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Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Opening Remarks - Gimme a (Spring) Break

By the time you’ve worn out this issue, our friends in Panama City Beach will have been inundated with the yearly swarm of wild and crazy party animals. Most of them will be ready for a good stiff drink, provided there’s any booze left over there.

I’d like to extend an invitation to the PCB locals to come spend some time here in Destin/Fort Walton Beach/South Walton/Navarre, where you can observe the friendly, well-behaved spring breakers that frequent our area.

Our spring breakers are the type of college students that wouldn’t think twice about running into a burning building to rescue some PCB spring breakers that were probably responsible for starting the fire in the first place.

I’m not saying all the kids that spring break an hour or so east of here are irresponsible maniacs. Many are thoughtful enough to advise young ladies to take off their tops at the first sign of heat stroke.

But let’s face it, Panama City Beach. The bottom line is our spring breakers are way cooler than yours. And they are always welcome here as long as they clean up after themselves, spend lots of money, and post cool beach videos on YouTube that will render the TDC useless.

Love, Christopher

ON THE COVER... For the past month or so, cover artist Heidi Pitre has made Seaside even more beautiful as an Escape to Create resident. She recently participated in a raffle for Alaqua Animal Refuge—the lucky winner gets one of Pitre’s glorious dog portraits. I have one, and I wouldn’t part with it for all the rum in St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands.

You may also recognize Pitre’s art from the cover of one of this year’s Beachcomber Music Award nominated CDs, A Lil Boukou in Your Cup by Boukou Groove. More at www.heidipitre.com.

BEACHCOMBER MUSIC AWARDS 2013... Our fifth gala honoring Beachcomberland’s best and brightest is set for Monday, March 4, at John Wehner’s Village Door in the Village of Baytowne Wharf. Doors open at 7, and the first band will rock the stage starting at 8. Make plans now to take a sick day Tuesday, March 5.

Among the acts scheduled to perform— Hotel Oscar, Forrest Williams Band, New Earth Army, Heritage, the Bottoms Up Band, the DizzyJuke Band, Hubba Hubba, and all five of this year’s Best SingerSongwriter nominees.

Many past winners and nominees—as well as a few surprise guests—will present awards.

The event is FREE, but representatives from the Children’s Advocacy Center will be at the door if you’d like to make a donation to this great nonprofit. We will also have the nominees autograph a beautiful Fender guitar and auction it off for the charity sometime during the evening. Thanks to the good folks at Leitz Music for donating the guitar, specifically John and Doug “Dr. D” Dickerson pictured at right.

Keep up with the latest news here.

MORE STUFF FOR YOUR IPAD, IPHONE, IBALLS... The FREE Beachcomber app (get yours here)brings the best of the Emerald Coast’s music, art, dining, theater, literary scene and more to your iPad, iPhone and iPad Touch. If you don’t have any of the aforementioned devices, buy them all so you can download our app. Or do like the Beachcomber Editor did—convince your boss you need one for work. (In this case, “work” consists of playing games, listening to music and watching movies.)

If we run into you while we’re out and about and you show us that you’ve downloaded it to your device, we will give you a fabulous prize, too! Or just a hug. Or maybe both…

WE LIKE YOU RIGHT BACK... Jennifer Smith, Frank Webb, Jessie Richardson, Jen Wendt, Brian Jones, Michael Fisher, Brandon Jones, Michael Buist, Christine Watson, Bill McDaniel, Rhena Wilson, Penny Davis, Dikki Du, Pam Johnson and Akeem Scott are just some of the great people who “like” the official Beachcomber page on Facebook.

If you’ve “friended” us as Beachcomber Destin (or tried to—sorry, they max out at 5,000), please “like” our page, too, at www.facebook.com/beachcomberdestinfl and drink in uptotheminute info, giveaways, videos and much more! We may even put your name in the paper to fill up space.

We’re also on Google+ now (under Beachcomber Destin), if you’re brave enough to give it a try.

Beachcomber Editor Chris Manson relaxes after giving a temperance lecture during his recent Goodwill Ambassador Tour of St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Photo by Carol Marraccini Otto