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5th Annual Mac & Cheese Festival raises $63,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast

The 5th Annual Mac & Cheese Festival was a huge success at the Destin Commons on Sunday, March 5, 2023. The event raised $63,000 and welcomed roughly 1,600 attendees throughout the […]

The 5th Annual Mac & Cheese Festival was a huge success at the Destin Commons on Sunday, March 5, 2023. The event raised $63,000 and welcomed roughly 1,600 attendees throughout the day. 

  • Proceeds from the event benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast, a local non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging, and influence through its programs focused on academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. 

“Our fifth Mac-N-Cheese Festival was a huge success and thoroughly outperformed our own expectations,” said Shervin Rassa, Chief Executive Officer, The Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast. “We are extremely thankful to all that attended, all of our cooking participants, Destin Commons, and all of our sponsors for making this year’s event amazing. Every cent raised through this event will make an impact on the over 5,000 youth we serve on an annual basis. Our team is already working on next year’s event, we look forward to an amazing sixth year.”



The family-friendly event featured gourmet, chef-inspired twists on the South’s favorite comfort food. Local restaurants brought their A-game to compete for the best mac and cheese in town. Visitors were able to sample each vendor and cast their votes. There were three categories in total, Judge’s Choice Award, People’s Choice Award, and Kid’s Choice Award.

Cooper and Morgan Williams sampling all of the Mac & Cheese

Award winners are as follows: 

  • Judge’s Choice: Boathouse Oyster Bar
  • People’s Choice: Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi 
  • Kid’s Choice: Sauce Boss Burger Co. 

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Community Comments

“1B................Let FWB grow.”
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“Amazing article!!! Jared Williams is an incredible writer and this article captures the incredible things happening in our community! Thank you Jared! Linda Dugan”
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“Awesome... The kind of people, that need a safe, affordable home for themselves and their families, without your judgment. .”
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“Curious who is funding Gregg Chapel so he can build cheap housing here. Curious what kind of residents he looking for to move here.”
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“This is extremely upsetting. I hope the parents of this young man sees this as a " Cry for Help" and move forward in getting him evaluated., into counseling with...”
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“Will the Hurlburt golf course be open?”
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“I really think this is a great idea. My only concern is what is planned at the base of the Destin bridge. I am not a proponent of any development...”
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“Traffic signals have a definite limit to how many cars an hour can pass under them. The signal system downtown has been beyond capacity since 1990. To increase capacity additional...”
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