The Franklin County Commission cut the ribbon and officially opened the St. George Island Public Restrooms on April 20. Funded by the county’s lodging tax, the new restrooms are storm-rated and ADA compliant with hands-free lavatory fixtures.
Buddy Ward Memorial Reef Planned 
Offshore of
St. George Island
Anglers will have one more offshore area to fish later this summer thanks to local efforts to deploy a new artificial reef site off the coast of Apalachicola and St. George Island.
The Franklin County Commissioners recently awarded the contract to construct and deploy 35 offshore artificial reef modules within a site named the Buddy Ward Memorial Artificial Reef in memory of longtime seafood industry advocate and businessman Olan “Buddy” Ward.
The Ward memorial site is located within State waters and in sight of St George Island, approximately eight nautical miles offshore of Apalachicola in about 40 feet of water. The project is expected to be complete by summer.

The Ward reef joins more than 60 artificial reefs already located offshore from the Franklin County shoreline. These fish hotels stretch from Alligator Point to Apalachicola and are responsible for providing valuable habitat for hundreds of fish species that migrate through the region. Once deployed, the Ward reef GPS coordinates will be available online, along with other existing reef coordinates, through the AARA website

Want to learn more about the Franklin County fishing scene? Visit for a complete rundown on seasonal fishing, guides and marinas/boat launches.

Amberjack Season Opens This Month
Fishing Tourneys Begin Again

As if fishermen needed a reminder ... The recreational Greater Amberjack season opens this month (May) but closes again in June-July until it reopens August through September.  Information about bag and size limits, gear restrictions and fishing seasons, including a map of the Atlantic and Gulf grouper fishing boundaries, is available online at; select “Recreational Regulations.” 

Need a guided tour? Charter captains are booking trips now!
For a list of Franklin County's fishing charter guides, click here.    

Fishing Tourneys
Here are a few of the upcoming fishing tournaments scheduled throughout the county beginning this Spring.

June 19 - The Tallahassee Builders Association 33rd Annual Saltwater Fishing Tournament will be held at C-Quarters Marina. There will be cash prizes for In-Shore and Off-Shore Grand Slams and the largest fish of various species.
July 17 - C-Quarters Youth Fishing Tournament
Kids from all over the South are invited to attend the 17th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament. Open to all kids 16 and younger. Registration is required on-site. Sponsored by C-Quarters Marina, and local businesses.
August  8 – 18th Annual Kingfish Shootout
This weekend charity event for the Leukemia Research Foundation gives everyone an opportunity to enjoy themselves while advocating a wonderful cause that helps so many. All proceeds go to the Leukemia Research Foundation. More than $1,050,000 raised over the past 17 years.

SGI Paint-out Art Event May 1-7
St. George Island and the surrounding communities of Apalachicola, Eastpoint and Carrabelle will be the sites for a seven-day plein-air event May 1-7. The Paint-Out will feature plein air artists, workshops , meet and greet events, receptions and opportunities to purchase and commission artwork. Details.

Lighthouse Full Moon Climbs May 26
Both historic lighthouses in the county are again offering full moon climbs this month on Wednesday, May 26.
The Cape St. George Lighthouse on St. George Island Sunset and Full Moon Climb will begin at 8 pm and run until 10 pm.  Fifteen-minute time slots will be allotted for each group on a first come, first served basis. No advanced reservations will be taken. COVID-19 protocols require each climber to wear a mask. One group at a time will climb the tower and will exit the tower before the next group is granted access. Details.
The Crooked River Lighthouse will also host a Full Moon Lighthouse Climb on Wednesday from 7 pm -10 pm in Carrabelle. May's Full Moon is called the Flower Moon. Visitors can enjoy this opportunity to see the St. George Sound and Carrabelle Beach's gorgeous natural surroundings under the evening sky.  Guests can also enjoy the fire pit (weather permitting). The museum and gift shop will be open for browsing and shopping. COVID protocols also in effect here. Details.
The Crooked River Lighthouse will host the annual Coastal Blessing on Sunday, May 30 from 3-3:30 pm. Faith leaders from the Carrabelle area community will share a prayer for the coast at the lighthouse. Since 2010, the Crooked River Lighthouse has conducted a ceremony on the Sunday before the start of hurricane season where church leaders in the community unite in shared positive intentions; that our coastal communities be safe from hurricane damage. 
May Farmers and Artisans Markets
The Apalachicola Farmers' Market will host its May events on Saturday May 8 and 22 from 9am to 1pm at the Mill Pond at Scipio Creek.  Can't wait till the weekend? The Apalachicola Growers Market features fresh vegetables, micro greens, coffee, gourmet goodies and more. Held most Wednesdays from 9am to noon at 56 Commerce Street in Apalachicola. 


The Crooked River Lighthouse is hosting a Country Farmer's Market Saturday, May 1 and again on May 15 from 9 am-1 pm at the foot of the lighthouse at 1975 Hwy 98 W, Carrabelle Beach. The Market will feature vendors from the community with locally made goods, fresh roasted coffee, veggies, plants, art, baked goods, photography, craft items, and unique maritime items in the Lighthouse Gift Shop.  

Eastpoint hosts its May outdoor Artisans Market on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 9am to 2pm. The market is located at 100 Highway 98. The May market dates are May 1 and 15. Come discover local artisans, crafts and goodies.

May 1 Begins Official Turtle Season - Lights Out on the Beach
May 1 marks the beginning of  sea turtle nesting season on St. George Island and other beaches throughout Franklin County and Florida. The turtles will lay their eggs from May – September, with 50-150 baby turtles hatching after 45-60 days, usually at night. One female may nest several times in a season.
May also heralds the season when local volunteer turtlers begin walking the beach in order to find, mark and protect turtle nests and when homeowners and visitors are educated about measures they can take to help nesting sea turtles such as turning off lights and clearing the beach of gear. Visitors interested in learning about sea turtle nesting can visit the St. George Island Visitor’s Center (at the St. George Island Lighthouse Park) to pick up turtle information.  

Please note that Franklin County has a Leave No Trace Ordinance that requires chairs, umbrellas and equipment to be removed nightly from the public beaches in order to help mama turtles more easily navigate the beaches to nest and allow hatchlings a clear path back to the water from their nests in the dunes. And, if you dig a hole on the beach during the day, fill it in!

Download the Franklin County Mobile App and 
Begin Planning your Spring Getaway

Just in time to begin planning your spring getaway, the Franklin County Tourist Development Council (FCTDC) has launched a mobile-friendly app to help visitors access information about area amenities, events, beach conditions, lodging, restaurants, shopping and outdoor recreation opportunities with just a click on their phone. The app allows visitors to find area attractions, places to eat and even look up beach conditions. The virtual passport feature of the app allows visitors to explore sites and restaurants and unlock levels to earn prizes and be entered into getaways to the Forgotten Coast. You can find the new app in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Click here to download the ap and begin planning your next vacation!
Three Carrabelle Museums Celebrate Museum Day May 1
All three of Carrabelle’s museums will open their doors on Saturday, May 1 as part of a special rescheduled Museum Day. In salute to this day, Carrabelle History Museum, Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum, and Crooked River Lighthouse Museum will have special activities and displays. This year, the Carrabelle museums will use Museum Day to pay tribute to the members of our country’s Armed Forces past and present as part of National Military Appreciation Month. Admission to all three museums is free to everyone and there will be free lighthouse tower climbs for all military active duty and veterans on May 1st as well. Details here. 
Camp Gordon Johnston D-Day Exhibit May 18 through June 30
The Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum will present a special exhibit commemorating D-Day.
Camp Gordon Johnston in Carrabelle, FL opened in 1942, for the purpose of training Infantry Divisions, including the US Army 4th Infantry Division, and their support units in amphibious warfare. This training and the men who trained here would be put to the test on the heavily fortified beaches of Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. There is no charge for admission but donations are gladly accepted. Learn more here.

If This House Could Talk Home Tour May 2-15
What if the houses in Apalachicola could talk? What stories would they tell? The Apalachicola Area Historical Society invites you to come find out, by viewing storyboards posted in front of about 30 homes and businesses between Sunday, May 2 and Saturday, May 15. The storyboards, created by property owners, tell tales of past residents, neighborhood events and personalities and historical facts. Learn more here. 
Historic Society Spring Speaker Series Features Talk on Antebellum Ice May 15
History expert Dr. Kevin Bair will speak on the Southern Antebellum period's use of natural ice as well as Dr. John Gorrie's quest for ice and refrigeration and how the Civil War Naval Blockade of Southern ports cause ice dependence in the South in 1862. Dr. Bair's May 15 talk 
will be held at the Raney House (Carriage House) from 4-5 pm. Learn more here.

Historical Society Hosts Spring Ghostwalk May 1
Enjoy the Apalachicola Area Historical Society's annual Spring Ghost Tour walk of the Historic Chestnut Street Cemetery in Apalachicola on May 1. Hauntings will abound when local history enthusiasts don the garb and take on the persona of the cemetery’s notable inhabitants to tell their tale of life in Apalachicola for more than 180 years ago.  The Ghostwalk will be held 6:30-8:30 pm. at the Chestnut Street Cemetery on U.S. Highway 98 in Apalachicola. Details.

Outdoor Sopranos Concert May 2
Enjoy a free outdoor concert of lively and lyrical music, featuring sopranos Neldys Crespo and Dr. Tamara Marsh Flowers, with pianist Debbie Lindley. The concert is hosted by the Ilse Newell Fund and will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church grounds at 4 pm. Outdoor seating will be available in compliance with CDC social distancing guidelines on a first-to-come basis. Details.

Rock By The Sea May 5-9
Rock by the Sea (RBTS), a charity music festival, returns to St. George Island May 5-9 for its annual Spring event for 4-nights of music. Rock by the Sea is a charity music event with proceeds going to assist deserving charities who provide direct services to those in need. Weekend and Day passes for the event sell out quickly but there are other Golfing activities associated with the event. Click here for details. 

Want More Music?
There are a number of venues across the county that feature a variety of music. You can follow the individual venue schedules at

May 1 - Museum Day
May 1 - Ghostwalk

May 1-7 - SGI Paint Out
May 1, 15 - Eastpoint Artisans Market
May 1, 15 - Country Farmers' Market

May 2 - Sopranos Concert
May 2-15 - Historic Home Tour
May 5 - 9 - Rock By The Sea
May 5, 12, 19, 26 - Apalachicola Downtown Market

May 8, 22 - Apalachicola Farmers' Market
May 15 - AAHS Spring Speaker Series
May 18-June 30 - Camp Gordon Johnston Exhibit
May 22 - Live From Apalach2

May 26 - SGI Lighthouse Climb
May 26 - Crooked River Lighthouse Climb
May 30 - Coastal Blessing, Crooked River Lighthouse

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