Nothing in life is free … except for these events, meals and more!
Each month, we gather and list some of the free events, food dishes and outdoor activities available on the Emerald Coast.
Here are some free things available in November:
Camellia show: The Greater Fort Walton Beach Camellia Society will present the 52nd Annual Camellia Show and Plant Sale from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the atrium of the Meridian (formerly Westwood) Retirement Resort, 1001 Mar Walt Dr., Fort Walton Beach. The show is open and free to the public. A variety of camellia plants will be available for purchase. Awards will be given in several divisions and categories.
Author discussion: The Friends of the Niceville Public Library will host local author Mary C. Brown as she discusses her new book, “Waiting for the Daffodils,” a memoir detailing a tragic loss. This free program will be held at the Niceville Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15. Call 279-4863, ext. 1504 or email email@example.com to reserve a seat.
Free student recitals: The Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts Division at Northwest Florida State College offers a series of free afternoon Student Recitals twice a month on Fridays at 3 p.m. in the college’s Tyler Recital Hall at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center on the Niceville campus, 100 College Boulevard. Fall recitals are scheduled Nov. 18 with an Honors Recital on Dec. 2. Seating is open on a first-come basis.
Blue Angels: It’s homecoming for the Blue Angels. The Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron will close the 2016 season at its annual Homecoming Air Show aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola on Saturday and Sunday. Gates open both days at 8 a.m., and admission and parking for all shows are free. The Blues’ C-130 Hercules transport known as “Fat Albert” will thrill the crowd with its short field take-off and low-level passes. There will also be other aerial performers. Dozens of military and civilian aircraft will be on display. There will be a special night show 4:30-7 p.m. Saturday only that will end with one of the largest fireworks shows in the Pensacola area. Pets and coolers are not permitted. For more information, visit naspensacolaairshow.com.
Pioneer Day: Embrace the outdoors with no park admission fees. The Friends of Emerald Coast State Parks will host Pioneer Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park, 4821 S. Highway 20, Niceville. It’s a free event for families with activities to learn pioneer survival skills, demonstrations and live flute music and storytelling. Call the park at 833-9144 for more information or in case of weather concerns.
Free coffee for veterans and active military: Starbucks will offer a free tall coffee to veterans, active military and their spouses Friday for Veterans Day.
Free entrée for active-duty military and military veterans: Olive Garden will celebrate Veterans Day on Friday, offering a free entrée from a special menu to active-duty military and military veterans. The special menu features some of the restaurant’s most popular items. Unlimited soup or house salad and garlic breadsticks come with the meals.
Free appetizer or dessert for military: LongHorn Steakhouse will honor Veterans Day with a free appetizer or dessert Friday for those who have proof of military service. The restaurant will also offer a 10 percent discount to guests who dine with veterans on Friday.
Free meal for veterans and active military members: Veterans and active military members can visit Tijuana Flats for a free meal on Friday.