By Samantha Lambert
“Wine is food, and food is life, and life is about the connections we make.”
– Evan Dawson
What better place to make those life connections than the Second Annual Taste of Fort Walton Beach Food and Wine Festival Sunday, Sept. 24? The festival takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Landing on Brooks Street and is sponsored by the nonprofit Downtown Fort Walton Beach Organization, Inc. This year’s event will benefit Children in Crisis, Inc.
The event will feature over 75 eclectic wine selections along with a variety of restaurants representing local flavors. The Downtown FWB Organization will partner with Kelley’s Beach Liquors and several wine vendor groups for the event. Beach Liquors will also donate 10 percent of wine sales to Children in Crisis.
For every bottle of wine sold, guests will receive a chance drawing ticket for prizes. Those purchasing bottles of wine can pre-pay and pick up their purchase later at the downtown Beach Liquors location.
There will be live music from Shenanigans, and Taste Tapas & Wine Bar and Beach Liquors team up to sponsor a VIP tent. Guests will be able to purchase t-shirts on site as well.
“Last year we had over 600 people attend the first Taste of Fort Walton Beach Food and Wine Festival. It was a beautiful day and a great addition to our event lineup in Downtown Fort Walton Beach,” says Downtown FWB Organization president Christa Machado.
This year’s event is sponsored by the Downtown FWB Organization, Beach Liquors, and local radio stations Highway 98.1, 102.1 the Wave, 103.1 the Blaze, and Q92. All kinds of prizes have been donated for the festival including a “staycation,” artwork by local artist Mark Bonner from Studio III, premium wine, local gift baskets, and other prizes from downtown FWB business owners.
The Downtown FWB Organization Board is led by Machado, who owns Sacred-X-Pressions Tattoo Studio. Also on the board are KC Harrison, co-owner of KC’s Sandbar and Grill, Tapworks, and Taste Tapas & Wine Bar; Stacie Hoard, owner of De’France Indoor Flea Market Antiques & Collectibles; Suzanne Clark of World Impact Real Estate; Jeff Harris of Run With It; and Jennifer Bundrick, who serves as events director for the Downtown FWB Organization.
The organization schedules many events for the Downtown Fort Walton Beach area throughout the year. The Downtown FWB Farmers Market takes place twice a month. Vendors offer an array of locally grown and handmade items such as fresh produce, local honey, farm fresh eggs, and fresh dairy products. The Downtown FWB Art Walk is held the first Friday of every month from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., starting in March and ending in November.
Pub crawls, Movies at the Landing, Ladies Night Out…Downtown!, and A Downtown Holiday are some other downtown events of note. You can find more at downtownFWB.com.
The Second Annual Taste of Fort Walton Beach Food and Wine Festival is a rain or shine event. Purchase tickets online at tasteoffwbfoodandwinefest.com. Food and wine wristbands are $40, food taste only wristbands are $25 each, wine tasting only wristbands are $25, VIP wristbands are $75, and children 12 and under wristbands are $10.
This event is a great way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon with music, beverages, food and fun—all with an amazing view. See you downtown.