Plenty on the calendar



The coming week is a busy one, with plenty of opportunities for fun, including the city of Mexico Beach’s signature Gumbo Cook-off and the first officials exhibit at the new St. Joe Arts.

Here are a few suggestions.



MB Gumbo Cook-off celebrates 20 years Saturday. The 20th edition of the Mexico Beach Gumbo Cook-off simmers in Parker Park 10 a.m. CT until the gumbo is gone. The event is sponsored by Special Events for Mexico Beach, Inc., with all proceeds go toward the city’s Fourth of July fireworks. In addition to competition for the best gumbo, there is a parallel contest for the best-tasting Brunswick stew.

Entry to the Cook-off is free.

Live music will play throughout the day and beer and wine are available for purchase.

In addition, before, during and after the gumbo is being put away, hot dogs and sausage dogs off the grill will be available along with a host of desserts.

Commemorative t-shirts will be for sale.

Folks may purchase gumbo by the cup or bowl while the gumbo lasts.





St. Joe Arts hosts its first exhibition beginning Friday. The new facility for the arts in Port St. Joe will host its first exhibit which will honor the history of African-Americans, entitled: “Our Stories, Celebrating North Port St. Joe.” The show opens 6-9 p.m. ET Friday, Feb. 16 at The St. Joe Center for the Arts located at 201 Reid Ave. The exhibit will remain open to the public 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturdays from Feb. 17 through March 17.

The opening will feature photographs, as well as artworks, interviews and cultural memoriabilia from North Port St. Joe, Money Bayou and Washington High School. Performing artists will include singer Gloria Maiben, dancer Montez and singer Marquez Quinn. The opening program, during which light refreshments will be served, is free and open to the public.



Shop the SaltAir Farmers Market. The Port St. Joe SaltAir Farmers Market has just kicked off its 11th year and the market is back Saturda at City Commons adjacent to Port St. Joe City Hall, at the intersection of Reid Ave. and Cecil G. Costin, Sr. Blvd.. The market is held 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET the first and third Saturdays of every month in the park. At the market you may find fresh seasonal produce, jewelry, tie dye, carved woodwork and much more.




Join the Legion Vets 4 Pets benefit for a worthy cause. The Willis V. Rowan American Legion Post 116 will host the fifth annual Vets 4 Pets German Night to benefit the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society at 5 p.m. ET Saturday, Feb. 17 at the VFW Post 10069. The event includes a full bratwurst meal for $8. Tickets must be purchased prior to the event at the VFW Post 10069 in Highland View or the Humane Society. Donations of old sheets, towels, toys, food, etc. are greatly appreciated.



Join the Friends of St. Vincent. The Friends of St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge will hold its annual membership meeting 1-3 p.m. ET Sunday at the Apalachicola Community Center in Battery Park.

The membership luncheon meeting will feature Dr. Nancy White from the University of South Florida’s Department of Anthropology. She will present her archeological research of St. Vincent Island, documenting material dating from the Paleo-Indian through proto-historic times.

Music and lunch is included.

New members are welcome. Membership is $20 for an individual, $30 for a family and $300 for a lifetime.

For more information visit