Downtown Pensacola Lights Up with a Little Help from our Winterfest Friends
Posted: Oct 3, 2018 6:10 PMUpdated: Oct 3, 2018 9:51 PM
Photo courtesy of City of Pensacola / Laura BoganJoin us on Friday, Nov. 23 for an annual holiday lighting ceremony that will launch the First City Lights Festival, a diverse, season-long lineup of downtown holiday events including Ballet Pensacola’s “The Nutcracker”, a “Little Spruce” makers market, Christmas lights tours with Go Retro and much more!  Crowds will gather in downtown Pensacola at around 5 p.m., immediately after the Winterfest Elf Parade, the grumpy Grinch will attempt to prevent Augustus Maywho, the mythical mayor of Whoville, from flipping the switch to light up downtown and officially launch the holiday season. The Winterfest Elf Parade features characters from the Peanuts Gang, the Island of Misfit Toys and other Christmas classics, and will make its way from the T.T. Wentworth Museum to the steps of the Artel Gallery. During the parade, visitors will enjoy singing and dancing from the cast of Christmas characters, snow, “reindeer” games, food and more. Winterfest’s popular Performance Tours take visitors on a two-mile trolley ride through downtown's lighted streets, stopping at various points along the way for live street performances featuring carolers, meticulously detailed sets and a full cast of Christmas characters.  Throughout the tree-lined streets of downtown, visitors will experience music, shopping, food, art and nightlife under a canopy of half a million white lights illuminating historic buildings, parks, shops, galleries and outdoor spaces. Visitors can navigate the eclectic downtown Pensacola district, voted “Florida’s Greatest Place”, on foot or by Segway®, horse and carriage, pedi-cab or a Winterfest trolley. Wandering along Palafox throughout the holidays, you may chance upon live street performances, caroling in the streets, Santa posing for photos and Winterfest Trolley Tours.CLICK HERE FOR MORE HOLIDAY EVENTS!
Public Art Around Palafox
Posted: Sep 19, 2018 3:41 PMUpdated: Sep 19, 2018 3:41 PM
Downtown Pensacola and its beautiful scenery have become a beacon for local artists looking to make a visual and cultural impact in their community. The historic buildings and picturesque landscapes allow our cultural hub to celebrate artwork in many different forms. Discover the galleries, murals, and public art projects that provide a modern twist to “Florida’s Greatest Place.” As you walk down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, you’ll come across the 9/11 Homage to America; a sculpture designed by Peter King and Xinia Marin as a memorial to the victims of the September, 11 2001 terrorist attacks. Further south in the historic district of downtown Pensacola, you’ll find a set of murals displaying antique ships at a Pensacola dock outside the Voices of Pensacola Multicultural Center as well as a painting of a horse-drawn steam pumping engine with firefighters on the side of the Quayside Gallery, similar to the one housed by the building in the late 1800s when it was used as the headquarters for the Germania Steam Fire Engine and Hose Company. Further north, you can enjoy the bright, whimsical street art lining the walls of the First City Art Center, painted as part of the annual Foo Foo Festival, which celebrates local art, music and culture.Spread throughout downtown Pensacola are numerous painted parking meters. These repurposed meters are a great example of painting with a purpose as part of the Better Way to Give project created by the Greater Pensacola Chamber Foundation’s Leadership Pensacola (LeaP) Class of 2016. The project involved recycling obsolete parking meters — which were then painted by local artists and local businesses — to provide an alternative to giving directly to homeless people living on the streets. Throughout the downtown area you’ll also find many colorful five-foot tall pelicans. The Pelicans in Paradise project was dreamed up and organized by the Pensacola News Journal as a way to celebrate local art and culture in a fun, fresh way. See how many you can spot on your next downtown visit.As you head further west, you can enjoy the ever-changing Graffiti Bridge located on N. 17th Avenue. The old railroad overpass is constantly transformed by locals and visitors alike as a living canvas to express inspiration, love and creativity. The unique structure is a daily reminder of the importance of free expression.Over towards the east side of town, in the historic Belmont-Devilliers district, known to locals as “The Blocks.” There, you’ll find various works from local artist Carter J. Gaston, whose brightly painted murals depict many of the area’s well-known residents and landmarks. The self-proclaimed “world’s best live portrait artist” once spent a week painting local African-American leaders including Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Jr., the nation’s first black four-star general; Dr. John Sunday, a trail-blazing legislator and James pokinghome, Jr among many other important historic and cultural figures. “It’s great to see public art inspiring more artistic projects that reflect the city’s future while showcasing our rich history,” said local artist Evan Levin. In 2016, Levin partnered with Ashton Howard to paint the colorful 3,000 sq. ft. Jefferson Street Mural that illustrates Pensacola’s iconic history. A year later, the duo returned with CUBED; a 12-day mural installation with a live public art performance featuring 16 local artists transforming their works into four 8'x8' cubes. The colorful works of art can now be viewed at the UWF Historic Trust Museum Plaza located behind the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum. A new public art installment will debut at this year’s Foo Foo Fest. CUBED Luminous is a 4 day (and night) outdoor digital art festival consisting of a 12ft x 18ft LED cube and 16 laser projectors projecting on four 8ft x 8ft cubes located at the UWF Historic Trust Museum Plaza from November 8-11, 2018. This digital art festival, curated by the Pensacola Museum of Art, will also feature music with a mix of DJ sets and live music performances from local and regional bands as well as a Makers City Marketplace and food trucks. Join us in downtown Pensacola to enjoy the many examples of public art and be sure to return for the highly anticipated CUBED Luminous 2018 event from Nov. 8-11. You can also join us for one special Friday every month on Palafox as we take art to the streets for Gallery Night. Downtown galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and bars open their doors to the night air as visitors and locals flood the streets to enjoy music, art and cuisine.
Off the Eaten Path
Posted: Sep 12, 2018 9:22 PMUpdated: Sep 12, 2018 9:22 PM
Pensacola has a rich culture made evident in the eclectic food options of its downtown area. From southern comfort food to Middle Eastern cuisine, you will have no problem finding a spot to satisfy your culinary cravings. Let’s take a trip off the “eaten path” of downtown Pensacola to discover your new favorite dining destinations!  Located on Palafox Street is Dog House Deli, a casual and lively spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Its menu features a plethora of mouthwatering options ranging from Cajun style crawfish andouille to a Chicago-style hot dog worthy of the Windy City. “The Doghouse” has monthly, and even weekly promo events that highlight food specials, guest chefs and charitable projects. Last month, Dog House was part of a fundraiser that generated over $2,600 for the care and purchase of service dogs at the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart.   Further down Palafox is Four Seasons Catering and Eatery. This local gem specializes in event catering and dine-in options and features a dainty menu of fresh salads, premier seafood and signature flatbreads. Around the corner is Jordan Valley, a Middle Eastern restaurant featuring authentic cultural dishes like hummus plates and lamb platters. The outside patio offers a relaxing hookah lounge area.   Further west, you’ll find Union Public House located across the street from the Blue Wahoos Stadium and Community Maritime Park. This crafty southern pub combines fresh ingredients with inventive ideas to curate a wide variety of delicious menu items, including the wild boar sloppy joe and heirloom tomato grilled cheese. UPH offers a main, lunch and happy hour menu featuring shareable small plates and hearty entrées.   One of the newest additions to the downtown area is Big Top Brewery, which is the only downtown brewery to serve both beer and food on its menu. With 24 beers on tap, table seating, big screen TVs and game tables, Big Top offers a lively environment for the thirsty (and hungry) guest. Be sure to check out some of their unique brews, including the sweet, zesty Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat ale and the rich, full-bodied Okefenokee Backwater Imperial Stout. Next time you visit downtown Pensacola, be sure to explore some different dining options and venture to one of these unique spots off the eaten path!
International PARK(ing) Day: Transforming Parking Spaces into Public Places
Posted: Aug 17, 2018 3:34 PMUpdated: Aug 22, 2018 7:36 PM
Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board is inviting the local community to submit a design to turn a parking space into a mini, temporary “parklet” to celebrate International PARK(ing) Day. The #ParkPensacola event takes place during Gallery Night on Sept. 21 and the deadline to submit applications and parklet concepts is Aug. 30, 2018. International PARK(ing) Day is an annual event that was created in 2005 by art and design studio, Rebar as a way to encourage community members, students and designers to take metered parking spaces and liven up city streets. Motivated by the desire to activate the metered parking space as a site for creative experimentation and cultural expression, PARK(ing) Day offers a fun opportunity for members of the community to create temporary installations, with a mission to encourage people to imagine the positive impacts of green spaces in urban areas. On Gallery Night, guests will be able to enjoy the 10 parklets and cast a vote for their favorite. “We are very excited to celebrate International PARK(ing) Day during the upcoming Gallery Night event and challenge our local community to reinterpret our typical parking spots into creative spaces,” remarked DIB Interim Executive Director, Lisa Dees, “Whether you want to create a giant chessboard, install an interactive sculpture or host a croquet tournament, our aim is to have some fun with these spaces and rethink our relationship with parking.” The call for submissions is FREE open to all and can contain sketches or a brief description of the idea for transforming the parking space into a parklet. The competition is limited to 10 designs and qualifying design teams will be notified once selected. While branding is permitted, parklets are intended for non-commercial use only. Email submissions to: [email protected] #ParkPensacola
The Man Who Helped America Win the Revolution
Posted: Jul 3, 2018 12:24 AMUpdated: Jul 3, 2018 12:27 AM
There’s something new at the intersection of Palafox and Wright Streets—a magnificent, 19 ft. monument that celebrates the heritage of both Pensacola and the United States of America. Created by sculptors Bob Rasmussen and Kathryn R. Vincze, the monument includes a bronze statue of celebrated Spanish General Bernardo de Gálvez astride his horse and facing north toward the site of Fort George, his hat raised in victory.  After waiting for many hurricanes and storms to pass, Spanish General Bernardo de Gálvez sailed into Pensacola Bay in 1781 to drive the British from the Gulf Coast, leading the naval charge into the well-defended Pensacola Bay in a masterpiece of military strategy that would earn him a royal patent adding the words “Yo Solo” (“I alone”) to his coat-of-arms.His forces landed near Bayou Chico and began a steady advance towards the city’s defenses, which included Fort George on Gage Hill (Palafox Street) and its two advance redoubts. After weeks of siege, a Spanish mortar detonated the powder magazine at the Queen’s Redoubt on May 8, devastating the British fortification. Gálvez accepted the surrender of British Governor John Campbell and claimed West Florida for Spain.By taking Pensacola, Gálvez stripped Britain of a key foothold on the Gulf Coast, which in turn benefited the American Colonists in their quest for independence. For this reason, Gálvez has been recognized by Congress as a hero of the Revolutionary War who risked his life for the freedom of the United States people and provided supplies, intelligence, and strong military support to the war effort.SOURCE/PHOTO CREDIT: Pensacola Heritage Foundation