Panama City Beach is known as a Real.Fun.Beach 365 days a year, with a record number of visitors choosing the destination to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends in 2012. Once again an extravaganza of themed events and activities will take place throughout the month of December, culminating with the Panama City Beach Biggest Loser RunWalk on Dec. 29 and the Sixth Annual New Year's Eve Beach Ball Drop on Dec. 31. The Gulf-side destination is a leader in festive programming for all ages and will once again hosts a kid-friendly Family Beach Ball Drop with 10,000 inflatable beach balls released onto Pier Park Drive at 8 pm.
"Last year, more visitors chose Panama City Beach to celebrate the holidays than ever before -
About 40,000 gathered for the New Year's Eve beach ball drop alone," shares President and CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau Dan Rowe. "There is no off-season for fun here, and we plan to welcome even more guests this December as they make our destination their holiday home away from home."
Below is an overview of special holiday events and offerings in Panama City Beach.
Run for the Redfish: Saturday, December 7
The 2013 Run for the Redfish Half Marathon and 5K begins at Pier Park and travels down Front Beach Road, looping back to its start concluding with an after party at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. Views of the Gulf of Mexico can't be missed on one of the most picturesque courses in the Southeast.
Optimist Christmas Parade: Saturday, December 14
An annual Panama City Beach tradition, the parade throughout Pier Park includes floats from local businesses, schools, community groups, marching bands and car clubs weaving through the park and along Front Beach Road.
Biggest Loser Run/Walk: Sunday, December 29
Hosted by Dan and Jackie Evans, season five contestants on NBC's hit show "The Biggest Loser," the Half Marathon and 5K RunWalk was sold out last year with thousands participating. The non-intimidating environment offers visitors and locals an opportunity kick off their New Year's resolution to live a healthier lifestyle, or cap a successful year of striving for a healthier lifestyle, with a course that allows walkers to complete the race at their own pace.
Panama City Beach's Sixth Annual Beach Ball Drop: Tuesday, December 31
The Sixth Annual Beach Ball Drop at Pier Park will feature music, fireworks, and a countdown celebration geared towards families where an 800-pound glowing beach ball descends at the stroke of midnight to signify the New Year. Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with a Family Celebration complete with prize drawings, stilt walkers, mascots and kid-friendly Family Beach Ball Drop at 8 pm, consisting of more than 10,000 inflatable beach balls released onto Pier Park Drive.
New Year's Sail: Tuesday, December 31
Paradise Adventures Catamaran will offer a New Year's Eve and Fireworks Sail launching at 9:00 p.m. to 1 a.m. offering a tranquil night on the water with full-service bar, great music and fantastic vantage point for the Panama City Beach fireworks celebration.
With more than 16,000 rooms in a variety of lodging categories from condos to beach resorts, Panama City Beach has something to suit every reveler this holiday season. One of America's top beach destinations, Panama City Beach is renowned for its emerald-green waters and white sandy shores.
Below is a selection of holiday offerings. Visit www.visitpanamacitybeach.com for a comprehensive updated listing of deals and values into 2014:
Bay Point Wyndham Resort
Book a stay at the Bay Point Resort from seven days in advance and receive up to 20% off regular rates. Visit www.baypointwyndham.com for more information.
Edgewater Beach& Golf Resort
Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort, is offering values in one, two and three bedroom suites. The Promo Code is "Biggest Loser RunWalk" and rates begin at $79 per night between Dec. 27, 2012 and Jan. 2, 2013.
For reservations, call (800) 874-8686 or visit www.edgewaterbeachresort.com.
Holiday Inn Resort
Large families can take advantage of 25% savings on a second room for midweek stays Sunday through Wednesday now through December. Visit www.hipcbeach.com for details.
Guests may make the Watercrest Resort on Thomas Drive their holiday headquarters for stays through December 31 with rates beginning at $169 per night. For full details visit www.sterlingresorts.com