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Panama City Beach: The 19 Best Events to Experience in 2019


Panama City Beach lives up to its reputation as a Real. Fun. Beach. year-round with an exciting lineup of events, festivals and concerts planned for 2019. Offering much more than 27 miles of award-winning beaches, sugar white sand and turquoise waters, there are endless options for locals and visitors of all ages to experience art, dining, music, scenic beauty, tradition, celebration and fun throughout the year. 2019 will mark the return of award-winning events such as the third annual UNwineD festival in March, second annual SandJam Music Festival in April and beloved Pirates of the High Seas Fest in October.

“We can’t wait to welcome families and friends back to Panama City Beach in 2019 for an unforgettable vacation with loved ones. Our destination is thrilled to host a jam-packed calendar of award-winning events ranging from car shows to culinary celebrations. We can’t wait to kick off 2019 in the best way!” 

~ President & CEO of Visit Panama City Beach Dan Rowe

Starting with a New Year’s Eve celebration featuring the drop of 10,000 inflatable beach balls above Pier Park, these are the best 19 events being held in Panama City Beach in 2019:

1New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop: December 31, 2018

Tens of thousands of visitors are estimated to head to Panama City Beach for the New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop, which features a countdown, fireworks, and 10,000 inflatable beach balls being released from nets stretched over the streets of Pier Park. The 8 p.m. Beach Ball Drop gives young revelers the chance to experience the fun before they head to bed and let their parents continue the celebration. More entertainment and live music will follow during the build up to midnight, when a dazzling fireworks display will accompany the lowering of a giant LED-lit beach ball to signify the beginning of 2019. 

2PCB Mardi Gras and Music Festival: March 1-2, 2019

The excitement of the authentic Mardi Gras celebration is combined with the spectacular views of Panama City Beach’s emerald green water and sugar white sand for the destination’s Mardi Gras and Music Festival. In conjunction with the Krewe of Domonique Youx’s great Mardi Gras at the Beach Parade, the annual festival takes place the weekend before Fat Tuesday and features entertainment for the entire family. 

3Emerald Coast Boat and Lifestyle Show: March 15 – 17, 2019

This land-based event features boat displays from all major manufacturers and top dealers representing the latest in boats, high-tech engines, electronics and marine accessories. Showcasing more than just boats, the Emerald Coast Boat and Lifestyle Show also features everything for the kind of active, outdoor beach living that is so popular along the Emerald Coast, from standup paddleboards and fishing kayaks to outdoor kitchens, diving, active wear and beach cruising bicycles. 

4Panama City Beach Scottish Festival: March 9, 2019

The 27th annual Panama City Beach Scottish Festival will take place at Frank Brown Park and will feature Scottish athletic competitions, Scottish & Irish musical performances (such as bagpipe bands and Irish step dancers), a British car club show, children’s activities and Scottish and Irish food and drink. The family-friendly event kicks off with a welcoming ceremony and parade of Tartans. 

5UNwineD: March 22-23, 2019

The award-winning event, UNwineD returns to Aaron Bessant Park for the third year and features craft beer, spirits and wine from around the world, culinary creations by the region’s leading chefs and a Southern garden party presented by Southern Living. Guests can raise a glass at the Friday Night Kickoff Party, a time to mix and mingle with some of the South’s most elite chefs, mixologists and tastemakers. The celebration continues on Saturday with the Grand Afternoon Tasting & Cocktail Competition followed by a live concert and picnic in the park. 

6SandJam Music Festival: April 26-28, 2019

Panama City Beach’s second annual alternative rock music festival SandJam will set their stages on the beautiful sugar white sand beaches of Panama City Beach this Spring. Providing the most beautiful backdrop for this spring’s biggest festivals, music lovers of all ages are invited to make long lasting memories at SandJam presented by Pepsi. Stay tuned for 2019 headliners!

7Seabreeze Jazz Festival: April 25 – 28, 2019:

Named a “Top 10 Jazz Festival in the USA” by JazzIZ Magazine and recently nominated as “Best Jazz Festival” at the Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards, the Seabreeze Jazz Festival combines top national smooth jazz artists for a full weekend of fun, sun, great beaches and good times. The 21st annual event is held in the Pier Park Amphitheater, featuring international known acts as well as local performers. 

8Thunder Beach Spring Motorcycle Rally: May 1-5, 2019 / Oct. 23-27, 2019:

The most biker-friendly rally in the country, the free four-day Thunder Beach Spring Motorcycle Rally will feature 200 vendors and exhibitors, a bike parade, beauty pageants, poker runs, live music, motorcycle stunt shows, tattoo contests, bike shows with category judging and much more. Event happenings will take place at multiple venues throughout the Panama City Beach area. 

9Jeep Beach Jam: May 14-19, 2019

Thousands of jeep owners and enthusiasts will gather in Panama City Beach for the fourth annual Jeep Beach Jam. This five-day family event, organized by the JBJ Productions, Inc. team, will be filled with many fun-in-the-sun activities including concerts, scavenger hunts, off-road excursions, bonfires and more. Events will take place at many locations along the beach.

10Summer Concert Series: June-August, 2019:

Throughout the summer, visitors and locals alike gather for the free summer concert series at Aaron Bessant Park amphitheater, where live performances in the open-air amphitheater set the tone for summer. The Summer Concert Series takes place every Thursday night June through August. Friends and families love bringing their blankets or lawn chairs and relaxing under the stars to great performances. 

11Real.Fun.Fourth: July 4, 2019

Home to the largest display of fireworks on the Gulf Coast, Panama City Beach offers an All-American weekend of Independence Day celebrations. Friends and family put on their red, white and blue gear and gather on the sand to enjoy an electrifying firework show. 

12Lobster Festival & Tournament: September 2019

This week-long celebration welcomes Lobster lovers from near and far for the biggest lobster tournament and festival in the area. Attendees can expect live music, contests and lots of delicious Florida Lobster! Held at Schooners Last Local Beach Club, this Lobster Festival and Tournament is a must for foodies of all ages! 

13Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam: August 31-September 2, 2019:

This Labor Day weekend, the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam will bring the best of today’s country music to the beach. Festival-goers will get a chance to see many of the biggest names in country music as they take to the stage on the beach, with previous artists including Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and Eric Church, just to name a few. As the sun begins to set, patrons can ride free shuttles to the headline stage at Frank Brown Park. 

14Pirates of the High Seas Fest: October 11-13, 2019:

Columbus Day weekend will bring a treasure trove of fun-filled adventures to Panama City Beach with the Pirates of the High Seas Fest. Taking place throughout the Grand Lagoon and in Pier Park, the Festival includes an ensemble of parades and sword-swinging showdowns, a pirate invasion, a Treasure Drop and fireworks display. 

15Panama City Beach Oktoberfest: October 2019:

Locals and visitors alike will raise a glass and don their lederhosen for the annual celebration of German heritage, Oktoberfest. Authentic German beer and brats are the star of the show, while this year’s festivities will feature stein hosting competitions, live music, and plenty of activities for the kids. 

16IRONMAN Florida: November 2, 2019 / IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast April 14, 2019

What began as a challenge between groups of Navy SEALS has become one of the most recognized endurance events in the world. IRONMAN is a statement of excellence, passion and commitment that is a true test of mental and physical toughness. Florida’s edition of the challenge serves as one of the most popular races on the circuit. Panama City Beach has proven to have the best combination of temperature and terrain for this competition.

17Emerald Coast Cruzin’: November 6-9, 2019 / March 6-9, 2019:

The bi-annual car show, Emerald Coast Cruzin’ at Aaron Bessant Park is perfect for families and features thousands of hot rods and classic cars. Events include a swap meet, parade, cruiz-ins, block party and more. Live music will also be provided during the event. 

18Beach Home for the Holidays: November 22-23, 2019:

Beach Home for the Holidays is a great holiday tradition for the family, where locals and visitors can kick off the most wonderful time of the year with free holiday concerts at Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater, free seasonal-themed events like campfires and s’mores, meeting with Santa, a Christmas tree-lighting celebration and more.

19Panama City Beach Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K- December 7, 2019:

Hosted by the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce, guests can run through paradise and alongside award-winning beaches in the annual Panama City Beach Marathon, Half- Marathon and 5K. The 26.2-mile race attracts thousands of both residents and visitors to the destination year after year.

Panama City Beach is situated on 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordering clear, emerald-green waters where the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay converge. With 320 days of sunshine annually and attractions such as St. Andrews State Park and Pier Park, the region has long been favored by travelers seeking an affordable beach vacation with year-round offerings for families, couples, groups and adventure-seekers. These include championship golf courses, spas, sporting events, award-winning dining and diverse recreational activities. 

Check out 3 Family Experiences in Panama City Beach.


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I am a father of three and my wife is a registered nurse specialized in children.

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