NOTE: Scroll down for a complete schedule of Independence Day activities.
By Jessie Taylor
Here on Scenic Highway 30A, July Fourth is not only a national holiday, it’s a deep-rooted local tradition. From all-day beach parties on Grayton Beach to symphonies and fireworks shows, this is one of the busiest weekends on 30A.
For my family, this is the assumed “schedule” that we go by each year:
1. Wake up at 5:30 a.m. to brave the fierce battle for the best spot on Grayton Beach.
2. After helping my dad set up, we go on a short run down each road in Grayton in advance of the parade to scope out the other decorated cars and see if we have any chance at being honored as the best float. (Unfortunately, this has never happened).
3. Arriving back from our run, we frantically wake up the lazy members of the Taylor family, explaining that we have exactly 30 minutes to make the best float in Grayton Beach.
4. Throwing on our best red, white and blue bathing suits, we grab duct tape and the box of Fourth of July decorations and get to work, while dad yells not to rip the paint off of the Jeep. (This happens every year).
5. The Grayton parade starts around 8:30 a.m., with plenty of candy-throwing and children waving from the sides of the road.
6. The parade ends around 9:15 a.m. at Grayton Coast Properties, my aunt, Kitty Taylor’s business. They serve watermelon and popsicles for everyone that shows. When all of the watermelon is gone, we all agree to go home, pack our coolers, and “meet ‘ya at the beach.”
So after reading this, I’m sure you’re ready to weigh out your options and create your own 30A traditions for your family. In addition to Grayton Beach, there are plenty of events planned all over South Walton, and they’re included below. Happy Fourth!
Learn more about the Grayton Beach parade from local Grant Blackwell of Coastal Insurance:
Looking for more freedom-centric fun? Here’s the full-line up of local activities:
6 – 9 p.m. 4th of July Concert featuring the Atlanta Party Band
9 p.m. Fireworks
8:30 a.m. Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade
Decorate your bikes, golf carts, cars, jeeps, boats, scooters, etc. and take part in the parade. Parade line up starts at 8 a.m. at Red Bar. Everyone is welcome! After, enjoy watermelon and lemonade at Grayton Coast Properties.
7:30 a.m. Bike Decoration Contest & Breakfast at North Barrett Square
8:30 a.m. Bike parade through the Town Center
9 a.m. Family field day on Western Green
Sack races, water balloon toss, games, prizes and more!
6 p.m. The Like Totally Hep Cats on Western Green
6-9 p.m. 4th of July Picnic Dinner Party
Join us poolside for an All-American full buffet, craft beer bar available for purchase.
$45 per adult | $25 per child (12 and under)
8:45 p.m. Fireworks on the beach
7:30 p.m. Stars & Stripes Pop Concert featuring the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra
8 a.m. South Walton 4th of July Parade (from Seagrove to downtown Seaside). Make sure to register in advance to have a float in the parade.
Please note that a portion of Scenic Highway 30A will be closed for a few hours to accommodate the parade.
7 p.m. The Victory Belles Concert
8:30 p.m. Fireworks Spectacular over the Gulf of Mexico
7 – 10 p.m. Fourth of July Picnic on the Beach (behind WaterColor Inn). Enjoy live music, refreshments and fun. Advanced reservations or tickets required. Please call 850-534-5041 for more info.
9 – 10 p.m. Kick back and enjoy the Fireworks show over the Gulf of Mexico on WaterColor Beach
6 – 9 p.m. Red, White and Baytowne runs all day long with lawn games, inflatables, kids crafts and face painting at Baytowne Wharf.
7 p.m. Live Music by Soul Track Mind
9:15 p.m. Fireworks over the Choctawhatchee Bay!
Also, check out our 30a.com/events calendar for plenty more fun events happening throughout the weekend!
Did we miss something? Please let us know so we can add it to our official schedule.