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Destin City Council to discuss proposed 10-day ‘fair and food festival’ at local church

The event, proposed by FaithCoast Church in collaboration with PL Media, would take place at 726 Legion Drive from April 4-14, 2024.
City of Destin

The Destin City Council will consider a request for a temporary change of use permit to allow a 10-day fair and food festival at their regular meeting tonight, April 1, 2024. 

  • The event, proposed by FaithCoast Church in collaboration with PL Media, would take place at 726 Legion Drive from April 4-14, 2024.

According to the application submitted by FaithCoast Church, the festival would feature amusement rides, inflatables, food service tents, workshops, interactive games, and an entertainment stage with a sound amplification system. 

  • Amusement rides include a Ferris Wheel, Kiddie Airplane Ride, Swing Ride, Rock Climbing, Bull Riding, Bungie Jumping and Slide inflatables.

The event is expected to attract up to 1,000 attendees per day, with proposed hours of operation from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sundays.

City of Destin

In a letter to the city, Darius Arnold, Senior Pastor of FaithCoast Church, stated, “We believe this event will foster community unity and pride in Destin.”

According to documents, city staff have reviewed the application and identified several inconsistencies with the Land Development Code (LDC), including inadequate on-site parking, non-compliant off-site parking arrangements, and potential impacts on adjacent residential properties. 

  • The application proposes utilizing off-site parking at two nearby churches (Corpus Christi Catholic Church and United Methodist Church), with a total of 200 parking spaces and a shuttle service to transport attendees.
City of Destin

However, staff noted that the proposed off-site parking does not meet the ownership and distance requirements outlined in the LDC. Additionally, the site plan does not demonstrate adequate space for the shuttle to turn around without backing onto the right-of-way or sufficient area for service trucks to empty portable restrooms and dumpsters.

Due to the anticipated attendance, staff also raised concerns about the impact of noise from amplified sound and amusement rides on nearby residential neighborhoods, as well as the need for coordination with the Fire Marshal to address public safety requirements.

City of Destin

Despite the identified inconsistencies, city staff have recommended a set of conditions that could allow the festival to proceed if the City Council determines that the temporary nature of the event and its stated goals of fostering community unity warrant approval. Some of the proposed conditions include:

  • Limiting festival hours and sound amplification to minimize impact on nearby residents.
  • Ensuring the provision of adequate ADA parking on the festival property.
  • Reconfiguring the shuttle drop-off area to allow for on-site turnaround.
  • Providing clear access for service vehicles to portable restrooms and dumpsters.
  • Obtaining necessary permits for temporary structures and approval from the Fire Marshal.
  • Limiting the number and placement of directional signs in the right-of-way.

The Destin City Council will discuss the proposed festival and consider the staff’s recommendations at their meeting tonight beginning at 6pm at the Annex Council Chambers. The public will have an opportunity to provide input.

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Community Comments

“Would like to know this as well.”
“This is Awesome/ Thank You for Your Service Reuse an Recycle”
“Carolyn, there is two of them this year, the one at the fairgrounds is still on the 27th”
“I thought this was scheduled for April 27th at Fair grounds in FWB.”
“Is there a limit on the amount?”
“Couldn’t the tennis courts be used for Pickle Ball Courts?”
“How come we haven't heard about any charges or anything about the person who hit this lady ?”
“Stayed at the Calypso resort last week. Overran with immaturity. Teens were throwing beer bottles from the balcony and dog shit while kids were swimming in the pools below.”