If you’re planning a vacation to Northwest Florida and looking to fill that vacation plan, there are plenty of Fort Walton events you will love. From the Fort Walton Beach Christmas Parade to the Destin Seafood Festival, there are various things to enjoy throughout the year. You can enjoy live music, food, drinks, or fishing tournaments and parades and have a wonderful time in Florida.

If you’re planning a vacation to Fort Walton Beach, check out our free Vacation Guide! We’ve gathered all the best events, things to do, best restaurants, and more in a convenient downloadable that you can print to make your planning easier! Get your copy and start planning your vacation today!


The Best Fort Walton Annual Events in All 4 Seasons

Fort Walton Events in Winter

Fort Walton Beach Christmas Parade (December)
Every year, they pick a new theme for the floats, making each parade that much more unique and fun. Everyone gathers along Eglin Parkway to join in the fun and festivities.

Destin Christmas Boat Parade (December)
At Destin Harbor, you can enjoy watching countless vessels float along the water lit up with stunning and exciting holiday lights. Enjoy festive activities during the day, and then the festive parade starts in the evening. At the end of the parade, there is a fireworks display to light up the sky!

Winter Guest Fest (January)
Check out this annual trade show with the latest from favorite businesses in industries like dining, attractions, healthcare, and more.

mardi gras beads


Annual Mardi Gras Parade (February)

Enjoy this free event with live music, a parade, and a ton of fun!

Mardi Gras Celebration (February)
Head down to the HarborWalk Village to celebrate Mardi Gras. Listen to live music, get some beads, and watch the parade’s fantastic floats and street performers.

4th Annual Shrimp & Grits Festival (February)
This festival supports the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. Head to the Destin Harbor, where you can enjoy restaurants and local chefs competing for top votes on their best seafood dishes. There will be a live DJ, delicious southern seafood dishes, and much more!


Events in Spring

Spring Kite Festival (April) – Join Kitty Hawk Kites at The Boardwalk for a festival of kites that are 50-80-100 feet long! See giant kites like pandas, gators, and an octopus! There will also be professional demonstrations and fun for everyone for a two-day free event!

Musical Echoes Flute Festival (April) – Musical Echoes hosts the annual Flute Festival, where you can enjoy Native American heritage through music, artisans, and vendors.

Billy Bowlegs Festival (May) – Enjoy four fun days with pirates! It all starts with a downtown pub crawl. The following day is a concert at the landing with a pirate invasion and fireworks, then a downtown party at The Landing, and it ends with the Torchlight Parade with floats and other vessels. You will see pirate reenactments, block parties, and concerts.


Fort Walton Events in Summer

Fort Walton Beach 4th of July Celebration
Enjoy a family-friendly event with live entertainment, refreshments, vendor booths, kid’s activities, and a great fireworks display in the evening.Independence Day Fireworks

City of Destin Annual Fireworks (July)
Join everyone at Destin Harbor for a live fireworks show at dusk!


Events in Fall

Fall Kite Festival (September)
Join Kitty Hawk Kites at The Boardwalk for a festival of kites that are 50-80-100 feet long! See giant kites like pandas, gators, and an octopus! There will also be professional demonstrations and fun for everyone for a two-day free event!

Emerald Coast Powerboat Week (September)
Join a colossal event that draws people from all around, including Virginia and Texas! Spend the week on the Emerald Coast enjoying a poker run and powerboat activities.

Greek Festival (October)
Enjoy a 3-day weekend of Greek food, culture, music, arts, and crafts at this annual festival of fun!

The Northwest Florida Tri-County Fair (October)
Spend the day like a local at this fun fair. It has rides, games, a Lumberjack show, a petting zoo, 4-H exhibits, and local entertainment.

crawfish boil

Destin Fishing Rodeo (October)
If you’re a seasoned angler or just a beginner, compete for prizes in this exciting 31-day fishing rodeo tournament in October. Thousands come to compete in the senior, ladies, and junior divisions. See if you’ll be the next grand prize winner reelin’ in the big one!

Destin Seafood Festival (October)
This seafood festival kicks off the Destin Fishing Rodeo with three days of music, community traditions, seafood, and the arts!

Whether watching fireworks, attending a kite festival, participating in a fishing rodeo or simply enjoying live music and local culture, this area is the perfect place to explore and have fun. So join the festivities and make some memories in Fort Walton Beach!


Spend Your Vacation in Comfort at the El Matador

And if you’re looking for the best places to stay in Fort Walton, check out our vacation property rentals! Our properties are next to all the best places, restaurants, attractions, and things to do. Get gorgeous ocean views in comfort and luxury in one of our beautiful, oceanfront properties! Check our availability and book your stay today!