July 4th, 2013 will mark the 237th year of America's birthday and the communities along the coast in Northwest Florida’s South Walton plan a number of fun festive Independence Day celebrations. The heartwarming memories of tomorrow are created with friends and family today. Holidays on special trips with the one’s you love are among the most cherished of these memories. Ocean Reef Resorts has a vast variety of South Walton vacation rentals to help you create your own next set of wonderful memories this coming 4th of July. Many of our loyal guests make a traditional journey to South Walton every year for the celebration of our nation's birth. The July 4th experience runs the whole gamut from nostalgic, charming village outings with old fashioned games and BBQs around the green to free live concerts under the stars in outdoor amphitheaters to musically choreographed, fabulous fireworks over the water just about everywhere! You can choose whichever memories you wish to create in a variety of unique settings.
If you’re interested in partaking in July 4th festivities in a charming New Orleans inspired, colonial village on the bay at the world renowned Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort be sure to check out “Red, White and Baytowne.” A number of events are planned at the Village of Baytowne Wharf, a kind of “Nouveau” New Orleans French Quarter due to the authentic French colonial architecture and charming surroundings. This family friendly version of the original is picture perfect in every way so get ready to do those holiday family photo shoots! A lovely lagoon divides the village into two parts with a couple of arching pedestrian bridges connecting each side. Near the Sandestin Marina, a long fishing wharf juts out into the bay towards the west where spectacular Summer sunsets are often vividly mirrored in the placid waters. On the Village Green there is an Events Plaza Stage with free live music performances. The nostalgic Americana feel is readily apparent with appeal to all age groups. Kids love the brightly lighted, old fashioned carousel ride, Bubble Balls, Blast Arcade, Trampolines, and other fun diversions. A Zip Line Tower allows adventurers to soar across the village lagoon from about fifty feet up. The tower itself is an obstacle course with rope bridges and ladders which lead to the “jump off” point at the top. Bars, restaurants and specialty boutiques are scattered throughout the village on pedestrian friendly avenues.
This year's annual “Red White and Baytowne” birthday celebration begins Wednesday, July 3rd with a live concert from 6 to 9pm on the Events Plaza Stage adjoining the village green. This year it will feature the popular Dredd Clampitt, a local favorite. His group provides three part harmonies blending a unique sound that combines Blue grass, Rock N Roll, Jazz and Louisiana Bayou Funk. The main Independence Day Festival starts out with a golf cart parade that will cruise through the village streets complete with patriotically themed decorations. From 6 to 10 pm there will be activities for children including crafts, balloon sculpting and face painting. Another free concert will be performed at the Events Plaza stage from 6 to 9 pm with a fabulous fireworks display over the lagoon starting at 9:15 pm. Over on the beach side at the Sandestin Hilton, an extravagant “All American Cookout Buffet” is planned to be held on the expansive beachfront pool deck. It will feature traditional comfort foods as well as coastal favorites. Musical entertainment is to be provided by Heather Hayes who is the daughter of famed Isaac Hayes and specializes in everything from Motown to Rhythm and Blues.
Along South Walton’s Scenic Highway 30A, holiday events are more laid back for an old fashioned 4th of July. Many adults will be whisked back to warm childhood memories of their own as they create new memories for their own children.
The main nostalgic celebrations occur in Seaside and Rosemary Beach on Thursday, July 4th. Seaside as you may or may not know was one of the first pedestrian friendly, pre-planned communities built in the United States and is world famous for this reason. It defined the “New Urbanism” design for town planning. Completed in the 1980s to look like a small “seaside” town from the 1880s, it hosts white picket fences bordering cottages and homes with many shopping venues nearby. Everything was designed to be within easy walking distance of these residences. “The Truman Show”, a comedy starring Jim Carey and Laura Linney, was filmed here on location several years ago. Today this iconic, original town is well known for wonderful art galleries, specialized boutiques and seasonal festivals like the Fourth of July.
Seaside kicks things off Monday morning at 8:00 with the South Walton 4th of July Parade. This will start out at Seagrove Plaza which is just east of Seaside and travel west down Scenic 30A until it ends at the Seaside amphitheater on the town green. There will be a parade awards ceremony and then crafts for children including red, white and blue face paints. At 7 pm a special live Independence Day Concert will be held outdoors around the amphitheater. The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra will be performing a “concert under the stars” while the 30A Radio Station will be simulcasting live from the Seaside Neighborhood School. This low wattage station found at 107.1 FM is known for their eclectic blend of all musical genres and time periods. Music will include patriotic favorites along with popular scores from blockbuster movies. At 9 pm the fabulous fireworks begin with awesome Americana music being simulcast in tune to the colorful bombardment in the skies above.
The Dutch Indies inspired Village of Rosemary Beach in South Walton is at the very far eastern point of Scenic Highway 30A near our Seacrest Beach Real Estate office and was started and established just several years ago. You would never know it since this colonial looking town with Dutch architectural accents looks like it has been here for a couple of hundred years. Parts of the village look like you are actually somewhere in a beautiful part of Europe. This is especially true where one of the retail lanes meanders down the hill to the gulf from the Village Hall and around the grassy green at Barrett Square. Independence Day festivities kick off early here on July 4th at 7:30 am with a “Star Spangled Bike Decorating Contest.” The bike parade itself begins soon afterward up to North Barrett Square. There will be awards for Most Original Use of Decorations, Most Patriotic, Best Overall, Best Family Entry and Best Kid's Bike. For those who need a bike, they may be rented nearby. As if this event was not charming enough, it will be followed by a Family Field Day on the Western Green from 9 to 11 am. Family events include old fashioned potato sack races, a three legged race, a hula hoop contest and a water balloon toss just to name a few. There will also be live music, face painting and “moon walks” for the kids. From 5 to 7 pm on the Eastern Green there will be a Southern style BBQ feast with pork, chicken or brisket accompanied by potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, iced tea and fruit cobbler for dessert. Back on the Western Green live music under the stars will play from 6:30 to 8:30 with a deluxe fireworks display scheduled for 8:45 pm.
No matter where you decide to create your family's own special future memories along the coast of South Walton, Ocean Reef Resorts is here to serve you. Our fine private South Walton vacation rentals extend across the entire coast with several hundred selections in all price ranges, architectural styles and locales. Like many of our regular guests, you may eventually find your favorite and continue to weave those wonderful memories for years to come. Check out our user friendly website to select a rental that may become your future. It is our distinct pleasure to be of service to you and yours. Happy Birthday America!