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'Weekends on the Coast'


The 30th Annual Navarre Fun Fest opened this afternoon at Navarre Beach Park.

They have arts and crafts booth, a children's area and food vendors.
The free entertainment started at four o'clock.
 An up-and-coming local country group, The Chris Martin Band will be taking the stage in just a few minutes.
The Fun Fest is going on until 9 tonight, 12pm-9pm tomorrow with fireworks after the last concert.

Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate tomorrow at Cordova Mall in Pensacola.

It's Chocolate Fest 2014.
Two-dozen chocolatiers provide bite-sized samples of their best sweets.

It all benefits Gulf Coast Kid's House, a one-stop facility to help victims of abuse and neglect.
Tickets are fifteen dollars at the event.

It's a big weekend for Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society Fundraiser.

This is a live look from the Relay event at Gulf Breeze High School.
The opening ceremony started at six o'clock and the first lap will be walked by cancer survivors.
Events are also going on this weekend at Tate High School in Gonzalez, Pensacola State College in Milton and the Northwest Florida Fairgrounds in Fort Walton Beach.

The country's largest Native American Flute Festival is taking place in Fort Walton Beach.
"Musical Echoes" started fourteen years ago, and draws national recording artists.

Laura Hussey "If the word festival automatically makes you feel rowdy, you're in for a whole different experience at Musical Echoes. The music sets the mood, it floats on the air. Some people say they lose track of time, just being here"

The tradition of the Native American Flute has been passed down through generations.
As it reverberates through Fort Walton Landing, you understand why the weekend is called Musical Echoes. 

Edith Long "The music to me is very soothing, very nice, and different players have different styles"
The flute draws you into a different world.
Nikki Crisp and her family make fry bread.   People here say it's the best you can find.
When she's not rolling dough, she's a champion traditional dancer.

Nikki "I'm competitive and I like that nervousness, that butterflies but if I'm just dancing I like it because it makes my heart feel good"

There's a connection to the past here and a new chance to understand it.
Organizer David Baxter says many different tribes are represented among the performers and vendors.

David Baxter "So many people when they think Native American, they think war bonnets, headdresses and teepees. Well it's not all that. The Eastern Tribes, the tribes from this area, we wore turbans, we lived in cabins"

Baxter says Musical Echoes generates a lot of bed taxes, drawing out-of-town visitors from as far away as Canada and Mexico.

A guest from Chattanooga is here for the seventh time.
Lyn "It's just a really exciting wonderful time to be out here in nature and hear beautiful music, what's better than that?"

Laura Hussey "Musical Echoes is a no-alcohol festival. The organizer says bring a blanket, bring the kids, you might just lose track of time yourself."

If you're looking to buy, build, or remodel a home in the future, the Pensacola Area Parade of Homes is a great way to get some ideas.  It's been going on since 1958.  The Parade of Homes showcases new homes and design styles in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.  This year's 'Dream Home', or featured home was designed by Westerheim Properties.

Thomas Westerheim says, "I love the creative part of designing and building a home."

The home in the nature trail subdivision in Beulah includes the latest additions in energy efficiency and technology.

Westerheim says, "You can run your televisions, heating and cooling, everything from your iPhone basically.  Alarms, cameras, move them, I don't know all of it but it's pretty cool."

It also provides a more open floor plan, including extra space in the master bathroom and closets.  Something homebuyers appreciate.

Denise Hemenway is looking for a new home.  "We like that kind of space.  We don't need like, the living space, it's nice.  It's an average living space area, but for the storage and the closet and the bathroom, it's a lot larger."

Westerheim agrees.  "People like to have a wide open floor plan, be all inclusive in the kitchen you're still a part of the party, you know, that kind of thing."

One more neat touch to the dream home is the outdoor courtyard, inspired by another Gulf Coast city.

"It basically came together when we sat in New Orleans, my wife and I many years ago in a courtyard and I loved the feeling of that.  Drinking a cup of coffee or a beer for that matter in the afternoon, and we wanted to give that feeling to somebody at home."

The Parade of Homes runs through May 4th and it is free to the public.
2014 Parade of Homes  April 26, 2014 - May 4, 2014
Weekday Hours: 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Weekend Hours: 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.