Gulf Place During the 30A Songwriters Festival

Gulf Place on 30A, Photo by Shelly Swanger

If you haven’t already, it’s time to get your tickets for the sixth-annual 30A Songwriters Festival to be held January 16-18, 2015.

The festival will feature performances by esteemed artists Graham Nash, Indigo Girls, Leon Russell, Jason Isbell, Shawn Mullins, Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket). Also confirmed are Jeffrey Steele, Chely Wright, Bobby Bare Jr., Steve Poltz, Angaleena Presley, Over the Rhine, Jesse Harris, Mary Gauthier, Hayes Carll, Bob Schneider, Ellis Paul, Allison Moorer, Deana Carter and Peter Karp & Sue Foley.

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Bud & Alley's Pizza Bar

Bud & Alley’s Pizza Bar

Chef Phillip McDonald has joined the Bud & Alley’s team as executive chef of The Pizza Bar, bringing a fresh eye to the menu at this Gulf-side eatery in Seaside.

McDonald, who was born and raised in Destin, recently returned to the Emerald Coast after a year honing his culinary skills with some of the best in the New York culinary scene, including a six-month stint as sous chef at Reynard at the Wythe Hotel.

Bud & Alley’s owner Dave Rauschkolb said collaborating with McDonald is a natural. “We are both low-key local surfers passionate about serving up fresh food and creating a great dining experience. I’m thrilled that we are able to work together and look forward to all the ways Chef Phil will raise the ‘bar’ with us.”

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scenic-beach-walk-960

On December 21, a group of runners will celebrate the winter solstice with an all-day ultra run, starting at sunrise and continuing until sunset along 40 miles of beaches, coastal dune lakes and state forests of 30A.

The Winter Solstice Run is not a race, it’s all about fun, adventure and camaraderie, and raising awareness and funding for women in the DR Congo.

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163155_479876787511_5576353_nWant to help make Christmas merrier for some children and their families? The Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center’s annual Adopt-A-Family program is underway.

The Center is seeking donors to purchase gifts for individual families identified as in need. Last year, the program helped 261 children have a brighter holiday. To help, Simply contact ECCAC and select a family from their list, shop for them, and bring unwrapped gifts by December 14 or sooner to the Niceville center.

ECCAC’s mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect, protect children in Okaloosa and Walton Counties, and restore the lives and futures of these impacted children.

To make arrangements to Adopt-A-Family, call 850-833-9237, or email Katie Crowell.

Tim and Patsy Hardin at Jewelry of 30A

Tim and Patsy Hardin at Jewelry of 30A

When Timothy and Patsy Hardin opened Jewelry of 30A earlier this year, they finally realized their dream of making a permanent home along the gorgeous beaches of South Walton where they have vacationed for years.

The couple, married about 40 years, have been in the jewelry business for decades, but always hoped to make the move to 30A from their longtime residence in Nashville, Tennessee. Now, they are offering their unique finds and original creations at their location in Seagrove Beach, and loving every minute of it.

Everyday, Tim can be found at his jeweler’s desk, toiling away with his tools, resizing rings, creating exact replicas of heirloom or antique jewelry and designing his own creations. He does a lot of platinum work, which many jewelers can’t do, as well as fabrication, stone setting and even building pieces from scratch.

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Renee Savary with Twin Oaks Farm

Renee Savary with Twin Oaks Farm

Twin Oaks Farms has opened a full-time farm stand at the Shops of Grayton, bringing their organic offerings to town every day of the week, along with a café of prepared foods to take to go.

“The farm is in Bonifay, it’s such a remote location there’s little reason for people here to drive all that way to visit,” said owner Renee Savary. “We thought it better to bring the farm to the beach.”

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Sunquest Cruises’ SOLARIS

Sunquest Cruises’ SOLARIS

Ring in the New Year in true Emerald Coast style and on the water. SunQuest Cruises is hosting its annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks, Dinner and Dancing Cruise on the SOLARIS yacht on Wednesday, December 31, from 8 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.

Patrons will embark on a memorable evening that includes a five-course seated dinner, live entertainment, fireworks, party favors and champagne.

“New Year’s Eve is our ultimate celebration on the water,” said James Murray, General Manager for SunQuest Cruises. “We combine the best of all worlds from cruising our local waters to indulging in a gourmet meal to enjoying the best seat in the house for fireworks. It’s all about creating fond memories and happiness for our guests.”

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Swimmers at the start of the Sandestin Triathlon. (Photo from Sandestin)

Swimmers at the start of the Sandestin Triathlon. (Photo from Sandestin)

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort contributed $20,000 to Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast from funds raised during the 28th Annual Sandestin Triathlon last August, officials have announced.

“We appreciate Sandestin’s generosity and willingness to make a difference in the community,” said Roger Hall, president of Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, after he was presented with the check last week.

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