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“Shoulder season” still going strong with events in Panama City Beach

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 11:04 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - COVID-19 canceled a lot of events over the summer, including Gulf Coast Jam and SandJam. Now we are in what’s typically known as the “shoulder season.” It’s when things usually slow down, but things seem to be turning around.

Panama City Beach saw a record breaking summer for tourism. A trend that isn’t expected to slow down as we head into the shoulder season.

“We are super thrilled about the positive fall trends that we’ve been seeing through this new fall travel season,” Visit Panama City Beach’s Public Relations Manager Lacee Rudd said.

In the past, fall has typically been very slow when it comes to tourism on the beach. As COVID restrictions start to ease, times are changing.

“Now that events have picked back up again, it’s a 12 month destination here in Panama City Beach, so those events really help the off shoulder season and can continue to bring in visitors during the fall months and into the spring,” Rudd said.

Thousands of visitors from all around the United States come to our beaches for these events.

“Columbus Day weekend we hosted Pirates Fest and it was super successful. We’ve got Thunder Beach that kicked off this week,” said Rudd.

And with the thunder rolling -- it’s a good sign for the economic forecast.

“One of the salient things about our event is both of our events are in the off season, the shoulder season. Everybody that comes to Thunder Beach is coming here for the event,” Thunder Beach Productions President Joe Biggs said.

An event that not only brings the bikes and good times but keeps the money rolling into our local economy.

“They’re everywhere spending money and having a good time. So we’re happy to accommodate that and make that happen for our community,” Biggs said.

The city is also making other events happen for the community this fall.

“Well we are super excited to announce that we are going to be able to host Beach Home for the Holidays Thanksgiving weekend. That’s November 26th and 27th,” Rudd said. “We’re going to have the Emerald Coast Car Show that’s going to kick off as well. We’ve got Ironman.”

All events the city is happy to bring back as we emerge from COVID.

Rudd said they’re also hoping to host the “beach ball drop” this New Year’s Eve after being cancelled last year due to COVID.

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