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March Happenings on Florida’s Forgotten Coast

By Forgotten Coast Web Team | February 27, 2023

floridas forgotten coast march happings

This month, the area is buzzing with activity, and we’ve rounded up some of the best events for you to check out. Whether you’re looking for a fun day trip or a weekend getaway, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on the Forgotten Coast. Read on to find out what’s happening over the next few weeks!

Culinary Events Heat Up The Spring

41st annual St. George Island Regional Charity Chili Cook-off & Auction
Thursday through Saturday, March 2-4. Nationally recognized as the premiere chili cookoff event of the region, the event features chili chefs from across the country converging to compete for bragging rites and monetary prizes. Fun booths festooned with gastrointestinal-themed decor line the improvised midway for a day of fun and fundraising for the St. George Island Volunteer Fire Department. Over the years, this humble event which began as a fundraiser for a local couple that lost their home to a housefire has grown to one of the country’s largest sanctioned chili cookoff competitions. In addition to the main chili cooking event, this three-day family-friendly event features a Golf tournament, silent auction, food vendors, and lots of musical entertainment.

Eastpoint Volunteer Fire Department Charity Rib Cookoff
The Eastpoint Volunteer Fire Department (EVFD) will host its 23rd annual rib cookoff on Saturday, March 18, beginning at 10 am. A popular event that also serves as a fundraiser for the EVFD, the day-long festivities will be held at the Eastpoint Fire House, featuring a silent auction, liar’s contest, and music. This year the Eastpoint Fire Cook Team will be smoking 1000 pounds of ribs, 300 pounds of pulled pork, and cases of smoked chicken. Other fare will include Apple Dumplings, Ice Cream, and Fried Dragon Skins. The gate opens at 10 am, and admission is free. Dinners will be served at the firehouse starting at 11 am.


Cape St. George Lighthouse sunset and full moon climb 
St. George Island will be hosting a sunset and full moon climb on Tuesday, March 7, from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. Visitors can enjoy this opportunity to view St. George Island, the Gulf of Mexico, and Apalachicola Bay.

The Crooked River Lighthouse Full Moon Climb 
Carrabelle will be hosting a full moon climb on Tuesday, March 7, from 7 until 9 pm at the lighthouse located at Carrabelle Beach. The event will also feature the musical trio, “Boats A Rock’n,” performing a wide range of upbeat, toe-tapping tunes spanning musical styles from reggae, folk, jazz, rock, and blues as well as a few originals.

Local Art & History Events

Where the Tupelo Grows Artist Event
River’s Edge Gallery in Apalachicola hosts the “Where the Tupelo Grows” event from February 11th through March 10, 2023. This event is an opportunity to artistically interpret the environment and culture surrounding the region “Where The Tupelo Grows.” In the United States, the most productive area for the Tupelo tree is found in the Apalachicola River Basin in the Florida Panhandle. The nectar made from the Nyssa ogeche Tupelo tree has such a high ratio of fructose to glucose that it does not crystallize. It is a very light, mild-tasting honey and a highly valued crop. The unique geography and climate of the Apalachicola River basin have led to the evolution of a culture and way of life found nowhere else. An area also considered by some to be the original Garden of Eden. – March 10 @ 8:00 pm

Camp Gordon Johnston Day Parade
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum will celebrate the 28th Annual Camp Gordon Johnston Day with a parade on Saturday, March 11, 2023, starting at 10:45 am in Carrabelle. This parade is planned to honor our country’s remaining WWII veterans and recognize and salute all veterans from WWII to the present. All veterans, their families, and friends, as well as the general public, are asked to come to Carrabelle to join the celebration of our military veterans. 

Camp Gordon Johnston Charity Dice Run
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum announces the return of its Dice Run on Saturday, March 11, 2023, in Carrabelle, FL, as part of the 28th Annual Camp Gordon Johnston Day events. The Camp Gordon Johnston Dice Run will occur immediately following the CGJ Veterans Parade and is a much-needed fundraiser to support the museum’s mission. Uring this fun event, participants will drive along beautiful coastal US Highway 98 to various fun stops rolling dice at each one. At the end of the day, those with the highest and the lowest combined dice rolls will win prizes. All types of vehicles are welcome to participate. Registration for the Dice Run will be open from 12-1:30 PM at the first Dice Run Stop, Camp Gordon Johnston Museum, 1873 US Hwy 98 West, at Carrabelle Beach, FL. There will be four more stops around the county, and then the run will conclude by 4:30 PM at the last stop, American Legion Post #82 in Lanark, with a meal, winner prizes, door prizes, and 50/50. The ticket cost for this event is $15 for the rider/driver and $5 for each passenger, including one dice card and great food at the last stop.

Camp Gordon Johnston Honors Canines and Cartoonists
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum in Carrabelle is presenting two special exhibits throughout March – one to honor our country’s canine military veterans and the other to recognize the role of cartoonists in WWII. These exhibits will open Tuesday, February 28, and will be displayed at the museum until Saturday, April 1. The museum is open every Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm. There is no charge for admission, but donations are gladly accepted.

18th Annual Forgotten Coast Paint-out
The Forgotten Coast en Plein Air Paint-out will be held March 17-26 along Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Now in the 18th year of documenting the landscape and culture of the last vestige of authentic “Old Florida,” Forgotten Coast en Plein Air, America’s Great Paint-out, is among the world’s most prestigious plein air events. Artistic excellence and the production of investment-quality art continue to be the trademark of this 10-day cultural art event.

Carrabelle History Museum To Hosts Talk on Tates’ Hell Legend
The Carrabelle History Museum presents a history program entitled “The Legend of Tate’s Hell.” This program will explore the many facets of the legend of Tate’s Hell, the fate of Cebe Tate, and how Tate’s Hell State Forest got its name. The FSU Department of Communications’ 1983 short film, “A Tale of Tate’s Hell,” will be shown. This program will be held Saturday, March 18, 2023, from 10 am – 12 pm in the upstairs room at C-Quarters Marina, 501 St. James Ave (Hwy 98), Carrabelle, FL. There is no charge for this event.

Historical Society to Host Alvin Chapman Botanical Program
The Apalachicola Area Historical Society (AAHS) will present a program on “The Enduring Botanical Legacy of Apalachicola’s Dr. A. W. Chapman, M.D.,” featuring Rebecca W. Dolan, Ph.D., as part of their Spring Speaker Series. This program will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at 4:00 PM at the Raney Carriage House, 126 Market Street, Apalachicola, FL. Come hear about the legacy of Chapman, who published the “Flora of the Southern United States” in 1860. 

Ilse Newell Concert
Celebrating 38 years of professional musical concerts on Florida’s Forgotten Coast! This performing arts nonprofit organization seasonally features talented musicians to perform classical, Choral music, and ensembles in memory of the late Ilse Newell of Franklin County. This month, the featured artist, internationally acclaimed concert pianist Sasha Kasman Laude, is creating a much-anticipated concert to close the Ilse Newell season. This much-anticipated concert will be held on March 26, 2023, at 4 P.M. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 79 6th Street, Apalachicola. Admission is $20 per person, with open seating.

Country Markets

Carrabelle Country Market
This market at the Crooked River Lighthouse in Carrabelle every 1st, 3rd, & 5th Saturday each month features vendors from the community with perfect gifts and goodies. There is freshly roasted coffee, delicious baked goods including cinnamon rolls and artisan bread, gorgeous art and photography, handcrafted balms and soaps, fresh herbs, vegetable seeds, handmade goods, and craft items, produce, and exotic starter plants.

Apalachicola Farmers Market
Located at the beautiful Millpond Pavilion at the end of Market Street, the Apalachicola Farmers Market offers local seafood, produce, honey, homemade breads, pies, and other regional specialties every 2nd and 4th Saturday from 9 AM until 1 PM in Apalachicola.

Downtown Apalachicola Market
The market offers a charming outdoor shopping experience every Wednesday in downtown Apalachicola at Bee Inspired Too for all who appreciate delicious food. You’ll find fresh vegetables and micro greens, farm-fresh eggs, grass-fed beef, artisanal food, homemade kombucha, Bayside Coffee Co., gourmet foods, condiments, and more! Support local artisans as well as indulge in delicious, homemade foods!