TDC/CVB Approves $60,000 October Festival Funding

The CVB Board voted 5-0 on 7/1/08 to approve a request for $60,000.00 in funding for the Panama City Beach Seafood, Wine and Music Festival to be held October 10-12, 2008 (Columbus Day Weekend) at Frank Brown Park. Absent were Mayor Oberst, Yonnie Patronis, Rick Russell, and Buddy Wilkes. Mike Nelson voted via telephone. The festival will be promoted by a group including Jack Bishop, C.J. Ryan, and Steve Pizza. All board members involved in the discussion seemed very supportive of the festival and funding request.

Although the festival schedule is still tentative, the promoters currently anticipate the following festival elements:

  • The festival will open at 4PM on Friday and 11AM on both Saturday and Sunday. The festival will be wholly located at Frank Brown Park
  • Admission costs have not yet been determined.
  • The attendance goal is 18,000. The promoters expect 65% of the attendees to be overnight visitors and 35% to be from the local area.
  • Feature entertainment will be included each evening; however, the promoters are not yet able to announce any specific performers. Artists that have been discussed include BB King, Huey Lewis and the News, KC & The sunshine Band, Sugarland, and Kellie Pickler. They are planning for a Jazz/Blues theme on Friday, a Big Name Headliner on Saturday, and a Country performer on Sunday. The promoters expect to announce the signing of performers by the end of the week.
  • Family Fun Day(s) are anticipated to include family-friendly entertainment and activities.
  • A Seafood Cook-off will be included, but it will not be judged. The festival hopes to attract both local chefs and chefs from other destinations. Although promotional material has discussed the possible involvement of Food Network, Mr. Bishop advised that the promoters have not yet entered into any discussions with the network.
  • Although the promoters hope to have local restaurant participating as vendors, they will also invite the food vendors from the local festival circuit to participate. However, all vendors will be required to comply with specific aesthetic requirements.
  • The promoters are hoping for a large number of arts and craft vendors. Mr. Bishop hopes the visitors will use the festival to begin their holiday shopping.
  • It does not appear that a carnival midway will be included.
  • The wine element of the festival has not yet been determined. Possibilities include tastings, a market, auctions, and a wine dinner. Participation may require an optional additional ticket be limited to holders of VIP tickets.

-Bryan Durta

4 thoughts on “TDC/CVB Approves $60,000 October Festival Funding

  1. Great the Seminoles are off that weekend so I will be there. Gotta try to get some more VIP passes like I did for Hootie. This is the kind of entertainment that will make this work.


  2. I had fun the last couple of years. Although last year when I tried to walk from my house I was told I had to walk around to the 98 entrance of Frank Brown park… I live in Palmetto trace and have been trying to walk to everything as I did last night to the FSU Circus. If the back entrance is closed again I will not go to the event.



  3. I had fun last year and enjoyed taking the kids to the carnival rides during the day and find it disappointing to hear that this year the carnival will be excluded.


  4. According to the release there will be an entire ‘kids village’. The absence of carnival rides shouldn’t matter… seems that there will still be plenty, if not more, for the kids and families. I understand the kids activities will be more for interacting and learning. I will be thrilled not to have to face an afternoon of smelly carnies exposing my kids to those disgusting stuffed animals and prizes that have ten years of road dust on them.
    On another note… I’m amazed at how quickly people are critizing this event and it hasn’t even had a chance yet. Let’s try to remember that you can’t please all of the people all of the time… from what I can tell… these organizers are just trying to do a better job of making it more of an event that will appeal to everyone instead of a limited audience. while at the same time pleasing the powers that be… the TDC. I applaud them for the effort and hope everyone will give it a chance when it gets here.


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