Abita Mardi Gras Parade
The 11th Annual Mardi Gras on the Island begins at 11 a.m. Jan. 18 on Okaloosa Island. The parade starts at the corner of Santa Rosa Boulevard and Tarpon Drive and then winds its way eastward on Santa Rosa Boulevard, ending at Tom Thumb. Spectators may bring seating and view the parade at any point along the route. It's always a good idea to bring a bag for all the beads and other throws you'll receive. Block party at Helen Back afterward.
A wine and hors d’oeuvres reception to benefit the Okaloosa Arts Alliance will be held from 2-4 p.m. Jan. 19 at The Magnolia Grill of Fort Walton Beach. Individual tickets are $15 or two tickets for $25. There will be live entertainment and drawings for a chance to win tickets to multiple local events. Call 499-8335.
Winter Guests Concert Series
All winter guests and locals are invited to HarborWalk Village to enjoy a free concert with Chuck Lawson from 2-4 p.m. Jan. 19 on the Destin harbor. Concerts are free and open to the public.
The fifth annual 30A Songwriters Festival, with 150 songwriters and more than 200 performances at 25 venues along Hwy. 30A, including Caliza Pool & Restaurant at Alys Beach, takes place all day Jan. 18-19. Purchase tickets at www.30asongwritersfestival.com.
Wine Dinner on the Road
The Destin Charity Wine Auction foundation hits the road for a wine dinner, sponsored by IP Casino Resort Spa, at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 at award-winning Restaurant 32 at IP Casino in Biloxi, Miss. Cost for the multi-course dinner paired with specially wines is $250. All of the proceeds will benefit DCWAF. For tickets visit DCWAF.org/tickets. Special DCWAF room rates also available at the IP for those staying at the IP. Use Offer Code: WINEDIN.
Independent Film Series
The Friends Guild of the Destin Library will sponsor the movie “Fruitvale Station,” an independent film biography/drama, at 4 p.m. Jan. 21. The program is free and open to the public. Seating will be limited to 30 on a first-come, first-served basis.
Snowbird Movie Matinee
The Destin Library will host a free movie matinee, “Blue Jasmine,” for winter visitors beginning at 2 p.m. Jan. 22. Seating will be limited to 30 on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call 837-8572.
Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s Alice in Wonderland is a theater course from 3:30-5 p.m. Tuesdays Jan. 21-April 22 at Destin Middle School. A special public performance will begin at 6 p.m. April 26 at the school. Cost is $195 per student; registration is first come, first serve. All payments are non-refundable.
An Emerald Coast Theatre Company theatre course for students in grades 2-4, Fractured Fairytales will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. Thursdays Jan. 23-May 1 at Destin Elementary School. Kids will stage favorite fairytales just told a little differently from their original concept. A public performance will be held at 6 p.m. May 3 at the school. Cost is $195 per student; registration is first come, first serve. All payments are non-refundable.
The Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation presents Tasting of Champions 2014, a wine walkabout and tasting, from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at dcwaf.org.
Sinfonia Gulf Coast
Sinfonia Gulf Coast presents the orchestra and world-renowned guest artists beginning at 7:30 p.m. on the dates below. To purchase tickets, visit www.SinfoniaGulfCoast.org or call 269-7129.
• Jan. 24: The Bernstein Beat concerts are hosted by Jamie Bernstein, daughter of conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein, and include a morning youth performance and an evening concert which includes Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.”
The eighth annual Destin History and Fishing Museum’s Gumbo Contest will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Destin Community Center. Individuals and restaurants will offer tastings, all with the chance to proclaim theirs as The Best Gumbo in Destin. Tickets are $10/advance and $12/day of and include admission to museum. The event is fund raiser for the Destin History and Fishing Museum. A silent auction will feature up to 60 items and live music performed by Flash Flood. Call 837-6611.