If you listen closely, you may hear the smooth sounds of 130 musical artists coming from South Walton. Yes, the 30-A Songwriters Festival is back again, and with it are thousands of visitors to the area.
Local businesses call this a shot in the arm for the economy.
Our tourism-based economies are seasonal and it can be especially slow in the winter months, but 4 years ago, the festival began to change things along 30-A and the business owners are pleased!
They call their burgers, "world famous," and Seaside's Pickles Beachside Grill is hoping the sizzle of beef will be music to the ears of the music lovers at the 30-a Songwriter's Festival this weekend, especially during the slow season.
"It's purely seasonal, so when you have that big drop-off and you have events like the 30 songwriters festival, you've got to get all the business you can," said Assistant Manager, Brent Phillips.
This will be the first songwriter's festival for Phillips and he's got a plan to draw hungry tourists that will roam the tree lined streets of 30-A.
"You amp up for a big weekend, extend the hours, get more servers," he said.
…And serve up especially good fries!
In its 4th year, the music festival is drawing in 3000 attendees, in addition to top-notch performers in 25 intimate venues up and down the corridor.
"Since the Songwriter's Festival has come it's been really incredible," said owner of Seaside's "Bud and Alley's", Dave Rauschkolb, is warmly welcoming the business and they're a proud sponsor and venue of the festival.
"Great food, great drink, great entertainment, it doesn't get any better than that really," he said.
He said it's only getting better with age; praising the event for its creativity, organization, and, most of all, its timing.
"We've been here for 27 years and we've seen many slow winters. To have it happen in the middle of January is a real boost to our business. I look forward to this all year," said Rauschkolb.
In addition to helping local businesses, the festival is also a fundraiser for Walton County Cultural Alliance.