2,500 and the individual with the most poundage of flatheads will win $250.
A kid’s division for those 14 years and under will include any freshwater catfish except flathead with a first-place price of $300 for largest catfish.
Early registration for the event is $50 and can be completed online at www.floridacatfishclassic.com.
At the same time as the Florida Catfish Classic, the Gulf County Sheriff’s Department will hold their annual catch and release Bass tournament.
The event, which takes place at White City Landing has a $175 entry fee and boasts a first place prize of $10,000 for the largest combined weight of five bass. Two-person teams will fish from daylight on Sept. 28 until 3 p.m. CT the following day.
Register for the tournament online at www.gcsotournament.com.
The Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves will present their Fall Bay Day on Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. ET at the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve. Take a tour of the preserves, explore the shore, spot the many birds of Cape San Blas or sign up for a sunset cruise or enjoy the low country shrimp boil.
Adventures offered will take attendees on a walk through the backwoods trails of the preserves to view rare and endangered plants, enjoy a day on the shore or take a kayak trip along the picturesque bay.
Also on Oct. 5 the Pink Up Your Run 5K, 10K, 15K and Kid’s 2K run races will start at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Beacon Hill.
Presented by the Panama City Health Club, the event will benefit Breast Cancer Research. Registration must be completed by Sept. 16 at www.active.com.
The Semper Fi Sisters Beach Blast hits on Oct. 17 in Port St. Joe. The group provides friendship, support, resources and information to the female family members of our past and present Armed Forces in a safe, friendly and fun environment. The annual “Boxes of Love from the Home Front” packing event will send helpful items to those military personnel currently deployed.
Wives, mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins and nieces of military personnel can register for the five-day event online at www.semperfisisters.com/beach_blast.html.
Gulf County’s fifth annual Blast on the Bay Songwriters Festival rolls into Florida’s Forgotten Coast from Oct. 17-20 with performances at many of the areas music venues.
More than 25 musicians direct from the streets of Nashville will play original songs as well as the hits they penned for superstars that include Faith Hill, George Strait and Garth Brooks.
Performances are free or require a small donation that will benefit the Coastal Songwriters Education Coalition. For more information or to view the upcoming schedule of events, visit the event’s official website at www.blastonthebay.com.
Celebrate Halloween early at this year’s Bow Wow Bash at the Centennial Building in Port St. Joe. The masquerade ball will take place on Oct. 26 and feature auctions, raffles, live music and food. Proceeds from the Bash will benefit the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society.
Purchase tickets in advance online at www.bowwowbash.org.
The annual Halloween spectacular, Ghosts on the Coast, presented by the Chamber of Commerce will scare up some fun on Reid Avenue on Oct. 31. The pet-friendly event will feature Trick-or-Treating for the kids, storytelling, costume contests, a haunted house and more.
Heading toward Thanksgiving, the St. Joseph Bay Golf Club will present a silent auction and golf tournament on Nov. 8-9.
The auction and 18-hole tournament will benefit the Camp Gordon Johnston WWII museum and will salute area veterans with a catered ceremony. For more information, call 850-227-1757.
With so much to do and see locally, you’ll remember exactly why you call Gulf County home.