STORY UPDATE – 2:45 p.m., Feb. 16: This afternoon the Santa Rosa County Commission’s Monday, Feb. 20 agenda was posted. It reveals the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday submitted an application seeking to use Navarre Beach Marine Park for a summer 2017 concert series.
Greater Navarre Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Tony Alexander in January approached Santa Rosa County, seeking permission to host a summer concert series on Navarre Beach in 2018.
According to the application, the group wants to host free concerts on Thursday nights from May 24 through August 30 inside Navarre Beach Marine Park.
“Our goal is to deliver a great family friendly summer concert series both locals and visitors to our area will be excited to attend,” Alexander said.
According to Alexander, the action became necessary after the Navarre Beach Area Chamber was notified last year by Commissioner Rob Williamson that Navarre Park was no longer a suitable venue for a concert series which that organization had been previously hosting. Among the reasons Williamson cited at a public meeting were public safety concerns and a lack of parking.
Sheriff Bob Johnson at that time said traffic congestion on U.S. 98 near Navarre Park created a “very dangerous” situation for pedestrians. “It’s a catastrophe waiting to happen.”
As of early February, the Navarre Beach Area Chamber still had not filed an application with the county, seeking a new venue for a 2017 concert series. At this point it is unknown whether or not the group will be able to find an alternate location to host concerts this year.
“Our community deserves to have concerts on par with ‘Bands on the Beach’,” Alexander said, pointing out that a successful summer concert series is hosted on Tuesday nights at Pensacola Beach.
“The event it up for grabs. Navarrre Park is off limits. If we didn’t step in, someone would,” he said.
Alexander said it takes time to work out the logistics of a beach concert series and the process will require “tremendous” time and involvement by many people.
“The heavy lifting required of such an event will pay off with huge crowds of happy visitors and locals, enjoying great tunes on the beach and beautiful sunsets over the Santa Rosa Sound,” Alexander said.