The St. Louis “Spending” Caravan to Visit Panama City Beach

As Panama City Beach residents and businesses continue to raise awareness concerning the oil free local beaches, they will welcome the St. Louis Spending Caravan on August 11. The group will travel through town, visiting various businesses to boost spirits and the local economy on Wednesday, August 11 and Thursday, August 12. Departing St. Louis, MO Monday, August 9, the caravan of St. Louis residents and others from differing regions plan to visit various Gulf Coast cities, leading an effort of awareness with monetary and humanitarian support.

According to organizer, Dennis Gorg, “We’ve learned of so many businesses in the Gulf region that are losing their customers, employees and dreams because of the impact on tourism. As a small business owner, I can’t imagine how I’d support the people who depend on me. We can do something. We can become tourists with a purpose.” The team has been collecting money via its website (,, and supporters who stop in Gorg’s coffee shop. The funds raised will be spent during their visit at businesses along their coastal trek.

Panama City Beach will welcome the Caravan August 11 when local law enforcement escorts the participants from the Sugar Sands Motel along Front Beach Road to Pier Park. Everyone is invited to the caravan parade at 6:00 pm which will travel south to north on Pier Park Drive. Following the short parade, the group will gather on City Pier for Mayor Gayle Oberst to present Gorg with a “Key to Panama City Beach”. The celebration will also include the giveaway of a $500 Southwest Airlines gift card and two $50 American Express gift cards (anyone ages 18 and above may register from 4:30- 6:00 pm at the “Summer of Fun” table in the Pier Park Promo Area prior to the presentation on August 11). You must be present to win; winners to be announced after Mayor Oberst’s presentation.

The celebration will continue with the coastal sounds of Stainless Steel performing in the Pier Park Promo Area until 8 pm with a fireworks display later at 9:00 pm.

The group will also be making stops at the Sunnyside Grill in Panama City Beach on Thursday, August 12 at 9:00 am and at various shops and establishments throughout the city before making their journey back to St. Louis. We encourage residents and visitors to join us in celebrating the arrival of the caravan.

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