Business

2023 Fort Walton Beach Christmas Parade

Relive the magic of the 2023 Fort Walton Beach Christmas Parade, which took place on December 4, 2023 on Eglin parkway. Host by the City of Fort Walton Beach and emceed by Ted Corcoran from the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce and Mark Kilbride from Eglin Wealth Management (the parade’s broadcast sponsor).

The parade video will air on the local Cox Cable Channel 6 on:

  • Tuesday, 12/12 at 8pm
  • Thursday, 12/14 at 8pm
  • Saturday, 12/16 at 10am

Parade Entries Timeline
0:00:11 FWB Police
0:03:23 Choctawhatchee High School AFJROTC
0:05:36 FWB City Council & City Staff
0:06:50 FWB Library
0:07:49 Ft. Walton Beach High School AFJROTC
0:08:47 County Comm & Destin-Fort Walton Tourism
0:10:21 David Schmidt Okaloosa School Board District 2 Candidate
0:11:01 Florosa Fire Control
0:12:02 Trinity United Methodist Church
0:13:32 Bridgeway Center, Inc.
0:14:20 Emerald Coast Harley-Davidson
0:14:50 Big Gus Tractor & Mower
0:15:27 Hot Head Burritos
0:15:41 Okaloosa County Panhellenics
0:16:39 Choctawhatchee Bay Chapter DAR
0:17:02 United Fidelity Bank
0:17:36 J Mikels LawnCare, LLC
0:18:40 Autism Awareness
0:19:10 Pryor Middle School Cheerleaders
0:19:49 Choctawhatchee HS Indianettes
0:22:21 Choctawhatchee HS Style Marchers, Meigs MS, Pryor MS
0:24:29 The Honey Do Service
0:25:16 The Scouts of Choctaw District, Gulf Coast Council BSA
0:25:52 Ft. Walton ATA Martial Arts
0:26:07 Cinco Baptist Church and School
0:26:51 Liza Jackson Band
0:27:34 Northwest Florida State College
0:27:55 Sonny’s BBQ
0:28:18 Michles & Booth, P.A.
0:29:38 Distinguished Young Women of Okaloosa County
0:29:56 Sandy Smiles Orthodontics
0:30:15 Marine Corps Toys for Tots
0:30:39 Fast Signs
0:31:14 First Baptist Church FWB – NexGen Ministries
0:31:36 FWBHS Stars Dance Team & BMS Sparklers
0:32:46 FWBHS Cheerleaders
0:33:21 Intro to Parade Judges
0:35:17 FWBHS & Bruner Middle School Bands
0:39:30 Silver Sands School
0:39:56 Aftertime Bio
0:40:20 Cheesus Food Truck FWB
0:41:40 Plant Based Wellness Con Sabor
0:42:21 Emerald City Gymnastics
0:44:31 Pyramid, Inc.
0:44:52 Ohana Heating and Air, LLC
0:45:20 Cumulus Media
0:46:17 Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center
0:46:54 Saint Mary Catholic School Band
0:47:38 House of Deliverance Church
0:48:03 Angels Care Home Health
0:48:33 Shoreline Church
0:50:22 The Salvation Army
0:51:33 Healing Paws for Warriors
0:52:49 Shelton Cleaning Services, LLC
0:54:20 Distributor Appliance Parts & Destin Towing
0:56:22 World Class Pagentry, LLC
0:57:13 Cub Scouts Pack 527
0:57:38 Brad Embry Campaign for Clerk of Court
0:57:58 Navarre Band
0:58:36 Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
1:00:34 Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Mary Esther
1:01:35 Second Breath Styles
1:02:09 Ocean City Church
1:02:40 Kylashy
1:02:59 Caliber Car Wash
1:03:18 FWB Buccaneers Youth Football & Cheer
1:04:32 The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-Day Saints
1:05:11 Moose Lodge 2193
1:06:38 Festival of Fears
1:08:02 Blue Rose Beauty Bar, Inc.
1:08:29 Trail Life Troop FL-777
1:09:27 Genesis Jones, Tiny Miss FWB
1:09:45 The Panhandle Jeepettes
1:12:24 Coastal Realty Services
1:12:49 Dolphin Home Services
1:13:32 Idris Temple # 239, Prince Hall Shriners
1:14:08 Studio Fuzion Dance Center
1:15:00 Refit with Rene @ME UMC
1:15:28 Misfit Jeeps
1:17:00 Tienda La Mexicana & Taqueria
1:17:14 Boss Pavers of Destin
1:17:43 Hanks Lawn & Landscape
1:19:00 Dino-Latino
1:20:39 Dixieland Chicken Co
1:22:04 Champion Life
1:24:10 Parker Destin for Okaloosa School Board
1:24:50 Accurate Painting/API Coatings Family
1:25:38 Acone’s Trailer Rental
1:26:07 Shalimar United Methodist Church
1:27:10 Infinity Barber Shop & Salon
1:27:40 Culver’s of Fort Walton Beach
1:28:15 Okaloosa Republicans
1:29:20 Southwest Airlines VPS
1:29:39 Executive Air Cooling Heating & Refrigeration & Royce Plumbing
1:30:11 Legendary Gutter Service, LLC
1:31:33 Waste Management of FWB
1:32:18 Emerald Coast Head Turners Car Club
1:33:48 Panhandle United Roller Derby
1:34:47 Emerald Coast Hospice
1:35:04 Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast
1:35:26 The Island Resort
1:36:33 Nauti Dawg Rescue
1:37:03 Shalimar Athletic Association
1:37:43 StageCrafters Community Theatre
1:38:16 Genesis Barber Institute’s Haircuts for the Holidays
1:38:44 Emerald Coast Flooring
1:40:24 Third Coast Marine
1:41:09 Street Predatorz
1:43:21 Shalimar Lawn Care and The Haven
1:44:11 Grifols Biomat Plasma Center
1:44:40 Indian Mound Elks Lodge #1205
1:45:13 Lost Pizza Company FWB
1:46:11 Wade Albert Merritt Committee to Elect Okaloosa Co Comm District 3
1:47:25 Emerald Coast Exchange Club
1:47:57 Facial Feature Enhancement Studio
1:48:16 Gods Glory
1:48:46 Mills Heating and Air
1:49:37 Beulah First Baptist Church
1:51:58 Omni Broadcasting 100.3 Krock
1:53:02 The Grinch Mobile
1:53:25 Krewe of Bowlegs
1:55:37 City of FWB FD with Santa

Video production by RJ Murdock with Emerald Coast TV

2nd Annual ODA-595 Horse Soldiers Reunion 2023

On October 21, 2023, the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2nd Annual ODA 595 Horse Soldiers Reunion at the Northwest Florida Fairgrounds.

Below is a replay video of the event. If you have a Smart TV, search for and install the VidFlow app to watch this video on your big screen TV. This video player also also you to select chapter points to specific speakers and presentations.

(if you’re interested in checking out the Inaugural Reunion video from 2022, click here)


Eleven of the original 12 members of ODA 595 were in attendance for this inaugural reunion event.

Captain Mark Nutsch – Detachment Commander

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bob Pennington – Assistant Detachment Commander

Master Sergeant Paul Evans – Team and Operations Sergeant

Sergeant First Class Andy Marchal – Intelligence Sergeant

Sergeant First Class Steve Kofron.  – Weapons Sergeant

Staff Sergeant Mike Elmore – Weapons Sergeant

Staff Sergeant Chad Jacklet– Engineer Sergeant

Staff Sergeant Pete Walther – Engineer Sergeant

Sergeant First Class Steve Bleigh—Medical Sergeant

Sergeant First Class Vince Makela – Communications Sergeant

Staff Sergeant Will Summers– Communications Sergeant

Staff Sergeant USAF Steve E. Tomat – Tactical Air Control Party (TACP)


Ted Corcoran, CEO of the FWB Chamber, was Master of Ceremony. “This event is not merely an occasion. Ti’s a profound journey, a homage and a celebration of American tenacity and unity. Dive into history. Honor both Air Force and Army legends.”

The National Anthem was presented by Voices of Northwest Florida from Northwest Florida State College, Niceville, Florida

The Invocation was provided by Chaplain (Capt) Steven Richardson, USAF, from Hurlburt Field, Florida

The first guest speaker was Captain Joseph Mulholland, 7th Special Forces Group, Eglin AFB, Florida, who presented a statement from his father, Lt Gen John Mulholland (retired), a former Associate Director for Military Affairs at the CIA.

The second guest speaker was Col Kurt Buller, USAF (retired), a former Special Tactics Officer, who provided an insight into the operations in Afghanistan after 911.

The third guest speaker was Col Alison Black, USAF, Commander, 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Florida, also know as the voice of the Angel of Death during the initial operations in Afghanistan.

The featured guest speaker was Lt General Marshall Brad Webb, USAF (retired), former Commander, USAF Special Operations Command

The final presentation was provided by Lt Col Rich Cole, USAF (retired), Former USAF Pilot, Son of Dolittle Raiders’ Lt Col Dick Cole. He provided some background and noted the similarities between the mission of ODA 595 and the Dolittle Raiders, as well as recognize several key personal from both operations who are no longer with us today.


In 2022, special commemorative canteen cup were created by the Bohlin Company and presented to each member of ODA 595 in honor and recognition of their heroic actions in America’s first response against the Taliban after the 911 attack.


A representative from each event sponsor was given the honor to present the personalized cup to each member of the ODA 595 Horse Soldier team.

If you are interested in learning more about ODA 595 as well as other stories about America’s 1st response to the 911 attacks, check out these sources:

First Casualty by Toby Harnden
First Casualty by Toby Harnden


Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton


Swords of Lightning – Green Beret Horse Soldiers and America’s Response to 911

12 Strong – The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers


67th Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival – May 18-22, 2023

 

Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival is an event that takes place the 3rd weekend in May in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It kicks off with a Children’s Meet & Greet on Thursday night. On Friday evening, the Krewe of Bowlegs sail up to The Landing park and attempts to negotiate a surrender of the city with the Mayor, who puts up a good fight, and they promise to return the following day The city celebrates its victory with a fireworks show. On Saturday, Capitan Billy Bowlegs returns with the entire Krewe of Bowlegs to capture the city and then pass out booty (beads) to the crowd. After a day of rest from the pillaging, Capt Billy & his krewe sails off on the Blackhawk ship float during the Torchlight Parade on Eglin Parkway on Monday evening.

This is the replay of the parade on May 22, 2023.

Inaugural ODA 595 Horse Soldiers Reunion 2022

On October 22, 2022, the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce hosted the Inaugural ODA 595 Horse Soldiers Reunion at the Northwest Florida Fairgrounds.  Ted Corcoran, CEO of the FWB Chamber, was Master of Ceremony.

Below is a replay video of the event. If you have a Smart TV, search for and install the VidFlow app to watch this video on your big screen TV. This video player also also you to select chapter points to specific speakers and presentations.


Ten of the original 12 members of ODA 595 were in attendance for this inaugural reunion event.

Captain Mark Nutsch – Detachment Commander

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bob Pennington – Assistant Detachment Commander

Master Sergeant Paul Evans – Team and Operations Sergeant

Sergeant First Class Andy Marchal – Intelligence Sergeant

Sergeant First Class Steve Kofron.  – Weapons Sergeant

Staff Sergeant Mike Elmore – Weapons Sergeant

Staff Sergeant Chad Jacklet– Engineer Sergeant

Sergeant First Class Steve Bleigh—Medical Sergeant

Sergeant First Class Vince Makela – Communications Sergeant

Staff Sergeant Will Summers– Communications Sergeant

Not in Attendance:

  • Staff Sergeant USAF Steve E. Tomat – Tactical Air Control Party (TACP)
  • Staff Sergeant USAF Joseph Matt Lienhard– Air Force Special Operations Combat Controller from Special Tactics Squadron

Several prominent guest speakers included Florida House District #4 representative Patt Maney, former CIA Directorate of Operations officer Alex Hernandez, former USAF Chief of Staff for a Theater Special, retired Col Glenn Thomas, and the son of Doolittle Raiders Col Dick Cole, Richard Cole.

   

A special commemorative canteen cup was created by the Bohlin Company and presented to each member of ODA 595 in honor and recognition of their heroic actions in America’s first response against the Taliban after the 911 attack.


This event was made possible through the support of several local community sponsors.

If you are interested in learning more about ODA 595 as well as other stories about America’s 1st response to the 911 attacks, check out these sources:

First Casualty by Toby Harnden
First Casualty by Toby Harnden


Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton


Swords of Lightning – Green Beret Horse Soldiers and America’s Response to 911

12 Strong – The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers


66th Annual Billy Bowlegs Torchlight Parade – May 2022

The 66th Billy Bowlegs Torchlight Parade took place on May 16, 2022, on Eglin Parkway in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Hosted by the FWB Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Step One Automotive Group.

Bowlegs Parade 2022 Chapter Points

00:34 – Welcome Introduction
01:42 – Police Dept of Ft Walton Beach
03:22 – Mayor & City Council
05:40 – Run With It
06:19 – SOCKs
07:38 – Bridgeway Center, Inc.
08:13 – Carolyn N. Ketchel
08:42 – Neal Orthodontics
09:50 – World Class Pageantry
11:48 – I’am Kleen Sweep
13:33 – Okaloosa Republicans
20:48 – Okaloosa Donuts
21:35 – Step One Automotive
27:20 – The Island Resort
29:35 – Cumulus Broadcasting
31:44 – Miss Okaloosa County
32:42 – Nick’s Property Maintenance LLC
33:11 – Top Shelf Athletics
33:35 – Panhandle United Roller Derby
37:13 – Emerald Coast Permanent Make-Up
37:37 – T-Mobile
38:17 – AJ’s
39:25 – Fort Walton Beach Buccaneers
40:09 – Emerald Coast Harley-Davidson
40:44 – Krewe of Karibbean
41:36 – Krewe of Columbus
43:14 – Omni Broadcastng
43:51 – Krewe De Yak
44:22 – Navarre Krewe of Jesters
44:56 – Krewe of Airship Pirates
46:01 – Xtreme H2O Sports
46:40 – USAF Recruiting – Mary Esther
47:04 – Hot Head Burritos
47:34 – Krewe of Bowlegs -Children of the Court
48:11 – Krewe of Dominique York
49:32 – Krewe of Bowlegs – Captian Brocade
50:15 – Springtime Tallahassee
51:10 – Krewe of Bowlegs – Queen’s Pride
51:44 – Mayokis of Pensacola
52:53 – Krewe of Bowlegs – Past Capt Billys
53:35 – Matthew E. Turpin
53:52 – FWB Fire Dept
54:37 – Saint Paul’s Vulcan Krewe
55:52 – Captain Billy & Queen
56:20 – 66th Krewe of Bowlegs
57:47 – Closing

Produced by Emerald Coast TV.com

Fort Walton Beach Christmas Parade 2021

This is an edited HD replay of December 6, 2021, Fort Walton Beach Christmas Parade, which was filmed on Eglin Pkwy in front of FNBT Bank.

Rain showers a few hours before the start of the parade had caused all of the local school bands to cancel their performances, but the rain cleared up and help off during the parade. This parade video was originally live-streamed on the City of Fort Walton Beach, FL’s Facebook page.

Produced by RJ Murdock with Emerald Coast TV

Billy Bowlegs Torchlight Parade 2021

The 2021 Billy Bowlegs Torchlight Parade took place on May 3, 2021 on Eglin Parkway in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Hosted by the FWB Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Step One Automotive Group.

0:00​ – Opening
2:19 – Police Department of City of Fort Walton Beach
3:51 – Mayor of the City of Fort Walton Beach
4:25 – City of Fort Walton Beach City Council
4:51 – Fire Department of City of Fort Walton Beach
5:40 – Northwest Florida Track Club
6:11 – Step One Automotive Group
6:45 – Fort Walton Beach Library
7:12 – Ft Walton Beach Women’s Club
8:05 – The Rescued Rescuers Dachshund & Friends
9:31 – Fort Walton Beach Buccaneers
10:37 – Hot Head Burritos
11:14 – Star Wars 501st Legion
12:52 – Emerald Coast Elite, Inc
13:59 – Distinguished Young Women of Okaloosa County, FL
14:40 – Rye-Land Lawncare LLC
15:13 – FRIOS Emerald Coast
15:31 – Step One Automotive Group
17:40 – Okaloosa Republicans
21:11 – Miss Okaloosa County
23:58 – T-Mobile
24:15 – A Touch of Class Homecookin’ & Events
24:34 – Krewe of MAGnificent Space Pirates
24:59 – JVC Broadcasting
25:38 – Second Breath Styles
26:16 – Mardi Gras Club of FWB
28:42 – Navarre Krewe of Jesters
29:14 – Dippin’ Dots
29:41- Step One Automotive Group
30:24 – Krewe of Karibbean
31:07 – Krewe of Bowlegs
32:31 – NPM LLC Home Improvements
33:48 – Delivery.com
34:43 – Emerald Coast Parrot Head Club
35:32 – Golds Gym Fort Walton Beach
36:03 – Xtreme H2O Sports
36:43 – Step One Automotive Group
37:04 – Krewe of Bowlegs
38:18 – Krewe of Airship Pirates
39:34 – Krewe De Yak
39:59 – St Paul Vulcans
40:33 – Krewe of Dominique Youx
42:33 – Krewe of Bowlegs
44:42 – Closing

Produced by Emerald Coast TV

Candidate Forum – Fort Walton Beach City Council

Interested in the upcoming March 9, 2021 City of FWB election? Twelve candidates are running to fill three seats on the City Council. The Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce & the local NAACP hosted this candidate forum on February 2, 2021 at the City Auditorium. The forum was moderated by Michelle Anchors.

Candidates:
Nic Allegretto
Gloria DeBerry
Jason Floyd
Sean T. Murphy
David Schmidt
Debra Riley
Brad Roehrig
Michael James Rojas
Travis Smith
Gareth Allan Stearns
Sonya Lynn Vazquez
T. Payne Walker

Location:
Fort Walton Beach Civic Auditorium
107 Miracle Strip Pkwy, SE
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Date/Time Information:
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
5:00PM-8:00P

Contact Information:
(850) 244-8191

Official 2019 Billy Bowlegs Torchlight Parade

The 64th Billy Bowlegs Festival closes it’s celebration with it’s Torchlight Parade on Monday night on Eglin Parkway in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The parade took place on June 3, 2019.

It is hosted by the Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce (Ted Corcoran) and this year’s parade sponsor, Step One Automotive (Maureen Bierman).

This 60 minute video airs on ox Cable Channel 6 at various times and dates throughout the month of June.  It was produced by EmeraldCoastTV.com .

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Billy Bowlegs Torchlight Parade! Here are the 1st Place winners in each category:

Float
1st Place: AJ’s Krewe of Legends

Krewe
1st Place: Emerald Coast Krewe of Airship Pirates

Marching/Walking
1st Place: Studio Fit

Truck/Car/Van
1st Place: Cumulus Media and Bank of England Mortgage

“The Battle of the Bulge” as Remembered by Lt Col Samuel Lombardo

“The Battle of the Bulge” as Remembered by Lt Col Samuel Lombardo

“The Battle of the Bulge” as Remembered by Lt Col Samuel Lombardo was recorded on January 28, 2019 the Fort Walton Yacht Club for the Military Affairs Committee, Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce. Lt Col Lombardo recounts his journey to America as a child and how the lessons learn then help him in WWII. Lt Col Lombardo will become a centenarian in July 2019.

Recorded by RJ Murdock, EmeraldCoastTV.com

Lt Col Sam Lombardo at Military Affairs Committee, FWB Chamber, 28Jan19

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