From Worm Gruntin’ to Blue Crabs to Christmas in Panacea, Wakulla County celebrates its holidays and other annual traditions like no other place on earth. With nearly 40 festivals each year, there’s something for everyone — in every season.

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JANUARY

Arbor Day Celebration
Date:  The Saturday following the Third Friday of January
Location:  Hudson Park in Crawfordville
Time: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Sponsor: The Iris Garden Club of Wakulla

Wakulla County’s Arbor Day Celebration, organized by the Wakulla County Garden Club since 2005, provides over a thousand Free Trees for Wakulla County residents to choose from. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions. This annual event is held on the Saturday following the third Friday of January, from 10:00 am- 12:30 pm, and includes food vendors, artisan & craft vendors, as well as live music.

FEBRUARY

St. Marks NWR Wildlife Heritage & Outdoor Festival
Sponsored by St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
Date: Saturday, February 4, 2023
Location: Visitor’s Center at St. Marks NWR
Time:  10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Seeking to “Connect People with Nature,” the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge’s Heritage and Outdoors Festival has grown into one of Wakulla County’s largest displays of outdoor culture every year. From wildlife exhibits and dog-hunting demonstrations to turkey call contests and fly fishing or archery tutorials, this festival has a little bit of everything. Local food vendors and nature-based businesses are always on hand, and each festival features live music and wildlife artwork from area artists.

Explore your outdoors at the Wildlife, Heritage, and Outdoors Festival! Join us for exhibits, demonstrations, games, crafts, food, and music for a $5/car entrance fee. Call (850) 925-6121 for more information. Download Flyer

Rotary of Wakulla County Valentines Celebration
Sponsored by Rotary Club of Wakulla County
Date: Saturday before (or on) Valentine’s Day
Location: Hudson Park in Crawfordville
Time: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Participate in the fun and excitement of the Valentine Celebration and contribute in a very special way to the community’s effort to raise money for Wakulla County charities. The day begins with 5K “Cupid Dash” & 1-mile “Fit for Love” walk. The fun parade begins at 10 a.m., along with arts & crafts, food vendors. Entertainment begins on the stage at 11 a.m. with a cash prize drawing in the afternoon. Lots of heart-filled fun for the entire family!

Stone Age and Primitive Art Festival
Date: Periodically, check the website for date
Location: Ochlockonee River State Park, 429 State Park Road, Sopchoppy, Florida
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wakulla County’s homage to the stone age and primitive times, this annual event offers guests demonstrations on primitive weaponry, the art of arrowhead making, hide tanning, basket weaving, pottery making and lessons in carving shell, bone, antlers or wood. The festival also offers several kinds of ancient contests, such as an archery/atlatl competition, for guests to participate in.

Brews by the Bay
Sponsored by the Florida Wild Mammal Association
Date: 1st Saturday in February
Location: Woolley Park in Panacea
Time: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Brews by the Bay Craft Beer Festival offers unlimited samplings local and national craft beers. Held at Panacea’s Woolley Park overlooking picturesque Dickerson Bay, Brews by the Bay is a one of a kind craft beer festival. The event features live bands, food trucks, craft vendors, and live animals like eagles and pelicans. All proceeds will benefit the Florida Wild Mammal Association.

Panacea Oyster Festival
Sponsored by Panacea Waterfronts Florida Partnership
Date: 2nd Saturday in February
Location: Woolley Park in Panacea
Time: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Showcasing local Farm Raised Oysters! Featuring live music, oysters, beer, and much more!

Valentines Day Parade
Sponsored by Panacea Waterfronts Florida Partnership
Date: Saturday, February 11, 2023
Location: Follows to Azalea Park
Time: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Join us for our 24th Annual Valentine’s Day Parade & Festival on Saturday, February 11, 2023. The parade starts promptly at 10 am and the festival will follow over at Azaela Park. The festival will include arts & crafts vendors, local businesses, bounce houses and more!

Click for more info.

African American Heritage Parade
Date: February 18th, 2023

This celebration is Wakulla County’s tribute to African American culture and coincides with America’s annual recognition of Black History Month. The event features an African American-themed parade, complete with the sounds of local high school marching bands.

For more information, contact Robert Manning by phone at (850) 545-3928 or by email at robert.manning1956@gmail.com.

Old Growth Forest Network Dedication
Sponsored by Wakulla Springs State Park
Date: Friday, February 19
Location: The Lodge Terrace at Wakulla Springs
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The Legacy Property at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park will be formally inducted into the Old-Growth Forest Network. Dr. Sarah Horsley, Network Manager of the Old-Growth Forest Network, will be there to present a plaque to park officials. In honor of the occasion, the Lodge at Wakulla Springs will offer a special lunch buffet for $19.99, featuring its signature fried Gulf shrimp and Tuscan chicken. Following lunch, participants are welcome to enjoy a self-guided scavenger hunt of the Sally Ward Trail.

Registration is required and space is limited. Please RSVP To Jeff Hugo no later than Monday, February 15 at jeffrey.hugo@floridadep.gov or call (850) 561-7286.

MARCH

Lion’s Club St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Sponsored by Crawfordville Lions Club
Date:  Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day
Location: 319 & Hudson Park in Crawfordville
Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Lion Club’s annual founder’s day celebration is a mix of live folk music, Irish food and beverage offerings — and a sea of green and gold arts and crafts merchandise. The Lion’s Club St. Patrick’s Day Celebration is preceded by an eclectic parade that streams through downtown Crawfordville.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Date:  Saturday, March 18, 2023
Location: Crawfordville Highway between Azalea Park and Hudson Park.
Time: 10 a.m.

The parade route will be on Crawfordville Highway between Azalea Park and Hudson Park.

Panacea Beer & Oyster Festival
Date:  Saturday, March 25, 2023
Location: 48 Mound St, Panacea, FL, United States, Florida
Time: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

An event showcasing local and national craft beers and our local farm-raised oysters!

Click for more info.

APRIL

Low Country Boil
Sponsored by Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce
Date: First Saturday of April
Location: 3Y Ranch, Crawfordville Time: 6-10 p.m.

No one does a Low Country Boil quite like Wakulla County! This annual festival is easily one of the area’s most popular events because of its wealth of live music and great food, featuring an enormous pot of a traditional low country boil — with favorites like shrimp, sausage, crawfish, potatoes and corn on the cob — for all to sample. Tickets are usually made available around the middle of January and sell out fast!

Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin’ Festival
Date:  April 8, 2023
Location:  Downtown Sopchoppy
Time:  7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Website: http://www.wormgruntinfestival.com/

If you have any questions about the upcoming 2023 festival or would like vendor information, please send an email to DiscoverSopchoppy@gmail.com.

Wild About Wakulla Week
The week between Worm Gruntin Festival and the Wakulla Wildlife Festival
Location:  Different activities and events in Crawfordville, Sopchoppy, St. Marks and Panacea to celebrate all that is “Wild About Wakulla”
Times:  Vary depending upon the activity

Stephen C. Smith Memorial Regatta
Sponsored by Shell Point Yacht Club and the Shell Point Sailboard Club
Date: April 29 – May 1, 2022
Location: Shell Point Beach
Time: Sat. 8 a.m. to 8: p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

As Wakulla County’s longest-running festival, the Steve C. Smith Memorial Regatta benefits the American Cancer Society and is held each year in memory of Stephen Smith, a local sailor who died from a rare form of leukemia at the age of 29. With hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for charity over the years, the nationally renowned event — which began in 1973 — features races for yachts, sailboats, catamarans, and windsurfers. The festival attracts local food and art vendors and is also highlighted by an enormous auction each year with prizes donated by local Wakulla County businesses. The 49th Stephen C. Smith Memorial Regatta is scheduled April 29th – May 1st, 2022. Register online here.

Rock the Dock Fishing Tournament
Date: April 23-24
Location: Wooley Park, Panacea
Times: Captains’ Meeting: Friday April 22; 6:30 p.m. | Weigh-in:  3pm to 6pm on Saturday; 10am to 3pm on Sunday
Entertainment by Tom & The Cats
For more information, visit: visitpanacea.com/rock-the-dock

Founded in 2009, this saltwater in-shore fishing tournament was created to benefit the city of Panacea and to promote the excellent fishing and boating opportunities in and around Wakulla County’s famed coastal community. The two-day tournament routinely pays out thousands in cash and prizes and features several fishing categories, including youth, master’s, recreational, women’s and kayak.

MAY

Panacea Blue Crab Festival
Date:  1st Saturday in May
Location:  Woolley Park in Panacea
Time:  10:00 a.m.

One of the oldest and longest-running festivals to dot the Wakulla County landscape, the Panacea Blue Crab Festival gives Wakulla County an opportunity to celebrate and thank the city of Panacea for one of its most precious commodities Started in 1975, the festival begins each year with a parade down U.S. Highway 98, then the party really begins at Woolley Park on the waterfront with live music and clog dancers, local arts and crafts vendors and all the fresh Wakulla County blue crab — and all types of other seafood — you could ever desire. And don’t forget to enter the famed “Blue Crab Pickin’ Contest” to become the next Panacea Blue Crab Festival champ!

Sharks & Chablis Fundraiser
Date: Contact Gulf Specimen for specific dates
Location: Gulf Specimen Marine Lab
Time: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Visit Website

This annual benefit for one of Wakulla County’s most prized attractions, the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, is a celebration fundraiser that also honors the life, work, and activism of Dr. Anne Rudloe, co-founder of the Gulf Specimen who died of cancer in 2012. The event features a seafood buffet, wine tasting, silent auction and live music, as well as guided tours of the Gulf Marine Specimen Lab’s aquariums.

Children’s Fishing Tournament
Sponsored by the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office
Date: 3rd Saturday in May
Location: Woolley Park in Panacea
Time: Weigh-in from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

With nearly two decades of service to the children of Wakulla County, the Children’s Fishing Tournament puts new rods and reels into the hands of hundreds of kids and gives them a chance to compete in either the freshwater or saltwater categories for prizes. Games, rides, exhibitions and food vendors are on hand in the park all afternoon prior to the weigh-in and trophy presentation.

Run for Wakulla Springs 
Date: 3rd Saturday in May
Time: Registration Begins at 7 a.m. | 1 Mile Fun Run 8 a.m. | Grand Prix 5K Run 8:30 a.m.
Location: Wakulla Springs State Park
Visit Website

Experience the primal beauty of the old growth southern forest as you run through the sanctuary at Wakulla Springs State Park. Special arrangements have been made to open this rarely accessed area for this event.

JUNE

Date: June 11, 2022
Venue: Shields Marina, St Marks, FL
Cast a line for your community at the Salvation Army Redfish, Trout, & Flounder Saltwater Fishing Tournament. All legal catches quality for a grand prize! $1,000 will go to the 1st place prize in all categories, and the grand slam prize will win $2,000. A special thanks to Shields Marina and Walk On’s for supporting this event.

 

Date: June 25 – 26, 2022
Venue: Panacea, FL

The 2nd Annual Gage Pitman Memorial Rockin’ Reds Fishing Tournament will be the weekend of June 25th in Panacea, FL.

JULY

Sopchoppy 4th of July Celebration
Date: July 4th.
Time: Parade – 10 a.m. Festival – 11 a.m.
Location: Myron B. Hodge City Park in Sopchoppy.
Contact: Sopchoppy City Hall at (850) 962-4611 or visit Sopchoppy.org/events

Another of Wakulla County’s oldest traditions is the Sopchoppy 4th of July Celebration in the heart of downtown Sopchoppy. The festivities begin the morning of Independence Day with a parade, followed by a festival complete with arts and food vendors and live music at Sopchoppy’s famed Myron B. Hodge City Park, which rests on the banks of the Sopchoppy River. The evening is then capped with a spectacular fireworks display that will illuminate the sky over the picturesque waterfront. For more information on how to become a vendor, parade participant, or sponsor, please call Sopchoppy City Hall at (850) 962-4611 or visit Sopchoppy.org/events.

SEPTEMBER

Wakulla County Coastal Cleanup
Date: 3rd Saturday in September
Location: St. Marks Wildlife Refuge/Shell Point Beach/Mashes Sands/Panacea
Time: 8 a.m.
Visit Website

This program is run by volunteers who make it their goal to both beautify the area’s beaches and coastlines and educate about how to keep Wakulla County clean and litter-free. Cleanup crews begin at 8 a.m. at various beaches in Wakulla County, and the cleanup culminates with a celebration at noon at Woolley Park in Panacea.

Fall Wildflower Walk at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
Date: Last Saturday in September
Location: St. Marks Wildlife Refuge
Time: 9 a.m. to Noon
Contact: David Roddenberry
Email: sarracenia.nps@gmail.com
Phone: 850-556-9530

This is a one-of-a-kind Wildflower walk offered during spring and fall blooming seasons. Featured is a nature walk “Behind the Gates” to areas not usually open to the public. Wildflower experts identify species and give an oral history of Wakulla County’s area wildflowers.

OCTOBER

Monarch Butterfly Festival
Date:  4th Saturday in October
Location:  St. Marks Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Contact: (850) 925-6121 or saintmarks@fws.gov.

Wildlife seekers can come to watch the migrating monarch butterfly pass through the Wakulla County coast around this time, specifically at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The festival has numerous wildlife exhibits in addition to nature-based educational demonstrations.

DECEMBER

Christmas in the Park
Sponsored by the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office
Date: December 2
Location: Hudson Park in Crawfordville
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Enjoy Christmas activities & grab your picture with Santa!

KWCB River Cleanup
Date: December 3
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Calling all kayakers, canoers, and divers! Join us for the 2022 KWCB River cleanup. This cleanup is part of American Rivers’ National River Cleanup. Thousands of volunteers across the country are removing trash from their community’s most natural resource. Visit www.AmericanRivers.org for more info.

Christmas in Panacea
Date: December 3
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Visit Website

Join us for free events including food, games, and a visit from Santa!
  • Car show and Corn Hole Tournament
  • Craft vendors from 9-5 at the community garden
  • Parade of Lights beginning at 6:00pm

Christmas in Sopchoppy
Date: December 10
Location: Downtown Sopchoppy
Time: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Vendors of Hand Made & Home Grown Treasures & Gifts, Christmas Market, Childrens’ Games & Activities, Food Trucks, Santa Coming on a Fire Truck, Christmas Carol Sing, Movie and more.

Apalachee Bay – Coastal Christmas

Xmas Market:
Over 20 Vendors & Music by Bruce Graybeal
When: 9am – 3pm, Saturday, December 10
Where: 1448 Shell Point Rd.

Golf Cart Parade:
When: 5pm, Saturday, December 10
Where: Pebble Court, Line up at 4:45pm

St. Marks Golf Cart Christmas Parade

Golf Cart Parade:
When: 7pm, Saturday, December 10
Where: Bo Lynn’s Grocery, Line up at 6:30pm

Family Nature Programs

Sponsored by St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

Tots on Trails – A 45-minute program designed to acquaint preschool children with the plants and animals of the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, and with the natural world in general. Bring your kids (ages 1-4 years old) to the Refuge for fun activities and a short ranger-led hike. Meets on the second Thursday of each month at 11:00 am.

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