Pensacola Bubble Alley takes flight Nov. 3rd
Posted: Sep 20, 2022 3:55 PMUpdated: Oct 13, 2022 7:15 PM
The Foo Foo Festival will pop the cork on its annual 12-day cultural celebration November 3rd with the unveiling of 4,000 colorful bubbles hovering over downtown Pensacola.Dubbed “Bubble Alley,” the aerial display is composed of 18-inch diameter, multi-colored vinyl balloons suspended from wire grids over one block of Intendencia between Jefferson and Tarragona.The project is the brainchild of Friends of Downtown, a group of volunteer business owners that for the past six years has created Foo Foo Festival events that included the highly successful and colorful installations of Umbrella Sky, Fire and Rain and Son et Lumiére.Behind the scenes, Pensacola-based PR agency Ideaworks developed the overall game plan and marketing strategy for Bubble Alley. Handling the fabrication is Pensacola-based design, fabrication and installation company Razor’s Edge Design. “Our challenge with the project is to create the exciting visual aesthetic of Umbrella Sky which attracted thousands of visitors to downtown Pensacola,” says Jared Petticrew. “And we think Bubble Alley will do just that and become one of the many memorable highlights of the always entertaining and colorful Foo Foo Festival.”Downtown Improvement Board Executive Director Walker Wilson says he believes Bubble Alley, will recreate the excitement of Umbrella Sky and become a visual centerpiece of the November festival that concludes on Nov. 14th. “I’m convinced the Bubble Alley will match or even exceed the extraordinary public response that Umbrella Sky brought in 2017,” says Wilson. “It will no doubt offer a uniquely colorful experience to everyone who visits downtown Pensacola during this wonderful festival that has become the preeminent fall event.”Bubble Alley, Walker notes, is free to the public and accessible day and night during the festival. “The public is encouraged to walk, take a bicycle or scooter between Bubble Alley and other Foo Foo Festival events such as the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, Jazz for Justice and the Vandals to Vanguards Pop Art Exhibit,” says Walker.Once the reusable bubbles are taken down at the end of November, they will be offered to other groups that wish to recreate the display in other settings.
Post Office fountain has interesting origin and history
Posted: Aug 12, 2022 1:19 PMUpdated: Aug 12, 2022 1:20 PM
Many of the tangible artifacts and monuments commemorating Pensacola’s rich 463-year history are concentrated along South Palafox, the city’s most famous street.A walk from the south end of Palafox Pier north will take one past the Don Tristan De Luna statue, then to Plaza Ferdinand where Andrew Jackson accepted the deed to Florida from Spain, and then on past the 18th century cannons and 19th Century clock on display in front of the old County Courthouse. To travel the length of South Palafox is a walk through history.But often overlooked among the city’s most visible relics of yesteryear is the 10,000 lb. granite fountain situated in front of the downtown Post Office.The fountain’s interesting origins began in the early 20th Century when Pensacola Mayor C.C. Goodman in 1907 applied to the National Humane Alliance for a granite drinking fountain specifically for animals.The National Humane Alliance, based in New York City, was founded in 1897 by Hermon Lee Ensign, a philanthropist and animal welfare advocate who had amassed a fortune in the advertising business. When he died in 1899, he left much of his wealth to build animal drinking fountains for any city that requested one. The fountains were provided free of charge as long as the city provided an appropriate site, water supply, and maintenance.Between 1904 and 1912, more than 100 cities, including Pensacola, took advantage of the offer. The fountains were produced in Maine by the Bodwell Granite Company, the same company that supplied the stone blocks for the Brooklyn Bridge. Soon after the Pensacola fountain was installed, the use of horses and other draft animals for transportation was greatly diminished by the introduction of the automobile. As a result, the fountains, located in the middle of intersections in most cities, became largely obsolete, and many have ended up lost, scrapped, or overgrown with weeds. Pensacola’s fountain, held in storage for decades, was resurrected in 1996 when the U.S. Post Office, then located in the city’s federal building, was moved to its present location at 101 Palafox Place.Although missing its original bronze lion's head spouts, today the fountain remains in working order and stands at the entrance to the Post Office. Above the fountain’s water basin, mounted to the fountainhead, is a weathered bronze plaque reading: 1909Presented bythe National Humane Alliance  Herman Lee EnsignFounder 
Palafox Market Celebrates 15 Years
Posted: May 12, 2022 9:28 PMUpdated: May 12, 2022 9:30 PM
It’s been a Saturday staple in downtown Pensacola since 2007, and on May 14th Palafox Market will celebrate its 15th anniversary with an anniversary block party, complete with live entertainment, giveaways, face painting, chef demonstrations, local beer on tap, a coffee bar, cornhole and much more. The free event starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m., at Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza on Palafox Street just north of Garden Street.  People from all around the world come to Pensacola for the history, the culture, and of course, the beach. But for locals, and anyone who wants to truly see, taste, feel, and smell the diverse beauty of Pensacola on a Saturday morning, nothing fills the senses better than Palafox Market. The aromas of fresh flowers, exotic plants, and freshly carved wood fill the air. Whiffs of delectables from France, Syria, China, Italy and local kitchens and gardens scintillate the taste buds. What began by the Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) 15 years ago as a small farmers market has sprouted into a flourishing must-visit adventure for gardeners, foodies, crafters, artists, pet lovers, and music lovers. “We are fortunate to have the world’s best vendors as well as the support and loyalty of the community,” said Emily Kopas, Palafox Market manager and DIB chief operating officer. Our market started out small and seasonal and has grown into a beloved, year-round event spanning multiple blocks downtown.”   Though the exact economic impact of Palafox Market is difficult to measure, community markets provide opportunities for small farmers and businesses to sell their products, and they help meet the growing demand for locally produced food and materials. Studies have found that farmers' markets impact state and municipal economies as well as vendors, local businesses, and consumers, and lead to economic development and job creation.  “The DIB has been thrilled to see the success of this event over the past 15 years and the economic driver it has become for not only all of our vendors at Palafox Market, but also to the businesses downtown,” said Walker Wilson, DIB executive director. “Emily has done an outstanding job ensuring that each week we provide a diverse selection of vendors to give shoppers the best experience possible.” Milan Brunet Sabastian moved from Paris, France in 2013 to open one of the first food trucks in Pensacola, Mimi’s Crepes. “I love meeting new people and being in such a friendly environment! I love that people can bring their pets, kids, and friends to a safe place and enjoy their experience,” she said. Sabastian has been a part of Palafox Market for six years. Amy Wadzita is a physical therapist by education and a natural health enthusiast by choice. “I love that all of the vendors are local, and that it is a one stop place to support local businesses, get fresh produce, and meet new, friendly people,” she said. Wadzita sells elderberry syrup, fire cider, elderberry syrup DIY kits, and tea blends through her small business, Thrive Health. “We use organic ingredients and East Hill Honey (another Palafox Market vendor), and we don’t use any preservatives or thickeners. Everything is locally made here in Pensacola!” Palafox Market vendors are not limited to plants, foods, crafts, or produce. Barbara Fletcher sells children’s imagination play clothing, and accessories. “Awesometropolis was started over 13 years ago due to not being able to find quality imagination play for our grandson. Now, 11 grandchildren later, we are specializing solely in children's play, reading pillows and custom clothing. We enjoy watching our Palafox families growing with their little ones.” Maria Pena brought her homemade soap and other handmade goods to the Palafox Market in 2009-10 after she and her husband retired. “At the time, we were at the end of Palafox Street in a little lot,” said Pena, whose booth is called Lady Bug Natural Soaps. “There were eight, maybe nine, vendors, mainly a lot of vegetables and produce. I was the only one making soap at the time. We’ve been doing it ever since. We’ve met so many nice people.” On any given Saturday, Palafox Market draws over 8,000 visitors and friends. Laughter and chatter fill the atmosphere as old and new friends meet to tell stories, listen to music, learn about local and international culture, and share food and fun. From fewer than 20 vendors just 15 years ago to the largest community market in the area, and now supporting more than 200 vendors in 2022, the Palafox Market is the core gathering spot to kick off a Saturday in downtown Pensacola. 
Mardi Gras Market Rolls Out the Festivities Feb. 19
Posted: Jan 31, 2022 4:05 PMUpdated: Jan 31, 2022 4:05 PM
Pensacola Mardi Gras and Palafox Market will collaborate for a special event to commemorate the beginning of the 2022 Mardi Gras season. On Saturday, Feb. 19, the award-winning Palafox Market will transform into Mardi Gras Market, fully equipped with purple, green and gold celebration necessities. All 90 krewes and festive observers are invited to shop for Mardi Gras-themed goods on Saturday, Feb. 19, just one week before the Grand Mardi Gras parade marches through downtown Pensacola. Mardi Gras Market is located on Palafox Street, stretching from Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza to Garden Street. Vendors at the Mardi Gras Market will show off their celebratory creativity with Mardi Gras themed home decor, baked goods, shirts, jewelry, soaps, pet goods and more. Early birds can pick up a special “Mardi Gras Market” bead from Palafox Market vendors. In the weeks following Mardi Gras Market, the 2022 Pensacola Mardi Gras festivities will continue through early March.      
All aboard for Winterfest 2021!
Posted: Nov 30, 2021 3:05 PMUpdated: Nov 30, 2021 3:05 PM
From beloved Tiny Tim to the grumpity Grinch to the familiar yuletide story of the “Polar Express,” Winterfest 2021 is bringing comforting characters and themes we all love to Downtown Pensacola for the upcoming season.Pensacola Winterfest 2021 events are set for Nov. 21, 26, 27, and 28; December 3, 4, 10, 17, 18, 19, 21,22, 23 and 24.Each night’s presentations will include the free Winterfest plaza live performance at the former County Courthouse on historic Palafox Street, as well as visits with Santa Claus and other seasonably appropriate personalities. On the steps of the historic building, Scrooge, Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit and the Ghosts of Christmas will bring “A Christmas Carol” to life as Scrooge rediscovers the true meaning of the holiday.Each ticketed tour has a preview performance as a prelude to the trolley’s departure.The poplar Polar Express tour is a 20-minute immersive, live-theatre experience. Guests enjoy the show from a steam-engine-pulled tram with entertainers placed along the route in downtown Pensacola, retelling the classic story.Guests who opt for the Cajun Christmas tour will watch an opening show on the courthouse steps before boarding a trolley with a guide who will tell stories of how they celebrate Christmas on the bayou as they take a short ride to the Historic Village for a visit with Papa Noel, the Cajun Santa Claus. From there, they will be free to roam the village. Winterfest is known across the South as a destination event. It is sponsored in part by a grant from Visit Pensacola. Winterfest has been highlighted in Coastal Living magazine, Southern Living magazine and Expedia. Florida Travel + Lifestyles named Winterfest the “Best Christmas celebration in the Sunshine State,” and the Southeastern Tourism Society put Winterfest on its coveted Top 20 list of festivals and events for the Southeast.All Winterfest festivities are based at Palafox and Government streets in downtown Pensacola, which is decorated with hundreds of thousands of festive lights for the season.To purchase tickets and for more information, including ticket prices and reservations, click here.