Our favorite holiday things to do downtown
Posted: Nov 30, 2021 2:58 PMUpdated: Nov 30, 2021 2:58 PM
For two months beginning in mid-November, 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. You can navigate the eclectic district that’s anchored by Palafox Street—named one of America’s “Ten Great Streets”—on foot, bicycle, Segway® or even horse and carriage.  The iconic Winterfest offers families unique opportunities to enjoy interactive outdoor entertainment based around holiday themes like the Polar Express, A Cajun Christmas, The Grinch and more. Winterfest 2021 events are set for Nov. 21, 26, 27, and 28; December 3, 4, 10, 17, 18, 19, 21,22, 23 and 24. To purchase tickets to tours or photos with Santa or the Grinch, click here. While you are visiting Downtown Pensacola, don’t forget about the outstanding local shops and boutiques. Not only do downtown shops like Don Alans and The Market and Mainly Shoes offer some of the most exclusive and trendy merch around, but one lucky downtown shopper will win a $1,000.00 Visa gift card to enjoy yet more of that that great holiday bounty.The “All I Want” giveaway, sponsored by Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board, awards shoppers one chance to win the gift card for every $10 they spend.  And that’s not just merchandise purchases, but also food and drink, as well.All you have to do is upload your receipts here. The contest winner will be announced on Christmas Eve. If you happen to be in town on any of the following dates, you could head to Downtown Pensacola for some live Christmas spirit.·      Pensacola Symphony presents: “Home for the Holidays Featuring Ashley Brown,” on 28 November at the Saenger Theatre.·      StoryTyme with Grandma Jenkins, presented by University of West Florida Historic Trust, will have holiday themes on Dec. 3 and Dec. 17, at the Pensacola Children's Museum.·      K-LOVE Christmas, Dec. 4, at the Pensacola Bay Center.·      Pensacola Children’s Chorus presents, “Christmas on the Coast,” on Dec. 10-12, at the Saenger Theatre.·      “1940’s Radio Hour,” on Dec. 10-19, at the Pensacola Little Theatre·      White Tie Christmas, on Dec. 18, at the Pensacola Bay Center.·      Ballet Pensacola presents “The Nutcracker,” on Dec, 17-19 at the Saenger Theatre.
Son et Lumiére Lights Up Downtown
Posted: Oct 7, 2021 4:12 PMUpdated: Oct 26, 2021 10:30 PM
Modern technology will deliver people and scenes from Pensacola’s past 200 years in an immersive experience that incorporates sound and light techniques combined with a giant interactive display and breathtaking special effects. It’s all part of Pensacola Foo Foo Festival happening in November.A 3D visual spectacular called “Son et Lumiére” – which is French for “Sound and Light” – is set for the evenings of Nov. 4-7. Transforming the face of the former Escambia County Courthouse on Palafox Street into a canvas for an augmented reality experience, Friends of Downtown Pensacola aims to create a fast-moving, interactive mashup of technology and history where scenes, people and imagery come to life.The project was created by Friends of Downtown Pensacola and local marketing agency Ideaworks, with support from the University of West Florida’s Archeology Institute. Paintscaping, a Los Angeles-based art/tech company known for such projects, is producing the show. It is being funded through a grant from Arts, Culture and Education Pensacola, also known as ACE Pensacola.This marks the second time Paintscaping has produced a project in Downtown Pensacola.  In 2014, they partnered with the University of West Florida on a similar project that focused on the history of Pensacola, including events dating from DeLuna’s landing in 1559. Paintscaping holds the Guinness World Record for largest video game display for an Xbox project in 2020.  The company is also known for mapping an operational rocket at Cape Canaveral.The “Son et Lumiére” art form dates to 1952 when French museum curator Paul Robert-Houdin staged the first such event at the Château de Chambord. Since then, “Son et Lumiére” performances have been conducted at castles, cathedrals, ancient buildings, beautiful gardens and even small villages and other historic sites around the world, including the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Parthenon in Athens and Mount Vernon in Virginia.Pensacola’s “Son et Lumiére” is free and open to the public. Shows will start every half hour beginning at 7:00pm, with the last show beginning at 9:30. For more information, go to https://www.foofoofest.com/2021-events/son-et-lumiere-sound-light/
Sales Tax Holiday Makes for Great Shopping in Downtown Pensacola
Posted: Jun 22, 2021 6:24 PMUpdated: Jun 22, 2021 6:35 PM
Attention Downtown Shoppers: There’s a sale… everywhere!Thanks to the 2021 Florida Back to School Sales Tax Holiday, clothing items priced at $60 or less each, as well as computers and other school supplies, will be tax-free from July 31 to August 9.While the timing is specifically aimed at helping out families who are sending students to school this fall, a sale is a sale.Add to that the additional discounts many stores take to further sweeten the pot, and you have a perfect excuse to spend a day shopping at Downtown Pensacola’s many boutiques and shops.There is no garment pedigree better than Don Alans, downtown’s premier collection of men's clothes and shoes. This store offers both the finest name brands and tailored garments.But women’s clothing is where the real opportunity is downtown.Offering a wide variety of curated fashion, women’s clothiers in Downtown Pensacola include Melobay, Bluetique, Indigeaux Denim Bar & Boutique, Scout, Blue Spero, The Market and Mainly Shoes, and Gray Boutique.If your back-to-school list includes an especially lucky princess, you may want to check out Sparkle – A Girl’s Boutique. Or, if your students are spending the fall semester studying the beach, Innerlight Surf & Skate has the board shorts and tees they’ll need.As you gather your tax-free packages, you’ll be working up an appetite. Downtown has some great spots for lunch, like the salads and fried chicken of Polonza Bistro, the candied bacon and stuffed French toast at the Ruby Slipper and the varied fare available from the four Airstream food trucks at the Garden at Palafox and Main.Clothes aren’t the only goods that are discounted during the back-to-school sales tax holiday.Computers and computer accessories valued at up to $1,000 are also free of sales tax during the holiday. You can take advantage of that at Palafox Computers, which offers Windows and Mac laptops and desktops, as well as data storage devices like thumb drives and external hard drives.If you are a bibliophile, you will enjoy the tax-free books at the Bodacious Bookstore & Café. An independent bookstore in the heart of Downtown Pensacola, Bodacious offers a selection of current bestsellers, classics and local interest authors.Finally, nothing caps a Downtown Pensacola shopping adventure better than a sweet treat. So, why not finish the day with a sundae from Bubba’s Sweet Spot, some hand-crafted fudge from Peterbrooke Chocolatier, or a piece of decadent cheesecake from Fosko Coffee.Splurge. After all, you will have saved all of that money on sales taxes.PHOTO CREDIT: Gray Boutique
Magical Tree Lights Respond When You Sing and Clap
Posted: Dec 15, 2020 8:39 PMUpdated: Dec 15, 2020 8:40 PM
The most wonderful time has to be the holidays in Downtown Pensacola! The season officially kicked off on Black Friday, when Winterfest and the First City Lights Festival turned downtown into an enchanting Winter Wonderland with trolley rides, performances, and visits with Santa under the glow of more than half a million white lights illuminating downtown Pensacola’s historic buildings, parks, shops, galleries and public spaces. Winterfest events will run through December 24 and the lights will glow through January 16th. But there is a new holiday attraction this year that you and your family do not want to miss. A giant, lit Christmas tree that reacts when you sing? Tell me more! Located at the northwest corner of Plaza Ferdinand, one of Pensacola's old live oak trees has been strung with hundreds of interactive lights that, to each passerby’s surprise, react to sound. The lights are controlled by a system which calculates changes based on onset, energy and frequency analysis of sound intercepted by multiple microphones, and the result is delightful. Musicians will marvel and spectators will enjoy clapping and singing, making the tree magically sparkle in response. The grand holiday tree also provides a great photo op for your holiday snaps!  We look forward to seeing you Downtown!
"All I Want" is to WIN in Downtown Pensacola!
Posted: Nov 13, 2020 6:57 PMUpdated: Nov 13, 2020 7 PM
What’s better than shopping for unique and beautiful gifts and noshing at your favorite restaurants in Downtown Pensacola this holiday? Shopping and dining with a chance to win dollars! Because who couldn’t use a little extra Christmas money during Holidays of 2020? The Downtown Improvement Board is giving away $100 every day starting on December 12, all the way through Christmas Eve. When you make any purchase downtown between November 6 and December 2, 2020, you can enter to win. Even better, the more you spend, the more chances you have to win. For every $10 you spend you will earn another entry into the daily drawings.  Entering the contest is easy! Simply take a photo of your receipts from any downtown bar, restaurant, shop or gallery located in the DIB district. Upload your receipt at www.downtownpensacola.shop. *You must be 18 to enter. Be sure to read the full rules HERE. That's it!  Happy shopping and Merry Christmas from the DIB!