Free Tours of Spanish Tall Ship Elcano Mar 31-Apr 4
Posted: Mar 21, 2019 6:02 PMUpdated: Mar 28, 2019 9:55 PM
Spanish tall ship Juan Sebastián de Elcano returns to Pensacola March 31 and will host free tours through Thursday, April 4. The "Elcano," as she is known, is the third largest tall ship in the world, a magnificent four mast brig-schooner weighing 3,770 tons. Considered by her native country to be a "floating embassy,"  the Elcano's main mission is to train future Spanish Navy officers in navigation and seafaring procedures and techniques. Her most important task is to immerse midshipmen, in their fourth academic year, in continuous and intimate contact with the sea, an environment where they will later carry out their main professional activities. The ship’s home port is in ‘La Carraca’ Arsenal (San Fernando – Cádiz) where most Spanish Maritime Action Force units are based. This port is a station especially devoted to the maintenance and repair works of other naval units. The name ‘Carraca’ derives from the term used for an ocean-going boat – Carrack – much used in the 15th century.Captain Ignacio Paz Garcia of Ferrol, La Coruña, Spain and his crew will sail the Elcano into Pensacola Sunday, March 31 at 9am to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the beginning of the Magellan – Elcano Expedition, the first circumnavigation of the globe. This expedition ended under the leadership of Ferdinand Magellan’s captain, Spanish Sailor Juan Sebastian de Elcano.The ship will be docked at NAS Pensacola, and free public tours will be offered Sunday, March 31 from 3-6:30 pm., Tuesday, April 2 from 1-6:30pm, Wednesday, April 3 from 1-6:30pm, as well as Thursday, April 4 from 3-6:30pm (tour dates and times subject to change). The Elcano will depart NAS Pensacola on April 5. [PHOTO CREDIT:]
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the Emerald Coast
Posted: Feb 27, 2019 6:25 PMUpdated: Apr 30, 2019 10:56 PM
Downtown Pensacola is no stranger to proper St. Patrick’s Day observances. And this year, as in years' past, you'll find not one celebration but rather a full array of chipper shenanigans.  Celebrate Ireland’s rich heritage with the world-famous “Celtic Woman” at the Saenger Theatre on March 2. It's a cultural masterpiece layering the ethereal voices of Ireland’s premier singers with the powerful harmonies of a full orchestra. Since its 2005 debut, “Celtic Woman” has traveled the world, gracing millions of people with a repertoire of Irish classics, contemporary songs and classical favorites.  On March 9, thousands will gather for one of Pensacola’s biggest and most renowned events: the 42nd Annual McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day Run. The festive tradition is expected to draw more than 12,000 participants, making it one of the largest 5Ks in the United States! Costumed and un-costumed runners and walkers are welcomed. (There may not be a pot of gold at the finish line, but the after-party Irish Wakes, Irish stew and Irish beer will surely put a little jig into your step.)  Downtown Pensacola will transform St. Patrick’s Day into a full weekend of celebration starting with a Luck o’ the Irish-themed Gallery Night March 15. Palafox will be closed to traffic and galleries, boutiques, restaurants and bars will open their doors for the evening. The festive attire, live music and art vendors are sure to give you a taste of Pensacola’s vibrant downtown culture.  What better way to experience St. Patrick’s Day than celebrating at O’Riley’s Irish Pub on Palafox, where two big events are happening? On March 16, O’Riley’s will host the 4th Annual Downtown Pensacola Grog March and food drive. Don your green attire and bring at least two non-perishable food items. Then head back to O’Riley’s the next morning for the official St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, with corned beef and cabbage specials, live entertainment and festive drinks! Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with your four-legged friend. Bring your pup, break out the leprechaun hats, shamrock glasses and green everything and come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with SouthBARK at The Wine Bar on Palafox on Sunday, March 17. 
Spring is in the Air Downtown
Posted: Feb 27, 2019 6:07 PMUpdated: Feb 28, 2019 9:43 PM
Spring is in the air, bringing longer days and plenty of sunshine. There's more time to play and fun things to do every day of the week in Downtown Pensacola. Here are a few downtown events and happenings that deserve to be on your springtime calendar.  Laissez les bons temps rouler! It's Mardi Gras season, so head downtown on March 1 to experience the energy and excitement of the annual Krewe of Lafitte Illuminated Parade starting at 7 p.m. The Pensacola Grand Mardi Gras Parade will roll down Palafox the very next day, Sat., March 2 at 2 p.m. Come prepared to load up on beads and Moon Pies as you enjoy the music and revelry of more than 60 decorated Mardi Gras floats.  If you’ve never sat starboard and gazed upon Pensacola Bay from a British blockade ship replica, now is your chance. After a brief visit last year, Tall Ship Lynx has returned to Downtown Pensacola, docked at Plaza De Luna until March 11. With a ticketed tour you can immerse yourself in the storied past of the Privateers who sailed these beautiful sharp-pressed Baltimore Clippers during the War of 1812. Step back in time and help the crew hoist the sails, steer the ship and enjoy the wonderful views of the Bay. Is there such a thing as too much BBQ? Join others who would laugh at such a ridiculous notion at the Smokin’ in the Square BBQ cook-off at Maritime Park March 15–17. Roam around the vendor-lined paths and follow the scent of smoky, saucy goodness prepared by professional and amateur teams. Whether you are partial to Memphis- or Carolina-style, celebrate the Pensacola way with a BBQ meal from your favorite vendor and the beautiful waterfront views of Pensacola Bay.  Batter up! Baseball season is back and the Blue Wahoos will suit up for their first home game on April 10 against their division rival, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. Head over to the Blue Wahoos Stadium at Maritime Park to give a warm, waterfront welcome to our favorite minor league baseball team! Playing in the streets usually isn’t the best idea, unless you’re in Downtown Pensacola March 23 for Ciclovia, when some streets will be closed to motorized traffic and opened to bikers, walkers, runners and whoever else wants to enjoy the outdoors! Ciclovia is a grassroots movement that originated in Bogota, Columbia in the 1970s. Pensacola adopted the annual tradition in 2017, welcoming participants downtown to enjoy a little physical activity and explore the area.  The first wave of Pensacola’s beloved annual festivals is scattered throughout April—providing perfect opportunities to enjoy the warmer weather. Maritime Park becomes a culinary caravan April 5-6 for the Food Truck Festival organized by Pensacola Habitat for Humanity. If you love the soothing vibe of jazz, head to Seville Square April 6-7 for the 36th Pensacola JazzFest. Live music, arts and crafts and, of course, crawfish—you'll find them all at the 35th Annual Crawfish Festival at this year's new Maritime Park location April 26-28. It's Spring, and fun things are happening throughout Downtown Pensacola. So grab your family or friends and start enjoying the artsy-foodie-fun culture of downtown![PHOTO CREDIT: Laura Bogan]
Fall In Love Downtown this Valentine's Day
Posted: Jan 28, 2019 9:03 PMUpdated: Feb 27, 2019 9:03 PM
Planning the perfect Valentine’s Day can be a daunting task. Whether you are in a new relationship, celebrating a lasting one, or enjoying the company of beloved friends with a Leslie Knope-inspired “Galentine’s Day,” February 14 is a day to celebrate love.The Perfect Gift Downtown Pensacola is blooming with ideas to sweeten your Valentine’s Day plans this year. Local chocoholics are smitten by the colorful, delectable bins at Bubba’s Sweet Spot—the delicious  chocolates, candies, cakes and even puppy treats are sure to earn you a smooch (and some bonus points from your pooch.) Just a few doors away, Susan Campbell Jewelry's heart-shaped gold and silver charms will "charm" your valentine (and the  buy-one-get-one-free charm Valentine's Day special will certainly charm you, as well). For your budding romance, Fiore of Pensacola's uniquely lush, handmade arrangements in romantic hues of red, pink and purple go along perfectly with the thoughtful cards at Rusted Arrow Mercantile.The Perfect FlavorsSome of our favorite restaurants in Downtown Pensacola are stirring up romance with Valentine’s Day events that are perfectly seasoned with the flavors of love. So Gourmet's cooking classes will help you improve your skills and impress your special someone. Or, leave the cooking to the professionals with the Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Dinner at Pot Roast & Pinot or a special Valentine’s Dinner designed by Chef Irv Miller at Jackson’s Steakhouse. If gold and silver aren’t your go-to, reserve your seat at Restaurant Iron for a four-course tasting menu specially prepared by Chef Alex. Five Sisters Blues Cafe is cooking up a lunch and dinner special featuring pan-seared salmon, baked lobster mac and cheese and roasted root vegetables that is sure to melt hearts. The Perfect EveningThis year, give them a night to remember. Downtown Pensacola boasts a full lineup of February date night ideas including Pensacola Opera’s “Some Enchanted Valentine” and Pensacola Children’s Chorus’ “One World, Many Voices” at the Saenger Theatre. Experience a live performance at Vinyl Music Hall—in February The Magpie Salute and Matt and Kim will perform there. Or keep it simple and sweet with a gallery-night-for-two at Artel Gallery, Blue Morning Gallery, Quayside Art Gallery or Pensacola Museum of Art, or a sweet sunset stroll along Palafox Pier, the perfect romantic setting and one of Pensacola's most Instagram-worthy backdrops.Downtown Pensacola is the heart of the city, and our walkable, historic streets and beautiful views, paired with premier restaurants, galleries and shops, are the perfect place to melt your Valentine's heart this year.
Pensacon: Episode VI
Posted: Jan 28, 2019 8:12 PMUpdated: Feb 27, 2019 7:49 PM
Pensacon ... the final frontier .... These are the voyages of Downtown Pensacola. It’s a three-day mission: to explore strange new events.... To seek out celebrity photo ops and unique speakers and panels.... To boldly go to the Pensacola Bay Center on Feb. 22-24, where many fans have gone before!Founded in 2013, Pensacon (Pensacola Comic Con) is the premiere comic book and pop culture convention on the Gulf Coast, an all-inclusive event that encompasses Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Comics, Anime, Gaming and more. For three days each February, Wookiees, Daleks, Hogwarts students and Ghostbusters become a common sight in our historic downtown. The event has become well-known for its eclectic celebrity panels that reunite casts from classic favorites and introduce the latest fan faves as well.Over the years Pensacon has brought many celebrities to Pensacola, and Pensacon 2019 features a full lineup of celebrity guests, writers, actors and artists—from Batman and Star Wars to Battlestar Galactica and Stranger Things—including actor William Shatner, actress Tara Reid, skateboard pro Bam Margera and more than 100 other fan favorites. The schedule includes immersive events for the whole family including a Cosplay Contest, Lip Sync Showdown, IHMC Robotics Tours and a Short Film Festival. The event is expected to draw more than 30,000 spectators, many of whom will adorn themselves in extravagant “cosplay” costumes in honor of their favorite comic, movie or video game characters. This year once again you'll find traces of Pensacon sprinkled throughout downtown Pensacola, as the fun reaches throughout our historic streets at venues including the REX Theatre, the Saenger Theatre and several restaurants, clubs and concert venues. You’d have to be Mad-Eye Moody to miss Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at The Fish House. Live long and prosper in the world of Star Trek at Atlas Oyster House, and don’t make the wookie mistake of missing the Cantina from Star Wars at The Deck Bar! Further north, you'll find merry musings, tall tales and lovely libations flowing in Middle Earth at Perfect Plain Brewing Co. with hoppy beers fit for a hobbit and enough tankards to satisfy a small army of trolls. Official Pensacon venues include the Pensacola Bay Center, Grand Hotel, Saenger Theatre, Pensacola Little Theatre and The REX Theatre. Look for the full schedule of events on the Pensacon website or on the Pensacon mobile app. And be sure to follow @DowntownPensacola on social media as we’ll be posting photos and updates continuously throughout the event. Help us kick-off Pensacon 2019 on Friday, Feb. 22 beginning at 5pm during a special Pensacon-themed Gallery Night and launch the weekend into an experience that will truly be out of this world![PHOTO CREDIT: Pensacon]