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Dive into 2024: Emerald Coast January Events Lineup

From exhilarating plunges for a cause to music festivals and trail trots, join us in exploring the diverse and vibrant events that make January on the Emerald Coast truly unforgettable.


10th Annual Polar Bear Plunge
Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar | Santa Rosa Beach
January 1st, 2024 | 11AM-2PM

Dive into the New Year with the 10th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar in Santa Rosa Beach on January 1st, 2024! Join the South Walton Fire District for a refreshing start to 2024, supporting community education and fire prevention activities. Register ahead of time for this family-friendly event, featuring a costume contest, a plunge into the New Year at 1 p.m., and a celebration afterward. Don’t miss the chance to make a splash for a good cause – pre-register below:

15th Annual Penguin Plunge ’n Paddle
Juana’s Pagodas & Sailors’ Grill | Navarre Beach
January 1st, 2024 | 12-4PM

Freezin’ for a Reason! With a day filled with icy plunges and paddle challenges, it’s sure to be a wild adventure for all. Register early to save $5 and secure your spot for a day filled with long sleeve dri-fit shirts, delicious food, draft beer, live music, and an exciting raffle—all in support of Healing Paws for Warriors. Don’t miss the chance to make a splash for a cause and enjoy a day of fun in the brisk coastal waters!

The Back Porch Jetty Run
The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House | Destin
January 5th, 2024 | 9-11AM

Kick off the New Year with sand between your toes at the 6th Annual Beach Cat Race in Destin, FL! This laid-back 5.8-mile run along the beach, starting and ending at the Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House, offers a scenic route to the Destin Jetties and back. Lace up your sneakers, enjoy the salty breeze, and know that your race entry supports the local cats at the Back Porch. Join the fun run with a purpose!

2024 Ellie Biscuit 20 & 10-Mile Trail Trot
Eastern Lake Trail | Point Washington State Forest
January 6th, 2024 | 7AM

Get ready to lace up your running shoes for the 4th Annual Ellie Biscuit 20 & 10-Mile Trail Trot, presented by Community Bank! Hosted by Rotorhead 30A Running Company, this trailblazing event on Saturday, January 6, 2024, at Point Washington State Forest Eastern Lake Trailhead is perfect for both seasoned runners and those just looking for a scenic jog. Don’t miss the chance to register early—fees are “silly cheap” until the end of August—and know that a portion of the proceeds will be supporting the fantastic work of 30A Trails. Run, laugh, and make memories on the Emerald Coast trails!

30A Songwriters Festival
30A | South Walton
January 12th-15th, 2024

Celebrate 15 years of musical magic at the renowned 30A Songwriters Festival, where the world’s best songsmiths take the stage in the picturesque beach resort towns along Scenic Highway 30A. With over 180 songwriters across 30 venues, this festival offers an intimate setting to enjoy the sounds of established legends and rising talents. Embrace the shared moments, kickstart the year with great music, and contribute to the local arts scene as the festival supports the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County. Come join us for a weekend where the spirit of creativity and community harmonize in every note.

Navarre Krewe of Jesters Mardis Gras Ball
The Club at Hidden Creek | Navarre
January 13th, 2024 | 6-10PM

Photo Courtesy of Northwest Florida Daily News

Dance the night away at the Navarre Krewe of Jesters’ Mardi Gras Ball at The Club at Hidden Creek! With a four-hour soirée featuring dinner, a lively DJ, loaded cash bar, and a silent auction, this is the perfect chance to don your formal attire and enjoy an evening of fun. Open to the public, tickets are available at the door, so mark your calendar and get ready to make memories with the Krewe.

14th Annual Swamp Writer Music Festival
Stinky’s Bait Shack | Santa Rosa Beach
January 11th– 14th, 2024

Get ready to groove at Stinky’s Bait Shack as they host the 14th Annual Swamp Writers Festival from January 11-14, 2023! This four-day music extravaganza boasts performances by over a dozen local and regional favorites, transforming the iconic Bait Shack on 30A into a lively musical haven. Don’t miss out on this free and open-to-all festival—come join the rhythm, embrace the local vibes, and make some unforgettable memories on the Emerald Coast!

2024 In the Woods 30A 50K
Eastern Lake Trail | Point Washington State Forest
January 27th, 2024 | 5:30AM

Experience the magic of the season with Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s heartwarming presentation of A Christmas Carol. Make it a cherished holiday tradition as you gather with loved ones in ECTC’s enchanting space at Grand Boulevard Town Center in Miramar Beach, Florida. From the iconic “Bah humbug” tGet ready to tackle the trails at the ONLY ultramarathon on 30A – the 2024 In the Woods 30A 50K! This event offers three exciting race options – solo, 2-person relay, and 3-person relay – starting and finishing at the Point Washington State Forest Eastern Lake Trailhead. Dive into the picturesque woods, navigating through pine forests and scenic stretches along Western Lake, with a staggered start ensuring a smooth and safe race. Expect challenging terrain with tree roots, rocks, and maybe even a fallen tree or two, but don’t worry, it’s all part of the pure awesomeness! A portion of the proceeds from registration goes to the Point Washington Medical Clinic.

Pink Walk & 5K Benefitting Fore Her
The Village of Baytowne Wharf | Miramar Beach
January 27th, 2024 | 8:30AM

Lace up your sneakers & paint the town pink at the Pink Walk and 5K Benefiting Fore Her! Whether you walk or run, you can wear your pink gear proudly as funds are raised for breast cancer patients in treatment and facing financial challenges. The event includes an after-party with music, a photo booth, delicious food, and exciting prizes. Early birds get a sweet deal with $50 registration (including a free race t-shirt) until January 15. Breast cancer survivors can join the Survivors’ Stroll for free.

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