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eNewsletter · March 2013

Spring is Here!

It’s March and that means that it’s time for spring. This year, both spring break and Easter fall in the month of March, so we hope you’ve booked your vacation in Mexico Beach already. If not, there are some great specials that can still be found with our vacation rental partners. Be sure to check them out on our website. If you can’t make it down for a week in March, at least make plans to come for St. Patty’s Day! We have some local restaurants that will be in the Irish spirit with live music and green beer. It’s going to be a great month to be in Mexico Beach!

Gumbo was Great!

The 15th Annual Gumbo Cook-Off hosted 26 chefs competing for the Gumbo King title and had over 3,500 attendees (from our conservative estimate). We thank all our competitors and customers for supporting this fund-raiser for the July 4th Best Blast on the Beach. The day was a tad windy, but the sun was shining and Rockin’ Randall and his gang played some great New Orleans tunes. If you missed out, be sure to mark your calendar for next year’s event—February 15, 2014.

This year’s winners are:

Gumbo Restaurant
Sunset Coastal Grill from Port St. Joe

Gumbo Amateur
Camp Creek Cookers from Mexico Beach

Brunswick Stew
Central Electric from Rome, GA

For a complete list of winners click here.

Mexico Beach Fishing Report

The water is warming and the pompano have started to arrive on the beaches. This can only mean that the Spanish mackerel will be close behind. There will be fast action from the pier and on charter boats, where the captains will be keeping a close eye out for cobia while you fill the fish box with Spanish.

This beautiful Florida pompano was caught from the beach last week.

Mexico Beach offers some of the best sport fishing in the world. For a complete list of charter services, marina info, and reef coordinates visit


Fishing Tournament Giveaway

The 98 Real Estate Group Ling Ding Fishing Tournament is giving away one free boat registration entry into this year’s tournament. If you would like to throw your name into the hat, please send an e-mail to no later than March 28. The lucky winner will be contacted and further details on the registration will be given at that time. For rules on the tournament, please visit The 98 Real Estate Group website.

Mark Your Calendars

Easter Egg Hunt
March 30
The Junior Service League of Port St. Joe is proud to host their annual community Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 30 at 10 a.m. (EDT) at the 8th Street Park in Port St. Joe. Kids ages 10 and under are invited to “hunt” for eggs filled with candy and prizes. There will be plenty of photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny, so don’t forget to bring your camera.

2013 Ling Ding Fishing Tournament
April 5—27
The 2013 98 Real Estate Group Ling Ding Tournament is back, and this year’s tournament is offered every weekend in April. Anglers will be trying to reel in the biggest ling (cobia), as well as other prize fish. With the Captain’s Party kicking off the tournament on April 5 and the weigh-in party on April 27 at the Mexico Beach Marina, this is one tournament you won’t want to miss.

Visit Mexico Beach Marina for more information and to register.

Spring Beach Blast Triathlon & Duathlon
April 27
The spring Beach Blast Triathlon & Duathlon will host athletes at Veteran’s Memorial Park for this USA Triathlon–sanctioned event. Participants will converge at the beach to run, bike, and swim. This well-marked course follows along the beautiful white-sand beaches and pine forests of the Gulf Coast. This race is organized by certified staff and wonderful volunteers who love the sport. Registration is now open.

Register online at:

Photography Contest
The 13th Annual Mexico Beach Photography Contest will begin April 1 and run through July 30. All photographs must be taken in Mexico Beach and submitted to the Mexico Beach Community Development Council by the deadline. Entry forms are now available online:

Contest Entry Form (PDF)

Recipe of the Month

Carol's Crispy Fried Fish
We thank Carol Cox for sharing this delicious fish recipe from the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association cookbook.

2 pounds skinless fillets
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. malt vinegar
1 cup water
Oil for frying
Malt vinegar

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder.
Put tablespoon of vinegar in measuring cup and finish filling with water to 1 cup.
Slowly add water and vinegar mixture to dry ingredients.
Dip fish into batter and drop into hot oil (425 degrees).
Cook 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels and serve with more malt vinegar.
Serves 6.

For variations, try adding paprika or Creole seasoning to dry ingredients.

Parting Thoughts

Since Easter comes early this year, we want to share some fun knowledge about the candy industry and how it ties in to this day!

Easter is the second most important candy-eating occasion of the year for Americans, who consumed 7 billion pounds of candy in 2011, according to the National Confectioners Association.

In 2000, Americans spent nearly $1.9 billion on Easter candy, while Halloween sales were nearly $2 billion; Christmas, an estimated $1.4 billion; and Valentine's Day, just over $1 billion.

Ninety million chocolate Easter bunnies are produced each year.

Chocolate bunnies should be eaten ears first, according to 76 percent of Americans. Five percent said bunnies should be eaten feet first, while 4 percent favored eating the tail first.

Adults prefer milk chocolate (65%) to dark chocolate (27%).

Each Easter season, Americans buy more than seven hundred million Marshmallow Peeps, shaped like chicks, as well as Marshmallow Bunnies and Marshmallow Eggs, making them the most popular nonchocolate Easter candy.

In 1953, it took twenty-seven hours to create a Marshmallow Peep. Today it takes six minutes.

Yellow Peeps are the most popular, followed by pink, lavender, blue, and white.

Americans consume 16 billion jelly beans at Easter, many of them hidden in baskets. If all the Easter jelly beans were lined end to end, they would circle the globe nearly three times.

Candy is a relatively recent Easter tradition. Chocolate eggs, the most popular Easter candy, were first made in Europe in the early 1800s.

Hot cross buns were among the earliest Easter treats, made by European monks and given to the poor during Lent

Pretzels were originally associated with Easter. The twists of a pretzel were thought to resemble arms crossed in prayer.

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102 Canal Parkway, Mexico Beach, FL 32456