Walton County tourism slates $700,000 to support local events

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The Walton County Tourism Department is looking to spend $700,000 to help organizations with local events.  

The money is funded through the Event Grant Program.  

Walton County’s Marketing Department reimburses different groups between $5,000 and $20,000 after they see how it was used.  

Events supported through the program include the Seaside School Race Weekend, Harvest Wine and Food Festival, and the 30A Songwriter’s Festival.  

While the program has funded many long-standing and successful events, the Tourist Development Council hopes to bring in new events in the coming years. 

“These signature events that we’ve been funding for years, while they are close to my heart and they are doing what they’re supposed to do for this county, I think we have to take a hard look at what this program is about,” Amy Wise-Coble on the council said. “And once we launch them to a certain degree, we should consider whether or not we need to continue to put money in to sustain those events because they’re going to sustain themselves anyway. And that’s why we’re originally investing in them.” 

“Is it money to start an event, to like continue it, or just to get it going in the beginning? Or is it money to sustain the event? So it kind of goes back and forth. Sometimes it’s brand new events that, you know, have never happened before. Other times there’s things like ArtsQuest or Sandestin Wine Festival, or maybe the 30A Songwriter’s Festival that have happened for more than a decade,” Director of Marketing Kelli Carter said.

The council approved to support all 60 event applications for the 2025 fiscal year. The board of county commissioners will have a final vote in the near future. 

Applications for events in the 2026 fiscal year will open in January.  

More Local News
Scroll to Top