floridas_forgotten_coast
The Forgotten Coast of Florida lies along the Panhandle. It is bounded on the West by Mexico Beach, St. Joe Beach and Port St. Joe. Going East you come to Simmons Bayou, Cape San Blas, Indian Pass, and The City of Apalachicola on the banks of the Apalachicola River. Continuing east you come to Eastpoint, St. George Island, Carrabelle, Lanark Village, St. James Island, St. Teresa Island, and Alligator Point in Franklin County, FL. As you cross the Ochlockonee River on Highway 98 you enter Wakulla County, FL and Ochlockonee Bay, Mashes Sands, Panacea, Live Oak Island, Shell Point and St. Marks. The St. Marks Lighthouse and nature preserve is the easternmost place on the Forgotten Coast. Each area is different, and all are uncrowded Natural Wonders.

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APRIL 2014 

 Riverfront Fest to Antique Boat Show; Worm Grunting to Runs

By Chuck Spicer

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Variety is certainly the spice of life and Florida’s Forgotten Coast will feature a truly wide variety of festivals and special events during April. They range from a pair of running events in the St. Joe Beach area to an antique boat show in Apalachicola. From pirates invading a Riverfront Festival in Carrabelle to the Shell Point Stephen Smith Memorial Regatta, which has raised a big bucket of money for a most worthwhile cause.

The arts haven’t been forgotten as the Panhandle Players will present “On Golden Pond” at the Dixie Theatre and the Ilse Newell Concert Series continues on Easter Sunday at Trinity Episcopal Church in Apalach. Please note that the Panhandle Players recently changed their performance dates and the April 25-26-27 dates in this article are accurate. Also note that the annual Power Lifting Championships at the Blue Parrot have been cancelled.

Let’s see what else is happening this month. We certainly can’t forget the annual Worm Grunting Festival (April 12) in Sopchoppy, which kicks off “Wild About Wakulla Week” which concludes with the Wakulla Wildlife Festival at Wakulla Springs on April 19. Be sure to read Cynthia Paulson’s Column pertaining to the subject plus a separate article explaining that even our visitors try their hand at “gruntin’”.

Let’s review many of the events scheduled for April and early May.

Live music is the perfect backdrop as you relax with friends and watch the sun go down over St. Joseph Bay. Enjoy live music and local art (First Friday’s Art & Music Series) at The Thirsty Goat in Port St. Joe on April 4 and each first Friday of every month. Websites www.thethirstygoat.com   www.gulfalliance.org

The Junior Service League of Port St. Joe invites you to participate (or just watch) their April 5 “Breeze By the Bay” 10k &5k Run at WindMark Beach. This spring time fun run will take place on BeachWalk Trail in WindMark overlooking St. Joseph Bay. For more information contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it The night before the race there will be a "Movie on the Green" on the WindMark Town Center lawn. They invite you and your friends to come to this free, family-friendly movie. Showtime will be around dark and you may pick up your race packet as well, beginning at 6:30 PM ET. This is a fundraiser for the JSL of PSJ as these women continue to provide services to the local community of Gulf County. 

Race Day Packet Pick-up: April 5 from 7:30-8:30 AM ET. Race Start Time: 9 AM ET. Address: 101 Good Morning Street, Port St. Joe, FL, 32456. Park in the spaces around the Town Center, in front or behind the buildings. Walk towards the beach/large boardwalk and you will have further directions from there. Entry fee for the 5K is $25 or $35 on race day. For the 10K it is $30/$40.

The Saltair Farmers’ Market at City Commons Park in Port St. Joe (9:00am-1:00pm ET) kicks off April 5 and the second market day of the month (second Saturday) will be April 19th. Take a morning stroll Downtown Port St. Joe and you’ll be treated with fresh seasonal produce from local farmers, regional vegetables, fruit, Gulf seafood, meat, cheeses and breads that are all ready for your table at the SaltAir Farmers’ Market! Handmade arts, crafts, jewelry, pottery and gifts highlight the market’s offerings with live music and fresh air. Phone: 404-906-2637.

 

On April 9 there will be a Wagon Tour of St. Vincent Island, a delightful preserve off the Franklin & Gulf County coasts. Unfortunately all spaces have been reserved and standby list has been created.


                                            WORM GRUNTERS BALL
Here’s an event you won’t want to miss if you appreciate the unique aspects of the Forgotten Coast. On April 12 the annual Worm Gruntin’ Festival will be held in the quaint community of Sopchoppy on Highway 319 in Wakulla County. There is no admission charge. They say it starts 10 am with live music, Gruntin' contest and demonstration. But many of us arrive earlier so we can get great pickings at the many great craft (plus plants) booths . There is live bluegrass music throughout day. The “Worm Grunters Ball” at Sopchoppy gym concludes the day of fun. A King & Queen are also selected. This event is one part of Wild About Wakulla Week, which includes the April 19 Wildlife Festival at Wakulla Springs.  850 962-4138. Two other articles about the event are featured within our pages.

The Illse Newell Concert Series presents (on Sunday, April 13) the Bay Area Choral Society presentation Easter Messiah - Merel Young, Director and Karl Lester, Pianist. Address
Trinity Episcopal Church, 79 Sixth Street, Apalachicola Website www.apalachicolahistoricalsociety.org  Email    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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