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  • Writer's pictureKira Moraca

Rewind's First Rodeo

October is a fantastic time to visit Destin! The weather is gorgeous, Highway 98 is clear, and of course, we welcome the Destin Fishing Rodeo. This year is the 69th annual and it never gets old. We'll talk more about the rodeo in the "Fishing Section" of this post. 

Local Events

As aforementioned, October is a great time to be in Destin, especially because of all the stuff to do! A major event is the Destin Fishing Rodeo, which lasts for the entire month of October from 10am to 7pm everyday. Another great time is the 39th Annual Destin Seafood Festival from October 6-8th (it's usually the first weekend of October). The event is totally free and includes music and booths all along the Harbor. Fish the Days and Rock the Nights is Oct 14-28th at the Harbor Walk stage on the Destin Harbor. The 22nd Annual Festival of the Arts is Oct 28th and 29th at the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin. There will also continue to be the usual monthly events such as Farmer's Markets and College Football Saturdays on the AJ's Jumbotron at the Harbor. 

As for Halloween events, Harbor Walk is hosting a Monster Mash Pub Crawl Oct 28th through the 29th, as well as Pumpkinpalooza on the 28th. There will be Kids, Pets, and Adult Costume Contests throughout the day. 

Don't forget to enjoy Halloween on the 31st!

Fishing News

The Destin Fishing Rodeo is a huge part of Destin history. Instead of writing out a lesson, I'll teach through bullet points:

  • Destin was founded by Leonard Destin between 1845-50

  • Other Founding Families showed up later in the 1800's

  • Destin didn't become a real tourist attraction until the 1970's and it's been popping ever since!

  • The Rodeo began 69 years ago

  • Bruce Cheves is the Weighmaster and has been for 33 years!

  • Miss Destin has been involved since the early 1900's (there even used to be a Mister Destin) and is present at the weigh-ins everyday in October

  • Boat Captains- private and charter- have the chance to register every year. Registration must be done at least 24 hours in advance to fishing. (We registered back in March)

  • The Rodeo is a great way to get involved: feel free to relax at AJ's during the day, volunteer as a Judge at the Rodeo, or weigh a fish in on a registered boat!

The Rodeo pushes out most other Fishing News, so checkout their website or email the Rewind crew if you have any questions. 

Recipe of the Month

Destin Seafood Gumbo, courtesy of the Sandestin Gumbo Festival 

If you don't have the time or supplies to cook this gumbo, we recommend Dewey Destin's, either on the Harbor or overlooking Crab Island.



2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves Salt and pepper 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 5 tablespoons butter 1 large onion, chopped 8 cloves garlic minced 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped 3 stalks celery chopped 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 pound fish (Red Snapper or other) 1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped, plus chopped leaves for garnish 4 cups hot water 5 beef bouillon cubes 1 (14-ounce can) stewed tomatoes with juice 2 cups frozen sliced okra 4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts 1/2 pound small shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked


Season the chicken and fish with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove. Cook the fish for a few minutes on either side. Add the sausage and cook until browned, then remove. Sprinkle the flour over the oil, add 2 tablespoons of butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until brown, about 10 minutes. Let the roux cool.

Return the Dutch oven to low heat and melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper and celery and cook for 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, to taste and the 1/4 bunch parsley. Cook, while stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add 4 cups hot water and bouillon cubes, whisking constantly. Add the chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Just before serving add the green onions, shrimp and chopped parsley. Enjoy!

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