Wednesday Was Northwest Florida Day at the State Capitol

Sen. Charley Clary of Destin says it’s a chance for Panhandle residents to strut their stuff and exhibit some hometown pride.

"Northwest Florida has a great story to tell, and a lot of folks don't realize all the things that are going over on the western side of Florida. A lot of times when you see a map of Florida, you see that northwest Florida is cut off and is a little different section. We want to make sure that they understand that we are a vital part of Florida and there's a lot of things happening between our military, our education."

The Capitol courtyard was jam packed with displays and demonstrations highlighting the history of the Panhandle, and there was plenty of northwest Florida cooking for the hungry Capitol crowd.

Organizers also paid tribute to nine-year-old Joe Bauer of Walton County who won the northwest Florida poster contest. Joe is paralyzed below the shoulders, but he still manages to paint by attaching a brush to his hat with Velcro.

Joe's work has also been featured on the lieutenant governor's Christmas cards.

The only thing missing from the Wednesday celebration was an Air Force flyover. Two jets from Eglin Air Force Base were supposed to buzz the Capitol at high noon, but they were grounded by bad weather at their base.