2017 Best of The Emerald Coast Recap
The 18th annual Best of the Emerald Coast event illuminated the night of October 21 with festivities and feasting, as thousands gathered at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin to celebrate the crème de la crème of EC businesses.
Between the enticing whiffs of sweet and savory fare cooking up and rows of white-top tents distributing bags of swag, it was a proper street fair. Performers from Aerial Events further contributed to the carnivalesque atmosphere, as stilt walkers and fire dancers wowed the crowd. Some gorgeous, acrobatic ladies took entertainment to new heights, cascading, twirling and even pouring champagne from a grand chandelier overlooking the VIP tent.
Revelers with access to the VIP “Big Top” were spoiled with juicy surf n’ turf from Flemings and Seagar’s, topping it off with dessert from Tommy Bahama. Thanks to Innovative Sight and Sound, football fans could catch the latest SEC game while sipping libations from Timber Creek Distillery and Taste of Florida.
The Hospitality Tent was another popular stop for delicious delicacies. Available to all guests, the space featured a massive display of Emerald Coast Magazine’s latest edition and some of our beloved sponsors’ stations. Salty Panacea oysters paired perfectly with a sugary snack from Kilwins and its decadent chocolate fountain. To wash it all down, Idyll Hounds Brewery and Farmer’s Daughter Vineyards let you pick your poison.
But that was just a morsel of what the night had to offer. Taste buds went around the world, with offerings from wood-fired Fat Clemenza’s pizza and freshly rolled Harbor Docks sushi to Aegean’s Greek eats and McGuire’s good ol’ fashioned American cheeseburgers. Confections from Bon Appetit French Bakery and shots of Bruster’s ice cream indulged many a sweet tooth.
Many scouted out Cantina Laredo’s booth for those famous margaritas to accompany their snacks. As always, the Newman-Dailey booth dished out some tasty cocktails while guests learned about the agency’s scenic properties, and Proffitt PR’s booth was the place to be for some bubbly. If you happened to see people wandering around with an electric blue beverage, that was Lulu’s famous “Jet-Ski Killer,” a coconut rum-based concoction with banana liqueur and pineapple juice. Yum!
While we were living in a foodie’s paradise, a great part of the fun was meeting the people behind esteemed, service-oriented local businesses. Tents featured “Best of Emerald Coast” winners of Best Financial Planning/Investment Firm (Edward Jones), Best Flooring (Infinity Flooring), Best Specialty Fitness (Destin Hot Yoga), Best Dental Practice (Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics) and Best Specialty Pet Services/Products (Goochie Poochie).
Proceeds from this spectacular evening will benefit the Junior League of the Emerald Coast, a non-profit organization devoted to strengthening our community through acts of volunteerism and leadership. This is just in time to fund the Child Clothing Project (CCP), the Junior League’s biggest community project of the year. With generous donations from the community, hundreds of underprivileged children in Okaloosa and Walton County are provided brand new, essential items for their wardrobe. To sponsor a kid or learn more about the CCP, please visit jlec.org/child_clothing
Emerald Coast Magazine thanks the community and the following sponsors for their dedication and support: Grand Boulevard Sandestin, Warren Averett CPAs and Advisors, The Florida Lottery, ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Silver Sands Premium Outlets, Old Florida Fish House, Idyll Hounds Brewery, Panacea Oyster Co-Op, Farmer’s Daughter Vineyards, Emerald Coast Audio Visual Solutions, Land Air Sea, Kilwins Chocolates and Ice Creams and Copy Systems.
Let us know how you felt about the event, take our survey!