Downtown Pensacola Lights Up with Half a Million Lights through January

Posted: Dec 21, 2017 12:22 pm Updated: Oct 17, 2023 10:40 am

For sixty enchanting nights beginning on Black Friday, visitors to downtown Pensacola can experience music, shopping, food, art and nightlife under a canopy of four hundred thousand white lights illuminating historic buildings, parks, shops, galleries and outdoor spaces. Visitors can navigate the eclectic district that’s anchored by Palafox Street—named one of America’s “Ten Great Streets”—on foot or by Segway®, horse and carriage, pedi-cab or a Winterfest trolley. 

Funded in part by grants from the City of Pensacola and Visit Pensacola, the dazzling lights have become a popular attraction for visitors and residents alike. Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) conceived the idea of lighting up the district, then coordinating, supporting and branding all of the district’s diverse holiday events synchronously. 

“Downtown Pensacola provides an unforgettable holiday experience for families,” said John Peacock, DIB board chair. “Aside from the usual draws of fantastic shopping, museums and dining, the holidays downtown also mean live outdoor theater, musical performances and the unique setting created each evening when the lights come on. First City Lights Festival brings all of these experiences together into one extraordinary, months-long event.” Travel booking giant Expedia agrees, naming Pensacola's downtown one of the "Best American Towns for Holiday Shopping" for the second year in a row.