The Market Shops, located at the entrance to Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, hosted its 6th Annual Bloody Mary Festival on Saturday, October 23, 2021. The annual event, powered by Step One Automotive Group, raised $30,000 for Habitat for Humanity – Walton County, a record-breaking amount for the festival. The sold-out event welcomed over 1,000 guests and featured unlimited tastes of the Emerald Coast’s most creative and inventive Bloody Marys made with Distillery 98’s local Dune Laker vodka served by 17 of the finest restaurants, bars, and catering companies in Northwest Florida.
Guests were greeted upon arrival with festive tomato-themed balloon décor, courtesy of Mingle, before entering the bustling courtyard and grand lawn, each full of restaurants, vendors, and merchants from The Market Shops. Event goers made their way around the tents sampling each Bloody Mary, complete with over-the-top accoutrements, served in specialty cups provided by Compass Builders of Florida, Frill Seekers Gifts, and Visit South Walton.
Upon check-in, guests received a token in order to vote for the coveted People’s Choice Awards for the “Best Bloody Mary in South Walton.” At the end of the event, votes were counted by Hill Coleman, CPA and the following local restaurants were chosen as the winners:
1st Place People’s Choice Award – The Beach House Combination of house-made mix, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, fresh lemon and lime juice, olive juice, hot sauce, and a spice rim. Garnished with fresh shrimp cocktail, a blue cheese stuffed olive, pickled green bean, and applewood smoked bacon.
2nd Place People’s Choice Award – Cannery Lane Cantina Carlito’s Zesty Pao Pao Bloody Mary Mix made with 100 percent natural tomato juice, fresh horseradish, pickle juice, lime juice, and lemon juice.
3rd Place People’s Choice Award – Camille’s at Crystal Beach Signature, classic house-made Bloody Mary garnished with the restaurant’s most popular menu items including a fried green tomato, Cubano, and peppadew pepper stuffed with espresso bacon jam and goat cheese.
A panel of select food critics and local celebrities also judged each Bloody Mary and selected the following winner as their most delicious and most creative:
Judge’s Choice Award – Signature Catering of 30A Greek inspired Bloody Mary made using fresh, local arugula from Greenman’s Garden, fresh dill, Meyer lemon juice, and Texas extra virgin olive oil served with dry ice. The chemical reaction from the dry ice helped enhance and infuse the olive oil and fresh herbs into the Bloody Mary creating a palatable experience.
All awards were custom made by local artist, Maxine Orange.
The Market Shops would like to thank all of the restaurants who competed for the title of Best Bloody Mary in South Walton, including Alys Beach, Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits, Bitterroot, Camille’s at Crystal Beach, Cannery Lane Cantina, Emeril’s Coastal, Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi, La Crema, Old Florida Fish House, Ovide, Signature Catering of 30A, Stinky’s Fish Camp, The Beach House, The Chef’s Table Catering Company, The Grove 30A, The Henderson Beach Resort, and The Perfect Pig.
There was plenty of food to go around during the festival provided by various restaurants located directly within The Market Shops, including Ben & Jerrys, Clean Juice, Jon Smith Subs, Parlor Doughnuts, and Pizza by the Sea. Apart from the Bloody Marys, guests sipped on local craft brews served by Idyll Hounds Brewing Company and champagne from the Bubbly Bar, courtesy of Hey Mama Wines, Courtyard by Marriott Sandestin at Grand Boulevard, Hyatt Place Sandestin at Grand Boulevard, and Residence Inn by Marriott Sandestin at Grand Boulevard.
During the event, guests also enjoyed a hydration station by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, a commemorative photo booth by Epic Photo Co. courtesy of Legendary Marine, music by DJ Dad, a cigar bar by Shore Thing Cigars, and exclusive shopping opportunities from The Market Shops merchants including Mountain High Outfitters and Candy’s Village Boutique. Swell Pops also served a refreshing palette cleanser in between sips of Bloody Marys with their Strawberry Lemonade “Boozy Popsicles” which were infused with Distillery 98’s Dune Laker vodka.
Vacayzen and TSC Productions transformed the Grand Lawn into the ultimate tailgating experience with plenty of lounge seating and flat screen TVs live streaming college football, sponsored by Insurance Zone. Headlining the event was a live performance from TKO and Uncle Duke, on the main stage sponsored by Carter and Company, CPA.
Special thanks to additional sponsors which include 30A, 30AEats, 30A Television, 850 Business Magazine, Amber Yonker Photography, Bay Life, Beachworx, Be Local, Cumulus Broadcasting, Destin Life, Destin Log, Dog-Harmony Life Magazine, Emerald Coast Luxury Transportation, Emerald Coast Magazine, Good Grit Magazine, Gulf Coast Restaurants, Hand Arendall Harrison, Sale, Hesh Studios, The Local, Maxine Orange, Mingle, Northwest Florida Daily News, Proffitt PR, Scarlett Magazine, South Walton Life, SoWal.com, Tallahassee Magazine, UPS Santa Rosa Beach and Grand Boulevard, VIP 30A Magazine, VIP Destin Magazine, VIP Pensacola Magazine, Visit South Walton, The Walton Sun, and Waste Management.
About The Market Shops Located at the entrance of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, The Market Shops is an upscale, neighborhood-style shopping, dining and entertainment center. The Market Shops is the Emerald Coast’s premier location for local and unique retailers, specialty boutiques and an array of eateries from casual to fine dining. For more information, visit www.themarketshops.com or find The Market Shops on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Habitat for Humanity of Walton County, FL., Inc Habitat for Humanity of Walton County, FL., Inc is a non-profit 501(c)3 Christian ministry dedicated to the elimination of substandard housing in our community. Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of Walton County brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Our local affiliate was founded in 1996 and has built over 58 homes in Walton County. To learn more or to get involved, please visit www.waltoncountyhabitat.org.