PANAMA CITY BEACH — Lots of stuff is happening as the new year gets to a running start, though the Gulf water may still be cold and the sky can’t decide if it wants to be rainy or sunny. Here are a few things in the past week you might have seen:
Mr. Surf’s annual “Cold Water Classic” surfing contest last Saturday was a huge success, according to shop owner and organizer Tony Johnson.
“The waves were really good, the weather was perfect — sunny and in the mid/upper 70s — and we had a huge crowd on the beach,” he said. “Finals were incredible.”
The Open Elite class, with a $600 cash purse on the line, came down to 1 point difference between surfers “Killer C” and “Sticky Nicky Alexander.” Johnson said Killer C thought he had the contest sewn up when Alexander “stuck a bomb, got completely barreled and rode the longest tube all the way across the beach right in front of Killer C, who threw up his hands in disbelief. You had to be there to see it.”
I imagine that’s so, because I’m not sure what any of that means. Check out Mr. Surf’s Surf Shop on Facebook to see photos of the event.
Filming began at 7 a.m. Sunday for “East Side Story,” the independent dance movie being shot on locations all over Panama City Beach. The first shots filmed were set poolside at the Shores of Panama resort and featured the leads actors/dancers, Witney Carson and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, as well as many local extras decked in bikinis and board shorts.
Bay County Film Commissioner Julie Gordon said the day’s work went well, though “it was a wee bit chilly and a lot windy.”
A kitchen scene was filmed at Edgewater Beach Resort on Monday, again using local extras as waiters, and more locals were cast as butlers in a scene filmed Wednesday evening. Be patient with the audience when you go to see the finished movie, as there’s sure to be lots of fingers pointing at the big screen and whispers of “I know that guy!”
Spring Break is just around the corner, believe it or not, and a country music star who has made the event a regular part of his tour schedule for the past five years has already announced two free concerts.
Luke Bryan, the son of a Georgia peanut farmer, knows that “going to the beach” means Panama City Beach, and he will be celebrating the rites of spring at Spinnaker Beach Club, 8795 Thomas Drive. His free, all-ages, general admission concerts will be at 4 p.m. March 12 and 13. Arrive early to stake out get a good spot.
Spinnaker already has announced a few more events for the spring, including a free concert by Rodney Atkins at 4 p.m. March 8, and a string of daytime concerts by up-and-coming Nashville singer/songwriter Casey Jamerson.
Be sure to check in at PanamaCity.com for all your Spring Break related coverage, including updated events, videos and slideshows.