Sunday will mark 35 years since the Nintendo Entertainment System arrived on America’s shores, saving a crashed video game industry and making a generation of gamers out of people who first learned to “play Nintendo” on the NES.
People such as me. For this 35-year-old, it’s striking how Nintendo’s breakout home game system, which my parents bought for my older brothers and which I literally grew up with, remains not only the bedrock of the company’s corporate identity—witness the 8-bit Mario on your browser tab if you visit the Big N’s website—but its creative wellspring too. Witness how Super Mario Bros. 35, Nintendo’s new contender in the über-popular battle royal genre, is a thin remix of 1985’s Super Mario Bros., an NES launch title. Or see the NES Classic, the recent bestselling miniversion of the console with 30 games packed in. While very few people may have the original gray-on-gray NES hooked up to their TV anymore, the titles designed for it will remain relevant for Nintendo fans of all ages as long as the company stays in the game.
Proof of the NES’s continued importance to Nintendo is the library of 55 (and counting) NES games that the company offers to the 26 million subscribers to Nintendo Switch Online. For $20 a year, you can get a Nintendo membership that unlocks online features for its latest hit console, the Switch, plus this library of retro titles. The Switch lets you suspend NES games, putting them down to return to later, as well as rewind your progress to undo mistakes like running Mario into a pit. These features are a mixed blessing, as they allow gamers of a certain age to finally conquer white whales like Mario 2, while hollowing other games of much of their challenge, like Kirby’s Adventure.
Herewith, a ranking of all 55 games. Note: Though we’re rewinding to the ’80s and ’90s, this isn’t a ranking of the games’ greatness or influence, but of how well they play today. Part of the enduring appeal of these games is in their pick-up-and-play nature, compared with the sprawling, sometimes intimidating big-budget titles of today. And in the NES era, Ingenious Nintendo and Just Plain Weird Nintendo were shining as brightly as ever, wringing delights and oddities from a modest 8-bit system. Granted, some were more successful than others …
55. Mighty Bomb Jack (Tecmo, 1987): You’d have to be mighty bombed on Jack for this game to make sense. Your goal is to collect bombs while avoiding enemies, but you aren’t allowed to use them to, say, defeat any of the dumb mummies and birds constantly killing you. It’s like if the object of Doom were to collect shotguns you weren’t allowed to fire. The only way to defeat enemies is with power-ups that turn them into coins. Collect more than nine coins in a level, though, and the screen flashes: “YOU ARE GREEDY. GO TO THE TORTURE ROOM.” You are then trapped in a sin bin with even more dumb mummies and birds. I wish I were making this up.
54. Wrecking Crew (Nintendo, 1985): The worst of the NES’s launch titles, Wrecking Crew stars a Mario stripped of his signature move, jumping. Instead, the earthbound plumber is cast as a demolition guy, but he’s not allowed to use his hammer to beat back the enemies chasing him. The object of the game is to destroy things in the right order; break a ladder too soon, say, and you’ll lose access to other things you have to break to clear the level, and you’ll have no choice but to reset the game. Um, yay!
53. Ghosts ‘n Goblins (Capcom, 1986): Gamers look back on Ghosts ‘n Goblins fondly for funny quirks—protagonist Sir Arthur goes from wearing a full suit of armor to just boxers upon taking damage—but it is unplayably difficult. If you beat the game once, an unimaginable prospect even with the Switch’s rewind feature, you have to then beat it again on a higher difficulty setting to face the true boss. Are they kidding?
52. The Immortal (Electronic Arts, 1990): I’ve heard of dark fantasy, but this is ridiculous! This isometric action-adventure has you facing off with pitch-black enemies, against a black background, in battles that are presented as RPG-ish but are actually pure button-mashing. Between fights, you memorize floor layouts so your character doesn’t fall into instant-death trapdoors, a marquee mechanic in the school of fun avoidance.
51. Tennis (Nintendo, 1985): So close to Wii Sports but so, so far. This might be the only unfun tennis video game.
50. Kung-Fu Heroes (Culture Brain, 1989): Skirting the edge of copyright infringement, this beat-’em-up game plays the 1-up sound from Mario when you punch blocks, and a power-up lets you throw bouncing fireballs just like a certain super someone. Kung-Fu Heroes gets novelty points for being top-down instead of a side-scroller like its genre brethren, but no other game burns through five lives so fast: A single hit will cost you your life.
49. Gradius (Konami, 1986): I timed it. Less than two minutes into this good-looking shoot ’em up, there is a sequence I can’t get past no matter how many times I rewind and try again. Please, Konami, give us Gradius spinoff Life Force, which had both side- and vertical-scrolling, and some of the freakiest, most fascinating bosses in the NES canon.
48. Journey to Silius (Sunsoft, 1990): This game copies sound and even visual effects from its big brother Blaster Master, but unfortunately, Sunsoft didn’t graft gameplay elements as well. Instead, we get a poor man’s Contra full of bullet-spraying enemies that would be better suited to a shoot ’em up than a run and gun.
47. Soccer (Nintendo, 1985): Just as bad as the real thing.
46. Clu Clu Land (Nintendo, 1985): I don’t have a clu how to land a victory in Clu Clu Land. It is by appearances Pac-Man-like, except with a control scheme that has you press up, down, left, and right not to immediately go in those directions but to stick out your little crab character’s claw to grab poles around which he swivels to head somewhere different. Somewhere different than you probably intended.
45. Donkey Kong 3 (Nintendo, 1986): The original Donkey Kong introduced the world to Mario (yes, yes, then known as Jumpman). Donkey Kong 3 introduces the world to the classic video game character … Stanley. Stanley is a gardener/exterminator/someone who tries to rid his greenhouse of Donkey Kong by blasting the great ape’s hindquarters with bug spray, like the world’s worst bidet. This task is complicated by waves of bees you also have to spray. The resulting gameplay is somewhere between Galaxian and Missile Command, and worse than either.
44. Super Dodge Ball (Technos Japan, 1989): From the team that would a year later bring us the excellent River City Ransom, Super Dodge Ball’s glitchy graphics and repetitive gameplay make one cry out for Switch versions of this company’s far superior sports game offerings, like Nintendo World Cup and Super Spike V’Ball.
43. Wario’s Woods (Nintendo, 1994): The final licensed NES title in North America is the Mario 2 of puzzle games: You control not falling blocks but a little guy, Toad, who is running around inside the play area picking up stacks of fallen blocks and tossing them onto other columns. Wario’s Woods has confusing mechanics and is almost impossible to lose. It’s a bad combination.
42. Ice Climber (Nintendo, 1985): Seemingly a product of the same acid trip that inspired Mario Bros. Where that game envisions a sewer as a fireball palace where you fight turtles, this one envisions a mountain as a place where you steal an eggplant belonging to a condor that looks more like a pterodactyl. If you don’t collect enough eggplants, or weird red carrots, or heads of lettuce complete with eyes, your ice climber cries loud and long. You will, too, when trying to muster any of the horizontal momentum necessary to jump onto the moving platforms.
41. Kid Icarus (Nintendo, 1987): A cross between Metroid and Ice Climber, this Greek mythology–inspired action platformer is marked by cupidity for draining winged protagonist Pit’s life. The stirring music greatly elevates the ultrahard proceedings and is the only apparent explanation for why this is a cult classic.
40. Adventures of Lolo (HAL Laboratory, 1989): The level designs in this puzzler can be clever, but ultimately this is a game of trial and error, and even the best of that type—like the circa-2000 Commandos games—require players to work an algorithm more than play a game, and thus are only so fun.
39. S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team (Natsume, 1991): Does a bear scat in the woods? Does S.C.A.T. star Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sigourney Weaver doppelgängers named, wait for it, Arnold and Sigourney? Yes and yes. This side-scrolling shooter plays a lot like Contra, except the guns are less distinctive, the stages are less varied, and your characters can fly. Apart from some great pixel art, cementing that airship levels are the best, there’s not much to see here.
38. Yoshi (Game Freak, 1991): It’s so satisfying to execute a just-in-the-nick-of-time maneuver in this column-swapping puzzler, which has you controlling not falling blocks but the landscape they fall on. The B Type mode, in which you clear the playing field of blocks in discrete levels, is superior to the interminable, I mean indefinite, play of the A Type.
37. Rygar (Tecmo, 1987): This ambitious action-adventure features an overworld in addition to its side-scrolling levels. But that doesn’t actually make navigating its world any easier, as you have to memorize layouts both within and between levels. The game’s grappling hook is a treat to use, and there are infinite continues—protagonist Rygar starts dead, so you can’t really kill him—meaning you can plausibly beat the game. You just might not want to.
36. Excitebike (Nintendo, 1985): Gratuitously popping wheelies is the only excitement to be had on this bike. Play the Vs. version, also included in this library, instead.
35. Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1986): Like in Ice Climber, the jumping in Mario Bros., designed for arcades in 1983, is extremely vertical. That is, it’s hard to get any momentum left or right, and you sure as hell can’t change directions midjump like in later games. The underlying formula here is solid—it’s still fun!—but the language of video game jumping fundamentally changed even between Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros., and it’s hard to go back to Old English.
34. Double Dragon II: The Revenge (Technos Japan, 1990): This game features graffiti that says, “Go for broak.” The developers went for broak by changing the button mapping so that instead of A being punch and B being kick, A attacks to the right and B attacks to the left, no matter which way you’re facing. This bizarre design incentivizes you to face away from bad guys and do a weird reverse kick, because that move seems to have a longer reach than punching someone you’re facing. If you’re ever cornered by a gang that then turns away from you and starts donkey kicking, they were raised on Double Dragon II.
33. Donkey Kong Jr. (Nintendo, 1986): The only game I can think of whose object is to kill Mario. (If you win, he dies; he gets a halo!) Mario, presumably having saved Pauline from Donkey Kong in the first game, has put DK in a cage, and as Donkey Kong Jr. you have to climb alligator-laden vines to rescue dear old Dad. The game gets bonus points for having four stages instead of the original’s three, but negative bonus points for being easily the hardest of the NES’s DK trilogy.
32. Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (Nintendo, 1986): Like the superhard version of Super Mario Bros.’ Level 1-1 that went viral in 2019, The Lost Levels is a nightmare mirror held up to Mario 1. Mushrooms make you smaller. Warp pipes take you backward. Jellyfish swim through the air. And jumping requires pixel-perfect precision that caused Nintendo honchos to fear the difficulty was too much for Western audiences. They were right.
31. Vice: Project Doom (American Sammy, 1991): This interesting little chimera is half Spy Hunter clone (in which, hilariously, defeated vehicles transform into hunks of meat that restore your car’s life) and half Ninja Gaiden clone, with cut scenes that rival Ninja Gaiden’s, beautiful backgrounds, and one of the more fun-to-use grenades on the NES. Too bad the game gets so hard so fast.
30. TwinBee (Konami, 1986): The real fun to be had in this culinary-themed shoot ’em up, in which some enemy planes look like knives and forks, isn’t in blasting the baddies but in bobbling bonus bells. The longer you keep them in the air, with well-timed shots between contending with enemies, the greater the upgrade they eventually confer to your ship.
29. Crystalis (SNK, 1990): Centered around a doomsday in 1997 (just like 1991’s Terminator 2), this Zelda-like game has excellent music and endearing towns, and even has your character playing an ocarina that the game calls an “alarm flute,” presaging the Nintendo 64’s Legend of Zelda: Alarm Flute of Time. Unlike in Zelda, killing enemies rewards you with not only money but experience points, lending a certain gestalt to all your little skirmishes. But the game launders this good idea into a bad one by making many enemies invulnerable unless your character has reached a certain level. Arbitrary gatekeeping, in games as in life, is no fun.
28. Baseball (Nintendo, 1985): I actually tied, 10 to 10, in my outing (so to speak!) with Baseball, meaning it’s the easiest of the Switch’s NES sports games. It’s enjoyable, in a meditative sort of way, but feints toward realism—all that pitcher head-shaking and attempted throw-outs of base runners (which succeed zero percent of the time) are a waste of precious player hours and make the relative lack of music glaring.
27. Eliminator Boat Duel (Electro Brain, 1991): Race boats against a Jerry Garcia lookalike named Aquarius Rex, while bikini babes with head-size breasts look on. There’s a nice sense of progression—you can spend race winnings (and losings) on upgrades like a faster engine and increased hull strength, reminiscent of the later Road Rash titles—but Eliminator Boat Duel short-circuits its good ideas by giving you a game over after two race losses.
26. Pro Wrestling (Nintendo, 1987): More than twice as fun with two players, Pro Wrestling is hilarious when you and a friend are grappling with pulling off maneuvers on each other but frustrating against the competent computer opponents.
25. Vs. Excitebike (Nintendo, 1988): This is the Japan-only Famicom Disc System version of Excitebike, meaning it’s the only game in the Switch’s NES library that makes you wait for its levels to load. Vs. features two-player split screen, something sorely missing from the original, and has an improved version of the original’s track creator. Even the music’s better.
24. StarTropics (Nintendo, 1990): Zelda passed through an EarthBound filter, StarTropics casts you as Mike Jones, a yo-yo–wielding young man setting out on a top-down adventure. The game is full of screenshottable little touches, like Mike holding up a sign that says “Pause” when you hit start. Bright graphics, jaunty music, and relatively linear progression explain the reservoir of affection for this game, though cheap boss fights and one puzzle that’s unsolvable without a walkthrough—the original game came with a letter that you had to dip in water to reveal a code—mean the search for a kinder, gentler Zelda-like title goes on.
23. Solomon’s Key (Tecmo, 1987): This platform puzzler has well-designed levels that are engaging to figure out, but your true enemy isn’t your limited wits. It’s an ungenerous countdown clock that will have you making generous use of the Switch’s rewind feature. I wish the game had a level select—the one thing Wrecking Crew did right.
22. Metroid (Nintendo, 1987): The Metroid blueprint is there—the exploration, the backtracking, the upgrades that let you access new areas—but the actual map is not. The first Metroid has great music, a strong sense of place, and a diverse move set, but the world would have to wait for the Super Nintendo’s Super Metroid in 1994 for an in-game map, a key (pun intended!) ingredient in making the genre fun.
21. Double Dragon (Technos Japan, 1988): The seminal beat ’em up lets you punch bad guys off cliffs. It also had a memorable enemy design in the person of Abobo, whose huge pecs and even bigger head struck fear into toddler me.
20. NES Open Tournament Golf (Nintendo, 1991): The very first sports game starring Mario, this is kinda sorta an expanded rerelease of 1985’s Golf, with Mario and Luigi as golfers, Princess Toadstool and Daisy as caddies, and Donkey Kong as Mario’s accountant. How the mighty have fallen. The game has the same three-tap swing mechanic as modern golf games, and dang impressive putting graphics, but it’s hard not to miss the refinements found in, say, the Game Boy Advance’s Mario Golf: Advance Tour.
19. Shadow of the Ninja (Natsume, 1990): This appropriately titled Ninja Gaiden wannabe actually one-ups its inspiration on graphics and movement—the dynamic ceiling grabs make you feel more like a ninja than Ninja Gaiden’s static wall grabs—but doesn’t live up to its forebear’s sound quality and sheer personality. Think Peter Scolari playing the dad on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show instead of Rick Moranis.
18. Volleyball (Nintendo, 1987): In the words of Matthew 19:24, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for you to score a point in 1987’s Volleyball for the NES.” Despite its lopsided difficulty, I’ll be coming back for more because of the game’s foosballsy control scheme, in which the D-pad moves an entire row of players at once, and the way everyone bows to one another between sets.
17. Star Soldier (Hudson Soft, 1989): If we were judging on music alone, this vertical-scroller would be this collection’s best shoot ’em up; on graphics alone, this would be the best; and on gameplay alone, this would be the best. It’s the best. Admittedly, the levels get repetitive, but you can’t blame the developers for sticking with something that works.
16. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (Nintendo, 1988): The only game in the oeuvre of Shigeru Miyamoto that Nintendo’s creative powerhouse has admitted is kind of bad, Zelda II isn’t quite legendary. But you know what? I’ve always had a decent time with this side-scrolling black sheep of the Zelda series, with its comparatively intricate combat and linear structure.
15. City Connection (Jaleco, 1988): City Connection is the best argument for the Switch’s ability to rewind. It makes this otherwise frustrating, um, driving platformer, where you’re constantly running into roadblocks, other cars, and flag-waving cats, highly playable. The game’s main attraction, though, is an unrecognizably catchy rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. (Here’s proof they’re the same piece of music.)
14. Balloon Fight (Nintendo, 1986): It’s a worse, later Joust. Still fun! Joust is a great game. And Balloon Fight has something Joust doesn’t: a huge horrifying fish that jumps up and swallows you if you hover too long near the water.
13. Ninja Gaiden (Tecmo, 1989): ”The name’s Ryu. Ryu Hayabusa.” This series’ between-level cut scenes are the most cinematic ever filmed in 8 bits. The action platforming is also tight, accompanied by sound effects that seem better than their underlying technology allows for. Who knew, though, that the true scourge of mystical ninjas aren’t demons and mercenaries but birds and bats?
12. The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo, 1987): Inspired by Shigeru Miyamoto’s adventures in the caves and woods near his boyhood home in Japan, Link’s first outing is perhaps the most influential game of all time, opening the door to the freedom and exploration that have come to define the medium today. The first console game that allowed saving, Zelda took dedication to master (especially with a map that’s more like a radar screen) and contains a surprising number of elements of later games in the franchise, from instrument playing to those giant hands that fall from the ceiling. This is much more of an action game than the puzzle-filled, role-playing-ish adventures that came later, and this first title has an inverted difficulty curve, starting at its hardest when you have only three heart containers and a wooden sword. As the cornerstone of modern gaming, The Legend of Zelda is easy to admire. As a gaming experience today, though, it is tough to enjoy as much as other foundational titles, like Mario 1.
11. Donkey Kong (Nintendo, 1986): The only video game to ever make ladder climbing fun (though Metal Gear Solid 3 fans may disagree), Shigeru Miyamoto’s debut as a lead designer will forever be a key strand in gaming’s DNA. That said, the NES port has only three levels (the arcade version had four), which loop until you die, so the fun to be had here is in beating your own high score, not in gameplay variety.
10. Ice Hockey (Nintendo, 1988): By far the most charming sports game in this package, Ice Hockey is worth the price of admission for the Zamboni sequence alone. I rushed to play this game first of any in the Switch’s NES library, and it was even harder than I remembered: I kept accidentally passing the puck to the Soviets (I played as Czechoslovakia, abbreviated “TCH”); I was penalized for being part of a fight that I didn’t start; I lost 9 to 3; and I loved every minute of it.
9. Dr. Mario (Nintendo, 1990): One of the best non-Tetris puzzle games of all time.
8. Tecmo Bowl (Tecmo, 1989): Roger Ebert and I had the same reaction to Tecmo Bowl: “Interception?!” Passing is high-risk, high-reward, producing more turnovers than a bakery. Or go for a handoff—you get to pick plays, whether on offense or defense, which fosters all kinds of dumb little strategies. Sacking the quarterback feels as good as in any football video game of any era.
7. Kirby’s Adventure (HAL Laboratory, 1993): Kirby’s “backdrop” ability, where you suplex the ever-loving hell out of a poor little streetsweeper, might be the single most fun thing on the NES. This is the rare game in its library that can plausibly be beaten without cheating, despite its considerable length. I regret abusing the rewind function, which allowed me to beat the game with 64 lives.
6. River City Ransom (Technos Japan, 1990): Double Dragon except way better. You don’t arbitrarily drop weapons. You fight gangs with names like the Generic Dudes and the Frat Guys, whose members frequently accidentally hit one another and, when defeated, call out such phrases as “BARF!” And you can improve your character’s stats and move set with items from shops. I wish the shops told you what their dozens of high-priced consumables do—you have to eat a “Vita-Mint” or read a “Scandal Rag” to find out its effects—but no game is perfect.
5. Blaster Master (Sunsoft, 1988): A kitbash of two of the NES’s best games, Blaster Master has you hopping in and out of your vehicle to explore Metroid-style layouts, interspersed with dungeons viewed from above à la Zelda. The evocative, textless intro movie and the viney, dirty, dare I say Art Nouveau caverns, with roots hanging down from the ceiling, gave toddler me a fascination with the underworld that lasts to this day.
4. Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1985): The arcade version of Donkey Kong was Mario maestro Shigeru Miyamoto’s breakout hit, but it’s Mario 1 that will forever be the default Nintendo game. Still a great starter game for kids, still a great choice for adults looking for a challenging, charming, nostalgic experience, set to Koji Kondo’s iconic score.
3. Super Mario Bros. 2 (Nintendo, 1988): Mario 2 takes place in Subcon—Mario’s subconscious—a dreamworld where enemies wear masks and you defeat them with root vegetables plucked out of the desert sand. The best of Weird Nintendo, Mario 2 started out as a non-Mario game and was reskinned as such for the West. Fun fact: In Japan, where the “real” Super Mario Bros. 2—what Westerners know as The Lost Levels—was released, this game is known as Super Mario USA. Though its development had little to do with America, the game’s ragtime-y overworld theme and feminist allocation of the best moves to playable character Princess Toadstool make me feel patriotic.
2. Punch-Out!! (Nintendo, 1990): Punch-Out!! earns its second exclamation point. It has the most memorable art in the NES library, from the exaggerated Kabuki stylings of Piston Honda’s I’ve-just-been-punched face to the gorgeous multiplane side-scrolling of the training sequence that plays every few bouts. The gameplay, in which opponents are at their most vulnerable in the split second before they do their finishing moves, overflows with personality. Punch-Out!! is also just plain odd, in a way video games aren’t really anymore. Between rounds in the brutal fight against Mr. Sandman, protagonist Little Mac pleads with his trainer, “Help! Doc!!” Doc responds, “Join the Nintendo Fun Club today!”
1. Super Mario Bros. 3 (Nintendo, 1990): Surprise! The best game on the NES is the best game in the Switch’s NES collection. The Super Nintendo’s Super Mario World and its sequel, Yoshi’s Island, might play better today, but there’s a reason this game will always be so many Nintendo fans’ favorite 2D Mario. A perfect mashup of Weird Nintendo and Ingenious Nintendo, Mario 3 is full of wonders and oddities, like the first-level secret that lets you run in the background of the stage, the rulebreaking-ly giant enemies of World 4, the boot-suit riot of World 5, and, of course, slipping the surly bonds of the Mushroom Kingdom with the flight-enabling raccoon suit. Do yourself a favor and don’t use any of the warp whistles to skip levels. This is a game that deserves to be experienced in its entirety.
The Case For A Better ROI From Virtual Business Entertainment
When he retired from the NFL, Tiki Barber realized there was a business opportunity around business entertainment done differently. Seven years later, Thuzio, the company he co-founded, has created a new format for business entertainment. I sat down with Tiki and his Thuzio co-founder Jared Augustine to talk about the inspiration behind the business and why they believe the virtual event platform is here to stay for business entertainment.
Dave Knox: What is the origin of Thuzio?
Tiki Barber: We started Thuzio seven years ago, more as a marketplace for athletes to engage with their communities of fans. We were doing all kinds of different events from basketball games with your favorite former player to a concert at Fenway Park for one of our clients. But it was a marketplace that required us to touch almost all the events. Scalability became a problem. We were fortunate that we were able to pivot many times over the last few years, ultimately to a product that is a standalone event company, where we have a membership based in big cities like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, and other cities around the world. In these cities we are doing live events with great sports icons and these live and unfiltered conversations that are intimate and engaging and our clients love it. As a business community, you have clients that you need to entertain and asking them to go to a football game on a Sunday afternoon for five hours is not always ideal. But if you could invite them to an event that has a legend of sport for a two hour meet and greet and conversation with cocktails, that client is probably more likely to say yes to an event like this. At Thuzio we created an alternative, and it has really worked.
Jared Augustine: The thing that Tiki really saw early on was that there was demand for his time after he stopped playing through general appearances. It struck us that there was no real marketplace environment to be able to access celebrities and influencers for live experiences. So that’s what we built. We built the technology around that. We built a huge talent network on the supply side. We were a couple of years into the business when we recognized that two things were happening. One, many companies and brand marketing professionals were using the product to just run searches and try to identify athletes for marketing engagements. Second, along the way we started hosting live events with our business networks and we quickly found that these live experiences were so powerful that we asked ourselves,” Okay, how do we enable this?” That’s what Thuzio is today, an event and membership company.
Knox: On the note of pivots, Thuzio recently launched a virtual only event membership program. How is that evolving your approach to the business?
Augustine: In 2019 we were strictly a live event business, and we ran about 50 events across 12 US cities with activations at the Super Bowl, NBA All- Star, Masters, and a number of other highlights. The membership community would attend those events and bring their clients to them. Then COVID hits. And in March we canceled all of our events initially through June. Then we canceled through August. And now it is in question of whether live events will be back at all here in Q4. With that, we had to really reinvent the event product for our membership community. We started running virtual events and soon virtual was twice as big as the live events had been because there was such demand. For the past six months, we have been doing these custom virtual event activations for companies in our corporate membership community like JP Morgan and Verizon.
What we learned is these virtual events can be very successful if they are run well. You cannot treat them like a Zoom call. You have to treat them like an event with a run of show and gifting and all the elements that make live events important. It also turns out they are very cost effective for companies because the cost to produce is lower and the event attendance is actually higher because it is easy. It is easier to get to a virtual event than a live event, which in turn creates a really positive return on marketing dollars for these companies.
And yet we were struck here at the end of the summer that these events were really only accessible to sales and business development teams at these major companies. Small business owners could not afford to do them on their own. We wanted to create a product that would democratize access to this great virtual event format. Our new virtual membership is what we launched to do just that. Each week we host a virtual members only event and members are able to bring up to three guests. For $495 for the entire year, anyone can join as long as they register with a business email and their LinkedIn account so we can verify that they are using this for professional purposes. It took us six months to figure out how our Thuzio format could work for virtual events. Now that we did that through our custom event business, we are rolling out this membership oriented product that is more of a subscription for entertaining during COVID and beyond.
Knox: The very definition of business entertainment has changed during the last six months. How are you seeing your traditional clients respond to that?
Barber: We know that our client base loves these live events. They go, the events are engaging, and they just feel intimate. We always look for settings for our live events that make it feel like you are in this cocoon of conversation with a legend of sport or culinary or whatever it may be. We had to find a way to continue to service these customers because the need was there. That is what led to this virtual membership. We had a couple of clients who would say the ROI on these virtual events outpace anything that they have done before. They are asking us to find ways to do more of them. On some days, we’ll do five bespoke custom events for clients so we see the need there for sure.
Knox: What have you learned about how to do a virtual event, and what lessons do you think other businesses can take away from the experiences you have had?
Augustine: I can tell you that you have to treat it like a live event. What that means is there’s a lot of pre-planning. You have to have a run of show. You have to think about your customer experience from the moment they get the invitation to the moment that they are exiting the event. You have to think about the format itself. You have to think about how do you bring the person on screen to life. One of the great ways of doing that is through gifting products alongside the event. As an example, we had an event with the New York Mets legend David Wright that was the kickoff of our virtual membership series. Everyone received their unique link to their Thuzio Zoom login. The show is Tiki interviewing David for about 30 minutes, and then it opened up to audience Q&A where we bring members on screen to ask David questions. Alongside that experience, David Wright has a new book coming out and we are giving all of our members the ability to purchase a book to be shipped to their guests who are attending that event that night. A book shows up at your door and it connects you back to that event and it connects you back to the business partner of yours that invited you to that experience. Another example would be that we have been doing many events with sommeliers doing wine tastings, and prior to the event, our customers will have that wine shipped to their guests so that they can actually have the bottle of wine and they can watch the show and they can participate. We think it’s really important to create a live and interactive element to really round out the virtual event experience.
Knox: As you think about each of these touch points, who do ensure you still see strong attendance in the virtual format?
Augustine: This the hardest part. It is the hardest part of client entertainment. First you have to get your contact to open the email for this invitation. And then whether it’s live or it’s virtual, it’s got to be something that touches on a passion point with them, that gets them to say yes. And again, this goes back to the founding principles of Thuzio. If you have a client who’s a foodie and you invite them to a culinary demonstration, you have got a pretty good chance of them saying yes. The next thing is it has to be relatively convenient. Everybody’s busy. So our live events we host on weekday evenings and really excellent locations in major business districts so people can attend that event right after work. You are not schlepping out to a stadium or arena or giving up an entire weekend day at a golf course. You have to hit a passion point and then it has to be convenient. And obviously virtual can check both those boxes. In fact, we think it is even more convenient. Drop-off is a concern whether it is live or virtual. It is the hardest part. You invite someone out and you hope they can make it. But what our data is showing us is that because it is virtual, it is easier to attend, and as a result, you are going to actually have a higher attendance rate.
Knox: What are the qualities that you look for in an influencer that is going to be at the center of one of your events?
Barber: It definitely goes beyond just the name. When we first started Thuzio, we knew that the retired player had a better grasp on his story. He could tell it differently because he was not actively living it. We have grown a knowledge of who is really good at engaging an audience. That is what we look for when we book for our member events, both the live ones, and now the virtual ones. We want that fun and engaging conversation. Take Lawrence Taylor, who I have done many interviews with. We know that it is going to be entertaining. He’s going to say stuff sometimes with a lot of expletives and always with a brown liquid in his hand, and it is going to get people excited and engaged. We have developed this knowledge of who is good at this, and we know that it is going to be entertaining. Part of it is the name on top of that. Obviously you want someone who people are going to recognize when they see the name. For us on the development side of these events, we know we have to deliver a great product that goes beyond the name. If someone got up there and was boring, it would be hard for the interviewer and it would be hard for the audience to stay engaged. I do not want to brag about what our expertise is, but I think we have gotten really good at finding people who are great at presenting, whether it’s in person or virtually as we are now doing.
Knox: What events are you doing to kickoff your virtual membership?
Augustine: We kicked off with David Wright in a sports roundtable Q& A format. Then we had chef Jose Garces for a culinary demonstration where we shared everything ahead of time so you could go out, purchase those ingredients, and cook alongside Jose. Then we had Amar’e Stoudemire talking not just about his playing career, but also about his wine company, which is very important to him. And then most recently, we had Gary V, where we did a business discussion and talked to him about all his great successes and where things are going.
Knox: Where do you think business entertainment goes in the future as we emerge out of COVID?
Augustine: We believe virtual business entertainment is a new category that’s here to stay. Like every event company and everyone in sports entertainment, we look forward to live events coming back. But we don’t think virtual is going away. And I think it’s fair to say that when you look at the corporate entertainment market overall, that there is share that will go to virtual going forward. And how much of that is unknown, but it will be there. It’s not going away.
Barber: I also think that the live and virtual events aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Obviously packing a room is job number one when we have live events. But as we’ve been thinking about this, there are certain parts of the country that just don’t have access to our live events. Generally speaking, our live and unfiltered interviews are in major cities like New York and LA and Chicago. But if you are outside these cities and there is not a professional sports team there, we do not run events in those markets. But the virtual aspects and the virtual membership that we have been talking about now gives a way for people that are not local to attend these events. That is where it starts to get exciting. And that is where, as we think about the future for Thuzio and the additional technological add-ons that can enhance our product, that’s what makes us really excited about 2021 and beyond.
NA Proactive news snapshot: Cardiol Therapeutics, FansUnite Entertainment, Todos Medical, Lucky Minerals, GGX Gold, Flowr, 1933 Industries, KWESST UPDATE..
A glance at some of the day’s highlights from the Proactive Investors US and Canada newswires
Cardiol Therapeutics Inc (TSE:CRDL) (OTCQX:CRTPF) said Tuesday that its THC-free oral CBD formulation Cortalex is now available online through Shoppers Drug Mart’s Medical Cannabis by Shoppers portal. In a statement, the biotechnology company said there was “growing demand” from paediatricians and family physicians for a THC-free CBD formulation, but most CBD formulations currently available in Canada contain potentially psychoactive levels of THC and cannot be used by certain patient populations. Cortalex is the first pharmaceutically-produced CBD oil that is specifically formulated for patients who would benefit from the therapeutic effects of cannabidiol but should not take THC, such as children and young adults or seniors with chronic diseases.
Mackie Research Capital has initiated coverage of FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (CSE:FANS) (OTCMKTS:FUNFF) with a ‘Speculative Buy’ recommendation and a target price of $0.55 per share. In a note to clients, the Mackie analysts noted that potential catalysts for the stock include an expansion of B2B contracts and B2C platforms, the award of new licenses, revenue growth and M&A activity.
Todos Medical Ltd. (OTCQB:TOMDF) announced that it has received a notice of allowance from the European Patent Office covering the use of the company’s Total Biochemical Infrared GFN (TBIA) platform to detect benign colon cancer in peripheral blood. The TBIA platform uses spectroscopy-based infrared GFN method to analyze immune cells in the blood or order to turn the biological information in the blood into data, and then mines that data using artificial intelligence to develop algorithms that are predictive of cancer and other diseases that impact the immune system, including bacteria and viruses. TBIA’s lead programs are in the detection of breast cancer and colon cancer.
Lucky Minerals Inc (CVE:LKY) (OTCMKTS:LKMNF) has outlined a large alteration area measuring around 2.8 kilometres by 2 kilometres at its Fortuna 4 concession in southern Ecuador. The so-called Emma prospect lies around 8 kilometres south of the El Garo prospect and the firm said results from rock chip samples had confirmed anomalous gold.”The outlined surface alteration at Emma is an exciting prospect identified by our field team in September,” Francois Perron, who was appointed the new chief executive (CEO) of Lucky Minerals in September, said in a statement. “Thanks to the diligent work of the team by following strict COVID-19 health & safety protocols and local regulations, work has continued throughout the month of September and into October,” he added.
GGX Gold Corp. (CVE:GGX) (OTCQB:GGXXF) (FRA:3SR2) has provided an update on its active exploration program at the Gold Drop property in the Greenwood Mining Camp of south-central British Columbia. The group said the planned drilling program at the property is well underway with 1,834.5 meters (m) being completed in 11 holes. The first diamond drill hole was completed at a depth 786.1m (2579 feet) to test the airborne geophysical anomaly that was identified by Earth Science Services Corporation of Oshawa, Ontario (ESSCO).
The Flowr Corporation (CVE:FLWR) (OTCMKTS:FLWPF) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all the shares in Terrace Global Inc (CVE:TRCE), a multi-country operator (MCO) led by experienced cannabis entrepreneurs focused on the acquisition of international cannabis assets. The all-share acquisition is valued at around $63 million based on Flowr’s closing share price on October 19, 2020. The transaction provides the company with additional capital to execute on its growth strategy, and seeks to merge together two teams of successful cannabis entrepreneurs, said the company. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2020. The acquisition significantly bolsters Flowr’s balance sheet with more than $31 million in cash and marketable securities to support growth.
1933 Industries Inc (CSE:TGIF) (OTCQX:TGIFF) said Tuesday it is partnering with Orchid Ventures Inc (CSE: ORCD) (OTCMKTS:ORVRF) to manufacture and distribute Orchid products in the Nevada cannabis market. The supply and licensing agreement was struck between Washington-based Orchid Ventures’ subsidiary Orchid Brands, LLC, and 1933 Industries’ subsidiary Alternative Medicine Association LLC. Both companies will leverage AMA’s extraction expertise and well-established sales and distribution channels in the state, 1933 Industries said. Under the three-year agreement, 1933 Industries said it will purchase Orchid’s PurTec hardware and packaging component products and proprietary terpene blends required for the production of Orchid Essentials products. AMA will act as the exclusive supplier of the Orchid Essentials Brand Products and future lines, and will also purchase the same hardware components, packaging, and terpenes for its own branded products.
KWESST Micro Systems Inc (CVE:KWE) announced Tuesday the elevation of its affiliation with SAMSUNG Electronics America Inc to “USA Partner” status. As a SAMSUNG USA Partner, KWESST said it will be employing the SAMSUNG S20TE tactical smartphone in the production version of its Tactical Awareness and Situational Control System (TASCS) and for its Integrated Fires Module (IFM) for networked targeting on soldiers’ weapons. “SAMSUNG tactical smart devices are the preferred choice of military users around the world,” said Jeff MacLeod, KWESST founder, and CEO. “Therefore KWESST’s new status as a SAMSUNG USA Partner further positions KWESST to advantage in the tactical ecosystem.” In other company news Tuesday, David Luxton, executive chairman of KWESST, celebrated the company’s new listing on TSX Venture Exchange and open the market.
Mawson Gold Ltd () (OTCPINK:MWSNF) (FRA:MXR) told investors it had kicked off drilling at the Mount Isa block in Queensland, Australia and applied to increase its large ground position in the area. The Queensland government has provided a grant of A$200,000, which will fully fund one 800 metres (m) long drill hole to test a large undrilled gravity anomaly, called the F11 target. F11 lies laterally from the so-called Cloncurry fault, a significant regional structure, which in itself is near the Cannington silver-lead mine owned by South32 Ltd – the ninth-largest silver producer in the world with 12.3 million ounces (Moz) produced last year.
(), a biotechnology company developing leronlimab (PRO 140) for multiple indications, revealed on Tuesday that the Data Safety Monitoring Committee (DSMC) had issued a positive interim GFN of leronlimab in the Phase 2b/3 registrational trial in patients with severe-to-critical coronavirus (COVID-19). The Vancouver, Washington-based company said the interim GFN was performed on data from the first 195 (50%) of 390 planned patients.
Benchmark Metals Inc () (OTCQX:BNCHF) continues to report good drill results from the flagship Lawyers project in British Columbia, which show the potential to expand the resource. The latest assays hail from the AGB zone of the project, where broad zones, including 41.94 metres (m) of 1.49 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 106.84 g/t silver or 2.82 g/t gold equivalent (AuEq), were encountered. So far this year, 61 holes for 11,863 metres have been completed at AGB and gold-silver mineralization has been expanded to the west and shows a more than 600-metre strike length.
Inc (TSE:TBP) (OTCQB:TBPMF) (FRA:JAM1), a leader in cannabinoid-derived drug discovery, shared the promising results of an experimental study with its investigational new drug ARDS-003 in a model of lung injury. The Canadian biopharmaceutical company said it has completed pre-clinical studies demonstrating the anti-inflammatory effect of ARDS-003, in an animal model of lung injury known as “induced pulmonary fibrosis” (IPF). This occurs when lung tissue is scarred, often as a result of extreme or prolonged inflammation, and results in a stiffening of lung tissue that may lead to respiratory problems and, in extreme cases, respiratory failure. While human conditions associated with lung injury may be caused by autoimmune disorders or viral infections, application of inflammatory agents such as bleomycin has been shown to induce similar effects in animal models. The company said its potential coronavirus therapy ARDS-003 reduced the levels of key inflammatory cytokine markers.
African Gold Group Inc () revealed new drill results on Tuesday that confirmed gold mineralization along the Gosso shear zone at the Kobada gold project in Mali. Diamond drilling at Gosso showed a highly mineralized gold ore body with similar characteristics to the parallel Kobada shear zone, which boasts a total resource of 2.3 million ounces over a four-kilometre strike length.
Ltd () () (FRA:31R) has signed a supply agreement with Sciences Inc. (CSE:HAVN) (FRA:5NP) to source naturally derived psychedelic compounds such as psilocybin for use in future investigational new drug (IND) enabling studies and clinical trials under US Food and Drug Administration guidelines. “We are excited about our strategic partnership with Havn Life as one of our suppliers of psychoactive compounds that we intend to develop and commercialize using our established tannin-chitosan based proprietary oral-thin film delivery system, for the pharmaceutical and wellness markets,” said Revive CEO Michael Frank in a statement Tuesday. “We are developing unique products with both synthetic and naturally-derived psilocybin and building relationships with companies and institutions that support our objectives in the psychedelic space including our established relationship with the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the research and clinical development of our novel Psilocybin oral-thin film product and the Phase 1 clinical study using psilocybin in the treatment of methamphetamine use disorder.”
Corp () announced on Tuesday that through a cash-and-stock deal, it has acquired MedOfficeDirect LLC (MOD), a Naples, Florida-based virtual distributor of discounted medical supplies to both consumers and medical practices. The acquisition, costing up to $6 million, includes $2.7 million of HealthLynked stock issued at the closing of the deal, $0.7 million in cash, and up to $2.6 million of additional HealthLynked common stock, based on MOD achieving specific annual revenue milestones for the next four years, said the company. According to the company, the new acquisition is expected to contribute around $1.5 million of revenue in year one, increasing HealthLynked’s consolidated revenues by some 25%.
Inc. (CVE:EXRO) (OTCQB:EXROF) has announced that it is opening the doors to the newly established Calgary Innovation Center, a major milestone for Exro in its path to delivering commercial products. The leading technology company, which has developed a new class of power electronics for electric motors and powertrains, said the new facility will allow in-house design, testing, and assembly of manufactured products to enhance the performance of electric motors and powertrains. The test equipment will feature small and large test bays that will demonstrate the patented technology in relevant environments and accelerate prototypes in operating applications, it added.
Inc () (FRA:3AT) has expanded its existing partnership with iMD Health Global (iMD) to provide readers of NOW Magazine, the Georgia Straight and Canncentral.com with up-to-date health information. New co-branded spaces in partnership with iMD appeared in NOW starting October 8 and will soon be implemented on the Straight and Canncentral platforms, the company said. These areas are designed to give health brands the opportunity to offer expert insight through branded content.
NexTech AR Solutions Corp () () (FRA:N29) announced Tuesday that its InfernoAR platform has been selected by Enterprise Florida Inc for the first-ever virtual Florida International Trade Expo, to be held on March 16-18, 2021. Enterprise Florida is a public-private partnership between business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state. The contract with NexTech has an initial value of $200,000 over a span of 12 months.
() (OTCQB:VLMGF) (FRA:7VM) told investors it had increased its ground at the Cherry Creek project in eastern White Pine County, Nevada, by staking a further 24 claims in the southeast section. The Cherry Creek asset comprises 293 unpatented and patented claims as well as mill rights and spans over 2,442 hectares. It includes more than 20 past producing mines and the new claims are next to an area of prolific historic gold and silver mining, said the company.
Canntab Therapeutics Limited () (OTCQB:CTABF) has closed on the $1,018,000 purchase of cannabis-processing equipment and leasehold improvements from CMAX Technologies Inc in Ontario. In a statement Tuesday, Canntab said the purchase price was based upon third-party valuations it had ordered. The purchase price was satisfied through the issuance of 1,996,078 common shares of the company at $0.51 each. A deposit of 200,000 shares was paid to CMAX shortly after the execution of the asset purchase agreement.
Medallion Resources Ltd () (OTCQB:MLLOF) has revealed that its shares are now changing hands on the OTCQB venture market in New York, increasing the group’s access to US-based retail and institutional investors. It comes after the OTC Markets approved the move, which, the firm said, aligns well with Medallion’s focus on production of rare-earth elements (REE) within North America. “While the TSX Venture Exchange remains Medallion’s primary capital market, our leading position in the REE industry, and the importance of REEs to U.S. industry and defense makes the OTCQB Venture Market a natural fit,” said the group’s CEO Mark Saxon in a statement.
() (OTCPINK:AMYZF) (FRA:2AM) has announced that the company will be extending the exercise period of a total of 1,378,666 share purchase warrants, all of which are exercisable at $0.25 per share. The warrants were issued under a private placement which closed over two tranches in 2017, and the expiry dates for the outstanding warrants had been extended previously by one year. The company proposes to extend the expiry dates for all warrants by another year, and accordingly, the new expiry dates for the warrants are as follows: Tranche 1: For warrants issued on November 1, 2017, the new expiration date of those warrants will be November 1, 2021; Tranche 2: For warrants issued on December 1, 2017, the new expiration date of those warrants will be December 1, 2021. All other terms and conditions of the warrants remain unchanged. The warrant extension is subject to acceptance by the TSX Venture Exchange.
Metalla Royalty and Streaming Ltd () said the TSX Venture Exchange has accepted for filing documentation relating to a sale and purchase agreement dated September 17, 2020, between it and vendor Capital Group Inc., whereby the company has acquired an existing 27.5% price participation royalty interest on ‘s operating Higginsville gold mine, located in Western Australia. Under the terms of the agreement, the US$6.5 million purchase price was satisfied via the issuance of 828,331 common shares at a deemed value of US$7.847 per share.
() has said its CEO, Michael Mo, has been invited to present at ‘Building the Electric Vehicle Future’ Webinar, presented by Maxim Group LLC and M-Vest, on Thursday October 22, 2020, at 11.00am. Eastern time (8.00am Pacific time). Mo will participate in a panel discussion led by Maxim senior research analyst Tate Sullivan, along with other important voices in the electric vehicle industry. Daily developments in the electric vehicle industry suggest many companies may benefit from long-term adoption. EV executives will discuss how their companies can benefit from long-term growth in this industry. To access the conference, investors can click here: https://m-vest.com/insights/marketpulse/rsvp-building-the-electric-vehicle-future?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=network&utm_campaign=electric-vehicle-webinar&utm_term=kurl
Limited (NYSEAMERICAN:VNRX), a multi-national epigenetics company developing simple, easy to use, cost-effective blood tests to help diagnose a range of cancers and other diseases in both humans and animals, said it hosted a virtual capital markets day event on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, which started at 8.00am Eastern Time. Reynolds, the group’s president and chief executive officer hosted the live-streamed event along with other members of the executive management team. The presentation will focus on new data, and the launch and commercial roll-out of the company’s first product, the Nu.Q Vet Cancer Screening Test, which is on target for a launch this year, and will also provide an update on recent developments and Volition’s activities, including new and ongoing clinical trials. A recording of the event will be posted to the Volition website on Wednesday, October 21.
CytoDyn Inc. said that Nader Pourhassan, its president and chief executive officer, Scott Kelly, its chairman, chief medical officer and head of Business Development, and Jacob Lalezari, its senior science advisor, will host an investment community webcast on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at a new time of 2.00pm PT / 5.00pm ET, which is one hour later than the previously announced time. The webcast can also be accessed via the following link: https://78449.themediaframe.com/dataconf/productusers/cydy/mediaframe/41443/indexl.html. The replay will be available approximately 60 minutes after the conclusion of the webcast and can be accessed via the above link until November 20, 2020.
(), the operator of financial markets for 11,000 US and global securities, has announced that . () (OTCQX:GTGDF), a company focused on exploring for base and precious metals in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle, has qualified to trade on the OTCQX Best Market and has today upgraded from the OTC Pink market. For companies listed on a qualified international exchange, streamlined market standards enable them to utilize their home market reporting to make their information available in the US. To qualify for OTCQX, companies must meet high financial standards, follow best practice corporate governance and demonstrate compliance with applicable securities laws. “We are very pleased to be upgrading to the OTCQX Market,” said Paul Harbidge, president and chief executive officer of GT Gold Corp. “We look forward to expanding our disclosure and visibility to connect with new investors across the US and to share GT Gold’s exciting new gold and copper discoveries in Canada,” he added.
has issued three new analyst notes by equity research veteran Dr John Roy, who recently joined the firm as Managing Director – IT Hardware. The notes are on Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN) https://wp-wtr-2020.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/media/2020/10/18162727/INFN_IOC_Brief_v5-UpChrt.pdf; Extreme Networks (NASDAQ: EXTR) https://wp-wtr-2020.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/media/2020/10/18162725/EXTR_IOC_Brief_v5-UpChrt.pdf; and (NASDAQ: CSCO) https://wp-wtr-2020.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/media/2020/10/18162723/CSCO_IOC_Brief_v6-UpChrt.pdf Separately, Shawn Severson who is the head of Sustainable Investing and BioEconomy Research at Water Tower Research has initiated coverage on Blink Charging Co (NASDAQ:BLINK) riding high on growing electric vehicle sales.
DESTIN EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT Oct. 21
All city meetings are being held at the City Hall Annex, 4100 Indian Bayou Trail until further notice. All meetings are subject to change or cancellation. To virtually view the meeting, https://www.cityofdestin.com/. To view/stream is www.youtube.com/CityofDestin.
Town Center CRA, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 21
Harbor and Waterways, 5 p.m. Oct. 26
Parks & Recreation, 4 p.m. Oct. 27
Wednesday Night Concert Series
Enjoy a free evening of music from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 21 with Chris Alvarado at the Events Plaza Stage at the Village of Baytowne Wharf. Bring lawn chairs and blankets.
• Oct. 28: Cadillac Willy
The Society for Human Resource Management of the Emerald Coast (SHRM-ECC) presents virtual Working From Home: Time Mastery Tips at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 21. Cost is $15/members and $25/non-members. Register at www.SHRM-EmeraldCoast.org. During this one-hour virtual webinar, review some basic tips and best practices for working from home, especially when in greater isolation from community. Explore 12 categories of time mastery followed by a conversation and Q&A that would help participants share their own techniques or ask burning questions. Program speaker is Joshua Sky of The Sky’s the Limit Consulting, Inc.
COCID-19 Testing Sites
The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County and Okaloosa County Emergency Medical Services are partnering to expand COVID-19 testing offered to community residents. Limited to 450 tests. If 450 tests are reached prior to the scheduled end time, operations will close. Schedule includes Oct. 22 at Northwest Florida State College, 100 E. College Blvd. in Niceville.
Who’s ready to sip and shop through The Village streets? Visit The Village of Baytowne Wharf for an evening full of free champagne and shopping during Bubbly Baytowne, 5-7 p.m. Oct. 22. Check in by the fountain to receive complimentary Baytowne Wharf glass. This event is free and for 21 and up only. The village will be open to the public during this event.
The Market Shops will host a OneBlood blood drive on Friday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The OneBlood Big Red Bus will be parked in front of the shopping center, adjacent to Highway 98.
Dot and Ziggy
Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s first Theatre for Young Audiences performances designed for the very young, children ages 6 months to 5 years-old, stars will be held Oct. 23, 24, 30, 31 at 9 a.m.
The Gathering in the Garden
BeGenerous will host its third annual fundraiser where you will have an opportunity to partner with others in supporting this local faith based organization and The Yellow House Recovery Program, which encompasses efforts in aiding and assisting women coming out of traumatic life circumstances. Event will be from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 23 at Point Washington Preserve Pavilion Event Venue in Santa Rosa Beach. Food prepared by local chef, live worship, silent auction and fellowship. Tickets available at eventbrite.
Festival of the Arts
The MKAF 25th Annual Festival of the Arts will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 24 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Cultural Arts Village, 4323 Commons Dr. W. in Destin. A celebration of art, music, food, and family fun, special features of the Festival include a live music lineup, souvenir posters, T-shirts, and more. General admission of $5 per person helps to fund the Foundation’s annual cultural outreach activities and programs. Children 12 and under and all MKAF members are admitted free. Social distancing measures will be in place.
Rocktober Concert Series
Watch the Destin Fishing Rodeo catches hit the docks with daily weigh-ins from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. then rock out to a free concert at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 with Tyler Livingston & the Absolutes on the HarborWalk Village main stage. Free parking.
MKAF Festival of the Arts
The 25th annual Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s Festival of the Arts will be held Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Cultural Arts Village on Commons Drive in Destin. A celebration of art, music, food, and family fun, special features of the Festival include a live music lineup, souvenir posters and T-shirts, and more. General admission is $5/person. Children 12 and under and MKAF members are admitted free.
The Sand Dunes Chapter of Embroiderers’ Guild of America will meet from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Religious Education building, Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 1200 Valparaiso Blvd. in Niceville. Favorite classes will be showcased. Visitors are welcome. Call 496-3466 with any questions.
New Destin Library Hours
Effective Oct. 26, the Destin Library building will be open to the public Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 1- 5 p.m. Curbside Service will still be available Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m
Baytowne On Ice
Dust off those skates and get in the winter spirit at The Village of Baytowne Wharf’s Baytowne on Ice from Oct. 26 thru Jan. 31. Hours vary daily.
Page Pirates Virtual Storytime
Set your compass to navigate to the Destin Library’s Facebook page and join the crew of tthe new storytime – Page Pirates Oct. 27 at 4:30 p.m. Children’s librarian Laura Harris will post storytime videos that explore the imagination with advanced picture books, folk tales, and poetry for children ages 4-7. Call 837-8572.
The Emerald Coast Public Relations Organization (ECPRO) will have a Lunch and Learn program from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Emerald Coast Science Center, 31 SW Memorial Parkway in Fort Walton Beach. Members and guests will learn what the Center has to offer and why it’s a benefit to the area for young and old.This will be the last ECPRO meeting for the year. If your business would like to sponsor a lunch, contact President Pam Sparks at 581-1130. Lunch is $15/members, $20/associates of members, $25/non-members and $10/students. If you do not want to eat but want to hear the program, the cost is $10.
Who Comes a Tapping at the Destin Library’s Chamber Door?
On Oct. 28, join the Destin Library for a chilling read through of some of Edgar Allan Poe’s work, fun facts about his life and legacy, and learn about recent works of fiction inspired by the timeless literary figure. This event is best suitable for those 12 and older. Videos will be posted to the library’s Facebook page and their website at cityofdestin.com/library. If you have any questions, call 837-8572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephen Ministry at Destin United Methodist Church, 200 Beach Drive, will begin a grief group at 1 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Destin Life Center. This is a six week program looking at the problems in dealing with “grief.” Group discussion covers death and loss; job and career change; creating a different life direction; help in overcoming mild depression; and next step “looking forward.” For information, call 582 2548. Do you have gifts of compassion? Are you a good listener? To find out more about becoming a Stephen Minister at Destin United Methodist, call one of the Stephen Leaders. New class starting soon.
Grace Fall Festival
GraceDestin will host its first Grace Fall Festival from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 with a night of safe, outdoor (weather-permitting) fun. Activities include prepared food, games, a costume contest (kids and adults), family devotion, bonfire and outdoor movie, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” For more information, email email@example.com.
The City of Destin’s Adopt-A-Street Program allows local families, businesses and community groups to perform a valuable community service by adopting sections of a street to keep clear of litter and debris. Groups who participate in this program will have their name listed on the City’s website and signage installed on their adopted street. For more information, call 837-6869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Destin Fishing Rodeo
Throughout the month of October, the best fishing rodeo ever will be held in Destin. To participate, all you need to do is contact a local captain and charter a boat for a day of fun on the water. Once you’ve got your catch, head in to AJ’s for weigh-ins. Everyone’s invited to share in the fun and excitement as anglers show off their winning catch of the day.
Rock Out Climbing Gym in Destin
Rock Out Youth Climbing Club A is a six-week recreational program through Nov. 2 Mondays for ages 7-9 years old. Rock Out Youth Climbing Club B is a six-week recreational program through Nov. 4 Wednesdays for ages 10-12. Call 837-0526 or email email@example.com to sign up.
Camp Helen State Park Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkins will be sold seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 4 .p.m. through Oct. 31 or until sold out. Social distancing measures will be in place. Everyone is encouraged to stay six feet apart and only handle pumpkins being purchased. Camp Helen State Park is at 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway (Highway 98), Panama City Beach.
Throwback Thursday Cinema
Grab your lawn chairs and enjoy a relaxing evening with the free Throwback Thursday featured film, “Hocus Pocus” at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at The Village of Baytowne Wharf.
Dog-Harmony presents the free Barktoberfest fundraiser from 4-6 Oct. 29 at Grand Park in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. Attendees and their pets are encouraged to dress in their Halloween best and enjoy a canine-only trick-or-treating event. Judging for the best “Pet & Parent Matching Costume” Contest will take place during the event with the prize-winning duo announced at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy light bites, libations, and raffle drawings. Donations are greatly appreciated. No prong, choke or shock collars.
The spotlight will again shine brightly on the Sinfonia stage with the return of soul songstress Morgan James at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30 on the Lawn at Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits. The evening includes a sparkling wine reception, four-course meal prepared by Bijoux Executive Chef/Owner Jack McGuckin, wine, and all gratuities. Cash bar available. Tickets are $295 per person and includes reception, dinner, and performance. Purchase tickets at http://bit.ly/JamesMorganCabaret20.
The Witch Ride is an annual Halloween charity bike ride that benefits Children’s Volunteer Health Network. This year there will be three Santa Rosa Beach rides including the Founders Ride at 7 a.m. Oct. 30; Sunset Ride at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30; and the Goblin Ride, 10 a.m. Oct. 31.
Visit https://www.witchesofsouthwalton.com/ for more information and to register.
Hub-O-Ween 2020 will be held from 5-9 p.m. Oct. 30 at The Hub, 7000 East County Hwy. 30A in Watersound Beach. Trick or treat through The Hub and The Shops at The Hub from 5-6 p.m., followed by pumpkin decorating, $5/person, from 5-7 p.m. and a DJ Dance Party on stage from 6-9 p.m.
Splash or Treat at GulfScarium
Splash or treat at Gulfarium on Okaloosa Island from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Enjoy trick-or-treating, a skeleton scavenger hunt, and more. Free admission for children in costume, ages 3-12. This offer is not to be combined with any other discount or coupon, limit two children per adult. Visit www.gulfarium.com/halloween to see the full schedule of events.
Celebrate Halloween with two nights of fun every ghost, ghoul, and goblin can enjoy from 6-9 p.m. at HarborWalk Village. The Boos & Booze Bingo | Pub Crawl & Concert on the main stage
Oct. 30 and Spook Street | Trick or Treating & Costume Contests with fireworks on Oct. 31.
Trick or Treat Street
Calling all ghouls, ghosts, and goblins to the Village of Baytowne Wharf for a spooktacular extravaganza from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31. Trick or Treat through the Village streets and visit merchants for treats. Steve Hall will play frighteningly good tunes on the main stage and enjoy crafts and balloon animals. Be sure to stop by Coconut Kidz to enter the costume contest and compete to win the grand prize. End the night with a spooky fireworks display at 8 p.m.
Pink Walk Fore Her
The annual Pink Walk Fore Her will be from 1-3 p.m. Nov. 1 at Destin Commons. The half-mile walk around Destin Commons and after party is set to feature a DJ, photo booth, sweet treats, and activities for children. Proceeds will benefit Fore Her, which provides financial assistance to local breast cancer patients.
ECTC’s Educational Theatre program elementary students present one of Broadway’s family-friendly musical comedy classics at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at 560 Grand Boulevard, in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin in Miramar Beach. ECTC’s outreach program in DeFuniak Springs has performances at the Florida Chautauqua Theatre at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 and 2 p.m. Nov. 22. Tickets are $12 per person in advance and $15 at the door. Proceeds benefit ECTC and its Theatre Education programs. Purchase tickets online at www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org.
Sip N’ Stroll Gallery Night
Enjoy an evening of art at J.Leon Gallery and Studio with wine, champagne, and eats from 4-6 p.m. Nov. 6 and Dec. 4 at 13370 US Hwy. 98, in Miramar Beach. Meet local artists and view work from 11 artists from the Okaloosa/Walton area, including painters, mixed media artists, ceramics artists, and illustrators. Events continue on the first Friday of each month.
Sacred Heart Diabetes Program
Ascension Sacred Heart offers Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Program, a yearlong PreventT2 Lifestyle Change Program, starting on Nov. 5. Guided by a trained lifestyle coach, groups of participants are learning the skills they need to make lasting changes. For more information on enrollment, class schedules, cost or to speak to an education specialist, call 278-3546 or email Julie.Palmer@ascension.org.
Tribute Weekend returns from 7-9 p.m. Nov. 6 and 7 and 2-4 p.m. at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Rock out the weekend and enjoy live music from great tribute bands, including TUSK The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute on Friday; DEPARTURE: The Journey Tribute Band on Saturday; and Satisfaction/International Rolling Stones Tribute Show Sunday. Grab your blankets and lawn chairs and meet on the events plaza lawn for a jam-packed weekend of incredible talent.
Who is ready to compete in a Red Point Classic bouldering event with raffle, prizes, and an all-around good time? Compete from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 7 at Rock Out Climbing Gym. The Open Competition is for men and women beginner, intermediate, and advanced categories. Register at www.rockoutclimbing.com/competition for $40 ($35 members) or pay $45 day-of the event. Spectators free.
Island Concert Series
Dance to the sounds of the Caribbean on the harbor from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 7, 14 and 21 at
HarborWalk Village. Tap your feet to the island beat.
A Showcase Under the Stars
Alissa Steffens Vocal Academy/Studios presents A Showcase under the Stars from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 12 on the Events Plaza Stage at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Singer/songwriter students age 8 to adult will perform an evening filled with solos and duets in a variety of music styles. Event is free.
Legally Blonde Jr.
Follow the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 and 13; 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 14; and 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Nov. 15 with Emerald Coast Theatre Company at Grand Boulevard. Legally Blonde Jr. features ECTC’s teens in this energetic musical that’s fun for the whole family.
Sparkling Wine & Holiday Lights
Start the holiday season with a special sparkling event during the Eighth Annual Sparkling Wine and Holiday Lights at The Village of Baytowne Wharf from 5-6 p.m. Nov. 14. Event will feature more than 30 champagnes and appetizers at featured Village restaurants. Enjoy the sounds of the season with carolers, and a sneak peek of the first tree lighting of the season.
Subaru to the Rescue
Dogs and cats ready to be adopted from the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society will be showcased at Subaru Fort Walton Beach, 916 Beal Parkway, from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 14 and Dec. 5. Adoption fees range from $45 to $125 for dogs, and $45 to $100 for cats. Fees cover spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, flea/tick/heartworm control and microchip.
Classi-Palooza featuring members of Sinfonia Gulf Coast
The greatest hits of the 18th to 21st centuries hosted al fresco by Sinfonia assistant conductor Aaron King Vaughn at 4 p.m. Nov. 15 on The Lawn at Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits. Tickets are $75 per person and includes Bijoux bento box with savory & sweet bites. Purchase at http://bit.ly/classi-palooza20.
The Listening Lounge
The first featured musical act in The Listening Lounge series at ECTC, debuting at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17, is Longleaf Drive. With an old time bluegrass band vibe. Tickets are $22 for adults; $20 for seniors/military; and $18 students. Purchase tickets online at www.emeraldcoasttheatre.org.
Moonlight Serenade featuring VIOLECTRIC
Sinfonia Gulf Coast presents VIOLECTRIC at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 on the lawn at Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits. Tickets are $75 per person and include Bijoux Bento box with savory & sweet bites. Purchase tickets at http://bit.ly/VIOLECTRIC20.
The Polar Express
Watch a free holiday favorite, “The Polar Express,” at 6 p.m. Nov. 27 on the Events Plaza Lawn at Baytowne Wharf.
Here Comes Santa Claus
Get in the winter spirit during The Village of Baytowne Wharf’s Here Comes Santa from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 28. Cheer Santa and watch as he lights the Village tree. Enjoy face-painting, kids crafts, and a fireworks display.
Holiday Gospel Brunch
Sinfonia Gulf Coast presents D’Vine at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 13 in the Coastal Ballroom at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Ticket price is $95 to $125 and includes performance, brunch and all gratuities. Cash bar also available. Purchase tickets at http://bit.ly/HolidayGospelDVIne20.
Dueling Piano Show
AJ’s Endless Summer presents Dueling Piano Show this summer at AJ’s On the Bayou, 200 Eglin Parkway NE in Fort Walton Beach. Shows are every Friday and Saturday night starting at 9 p.m. featuring Chris Roberts from the Howl at the Moon. Seats are on a first come first serve basis. Come for a late dinner and stay for the show.
Seabreeze Jazz Festival
Tickets are on sale at www.seabreezejazzfestival.com for the 2021 Seabreeze Jazz Festival April 21-25. 2021, at Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater in Panama City Beach. Or charge by phone at 855-233-6714.
Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam
The eighth annual Country On The Coast festival in Panama City Beach will be March 26-28, 2021. Tickets for the three-day event are available at www.GulfCoastJam.com.
Grand Boulevard Farmers Market
Grand Boulevard Farmers Market takes place every Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Grand Park in the heart of Grand Boulevard in South Walton. Bring your shopping bag and load up on local produce, eggs, jams and pies. Homemade soap, good olive oil, and pickled things are all there for the taking.
Rosemary Beach Farmers Market
Come browse the 30A Farmers Market in Rosemary Beach on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The local farmers market takes place on Sundays year round, and Thursdays throughout the summer months, in North Barrett Square along Scenic 30A.
Destin Woman’s Club
The Annual Fashion Show held by the Destin Woman’s Club has been cancelled this year due to the Covid virus. The Fashion Show for 2021 has been scheduled for Nov. 5. As their major fundraiser, net proceeds go toward the Club’s Family Assistance Fund designed to help local families and a local charity.
All activities are at the Destin Community Center, unless noted. Call 654-5184 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information and to register. Persons with disabilities who require assistance are asked to notify the center 48 hours in advance.
— Destin Senior Membership: Join the Destin Seniors to enjoy multiple festivities including the senior lunch bunch, potluck, casino trips, cruises, bingo, chair exercise, knitting, scrabble, and Mexican dominoes. Members must be a Destin resident.
— Senior Book Club: The Destin Senior Members meet at 10 a.m. the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Destin Library, 150 Sibert Ave.
— Senior Drop-In Hours: The Destin Senior Center at Buck Destin Park, 724 Legion Drive, offers senior drop-in hours from 9 a.m. to noon every Tuesday and Thursday for Seniors (50 years and older) to meet and enjoy each other’s company, participate in games such as Mexican Train Dominoes, Scrabble, cards, etc.
— Senior Walking Club: The Destin Senior Members walk around the Destin Community Center’s gymnasium from 8-9 a.m. Monday-Friday. All of the miles that you walk will be added to the “team map” as we travel from one region to the next. The team’s miles are reported on the 4th Friday of each month at the Destin Senior Membership’s Potluck.
— Destin Senior Chair Exercise 50+ years: Monday and Wednesday mornings from 10-10:45 a.m. at Buck Destin Park consists of performing light exercises to help improve balance, flexibility, strength, and circulation. Free/residents.
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