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When you think of the fall, you picture the leaves changing, cooler weather, orange and brown colors, and turkey. In Panama City Beach, we enjoy warm weather, warm Gulf waters that are emerald green, crystal clear and flat as glass, no lines at the grocery and EVENTS!
Years ago, it was realized to help a heavily based tourism-driven economy during non-peak months, special events draw people away from their desks and down to the beach for a getaway to spend money. The Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, for a long time only financially supported events during what is is called the ‘shoulder season”. This year, there are a few events that you won’t want to miss.
1.) Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally
Twice a year, Thunder Beach comes roaring through Northwest Florida, sometimes bringing as much as 30,000 bikers and their rides to the beach. They come in all shapes and sizes with their bikes to match. Two wheelers, trikes, hybrids, bikes with engines bigger than most cars, you can see it all at this eclectic mix of iconoclast road warrior. Of course, one thing that many overlook is the fact that most of these bikes are worth more than their family sedan and the rough looking dudes that ride them are doctors and lawyers in the real world.
The fall rally comes this year on the first weekend of October, just one weekend short of the next event.
2.) The Panama City Beach Seafood Wine and Music Festival
Known in years past as the Indian Summer Music Festival, this events roots came from locals wanting to celebrate getting their city back after a summer of tourism. The festival was typically held in October, which has been historically one of the most pleasant months in Northwest Florida. This is a time of year when the Gulf is still warm enough to swim in, the weather is usually perfect and the temperature is a very reasonable mid to high 80’s during the day. All of this makes for a perfect recipe for fall festivals.
The Panama City Beach Seafood Wine and Music Festival got it’s name a few years back when new promoters were awarded the event by tourism officials. The new promoters then changed everything, making it more organized and successful than it has ever been. Last year they brought in Styx who performed hits like Mr. Roboto, Lady and Show Me The Way, and this year they are bringing in REO Speedwagon, Lori Morgan and a special surprise that has yet to be announced as of this writing. The event is from October 8th through the 10th.
3.) Emerald Coast Cruizin Car Show
With just about anything cars from rat rods to classics to newer muscle cars, the Emerald Coast Cruizin Event has it all. The weather during years past has been perfect, warm and clear, and this year, they are expecting more than 2500 cars to attend. Located on the festival grounds of Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach, spectators can see an endless sea of shining paint, huge exhaust pipes and old fat men that are proud of their creations. This event takes place on the second weekend of November.
4.) Tons of other smaller festivals.
Oktoberfest – Downtown Panama City, every year, transforms into a Bavarian themed celebration fit with German Beer, food and other various treats. Drawing celebrators out of the woodwork from all over Bay County, Oktoberfest is sure to help you see blue and feel great. Bring your lederhosen out on October 1st and 2nd.
Jazz by the Bay – Fans of jazz and live music will love this charming little festival held in historic St. Andrew’s. Music will begin on Friday at 6:00 p.m. from the pavilion in Oaks-By-the-Bay Park – located at the foot of Beck Ave. next to the St. Andrews Marina. There will be food, beverage and festival concessions on site, and an exciting variety of jazz musicians performing all weekend long. The festival is free and open to the public. This event is on October 22nd and 23rd.