Downtown Crowd - November 2022

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NOV. ‘22





Art at its finest.




O’Riley’s Irish Pub

Hosts Its Annual Santa Pub Crawl Donations to Benefit Children in Need During the Holidays We at O’Riley’s Irish Pub have had a tradition since 2012 that brings people together to celebrate the fun of the holiday season, and this year we plan to continue that tradition. On Saturday, December 3rd of this year we will be holding our 10th annual Santa Pub Crawl to start the festive season with a bang. We want you to come dressed in your best Santa attire to help us spread the cheer. In the spirit of giving, we are partnering with several charities to make this time of year special for the people in our community who deserve some special attention. This year, 100 percent of your donations benefit Toys For Tots, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and Shriners International. All you need to join the crawl is an unwrapped toy for Toys For Tots. Donate it at O’Riley’s Irish Pub and receive your 22 ounce refillable Santa Pub Crawl mug and your Santa Pub Crawl lanyard. The more you give, the more you get! Donate $10 in addition to your toy, and you’ll get an exclusive Santa Pub Crawl T-Shirt. Donating $35 and the toy will give you access to our special VIP area. VIPs get to enjoy an exclusive first-fill drink special and free appetizers while supplies last. All levels of entry will give you access to the same festive, boozy fun that O’Riley’s Santa Pub Crawl always provides. Our drink specials for attendees will include $5 drafts of Bud Light and $7 Jingle Juice cocktails, both perfect for filling your collectible mug. This is the 10th year of O’Riley’s Santa Pub Crawl. Let’s make this year’s crawl the best one yet! We want you all to come dressed to impress in your best Santa outfits. Feel free to go all out! Wear the hat, the coat, the beard, all of it. You can add some flair to make your Santa suit your own, or you can dress just like the Santa we know and love. Be one of the hundreds of Santas partying with O’Riley’s Irish Pub and other local bars to celebrate this yearly tradition of giving and fun. We want you to look around during the crawl and feel proud knowing that you and all the other Santas donated to children in need.

by Jay Ayer

The crawl begins at 4 p.m. at O’Riley’s Irish Pub. It will go until 10 p.m. and is followed by an afterparty at O’Riley’s. In the spirit of the holiday season, we will give out a number of great prizes during the afterparty. We will have a DJ and our weekly drink specials starting at 10 p.m. Continue the fun of the pub crawl by finishing your night surrounded by hundreds of Santas and partying how you should during the holiday season. O’Riley’s Irish Pub Owner Warren Sonnen has a special message to the community: “One of our goals at O’Riley’s when we opened our new location downtown was to add to the already vibrant Pensacola community. Signature events like St. Patrick’s Day, the preceding Grog March Pub Crawl, and especially the Santa Pub Crawl have all been curated in a way to give back to the community. Thanks to our amazing patrons and gracious sponsors, we are able to host these amazing events. This year we are looking forward to a record turnout. Please help spread the word so we all can spread holiday cheer downtown this year. Help give back to the community while having a lot of fun. Cheers!” Please join us on Saturday, December 3rd from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. to have a ridiculous amount of fun with a ridiculous number of Santas. Come out, have a great time, and help make the holiday season better for those in need! Find more information and ticket sales on We are grateful for another fantastic year in Pensacola. We cannot exist without our customers and the support of the local community. We hold the Santa Pub Crawl every year to give back to the community that continues to give to us. From the bottom of our hearts here at O’Riley’s Irish Pub, we thank you, and we are looking forward to many more years of serving our community.

Scan here to register!

December 3rd | 4-10 pm free general admission bring a toy donation and join the pub crawl!

O’Riley’s - Blend - Play - Intermission - Seville Quarter- O’Riley’s

all donations will go to the charities below and benefit kids in need this christmas season! 321 S Palafox St, Pensacola FL 32502

DOWNTOWN CROWD November 2022

Editor’s Letter


Publisher Malcolm Ballinger Owner Malcolm Ballinger Executive Editor Kelly Oden Editor Morgan Cole Assistant Editor Nicole Willis

Morgan Cole, Editor

Art Director Ian Lett Graphic Designer Garrett Hallbauer

It’s finally fall! This wonderful time of the year not only marks the start of what I like to call “sweater weather,” it also serves as the official kick off to festival season here in Pensacola. From the 12-day celebration of arts, culture and entertainment that we call Foo Foo Fest to the early kick off of Winterfest, there’s no shortage of things to keep you entertained in downtown Pensacola this fall.

Contributing Writer Darien Hardy

Advertising Account Executives Paula Rode Geneva Strange For advertising rates or news tips contact Phone: 433.1166 • Fax: 435.9174


For this annual Foo Foo Fest edition of Downtown Crowd, our staff and editors have rounded up details on some of our favorite new and returning Foo Foo events to help you plan your 12-days of Foo Foo fun! In addition to our roundup of Foo Foo favorites, we’ve also brought you the scoop on a group of local social media influencers who are generating tons of buzz across Pensacola and on social media through their inspiring videos and positive content creation. Be sure to check out our profile on the guys behind Achieve You on page 7. We have also brought you details on the inaugural First City Mural Fest, which will feature nine local artists who were selected to take part in a new public art project here in Pensacola. All of this plus, details on this year’s lineup of Winterfest activities and the scoop on a trendy new barcade, called The Grid, that recently opened on the west side of town that and features more than 30 coin-operated vintage arcade games. If you haven’t already been by to check it out, I highly recommend it. As always, we hope you enjoy the read and until next time, Cheers!

DOWNTOWN CROWD is published by Ballinger Publishing. Offices located at 21 E. Garden St., Ste. 205 Pensacola, FL 32502


15 7 To Achieve You: Local Social Media Influencers Spread Positivity 12 The Grid Arcade Bar


15 Find Your Foo Foo: A 12-day Celebration of Arts, Culture and Entertainment 20 First City Mural Fest 22 Winterfest Returns 24 November Event Calendar 25 Military Matters

Downtown Crowd is locally owned and operated. It is published monthly for distribution in Pensacola, Florida. All Right Reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents herein is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Comments and opinions expressed in this magazine represent the personal views of the individuals to whom they are attributed and/or the person identified as the author of the article, and they are not necessarily those of the publisher. This magazine accepts no responsibility for these opinions. The publisher reserves the right to edit all manuscripts. All advertising information is the responsibility of the individual advertiser. Appearance in this magazine does not necessarily reflect endorsement of any products or services by Ballinger Publishing. © 2022

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Featured Events


nov. 3-14, 2022


Presented by Friends of Downtown | Nov. 3-14


Presented by Pensacola Little Theatre | Nov. 4-9


Presented by Pensacola Museum of Art | Nov. 4-14


Presented by the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra | Nov. 5


Presented by Great GulfCoast Arts Festival | Nov. 5

KARL DENSON’S TINY UNIVERSE Presented by Jazz Pensacola | Nov. 7


BORN TO HAND JIVE, A GREASE SING A LONG Presented by Choral Society of Pensacola | Nov. 10




Presented by Legal Services of North Florida | Nov. 13

THE SONGS, THEIR STORIES, A SYMPHONY Presented by UWF & Frank Brown Int’l Foundation for Music | Nov. 8

12-day celebration of culturally creative happenings, events, and moments under one banner.

Scan to see all events More Events Added Weekly!


Achieve You

Local Social Media Influencers Share A Message of Positivity With the World By Nicole Willis


group of five young content creators from Pensacola have gained tons of traction on the popular social media app, TikTok. Known for posting their wholesome interactions with strangers, triplets Cody, Stain and Brandon Rode along with their friends Ledarius Joshua and Kye Burton make up the creative collective “Achieve You.”

Their content revolves around honest and sometimes emotional interview-style videos in which the guys ask random strangers questions about their lives and loved ones, or play a game of truth or dare with some wholesome prompts added in for a fun twist. Think man on the street, but with more meaningful interactions. People across the country have started following their videos; in a short amount of time, the Pensacola locals have amassed around 2.5 million followers on TikTok and 132k on Instagram through their social media handle @toachieveyou. In 2019, the group began conducting their first interviews throughout the downtown area. After some time spent interviewing people throughout downtown, the group ran into a problem that made them realize it was time to expand by conducting interviews with people in other areas of the city. DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 7

“Over time we were trying on TikTok. After experiencing “We started downtown, but it success locally, the group traveled to evolve and have a more came to a point where we would modernized approach,” Cody interview somebody, and they’d to regional universities, and they explained. “So now, we make recently visited multiple schools be like, ‘you’ve already asked videos doing kind of the mission in California. me this before!’ That’s when we that we started off with, which is realized that it was time to switch The concept behind the group’s people talking about something it up a little bit,” Cody explained. creative process initially began they’ve gone through or their “So then, we went to UWF and with an idea from the triplets’ experiences in life, and other things started going a lot better, friend, Edmund, who suggested people relate in the comments.” in my opinion, and people were that the guys create a chat more comfortable talking to us. Since going viral, the group has room-style website in which Downtown, many of the older adopted this idea of providing people could discuss what they individuals we approached were people with a platform where are going through to provide a standoffish because they weren’t they open up about something raised to talk about their feelings.” platform for people to support difficult or troubling they might each other. The guys loved the be going through in their life or message of positivity and growth After just a short amount of time behind this idea, but they wanted just to simply provide a positive conducting interviews, the guys and supportive space for people to implement it on a different became all the buzz around the type of platform that allows their to get things off their chest. A UWF campus and before they typical Achieve You video begins message to reach more people. knew it, they were also buzzing with the guys asking someone a question that prompts them to reflect on a memory, expose something about themselves or explain how they feel about something.

and give a stranger a hug. Depending on the questions asked and how open the interviewee is with their response, the content captured for Achieve You videos can range from funny and lighthearted to deep and heart-wrenching conversations. Cody described the overall nature of their content as “wholesome.” “We create a lot of genuine and deep interactions with people that we don’t know,” he added. “It’s just cool to see how they are willing to open up to somebody.”

In a world filled with YouTube pranks and cruel jokes, some may be hesitant to interact with complete strangers walking around with a camera. However, the Achieve You guys are working to turn this narrative around and show that wholesome and well-meant content creators still exist. The group aims to approach people with kindness and honesty. Examples of some of the Brandon and Stain explained that questions include “When was the last time you cried and why?”, people appreciate the sincerity of their approach: “There’s a lot “Who is someone you miss?” or “Are you happy? Explain.” The guys of other content creators that also sometimes play truth or dare ask goofy questions. When we with interviewees, with the “truth” come up and ask them a serious one, they actually appreciate it prompts being similar to those and want to answer it,” the duo questions. For one of the “dare” explained. prompts, the guys will request their interviewees perform a The Achieve You Team currently positive action, such as calling has plans to spread their message someone to tell them that they even further beyond their social love them or daring them to go media pages. As part of their


latest venture, the guys have launched a card game called “How Deep Will You Go?” that is centered around the same concept behind their videos. “We took the experience you get from (watching) Achieve You videos and put it in a box, so that people can literally have it,” Stain explained. The card game prompts players to be vulnerable and make connections with each other by answering questions like the ones asked in the Achieve You videos. “We combined all the questions we ask people (in our videos), took the best ones, and condensed them down into a card game where it gamifies a way of building deeper connections with people you love,” Stain elaborated. The idea for the game came from the various responses the guys received in some of their earlier videos; people wanted the experience of connecting with the people in their own lives in the same way that the Achieve You guys connect with people in their videos. According to Cody, viewers would send direct messages to the Achieve You account and ask for a document with the different interview questions that the guys ask in their videos. “We always get direct messages saying things like ‘Yo, can you send me a doc

with other questions? I want to play with my friends.’ So, Stain thought ‘why don’t we turn it into an actual game?’” From there, the guys knew they wanted to make this type of content accessible and bring this experience to their audience.

called “Confessions” which received final samples and says amps up in intensity. In this level, it will be set to make its debut players are asked to get honest in the very near future. The and explain how they really feel guys have also set up a special about a particular topic. Finally, text and email list for those level three is the most intense interested in subscribing to level titled “Getting Deep.” This receive notifications when the level features the deepest game is released and available for questions of the game, which are purchase on their website. To sign The game features three levels, more uncomfortable to talk about up for the notification list, visit with the intensity of the questions and often require players to dig increasing with each level. Level deep into a memory or a feeling one is titled “Icebreaker” and You can also keep up with the from their past and talk about it. features meaningful but less guys by following @toacheiveyou intimidating questions to help The card game “How Deep Will on both TikTok and Instagram, players feel more comfortable You Go?” is currently still in where they continue to post new with opening up. Level two is production, but the group has content daily.




601 E. Chase Street


700 E. Chase Street




2187 Airport Boulevard

5049 Corporate Woods Drive



1144 Airport Boulevard



6000 Cobble Creek Road

Extended Stay


The Grid Arcade

New Arcade Bar Opens in West Pensacola

by Nicole Willis

There is a new business in town, and it combines two beloved activities—playing nostalgic arcade games and drinking tasty beer. The Grid Arcade Bar offers a variety of vintage arcade games, video games and a bar that offers more than 30 different varieties of craft beers and other beverages. Daniel Demeter is the brain behind this creative new business venture. Demeter has been restoring and collecting old games for several years and recently decided to share the joy and nostalgia that these games provide with the Pensacola community.

Pensacola Automatic Amusement that restored old games and other types of machines. Demeter said that the primary reason for selecting this location for the arcade was because there were already many old games inside of the building that were left behind by the old owners.

“The primary focus is to bring people back to their younger age where they played arcade games,” Demeter explained. “Then they get to pass that along to their kids, friends, or whoever it is to experience what was early technology.”

Demeter had been restoring vintage and antique games for several years and has since amassed quite a collection; so, he purchased the building, finished restoring the existing games in the building and brought in some games from his personal collection as well. It took Demeter about eight months to prepare the building and restore enough games to officially open for business.

The Grid opened its doors this past month at 2414 North Pace Boulevard in Pensacola, which previously served as home to a company called 12 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM

Prior to opening The Grid, Demeter worked as a BMW automotive technician and for his father’s vending machine company, where he also repaired machines.

Owner of The Grid Arcade Bar, Daniel Demeter & Gab Eden

“I’m basically the 911 technician when stuff breaks,” Demeter remarked. “I’ve just always been mechanically inclined and had a strong interest in electronics, so I always wanted to repair stuff, take stuff apart and figure out how it works.” He decided to put the technical skills he gained to good use and eventually began restoring old and broken arcade games. Demeter strives to keep the vintage feel alive for each of the games featured in the bar, with each of the restored games running the original board sets and technology. Because of this dedication to preserving nostalgia, the restoration process can take quite some time. “New games are easy—you can just go online or call the distributor and order parts. Old stuff is a completely different story. It takes dozens of hours of research sometimes on these older games to track down parts,” Demeter explained.

The theme and décor inside The Grid of an unclothed woman on it that reads, also reflects this “throwback” style. “heads I win tails you lose.” After 9 pm, Demeter describes the bar’s vibe as “a only adults are allowed to enter the bar. mixture of Tron combined with a futuristic As for the drinks, The Grid operates 80s vibe.” like a package store, offering guests a The gaming area features lines of selection of more than 50 beers, ranging brightly lit LED lights running across the from ales and sours to seltzers, malt ceiling, and the walls are adorned with a liquors and more. Demeter is working to plethora of gaming-themed neon signs hopefully obtain a license to serve draft nostalgic movie posters. Of course, the beverages. Food trucks rotate in and flashing lights, bright graphics and unique out throughout the week. Guests can sounds of the many different arcade also enjoy tasty bites from different food games also add to the ambience and trucks, which typically park at the bar throwback vibe. The interior space one to three times a week. features minimal, clean design elements The Grid Arcade Bar is open Tuesday that give the space a futuristic touch. through Saturday from 4 pm to 12 Despite having the word “bar” in the am, on Sundays from 12 pm to 8 pm name, The Grid Arcade Bar is open to all and is closed on Mondays. For more ages until 9 pm. Demeter does, however, details on The Grid Arcade Bar, visit warn parents of the not so child-friendly or game tokens that are used. The tokens follow @TheGridArcadePensacola on are a reproduction of a World War I Facebook. brothel token, which depicts an image

The oldest games at The Grid Arcade Bar date back to the early 1970s. Visitors will also find a selection of new games which are vintage-inspired to keep up with the bar’s nostalgic vibe. “I got two brand new pinball machines, Godzilla and Star Wars Mandalorian. The Godzilla Pinball is actually the original Godzilla. It’s got all the video and artwork and stuff from like the early Godzilla films,” Demeter said. “Anything that I get that is new is always going to be a throwback type of thing.” DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 13

Elf Parade ❆ Tours: Scrooge, Grinch, Polar Express ❆ See Santa & much more!

Find Your Foo Foo

by Morgan Cole & Kelly Oden

FOO FOO FEST RETURNS FOR 12-DAYS 12 -DAYS OF ARTS, CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT Foo Foo Festival, Pensacola’s two-week arts and culture extravaganza, is back for its eighth year, and this year’s celebration of all things creative promises to be one for the ages. Kicking off November 3 and running through November 14, the annual Foo Foo Fest is spearheaded and coordinated by local nonprofit Arts, Culture and Entertainment, Inc. (more widely known as ACE). The event serves as an umbrella for many of the city’s existing annual cultural events or performances that typically occur in the fall, as well as providing an opportunity for newer events to contribute to the cultural landscape of Pensacola. Foo Foo Festival board chair Maria Goldberg is excited about the volume, diversity and quality of the events being presented as part of this year’s Foo Foo Fest, “The great thing about Foo Foo, is that it’s different every year,” Goldberg said. “There’s a little something for everybody, and this year will be no different. In fact, this year, we were able to award more grants than we have in any previous year.” For 2022, ACE awarded more than $400,000 in Foo Foo Fest grants to 12 local arts and culture organizations, whose events and performances will serve as anchors to the 12 days of Foo Foo Fest events. In addition to the featured events, this year’s Foo Foo Fest committee has also invited other nonprofit and for-profit entities to take part in the event as a “Friend of Foo.”

Nonprofits or local for-profit businesses such as hoteliers, restaurants and bars who are interested in participating, and whose events meet the cultural mission of Foo Foo Fest, were invited to apply for the designation, providing them inclusion on the official event website as well as on advertising and promotional materials for the festival. From spectacular symphonies and timeless operas to bluegrass and funk and from pop art, high fashion and fine art to improvisational comedy, immersive theatre and the finest air show in the world, Foo Foo Fest 2022 truly offers something for everyone. Our DTC staff and editors have rounded up details on some of our favorite new and returning events to help you plan your 12 days of Foo Foo fun. To view the complete lineup of scheduled events, visit and be sure to check out @FooFooFest on Facebook and Instagram for special announcements and updates on newly-added events.


MODA, PRESENTED BY PENSACOLA OPERA Date: November 3 from 6 pm to 8 pm Location: Vinyl Music Hall Tickets: $125 for VIP Experience and $50 for General Admission Join Pensacola Opera for this premiere fall fashion event where professional models will strut the catwalk to the beat of a stylishly syncopated DJ. Designs by some of the world’s premier fashion houses, with looks curated by former New York fashion designer Julia Ussery of Scout Boutique, will be presented. Tickets are available online at, over the phone by calling (850) 433-6737 or in-person at the Pensacola Opera Center (75 S Tarragona Street).

38TH ANNUAL FRANK BROWN SONGWRITERS’ FESTIVAL Date: November 3 through 13, times vary Location: Multiple venues Tickets: Vary by performance & venue The 38th annual Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival will feature nationally acclaimed songwriters in venues 16 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM

along the Florida-Alabama Gulf Coast. The festival is an opportunity for seasoned and aspiring songwriters and musicians from all over the world to have their songs heard, and for the public to learn the stories behind the lyrics that only the song’s author can express. For event details and to view the complete lineup of events, visit

THE 50TH ANNUAL GREAT GULFCOAST ARTS FESTIVAL Dates: November 4 through 5 from 9 am to 5 pm; November 6 from 9 am to 4 pm Location: Seville Square Tickets: Free

THE 11TH ANNUAL MAHABHUTA YOGA VEGFEST Date: November 12 Location: Margaritaville Beach Hotel, Pensacola Beach Tickets: Free and ticketed events; prices vary

The Great Gulfcoast Arts The Mahabhuta Yoga VegFest Festival is one of the most celebrates vegan food, yoga, popular arts festivals in the dance, breath, meditation, United States, and 2022 marks nature, music, art and the 50th Anniversary of this community. In addition to MULTIMEDIA ARTWORK BY local gem. The three-day, juried yoga workshops and classes, art show draws more than 200 the outdoor event features TRA BOUSCAREN of the nation’s best painters, food vendors, an artisan Date: November 3 through 4; potters, sculptors, jewelers, village, concerts, Galactic Child November 7 through 11 graphic artists, craftsmen and Yoga, flow arts presenters, Location: Anna Lamar Switzer other artists. The festival also performers and sand art Center for Visual Arts at includes live music, heritage installations. Pensacola State College arts, a children’s art area and Tickets: Free delicious dining options. Artist Tra Bouscaren is NAS PENSACOLA BLUE creating a multimedia artwork ANGELS HOMECOMING AIR specifically constructed for SHOW the Lamar Studio in the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Dates: November 11 & 12, Gates open at 8 am, Show begins at Arts at Pensacola State College. 9:30 am Bouscaren is an artist focused Location: NAS Pensacola on the American spectacle Tickets: Free at the crossroads of waste culture and the surveillance PENSACOLA BIG GREEN state. Bouscaren is currently an NAS Pensacola is pleased to announce the NAS Pensacola EGGFEST Assistant Professor of Art and Blue Angels Homecoming Air Date: November 13 the Digital Media Area Head at Show with the theme of “100 Location: Blue Wahoo Stadium Florida State University. Years of Carrier Aviation.” The Tickets: $25-$40 General NAS Pensacola Blue Angels Admission & $75-$90 VIP Homecoming Air Show is one of Pensacola’s largest events, Pensacola Big Green EggFest is attracting between 150,000a family friendly charity BBQ 180,000 spectators during event that hosts teams and this two-day event. There backyard cooks from all over is an incredible lineup of the United States who share aerobatic performers, along two things: a love of cooking with Pensacola’s very own Blue and the joy of giving back to Angels. their communities. Attendees

sample bites from all the competing teams and the Blue Wahoo’s staff will be serving up a wide variety of craft beers, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. The event is absolutely family-friendly. Since 2013, more than $500,000 has been donated to local charities from Pensacola EggFest.

UNREQUITED, PRESENTED BY PENSACOLA LITTLE THEATRE Dates: October 28 through November 9 (performances at 7 pm, 8 pm & 9 pm) Location: The Clark Family Center, downtown Pensacola Tickets: $50 each Fusing the haunting halls of The Center with the vibrant storytelling of one of William Shakespeare’s most beloved love stories, Pensacola Little Theatre will take the concept of escapism from the beloved New York City-inspired Sleep No More and bring it here to our community. Based on William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, Unrequited is an immersive theatrical event: dance with the Capulets in their grand ballroom, dodge

the Montagues on the streets of Verona and be a part of a thrilling affair. Tickets include sips and snacks throughout the tour. You must be 21+ to attend (for mature audiences only).

Streets— just outside of Angelena’s Restaurant) in downtown Pensacola throughout the Foo Foo Festival.

PENSACOLA BUBBLE ALLEY Dates: November 3 through November 14 (throughout Foo Foo Fest) Location: Intendencia Street, downtown Pensacola Tickets: FREE

VANDALS TO VANGUARDS Dates: November 4 through November 6 & November 8 through November 11 Times: Tues. - Sat. from 10 am to 4 pm & Sun. from 12 pm to 4 pm Location: Pensacola Museum of Art (and other) Tickets: FREE with Reservations

When the Friends of Downtown Pensacola brought the Umbrella Sky Project to Pensacola and the US in 2017, it became the most successful new event in the history of the Foo Foo Festival. This extraordinary response is the reason that the Friends of Downtown decided to design a new aerial public art display for Foo Foo 2022. Pensacola Bubble Alley will offer a colorful and unique visual experience for Pensacola to enjoy, share, photograph, and be proud of. Pensacola Bubble Alley will suspend several thousand reusable vinyl “bubbles” high above Intendencia Street (between Jefferson and S. Tarragona

On view at the Pensacola Museum of Art from November 4, 2022 (w/ FREE admission during Foo Foo Fest Nov. 4-11), to January 8, 2023, the Vandals to Vanguards exhibition explores the evolution of pop art and street art through works from the museum’s collection and loans from local collectors. Occupying the museum’s entire second floor, the exhibition will feature contemporary masterpieces by pop favorites like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring alongside current notorious street artists like Banksy and Mr. Brainwash. The majority of the artworks on view will come from the collection of Lewis

and Belle Bear, who fell in love with the playful and colorful work of the pop and street art movements many years ago. A longtime supporter of local arts organizations, Lewis always enjoyed collecting artwork but didn’t have a strong direction until he discovered the manylayered relationships between artists like Warhol, Haring, and Mr. Brainwash. PMA ART FACTORY NIGHT Date: November 10 from 6 pm to 9 pm Location: Vinyl Music Hall Tickets: Free Admission, Reservations Required On the following Thursday, November 10th, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. the PMA aims to bring the vibe and cultural context of these artworks to life through an event at Vinyl Music Hall that merges music, video projections, live street art demos, and interactive silkscreen printmaking. This will include participatory experiences for the public to print their own t-shirt, tote bag, or band poster using custom designs by a local artist. The PMA will facilitate the creation of the printed items, working with event attendees throughout the duration of the event. As a connection to the well-known Warhol soup cans, the PMA will also be collecting canned food donations to benefit Manna Food Pantries at the event.


MUSIC CITY HIT-MAKERS: THE SONGS, THEIR STORIES, A SYMPHONY Date: November 8 at 7:30 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm) Location: Pensacola Saenger Theatre Tickets: Starting at $29 (+ applicable fees) The University of West Florida and The Frank Brown International Foundation for Music–in sponsorship with Foo Foo Fest– present Music City HitMakers: The Songs, Their Stories, A Symphony. Professionally produced by Music City Hit Makers and 4Strings Entertainment, the show is part storytelling, part comedy and mostly, unforgettable acoustic symphonic performances of hit songs. The show will feature hit Nashville songwriters Jon Nite, Rivers Rutherford and Brett James performing at the historic Pensacola Saenger Theatre. The trio will perform their famous hits alongside the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. Performers will be offering acoustic performances of songs they wrote for some of country music’s most notable stars, reimagined for the symphony.


FORTY FORWARD: CELEBRATING FOUR DECADES OF OPERA IN PENSACOLA Date: November 12 at 6 pm Location: Pensacola Saenger Theatre Tickets: Start at $25 In celebration of its 40th Anniversary Season, and through grant support from Pensacola’s Foo Foo Festival, Pensacola Opera proudly presents Forty Forward: Celebrating Four Decades of Opera in Pensacola. The evening will feature 16 thrilling vocalists alongside the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, who will present an unparalleled one-night-only gala concert, honoring the history of musical storytelling in Pensacola while looking forward to the bright future of Pensacola Opera. Featuring some of the greatest arias, ensembles, and choruses from the operatic repertoire, Forty Forward will also showcase Pensacola’s proud reputation as a true arts community, including collaborations with the Choral Society of Pensacola, the Pensacola Children’s Chorus and Ballet Pensacola.

STAMPED LGBTQIA+ FILM FESTIVAL Date: November 10 through November 13 (times vary) Location: Pensacola Little Theatre Tickets: Free & ticketed events Stamped is back for Foo Foo Festival and it’s louder and prouder than ever – celebrating its 10th anniversary with its biggest festival yet. Stamped represents a mixture of every letter of the alphabet – nodding to diverse groups within the LGBTQIA+ family to highlight the artistic contributions both nationally and internationally of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer films and filmmakers. The festival kicks off November 10 with an exclusive evening among some of the LGBTQIA+ community’s favorite visiting artists – from Del Shores, Emerson Collins, Josh Strickland, Fiona Dawson, to Jarvis Derrell and more. Guests will view highly-vetted films from around the globe. The vibrant four-day festival runs Thursday and Friday evenings from 5 pm to 9 pm, and all day on Saturday, concluding with a family-friendly showcase on Sunday with food, games, activities and films running from 1 pm to 3 pm.

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FRIDAY December 9 7:30 pm



SATURDAY December 10 7:30 pm



December 11th 2:30 pm

Tickets Available Now at the Sanger Theatre Box Office

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DEC. 2, 2022


FEB. 24, 2023








First City Mural Fest

Inaugural Mural Fest Celebration Kicks off in Pensacola By Morgan Cole

Nine local artists were recently selected to participate in a new public art project called the First City Mural Fest. First City Mural Fest grew out of a convergence of people who are passionate about art and Pensacola. Three groups came together and decided that Pensacola ought to celebrate the murals that already exist in our community and add to the city’s as well. The first group included Pensacola leaders who launched, which includes an inventory of public art and its location within our community. While putting together this project, they discovered numerous beautiful murals to include. Around this time, the number of talented muralists in the city had also grown, so the muralists came together and formed the Pensacola Muralists group. “During the launch of ArtVenture Pensacola, we found that Pensacola is home to a fantastic variety of murals and that we have an active Pensacola Muralists Society right here in our city,” Founder of ArtVenture Pensacola, Holly Benson said.


After garnering support from the local community, a number of business owners in Pensacola’s historic Tanyard Neighborhood had also decided to invest in some beautiful murals for their buildings. These groups met and the creative sparks flew. From there, the idea for the First City Mural Fest came to life. During its pilot program phase, it will be working under the umbrella of the First City Arts Center. In late September the First City Mural Fest released its Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for its pilot mural celebration to be held November 5 at Emerald Republic Brewing Company at 1414 West Government Street in downtown Pensacola. During the two-week RFQ period, local muralists were invited to submit their concepts and work samples that went along with the mural fest submission theme of “Pensacola’s Hidden Treasures.” “We had some really great responses and wanted to make sure that the theme harnesses something other than the standard symbols or icons of Pensacola, but something that these artists have found that makes this city really special to them, so there was a very wide range in the types of submissions received and it’s nice to discover, again, all of the reasons people love this community,” Benson explained.

Mural festivals have become an annual event in many larger cities around the world, attracting both talented artists and tourists. Daniela de Castro Sucre is one of the local artists heavily involved in helping to launch this inaugural mural fest event and will also be participating as one of the muralists. “We wanted to create a street art and mural-focused event that celebrates local artists and our beautiful city,” de Castro Sucre said. “We want to showcase Pensacola’s talented artists, and invite locals to experience a brand new art festival,” We’re launching a one-day teaser event this year, with the hopes of extending it to a week-long event in years to come, inviting top global mural artists to paint our city and creating community events alongside the festival.” On November 5 at 10 am, members of the community are invited to come and view the live painting of these mural panels at Emerald Republic in downtown Pensacola. The nine selected muralists will be painting from 10 am until 6 pm that evening. There will also be a silent auction held in which the painted panels will be auctioned off to raise funds for the First City Mural Fest. For the first pilot mural celebration, the panel of First City Mural Fest jurors selected a total of nine local muralists from the Pensacola area to paint panels at Emerald Republic on November 5.

“We have been pleased to see the number of murals in our neighborhood growing and are happy to be a part of this event,” Josh Copper, Taproom Manager for Emerald Republic said.

“We had a total of about 26 submissions from local artists and muralists interested in participating in this new pilot program. If you look at other cities who do mural festivals, you can see that this is something that really adds to a city’s overall quality of public art, and we have a lot of amazing public art here. We also have so many talented muralists, so we wanted to find a way to bring quality murals to the walls of Pensacola,” Benson said.

For more information on the First City Mural Fest and details on this year’s participating artists, visit or email

Kicking off the Christmas Season by Darien Hardy

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE TRADITION OF WINTERFEST STARTED WITH A SINGLE HISTORIC TROLLEY TOUR? After years of new ideas and exciting developments, downtown Pensacola’s Winterfest has grown into a must-see family event. It’s never too early to get into the holiday spirit, and this year, Winterfest is kicking off the festivities earlier than ever before. This year’s event will run November 18 through December 24 and feature updated tours, returning event favorites and more fun activities. The Winterfest festivities all take place at 223 South Palafox Place in downtown Pensacola. This year’s Winterfest festivities will kick off with the Christmas Jubilee and the Elf Parade, which will be returning for the first time since before the pandemic. Each weekend throughout November and December, the streets of downtown Pensacola will come alive, and the entrance of the downtown courthouse will transform into the magical Plaza Wonderland, providing locals and visitors alike the opportunity to experience the magic of the season. The Elf Parade is a children’s focused, non-commercial event where kids are invited to dress up in costumes and participate in contests designed for their decorated wagons and strollers. Parents can also participate in an ugly sweater contest, to be judged by Dee Dee Davis, who serves as the Christmas Fashion Institute President. The parade will start at the Escambia County Courthouse and span for a few blocks to the plaza behind the Pensacola history museum where the Christmas Jubilee will be waiting.


“It’s all free at the Christmas Jubilee. It’s just our way of saying thank you to the people that came out and want to go to Winterfest,” Winterfest Board President Denise Daughtry said. This year, the Winterfest event and kick off will be scheduled differently. Typically held in the late afternoon, the popular Elf Parade will start earlier in the day to allow for a special jubilee celebration immediately following the parade. For about two hours after the parade, guests can hang out at the jubilee where they will have opportunities to win a variety of exciting prizes and visit the Christmas Market. Josh Davidson, Winterfest Treasurer, said this new schedule will be more helpful to parents with young children and will also allow for more time for those without tour tickets to hang out a little longer and enjoy some of the fun festivities that Winterfest has to offer. The three themed trolley performance tours and other events will begin earlier this year, as well. On November 25, the parade lineup and contests will begin at 12:30 pm, with a special kickoff party and market activities that will begin at 2 pm. Winterfest performances will be held on Friday nights at 5 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays at 4:30 pm, with performances running every 15 minutes up until 8 pm. In addition to earlier start times and a host of additional activities to enjoy prior to this year’s tours, Winterfest guests can look forward to even more special engagements during the performance tours, special effects, new lighting and all-new costumes.



November 18 & 20, 25 - 27 and December 2 & 3, 9 - 11, 16 - 18 & 20 - 24

November 18 & 20, 25 - 27 and December 2 & 3, 9 - 11, 16 - 18 & 20 - 24

Santa Claus is coming to town and will be available for pictures after each trolley tour. Professional photos will be available for purchase and guests are welcome to bring their personal cameras to take pictures or video during their visit. Children can also bring their Christmas letters to give to the jolly man himself, or they can drop them off in mailboxes that will be stationed throughout the event space

Mr. Grinch sure is a mean one, but Santa’s favorite nemesis is begrudgingly allowing Winterfest guests to invade his space for a photo or two. Guests will meet the Grinch at his throne behind Santa’s sleigh. Unlike Santa, he likes to ask children what they don’t want for Christmas. Guests should take caution, as Mr. Grinch has some tricks up his sleeve and has a special lever that can launch guests out of their seats.



November 18 & 20, 25 - 27 and December 2 & 3, 9 - 11, 16 - 18 & 20 - 24

November 20 & 25 - 27 and December 2, 3, 9, 11, 17, 18 & 20 - 24

Grow your heart at Christmas on a wacky adventure on the stolen trolley. Mr. Grinch used all of the trash from Mt. Crumpit to craft the best trolley at Winterfest. Throughout the tour, guests will get to see more of Dr. Suess’s beloved characters, such as Cindy Lou Who, The Mayor of Whoville, The Cat in the Hat and many more. As everyone knows, an evening in Whoville is the best way to get in the Christmas spirit. The Who’s aren’t sure how well this trip will work, but don’t worry, the Whoville Fire Department is ready with an emergency exit slide just in case. Guests can win the Grinch Award by wearing their best “Who” costume. The most Seusian-looking Who on each tour will win their entire party a train ticket, so come dressed to impress. POLAR EXPRESS TOUR November 20 & 25 - 27 and December 2, 3, 9, 11, 17, 18 & 20 - 24 Join the Conductor for a magical journey through a wormhole in a life-size steam engine, the Polar Express. Share in the adventure as the Conductor recounts the story of the boy who received the first gift of Christmas: a bell from Santa’s sleigh. Onboard the Polar Express Tour, guests will see tap dancing hot chocolate servers and snowy landscapes. Rekindle the wonder of the beloved storybook, along with the belief in the magic of Christmas. All passengers will receive a mini cup of hot chocolate. Come dressed in pajamas, if you’d like. The best pajama set will win a ticket to ride the train. Remember to dress warm and cozy for this open-air trolley ride.


Encounter the Ghost of Christmas Future This year, Scrooge is getting his very own trolley. at the Winterfest event and get a photo taken with your own tombstone including a Take part in some ghostly fun with the classic personalized epitaph. There will be 12 styles of tale: A Christmas Carol. Beginning at the steps epitaphs for you to choose from. of the old courthouse for a free to the public pre-show, guests will encounter Ebenezer Scrooge’s long-deceased partner Jacob Marley. For tour tickets and complete details on this year’s Winterfest events, visit Marley wears many chains around him with each link representing a selfish misdeed from his life. Marley must make Scrooge change his ways before it’s too late and Scrooge faces the same fate as Marley. Soon after, guests will meet the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future as they show Scrooge how he became so callous toward others, what the true meaning of Christmas is and that fortune isn’t as important as he thought.


deceit that will keep audience members on the edge of their seats. The event begins at 7 pm and runs till 9 pm. The premiere will be hosted at the WSRE Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio at 1000 College Boulevard, Building #23. Ticket prices start at $30. For more information, visit Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show

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Pensacola Ice Flyers Schedule and Theme Nights

November Home Games and Theme Nights at the Pensacola Bay Center. Games start at 7:05 pm. For tickets and information, visit

November 11: Fayetteville Marksmen vs Ice Flyers; Veterans Appreciation Night November 12: Fayetteville Marksmen vs Ice Flyers; Small Dog Race Night November 19: Roanoke Rail Yard Dogs vs Ice Flyers; Star Wars Night November 23: Huntsville Havoc vs Ice Flyers; Thanksgiving Eve

Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival

...............................................................November 3-13

The 38th annual Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival is an 11 day-long festival featuring performances by over 200 nationally acclaimed songwriters. The festival will take place at a variety of venues all across the Florida and Alabama Gulf Coast. The Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival allows artists to share their songs and the stories behind them. A variety of venues are participating in the festival, including bars, restaurants and more. The festival will be held from November 3 to 13 with performance times varying each day. The festival’s full schedule including times, venues, acts and other information is available online at Sacred Black Tie Premiere

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The Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show is one of the most attended events in Pensacola, attracting 150,000-180,000 spectators every year. This two-day event features a world class show with aerobatics performed by Pensacola’s own Blue Angels. This event is free and open to the public. Guests are invited to bring their own seating or purchase seating. Seating is available for purchase with the option of box seats on the flight line and a more lux seating experience featuring a reserved table, catered buffet and private restrooms. The Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show is hosted at Naval Air Station Pensacola at 150 Hase Road. Gates open at 8 am and the show begins at 9:30 am. For tickets and more information, visit Pensacola Maker Faire

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The 2nd annual Pensacola Maker Faire is a free family-friendly event featuring over 100 makers showcasing their creativity and ingenuity. Some makers will be doing demonstrations or selling goods and others are offering attendees workshops and other hands-on activities. Makers include students from the UWF College of Science and Engineering, UWF College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Pensacon, Sea3D Lab, IHMC Robotics, Pensacola MESS Hall, Pensacola State College, Pensacola Museum of Art, First City Arts Center, local businesses and the community at large. The event will run from 10 am to 4 pm at the UWF Historic District’s Museum Plaza Park (201 E Zaragoza Street). For more information, visit or check out @pensacolamakerfaire on Facebook and Instagram.

Get an exclusive viewing of the purely Pensacola EggFest Pensacola film, Sacred, at this special . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . November 13 Black Tie Premiere. Sacred is a drama Pensacola EggFest combines the love movie that was created and filmed in of cooking and the joy of giving back. Pensacola. The plot revolves around At EggFest, teams from all across the the “first family”, the Brooks’, and their country will cook up their favorite fight to rule over the City of Pensacola. dishes on a Big Green Egg and serve The film is filled with drama, secrets and hundreds of tasters. EggFest donates 24 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM

to local charities including Rally Pensacola, Manna Food Pantries, Studer Community Institute and more. . Since 2013, over $500,000 has been donated to local charities from this BBQ party. This year’s EggFest will be held from 12 pm to 3 pm on November 13 at the Blue Wahoos Stadium. Tickets to be a taster start at $45 and kids 10 and under are free. For team registration and ticket information visit Dirty Dancing in Concert at the Saenger

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The Pensacola Saenger Theatre (118 South Palafox Street) is hosting Dirty Dancing in Concert, the film’s live film to concert experience. Attendees will enjoy the classic film like never before on a cinema screen with a live band and singers performing the film’s iconic songs. After the film, the band will perform an encore party in which guests can sing and dance along to their favorite Dirty Dancing tracks. This concert experience provides a fresh take on the 1980s classic film. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the show begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets for the show start at $47. For tickets and more information, visit

includes additional performances by fellow Christian contemporary artists CAIN and Anne Wilson. Doors open at 6 pm and the show begins at 7 pm. For tickets and more information, visit 55th Annual Snowball Derby

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The Snowball Derby is an annual 300lap short track race that has solidified its place in short track racing history. This four-day event has attracted the attention of some of the biggest names in short track racing, some of the sport’s biggest fans and even NASCAR. In 2017, NASCAR changed the dates of their Cup Series prize-giving banquet so that drivers would be able to participate in the Snowball Derby, which previously conflicted with the event. In previous years, NASCAR’s Kyle Busch has won and Steve Wallace, Bobby Gill and Chase Elliot have participated in the event. The 55th Annual Snowball Derby will be held at Five Flags Speedway at 7451 Pine Forest Road. For tickets and more information, call (850) 944-8400 or visit Holiday Market at Seville Square

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The Holiday Market at Seville Square is the perfect opportunity to get some Kick off the Thanksgiving Day holiday shopping done and have some festivities early by participating in or fun. The market will feature a variety watching the Pensacola Turkey Trot. of vendors selling art, holiday-themed This 5k race’s course runs through decor, gifts and more. There will also the heart of downtown Pensacola, be several food trucks, raffles and live with the race beginning and ending in entertainment. The event is familyfront of Seville Square (399 S Alcaniz friendly and features arts and crafts and a Street). Attendees and runners alike are bounce house to keep the kids occupied invited to get in the spirit by dressing while you shop. Admission is free and up in their most fitting turkey-themed the event runs from 10 am to 5 pm at apparel. The race begins at 8 am on Seville Square (311 East Government Thanksgiving Day. A post race party and Street). Whether you need to pick up awards ceremony will be held at Seville a few gifts or find some holiday decor, Square. For more information, visit the Holiday Market at Seville Square has you covered. For more information, turkey-trot. visit Casting Crowns at the Bay Center Pensacola Turkey Trot

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Christian contemporary group Casting Crowns are bringing their “The Healer” tour to the Pensacola Bay Center. Performing since 1999, Casting Crowns has become one of the most popular names in Christian music. The Grammy award winning group will be bringing their songs to the Bay Center at 201 E Gregory Street. Attendees can expect a night of worship music with songs such as “Only Jesus,” “Praise You In This Storm” and more. The event also





Rear Adm. Pete Garvin, center, commander, Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), and Force Master Chief Matthew Harris, NETC’s force master chief, look on as Senior Chief John Sigman, assigned to the Naval Air Technical Training Center, prepares to deliver the invocation during the fiscal year 2022 chief petty officer pinning ceremony at the Naval Air Technical Training Center onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola.



orty-seven new chief petty off icers were pinned during a ceremony at Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola held October 21. Chief petty officers from Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), NATTC, Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity, Naval Medicine Operational Training Command, Navy Recruiting Orientation Unit, Navy Reserve Center, Naval Aviation Schools Command and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (Blue Angels) received their chief pins and donned their covers during the ceremony. Rear Adm. Pete Gar v in, NETC commander, delivered the ceremony opening remarks, noting the importance of the newly selected chief petty off icers’ personal support systems. “Behind every Sailor is a unique family network,” Garvin said. “Spouses, partners, parents, siblings, children, close friends and mentors are essential to the success of anyone who self lessly chooses to

answer the noble call to service. You have all helped your chiefs advance to this point in their careers. Know that each of you will continue to play a vital role as your leader serves those under their charge and their families as well. I humbly ask that you steadfastly continue that support.” In addition to the ceremony at NATTC, ceremonies were held at the NAS Pensacola headquarters building for three assigned chief petty officers and at the National Naval Aviation Museum for twenty-six chief petty off icers assigned to Center for Information Warfare Training, Navy Information Operations Command, Naval Hospital Pensacola and Information Warfare Training Command Corry Station.

“These Sailors have been selected, tried and tested and are promoting to a rank in our United States Navy which carries so much significance, that of chief petty officer,” Capt. Terrance Shashaty, NAS Pensacola’s com“Expectations are high, manding of f icer said. “Ever y single one of us and I am challenging who has worn a U.S. Navy uniform has a story them to be bold, humble about a chief. Along with carrying our ships to leaders who will be ready sea and our aircraft to the skies, Navy chiefs are to lead their Sailors into the stewards of our heritage and the benchmark of the standards we need to succeed.” combat if called upon.” The ceremony was the conclusion to “chief seaDOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 25

MILITARYMATTERS son,” when f irst-class petty off icers selected to become chief petty off icers undergo six weeks of training to bridge the gap between the junior and senior enlisted ranks. “I am excited to have the opportunity to give back to the Nav y,” Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Erica Orzech said, assigned to NATTC as the performing unit’s drill master. “I had many great mentors, most of them chiefs, that have helped me throughout my career. Being able to step into this role and give back to the Navy has given me purpose and drive!”

NETC’s mission is to recruit and hire talented civilians, deliver training and education to transform civilians into Sailors and distribute accession Sailors to the f leet to maximize readiness and ensure mission success; to provide specialized training and educational tools to advance the personal and professional development of Sailors throughout their career and serve as sole claimant for individual training and education and as the principal advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations and Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command on training and education related matters.

Force Master Chief Matthew Harris, NETC’s force master chief, wrapped up the ceremonies by discussing the importance of chief petty off icers and the leadership role that they exemplify through service in the Navy.

For more information about NETC, visit the command’s website at netc. and follow MyNavy HR on Facebook at YHR/ or Instagram at

“It is important for our new chiefs to recognize the mantle of responsibility that they now carry,” Harris said. “Expectations are high, and I am challenging them to be bold, humble leaders who will be ready to lead their Sailors into combat if called upon.”


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