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Editor’s Corner

CONTENTS

In December, there are pretty much two types of people: the holiday haters, and the gleeful holiday zealots. In my early twenties, I fell into the former camp. I was a budding philosophy student with a newfound obsession with Karl Emily Lullo Marx and I attended Christmas dinner that year in a drab editor brown frock in protest of the rampant consumerism that surrounded the holiday. I was adorably jaded. Now in my more mature mid-twenties, I’ve reverted to the unbridled joy of a sixyear-old during the holidays. But my childlike glee this year is accompanied by my adult tendency to stay organized (or at least try to), and I do that with lists. Lists of things I want to cook for the holidays (my aunt Cathy’s drop cakes), stories I want to reread (A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote), movies I want to watch (A Muppet Christmas Carol and Home Alone), and gifts I want to buy or make for my loved ones. There’s also a long list of events I cannot miss in order to get the full breadth of the holiday experience, and they’re all happening Downtown. First on my list is Winterfest. This growing event is a Downtown tradition, kicking off with the Elf Parade in November and including performance tours with talented singers and themed vignettes and an expanded Winterland Plaza on Palafox. There’s more to do than ever at this year’s edition of Winterfest, and you can get all the details from our guide starting on page 19. Also this year I will definitely be checking out the Blue Wahoos Winter Wonderland at the stadium for some ice skating, tobogganing, and local musical performers and artists from First City Arts Center. Ice skating with the sun setting over the bay in the background—how cool is that?! We’ve got more details on page 35. Also on my winter list is running in the Pensacola Christmas Parade Dash, going to more Ice Flyers games, avoiding the mall insanity and buying gifts from local retailers, and wistfully looking out my office window at the shiny decorations adorning the street lamps. Ah, Christmas! Of course, I’ll cap off the year with tens of thousands of other revelers at the Downtown Countdown and Pelican Drop. I’ve gone every year since its inception and had a blast each time. But let me enjoy Contact me at the gluttony and indulgence of Emily@Ballinger Publishing.com or write to Christmas before I think about P.O. Box 12665, 2013, OK? Pensacola, FL 32591-2665.

Have Something To Say?

4. Downtown Improvement Board 6. Art • Music • Theatre 11. ChatterBox

Executive Editor Kelly Oden Editor Emily Lullo Art Director Rita Laymon Graphic Designer and Ad Coordinator Kassie McLean kassie@ballingerpublishing.com

12. Dateline Downtown

Editorial Assistant Josh Newby Editorial Intern Christienne Cloutier

13. Word on the Street

Graphic Intern Kathryne Yance

15. Christmas Parade 17. Winterfest Guide 22. Business Profile Mickey’Z Beauty Villa 25. Pelican Drop Ushers in the New Year 26. Film 28. ChowDownTown Polonza 30. Historic District 33. Blue Wahoos Winter Wonderland 35. Faces in the Crowd

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Publisher Malcolm Ballinger

On the cover: Artwork by Kassie McLean

Advertising Account Executives Caroline Martin caroline@ballingerpublishing.com Sharyon Miller sharyon@ballingerpublishing.com Contributing Writers Sandra Ward DIB Executive Director Sandra Ward DIB Board Members Burney Merrill – Chairman Ed Carson – Vice Chairman Bob Van Slyke – Treasurer Evan Levin Corbett Davis, Jr. Deadline for space and information is the 15th of the month prior to publication. For advertising rates or news tips contact Phone: 433-1166 • Fax: 435-9174 DOWNTOWN CROWD is published monthly in cooperation with the Downtown Improvement Board, 41 N. Jefferson St., Suite 401, Pensacola, Florida 32502 by Ballinger Publishing. Offices located at 41 N. Jefferson St., Suite 402, Pensacola, Florida 32502. PUBLISHED BY BALLINGER PUBLISHING:

Downtown Crowd is locally owned and operated. It is published monthly for distribution in Pensacola, Florida. All Rights 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. © 2012


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Downtown Improvement Board Sandra Ward Interim Executive Director of the Downtown Improvement Board

Buying Local Makes Even More Sense This Holiday Season For most retailers (and this includes many restaurants, entertainment venues, and personal service businesses), sales during the period from mid-November through the end the December each year represents around 40 percent of the total annual sales for these types of businesses. To say that this all important seven-week period is “bread and butter” time for most retailers is not in any way an exaggeration. The sales volume (or lack thereof) experienced during this period will at least influence – if not determine - how most retailers will operate in the coming year. For many that fail to achieve the customary sales volume during the holiday season, the question of whether such a business can continue is a growing concern very far into the new year and must

quickly be answered and addressed. In any normal year, there are always many retail enterprises that post favorable sales numbers and others that fall far short of what is needed to keep the doors open very far into the first quarter. Such is the natural evolution of the marketplace. For our Downtown and our community, the departure of any of our one-of-a kind locally-owned retailers would be felt far more severely than by a temporarily empty storefront. In Downtown Pensacola, more than 97 percent of the retailers and restaurants are locally owned enterprises that provide a significant amount of support for the projects and offerings that help define Pensacola’s quality of life. Whether the support is in the form of a

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sponsorship for a local little league team, buying an advertisement in a high school yearbook, purchasing season tickets to the symphony, making a donation to a church silent auction, or scores of other similar “contributions” made by local businesses, the results are the same. Local businesses support the local causes that are important to local people. Losing even one of our locally owned independent businesses diminishes the resources that are available for advancement and continuation of the civic, religious, charitable, and cultural offerings that we expect to find in Downtown Pensacola. There is a lot more at stake than just the profitability or staying power of our retail, restaurant, and entertainment businesses during this important selling season. Let’s also not forget that the cluster of unique one-to-the-market independent retailers and restaurants in Downtown also defines our local color and local flavor. As we have collectively attracted more and more tourists and visitors to Downtown over the last few years, most of them come to see and experience the “genuine” or “authentic” Pensacola. Losing any of the local businesses that help define Downtown Pensacola would also impact our tourism development and attraction efforts.

When we make decisions about where and what to purchase this holiday season, we should all pause and think about where our dollars go after the purchase and what they are used for after the transaction is complete. Is that sales tax we save on an Internet purchase really equal to the loss of support for our local institutions? How much do the retailers in the next county contribute to support the causes that are important to us in Pensacola? Is that purchase from a national chain in a suburban mall or strip center really going to help Pensacola? By giving gifts from local Downtown businesses, the money we spend changes hands here in Pensacola several times before any of it leaves our area. In these continuing times of financial uncertainty where caution seems to guide many of our expenditures, please remember that the successes of locally owned independent Downtown businesses are directly related to the success of so many cherished Pensacola institutions and traditions. Picking out that perfect gift from a locally owned retailer will help ensure the survival of much more than just that business. Buying locally always make good sense. But this holiday season, doing so seems brilliant. Let’s keep the Downtown renaissance going strong by buying local.


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Art • Music • Theatre

[ Choral Society of Pensacola Presents Handel’s Messiah

Disney Live! Presents Mickey’s Musical Festival at the Pensacola Bay Center December 12 Disney Live! presents Mickey's Musical Festival parading into Pensacola on December 12 at 6:30 pm at the Pensacola Bay Center. The irresistible lineup includes Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy with characters from Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Toy Story! Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival, features an all star line-up of more than 25 Disney characters. The show transports audiences to a new world where music of all forms will ring out and Disney characters will lead the way. Anyone can be a member of the band as giant-sized balloons fall from the ceiling in one scene and then in the next, Disney characters are dancing in the aisles. Ticket prices range from $17 to $52. Tickets available at the Pensacola Bay Center Box Office, and TicketMaster.com.

PLT Presents A Christmas Story December 7-9 and 13-16 Pensacola Little Theatre’s Treehouse Series, Andrews Orothopaedic and Sports Medicine Center and Fisher Brown Bottrell, present A Christmas Story, December 7-9 and 13-16. This play chronicles young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way towards the holiday gift of his dreams, but many distractions stand between him and his Christmas wish. Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $14-$30 and children 12 and younger are half off. Thursday, December 13 is half off all ticket prices. Discounts are available for senior citizens, full-time students, military and groups of 10 or more. For additional information, visit PensacolaLittleTheatre.com or ring 434.0257.

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December 1 The Choral Society of Pensacola will perform the holiday classic, Handel’s Messiah, in Pensacola on Saturday, December 1 at 7:30 pm at St. Paul Catholic Church (3131 Hyde Park Rd.). Performances will feature the 70-voice Choral Society of Pensacola and the Choral Society of Pensacola Orchestra. The Choral Society is sponsored by Pensacola State College and is directed by Pensacola State music professor Xiaolun Chen. Tickets are $20 for reserved seating and $15 for general admission. Student tickets are available for $5. Tickets will be available at the door one hour prior to performance. To purchase tickets or inquire about group rates, call 484-1806. Tickets also can be purchased at the Pensacola State College Lyceum Ticket Office by calling 484-1847.

UWF Fall Chamber Music Series December 5 The University of West Florida Department of Music will present an afternoon of chamber music on the first Wednesday of the fall months at 12 pm in the Old Christ Church in Historic Downtown Pensacola. The church is located at 120 East Church Street. Every performance in the series is free and open to the public. On Wednesday, December 5, the series will present “Celebrate the Season.” The Chamber Music Class celebrates the season with merry melodies, performing works of Bach, Handel, Mozart,Verdi, Grieg. The program also includes traditional Christmas music. For more information, feel free to contact the music office at 474-2147.

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TobyMac with Mandisa, Brandon Heath & Friends at the Pensacola Bay Center

December 13 The Hits Deep Tour, featuring TobyMac with his grammy winning blend of Christian and Hip-Hop/Pop music is coming to the Pensacola Civic Center on Thursday, December 13 at 7 pm. Also making an appearance will be Mandisa, Brandon Heath, and Friends! Ticket prices are $43 and $31, and are available at the Pensacola Bay Center Box Office and TicketMaster.com.


Pensacola Children’s Chorus Presents Christmas on the Coast December 7-9 Make this a traditional part of your Christmas celebrations! Celebrate the season with the sounds of some of the most talented young people in the region, singing and dancing to holiday songs in eyecatching costumes. The chorus will perform Christmas on the Coast at the Saenger Theatre. Tickets can be purchased through the Pensacola Saenger Box Office or through TicketMaster. Prices are $36, $30, & $20. For more information visit pensacolasaenger.com.

PLT Presents Holiday Cabaret December 17-19 From classic Christmas carols and hymns to more modern holiday songs, Holiday Cabaret features nearly two dozen local performers and a litany of beloved Christmas songs. Tickets are $14-$30. For tickets and additional information, visit PensacolaLittleTheatre.com or call 434.0257.

First City Art Center’s Hot Glass, Cold Brew December 7 The First City Art Center’s (formerly Belmont Arts & Cultural Center) popular Hot Glass, Cold Brew event takes place on Friday, December 7 from 5 pm to 9 pm at its new location at 1060 N. Guillemard St., Bldg. 1. (on the corner of Guillemard and Gonzalez St). A suggested donation of $25 for non-members and $20 for members gets patrons a one-of-a-kind hand-blown glass cup or clay mug that they can fill with complimentary beverages all evening long. To make the evening even more enjoyable there will be live wheel-thrown pottery demos, glass bead making demos and glassblowing demos. This unforgettable holiday is sponsored by Pensacola Energy & Creative Instinct Signs and Graphics. Patrons will enjoy complimentary pizza, live music by 18 String Army, live art demos and beer, provided by Pensacola Bay Brewery; nonalcoholic beverages will be available. Arrive early since these collector cups go fast! For more information, call 429-1222. December 2012 • find us on facebook @ Pensacola dtc • The DTC 7


Art • Music • Theatre First City Art Center Holiday Pottery Show December 8 Artist members of the First City Art Center will be showcasing and selling a variety of hand-thrown pottery pieces on Saturday, December 8 from 9 am - 12 pm. There will be a sneak preview of selected pieces at the Hot Glass, Cold Brew event from 5 - 9 pm on Friday, December 7. The Pottery Guild will feature work from this year as well as past pieces just in time for your holiday shopping. This exhibit/sale will take place at First City Art Center at 1060 N. Guillemard St. This exclusive event will enable patrons to see what is created at First City Art Center’s pottery studio and purchase unique one-of-a-kind items. Funds raised will go towards the purchase of new equipment for First City Art Center Pottery Studio. For more information call 429-1222 or visit firstcityart.org.

UWF Presents A Christmas Carol December 6-9; 13-16 The holiday classic is back for its sixth season as a Pensacola tradition. Join Scrooge, an old and bitter miser, as four ghosts visit him on Christmas Eve, teaching him the importance of kindness and compassion in this wonderful play accompanied by music. Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2:30 pm at the UWF Center for Fine & Performing Arts. For more information, call 857-6057. Jingle Jazz at Seville Quarter

December 3 The annual "Jingle Jazz" event, presented by the Jazz Society of Pensacola, will be December 3 at 6:30 pm at Phineas Phogg's Room in Seville Quarter. Admission is by donation at the door, and the public is invited. Proceeds will go to the 30th annual free December 14-16 Pensacola JazzFest held in historic Seville Square Saturday and Sunday, April 6 & 7, 2013. Audiences will be enthralled during this annual classic as the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky accompanies the story of Clara Led by trumpeter and vocalist Paul Bruketa, the program will feature a number of area musicians including Burt Kimberl, Walt Kattner, Bob Maksymkow, Steve Maniscola and Bob and her dream of the Nutcracker Prince. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 pm; Sunday show is at 1:30 pm. Single ticket Andrews. Also featured are vocalists Rosie Butler and Kathy Lyon. This is always a fun prices are $20—$32 and are available by calling Ticketmaster at evening with an abundance of Jazzy Holiday tunes for a delightful evening, and a wonderful 800.745.3000. start to the holiday season. A special menu and full bar service are available.

Ballet Pensacola Presents Nutcracker

Pensacola Civic Band Holiday Concert December 17­18 The Pensacola Civic Band presents its annual Holiday Concert at 7:30 pm Monday and Tuesday, December 17 and 18, at the Pensacola State College Ashmore Fine Arts Auditorium, Building 8, on the Pensacola campus. As always, the Civic Band engages the audience in a good old-fashioned holiday sing-along. Sponsored by Pensacola State College, the Civic Band is directed by PSC Performing Arts Department Head Don Snowden. All tickets are $10. Ticket proceeds benefit scholarships for area high school band students and Pensacola State students. Friends of the Civic Band members will not receive free tickets for this fundraising concert. For ticket reservations, call 484-1847. Pick up tickets 8:30 am to 4 pm Monday – Friday and one hour prior to the performance at the Lyceum Ticket Office at the Ashmore Center. For more information, contact Don Snowden at 484-1800. 8 The DTC • December 2012 • www.downtowncrowd.com

Crystal Studios Art Classes Through December Crystal Copperstone, owner of Crystal Studios, has been teaching Polymer Clay for 25 years and will have a variety of classes for the month of December and January. Call or stop in to see samples and get your schedule. Crystal has been working directly for manufactures of many art products making designs for their companies and she will be teaching card making and scrapbooking with very unusual art techniques. Delia Stone, the 2011 winner in the Rio Grande catalog for the wire work and chain jewelers, will be teaching Herringbone Pendant class at Crystal Studios on December 10 from 1-4 pm. Attendees will complete a wrap pendant by learning a simple weaving technique that produces a complex look. Beginners welcome. For more information call 466-5521 or find Crystal Studios on Facebook.


At Seville Quarter This Month Seville Quarter hosts a variety of entertainment from a wide array of genres. For more information check out SevilleQuarter.com. Every Monday: Livin’ the Dream Every Tuesday: Kitt Lough Every Wednesday: Anchor Steps Swing Dancing Night December 1: Mo Jiles December 3: Jazz Jingle December 7-8: The Rez December 14-15: Kategory 5 December 23-24: The Modern Eldorados December 28-29: Schofield

At Vinyl Music Hall This Month Vinyl Music Hall hosts a huge variety of musical acts from a wide array of genres. For more information check out VinylMusicHall.com. Saturday, December 1: Headbangerz Ball ft. Appetite for Destruction, Poison’d, Red White & Crue Tuesday, December 4: Papadosio Wednesday, December 5: Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, Acaro Friday, December 7: Grayson Capps Duo Friday, December 21: The Revivalists, Hotel Oscar Saturday, December 22: The Revivalists, Maggie Koerner Saturday, December 29: Earl’s Killer Squirrel, Nik Flagstar & his Dirty Mangy Dogs, Operation Hennessey

Fish House Deck Bar Weekly Music Schedule The Deck Bar is closed on Sunday & Monday night Tuesday: Lucas Crutchfield from 6 pm - 10 pm Wednesday: Lucas Crutchfield 5 pm - 9 pm; At 9 pm a regional band will play until midnight. Regional bands are changed weekly Thursday: Lucas Crutchfield 6 pm - 10 pm Friday: Lucas Crutchfield 5 pm - 9 pm; Regional band begins at 9 pm Saturday: Regional bands begin at 9 pm. December 2012 • The DTC 9


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ChatterBox

Melody Hamilton What Downtown holiday events are you most looking forward to? The Winter Wonderland and Winterfest. Will you be making any New Year’s resolutions? Yes, to paint everyday and spend more time with my children.

Jim Paulis What Downtown holiday events are you most looking forward to? The Children’s Chorus at the Saenger and the new event at the Maritime, and the parade. Will you be making any New Year’s resolutions? Nope. I never keep them long enough.

Derek Gates What Downtown holiday events are you most looking forward to? The Pelican Drop. Will you be making any New Year’s resolutions? No.

Richard Shaw What Downtown holiday events are you most looking forward to? The Pelican Drop. I’ll definitely try to make it to that this year. Will you be making any New Year’s resolutions? I already have one to exercise a little bit more and be a little more motivated for that. December 2012 • find us on facebook @ Pensacola dtc • The DTC 11


Dateline Downtown Pensacola Runners Association Christmas Parade Dash December 8 Preceding the parade is the popular 1.2 miles Christmas Parade Dash, sponsored by the Pensacola Runners Association. With nearly 400 participants each year, the Dash uses the Cox Pensacola Christmas parade route just prior to the start of the parade. The race starts at 5 pm, and the course ends at Plaza Ferdinand where a large candy cane is handed to each finisher. For more information on the Christmas Parade Dash, please visit pensacolarunners.com.

Ice Flyers Ice Hockey Come root for the home team at the Civic Center with the Pensacola Ice Flyers. Because what could be cooler than ice hockey in Pensacola? Games start at 7:05 pm. Home games are listed below. For more information check out pensacolaiceflyers.com.

Cox Pensacola Christmas Parade December 8 Come Downtown on Saturday, December 8 for the Pensacola Christmas Parade, featuring floats and Christmas characters taking to the streets of Downtown. The Christmas Parade kicks off at 5:15 pm, and includes local bands from every high school in Escambia County, as well as groups from around the region and as far away as Houston and New Orleans. The Cox Pensacola Christmas Parade profits go to local high school band booster organizations to assist in the purchasing of uniforms and equipment and funding of travel expenses. For more information, call 469-0086.

December 1 vs. Knoxville Ice Bears December 7 vs. Huntsville Havoc December 14 vs. Louisiana Ice Gators December 18 vs. Mississippi RiverKings December 29 vs. Mississippi Surge

Pancakes With Santa at Gulf Coast Kids House December 8 Children of all ages are invited to enjoy a morning of holiday fun with Santa, Mrs. Claus and Santa’s elves, Saturday, December 8 from 8:30 to 11 am at Gulf Coast Kid’s House, 3401 N. 12th Ave. The third annual “Pancakes with Santa” is hosted by the Cordova Rotary Club and presented by The Mostoller Group Realty and ADX Communications/Cat Country, as well as other community sponsors. Proceeds of the event will benefit Gulf Coast Kid’s House, a nonprofit organization that facilitates the investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse and neglect and promotes child abuse prevention awareness through community education. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Stacey Kostevicki at 595-5780. 12 The DTC • December 2012 • www.downtowncrowd.com


Word on the Street New Business in Historic District: The Secret Garden The Historic District welcomes The Secret Garden, a new florist business that recently opened at 301 S. Adams St. The Secret Garden offers a wide assortment of fresh flowers and plants, as well as cards and gifts, and can offer same day delivery for local areas. Place an order online or call 469.0404. Call to Artists Miles of Art, Antiques, Uniques & More is opening soon and seeking out artists and vendors to fill the booths in the 50,000 square foot, climate controlled gallery located on Bayou Boulevard. To make an appointment to check out the space and see if it’s right for you, call Dee at 525-4838!

Blue Morning Gallery Launches New Program for 2013 The Blue Morning Gallery announces the inaugural season of an "Evening of Art." By subscription only, this art series fosters a buy-local spirit and brings together the community to support local art, artists and collectors. At each of the "Evenings," April 12, June 7 and August 2, subscribers will enjoy a private party at the Gallery with a catered meal, wine tasting, and entertainment. They will have an opportunity to meet with the three artists contributing an "art collection" for that event. Subscriptions, costing $300 for the season, are available at the Gallery and are appropriate for gift-giving, for businesses to reward valued employees, and for art lovers to add to their collections. A season's worth of the art collections will be in excess of $800, a benefit of multiple works of art from local artists at a fantastic value. The number of subscriptions is limited. For additional information about Evening of Art, call Connie Wendleton, Public Relations, at 494-1262. The Blue Morning Gallery is located at 21 Palafox Place, Downtown Pensacola. For information, call 429-9100. Rebuild Northwest Florida Fortifies the Quina House Rebuild Northwest Florida was recently recognized for their success in fortifying and protecting (or “hardening”) Quina House, Pensacola’s oldest surviving home still located on its original site. Rebuild Northwest Florida spearheaded the fortification effort to preserve Quina House, and numerous local businesses contributed labor and materials, including Wayne-Dalton, Emerald Coast Constructors, Inc., and Mason Builder’s Corp. Mayor Ashton Hayward and others attended a special ribbon-cutting event on November 8, hosted by Barbara Fitzpatrick, Director of the Pensacola Historic Preservation Society.

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Pensacola Christmas Parade By Christienne Cloutier

Marching bands, floats throwing treats, and costumed characters strolling the streets of Downtown Pensacola as viewers cheer on the festivities—the Pensacola Christmas Parade is here! A cherished tradition for over 20 years, the Christmas Parade will kick off the holiday season for many on Saturday, December 8, at 5:15 pm. Since 1988, the not-for-profit Pensacola Christmas Projects, nc. has been presenting the Pensacola Christmas Parade. The first edition of this parade was produced by the Pensacola Jaycees and featured 11 entries with no bands. Now in its 31st year, the parade has flourished and grown to more than 80 entries, which include more than 50 floats. Preceding the parade will be the annual Christmas Parade Dash, a 1.2

mile race that will follow the parade route to the encouragement of parade viewers. The race is coordinated by the Pensacola Runners Association. The parade’s joyous atmosphere lets families get into the Christmas spirit early, and celebrate the holidays in a fun, festive environment. One of its newest sponsors, Chobani Champions Yogurt, will be handing out free samples to the parade attendees. Pensacola is the final stop of the year for the Chobani Traveling Tour. The parade will run about 90 minutes in length as it weaves its way through Downtown. For more information on the parade, visit coxpensacolachristmasparade.org.

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Guide Welcome to Winterfest 2012!

Winterfest 2012 Where: Escambia County Courthouse and throughout Downtown When: Throughout December Info: Winterfest.org

WinterFest tours and performances light up Downtown Pensacola from Historic Seville to the Palafox Business District. The special Santa's Express Tour the week before Christmas is great for young children, and our flagship Performance Tour features 12 fun stops with your favorite holiday characters including Snoopy, Scrooge, Frosty, and the Whos of Whoville. The Downtown Pensacola Holiday Season began November 23 with the 2012 Elf Parade, and has continued on with Winterfest tours and expanded fun in Christmas Town Wonderland, where all tours begin from a plaza at the historic Escambia County Courthouse. When attendees finish a tour, you’ll be greeted by elves who take your photo at the Christmas tree. Then a group of singers emerge and begin the show, "A Very Musical Christmas." Following the ten minute mini-musical, the reindeer invite everyone to take part in some fun "Reindeer Games," and the nine deer have a dance party hosted by Brandice Purvis. They assist in throwing snowballs at the Grinch and turn children into snowmen with the "snow bazooka." There are also traditional photos with Santa. Santa's Workshop Revue is a free song-and-dance show in the Plaza with your favorite holiday characters

like Rudolph, Frosty, and Old St Nick himself in his beautiful red sleigh. A special red trolley features delicious holiday treats. Stop in to see Santa Claus for your holiday portrait. Now that Winterfest has the snowdrift float and reindeer, there will be an opportunity to visit Santa and met the team on weekends and during the week before Christmas, December 18 - 23 from 5-8 pm. Along with the Santa Trolley Tours, children may take a ride in Santa's magic sleigh and get an autograph from their favorite reindeer. Parents bring your cameras to capture the fun. Check out the following events at WinterFest 2012! For tickets and more information visit pensacolawinterfest.org. Winterfest Performance Tours December 1, 14, 15 and 16 Twelve performances along a 60 minute trip through Downtown Pensacola. Santa's Holiday Express December 18-22 Santa rides every night December 18-22 for 30 minutes of songs and lights.

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Guide Winterfest: a night of fun, for young and old. But what can you expect when you head Downtown to participate? Following is a description of all the new additions and tour stops on the Winterfest tour. The magical trolley takes passengers on a journey to some of our favorite Christmas stories. All aboard!

A Charlie Brown Christmas

New This Year Santa's Sleigh is a Great New Prop! Winterfest introduces Santa’s magic sleigh, a special gift from helpers Rudolph and Frosty. With the push of a button, Santa can bring snow to children everywhere. The sleigh is pulled along by Rudolph and his reindeer friends at the beginning of each Winterfest evening. When the reindeer are unhitched, they are free to play games with children in Plaza Wonderland. Plaza Christmas Tree - "TREE OF FRIENDSHIP" The Gulf Coast Citizen Diplomacy Council has been awarded a "Local Initiative Grant" funded by the Office of International Visitors with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State to help promote the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) by celebrating diversity and friendship both around the world and locally Through sponsorship of the Winterfest “Tree of Friendship.” The tree, decorated with peace doves, will sit outside the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners Administrative building in downtown Pensacola. The IVLP promotes education and cultural understanding in northwest Florida and furthers the cause of citizen diplomacy, the concept that all citizens have the right, even the responsibility to affect U.S. foreign relationship “one handshake at a time.” Scrooge Charles Dicken’s famous character, Scrooge returns to Winterfest. He is a cold-heated, greedy man, who despises Christmas and all things which give people happiness.The story of his redemption by the three Ghosts of Christmas has become a defining tale of the holiday season. Our story is set in the Historic Village, a perfect backdrop for ghostly visits.

A Christmas Story It’s 1940 Christmas time and there’s only one thing on Ralphie Parker’s Christmas list this year: a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-Shot, Range Model Air Rifle, but many obstacles stand in the way of his dream because every adult that he confronts keeps telling him he’ll shoot his eye out - even Santa. Light pole number 34 in Seville Square is the scene for the frozen tongue with Ralphie and friends. Deck the Halls - a Traditional Christmas Celebration The second stop on the Performance Tour features colonial Christmas traditions. Historic LearRocheblave House, built in 1890 and now a museum, provides the setting for a tribute to Christmas celebrations in early America, sponsored and performed by the Ft. Pickens and Pensacola DAR and Sons of the American Revolution. Christmas celebrations in colonial Pensacola centered around family, feasting, friends and faithcentered activities. This reenactment of an 18th century Christmas celebration in Pensacola includes period costumes; decorations of natural greenery and berries; crafts, such as spinning and sewing; homemade gifts; children’s games; and the traditional Christmas Day greeting to neighbors in the form of a gun salute, fired on period muskets.

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Peanuts & a Charlie Brown Christmas! Peanuts Holiday is an original production of the drama department of Gulf Breeze High School, sponsored by Norma’s on the Run, and exclusive to Winterfest. After emerging from an enormous comic book, the best-loved of Charles M. Schulz’s characters—Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and others—will present through song and dance some of the most memorable moments from the Peanuts Christmas specials. The Polar Express - All Aboard the Winterfest Train First we stop with Hero Girl and Billy and hear them sing the duet of "When Christmas Comes to Town" before heading to the Boy’s House. The railroad crossing is lowered as the trolley approaches, the crossing guard waves her lantern, and the locomotive’s whistle sounds in this recreation of the 2004 Academy Award-nominated “live action” film Polar Express. Staged in front of the historic Suzannah cottage (1804), office location of the stop’s sponsor, Lisa Minshew, P.A., your attention will be drawn immediately by the immense steam-puffing model locomotive, based on the film’s locomotive, which still exists and has been listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The conductor, the Boy, and Hero Girl board the trolley and pass on the theme of belief to riders through story and song. Each

The Polar Express


passenger who, like the Boy, believes in Santa and the spirit of Christmas receives a beautiful-sounding sleigh bell that only believers can hear: Do you hear it? Elvis Returns to Winterfest Though “Blue Christmas”—reputedly Elvis Presley’s favorite Christmas song—has been covered by diverse artists such as Ringo Starr, Celine Dion, and Smash Mouth, nobody does it like the King. And you’ll see why at this stop sponsored by Seville Quarter, Pensacola’s premier music and entertainment location. Elvis, sequined and coiffed, and accompanied by his lovely back-up singers, will board the trolley and perform his 1957 hit “Blue Christmas” as only Elvis can, and you’re welcome to sing along!

Whoville and the Grinch

this adaptation by the drama department of Gulf Breeze High School. Colorful holiday decorations and murals on the building of Brown, Thornton Pacenta & Company, P.A., the stop’s sponsor, create the illusion of enchanting Whoville. Against this backdrop, through song, dance, and audience interaction the well-known story of the Grinch— whose heart is “two sizes too small”—and his rehabilitation is told. Their gifts snatched by the Grinch, the undaunted Whos tumble out of their crowded beds and foil the Grinch’s plot to “prevent Christmas from coming” by focusing on the true meaning of the holiday season, which they’ll share with you in song while surrounding the trolley. After his epiphany, the Grinch’s heart grew three times its size, and yours will too after experiencing this delightful, fantastical performance!

glowing lights but do you have a shiny red nose like Rudolph? It’s really foggy in the swamp so Gaston is perfect for his job. Frosty Frosty has a narrow escape from Gaston, the alligator who is looking for a snow cone, Frosty escapes into the trolley to lead riders in the snowman song. He is joined by Miss Winterfest who sings "Believe" from the Polar Express.

Living Nativity

Living Nativity The First Presbyterian Church in Downtown Pensacola is the locale for the staging of a live nativity. The oldest and the original Christmas story, “the reason for the season” is the focus of this reenactment, and serenading angels will join you, your friends, and your family on the trolley, proclaiming the joy of the season through song. Cajun Night Before Christmas We began our journey with Troxclair, (played by Dr. Stu Bonnin) a native of South Louisiana, narrating the poem. Something magical happens when Santa crosses over into Louisiana territory. He changes teams from reindeer to gators. Gaston the alligator leads Santa's sleigh. Instead of a shiny nose, he has glowing red claws. You’re covered with lots of

A very Musical Christmas

The Cat Came Back! Sporting the trademark bowtie and red-and-white striped hat, the Cat in the Hat, will guide you on your journey to the imaginary world of Whoville— but keep a sharp eye out. Slinking, sliding, and slithering about the trolley, the Cat in the Hat is a mischievous cat, and you never know what the Cat might be up to... Whoville & the Grinch Dr. Seuss’s fantasyland of Whoville comes alive in

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Business Profile By Christienne Cloutier

Mickie’z BEAUTY VILLA

M

Mickie’z Beauty Villa brings a unique charm to Pensacola. The full service salon owned by Michele McCloskey offers a variety of services for men, women and children to enjoy. The salon opened on June 1 after Michele traveled from Foley, Alabama to Tampa searching for the perfect location. “I fell in love with Pensacola,” McCloskey said. “This feels like paradise.” Originally from Philadelphia, McCloskey, has been in the beauty business for 27 years. She wanted to bring her Northern flair to Pensacola by giving her clients a “bigger city finesse.” “I want my salon to have a homey atmosphere that’s really down to earth,” she said. “I want my clients and I to have a friendship rather then a business relationship.” McCloskey stays up on the latest

trends by going to educational training seminars every three months. She’s flown to places like New York, Atlantic City and Las Vegas to ensure her clients receive the most modern stylish looks. McCloskey brought in stylist Lisa Simpson to assist her in the salon. Simpson started out in the business 30 years ago in Downtown Pensacola, and has recently come back to work at the Beauty Villa. “I just love the atmosphere down here,” Simpson said. Both ladies are extremely involved in the Pensacola community and you can count on McCloskey to stay involved in local events. She attended the Seafood Festival a few weeks ago and raffled off 12 free services. She was also involved in the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, and plans on keeping active within the community.

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In fact, the salon will be hosting a Holiday Open House during Winterfest that will take place Saturday, December 8 from noon – 8 pm. Santa Claus will even be there with treats for the kids. McCloskey will be treating every guest to snow cones, popcorn, cookies and hot chocolate. Tours of the salon and door prizes will be given away during the open house as well. Guests are invited to stop by the salon before or after the parade, and Santa will be there all day! McCloskey is proud to call Pensacola her home. Before she bought the salon, the building was a telemarketing firm. With a little sprucing, she has turned the building into a quaint, family-type salon. “Downtown is absolutely beautiful,” McCloskey said. “I think this is a great place to grow.” She hopes that the salon, located on E. Government Street, will liven up

that part of town that seems to be forgotten about. The Beauty Villa is the only salon with a view of the water. McCloskey likes to enjoy the beautiful scenery from her back porch and hopes that her clients will take pleasure in the breathtaking panorama. Every new client receives 50 percent off any service. The salon is open Monday- Thursday from 9 am- 9 pm, Friday 9 am-5 pm and Saturday by appointment. McCloskey will also make house calls. “I want everyone to leave here looking and feeling the best they can,” she said. For haircuts, color, waxing or nails visit Mickie’z Beauty Villa at 603 E. Government Street or call 607-7718 to make an appointment.


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MY CROWD

Pelican Drop Ushers in the New Year By Josh Newby The event is always well attended and some may find the crowd intimidating, so here are some easy, helpful tips to ensure a fun and safe time for all.

By now, the annual Pensacola Pelican Drop has become more and more of a time-honored tradition for the city’s people. Fifty-thousand people generally attend, eager to forget about their thinner wallets and expanded waistlines, anxious to literally party till the following 1. LOCATION year, and antsy to see the Pelican descend its perch yet Palafox Place will close down for a massive party. Street closures begin on the morning of December again. Kids and adults alike find the experience to be a local, stress-free, safe way to celebrate the passing of one 31 and continue until 1 am. year and the beginning of the next. 2. PARKING The celebration balances the entertainment value of There is plenty of handicap and regular parking in many larger cities’ drops around the country with a the Jefferson garage, as well as the local parking distinct Gulf Coast feel and family-friendly value that lots Downtown. An interactive parking map is only Pensacola can provide. available at “It’s a really important event for both Downtown and pensacolaparking.com/where/events.php. the community as a whole,” said Alexandra Colley, 3. ARRIVE EARLY FOR THE BEST VIEW OF assistant executive director of the Downtown THE PELICAN DROP Folks begin arriving as early as 5 pm on December Improvement Board. “After these past several years, it has become a staple event. It is quickly becoming a 31 for the family-friendly events. Some of the Pensacola legacy.” prime viewing spots will be filled by mid-evening. Last year, area hotels were sold out and the 4. HIT THE BATHROOM FIRST Downtown area saw a huge boom in business before, There are public portable restrooms through out the event location. during and after the event. This is definitely the time to 5. FOOD AND BEVERAGES see Downtown Pensacola in all its glory, as people bustle The local bars and restaurants will be open to buy about on the sidewalks and streets, visit local vendors food and drinks, as well as food vendors on the and restaurants, and greet each other cordially on the streets. No coolers please. way to the main attractions. 6. BE READY FOR CROWDS The event begins for kids at 5 pm and the official Approximately 50,000 people will end up on music and live entertainment begins for all attendees at 8 Palafox Place the night of New Year’s Eve. pm. Kids have their own countdown from 5 to 8 pm as 7. NO ANIMALS they enjoy a competitive dance-off, karaoke, and bubble Only service animals allowed. stomp—an activity that lets them stomp out thousands 8. BE PATIENT AND HAVE A SENSE OF of bubbles, mimicking the sound that fireworks make, as HUMOR the Pelican ascends into the air to prepare for the drop. Your feet will get stomped on. People will block The Blue Wahoos and Ice Flyers are expected to attend your view. Someone is bound to bump into you. and interact with attendees as well. Keep your cool and you (and those around you) As usual, there will be three stages. The CAT Country will enjoy the New Year's Eve Pelican Drop. Stage will feature Whiskey River from 8 to 9:15 pm and 9. CONSIDER THE WEATHER the Wes Loper Band from 9:45 to 11 pm. The Go The weather in Pensacola on New Year's Eve can Pensacola Stage will feature Lucky Town from 8 to 9:15 vary widely. If it's going to rain or be bitterly cold, pm and Cold Hard Truth from 9:45 to 11 pm. The Main you might want to consider dressing for the Stage will feature the Emerald Coast Blues Brothers from weather, with extra layers to add as it gets later and 8:45 to 10:45 pm and the special, yet-to-be-announced colder. headliner from 10:45 pm to 12:15 am. 10. MAKE SURE YOU PLAN TO ARRIVE

Tips

As the hours and minutes tick by, as the air cools and the excitement swells, the party never stops as locals prepare for the drop that signals the start of another great year in Pensacola. New York has the crystal ball and Atlanta has the peach, but Pensacola’s Pelican, inspired by the local brown pelican, is significant as the city’s mascot that is representative of the area’s beach theme. It was constructed over the course of 300 hours by local artist Michael Dicks and his crew and strengthens Pensacola’s foundation as a cultural Mecca of the southeast. Weighing in at half a ton, the Pelican stands 13 feet tall and has a wingspan of 17 feet. It features 2,000 hand-cut metal feathers and requires 3,000 watts of power. It will be bright enough to be seen all over the city. At midnight, the Pelican will descend at the intersection of Palafox and Government Streets as fireworks fly high into the night and explode.

HOME SAFELY.

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Film In which we unfairly judge coming attractions based solely on their trailers By Josh Newby

What I’ll be spending my $8 on: Les Miserables In theaters: December 25 Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter What I got from the preview: In English, the title loosely translates to “The Miserable,” and this trailer certainly showcases that. Various disjointed stories and characters, all in need of redemption, change and love of some kind, come together during the French Revolution, all underscored by some of the best music ever written or composed. The details of the story are widely known and the characters—Valjean, Fantine, Javert, Cosette—are literary icons. Most notable for: The return of big-budget musicals to the silver screen. After widespread critical praise for both the original novel and the Broadway play, a modern-day adaptation to the screen is overdue. Unqualified critical observation: In today’s impatient world where the trailers reveal all necessary details of the film and therefore rarely create much excitement or anticipation, the preview for Les Miserables alone is a work of art. It gave me chills. This movie is going to be excellent. I’m going to gather my closest friends on Christmas Day, head to the local theater, hold them all and cry for 152 minutes. It should be very therapeutic.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey In theaters: December 14 Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett What I got from the preview: Everyone’s favorite Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (he was never actually my favorite), journeys with a group of dwarves to the Lonely Mountain to reclaim a treasure stolen by the dragon Smaug. Lord of the Rings favorites Gandalf the Grey and Gollum show up to encourage our hero and cause him great dismay, respectively. Most notable for: Being the prequel to Lord of the Rings. The Peter Jackson films comprise one of the highest grossing and most highly regarded series of all time, and this film follows its literary inspiration as the prequel to those adventures. Unqualified critical observation: I like J.R.R. Tolkien’s magnum opus as much as the next Hobbit, and am greatly looking forward to the humor and humanity that Jackson has infused in this series. The fantastic and seamlessly integrated special effects don’t hurt either. This will likely break box office records and endear critics. If you listen closely, you can literally hear the Oscar buzz. I’ll be seeing it, just not on opening night. The Guilt Trip In theaters: December 19 Starring: Seth Rogen, Barbra Streisand, Adam Scott, Colin Hanks, Danny Pudi What I got from the preview: Seth Rogen plays Andy Brewster, an investor who has begun to feel sorry for his mother. He reluctantly invites her on an eight-day road trip full of the typical antics and misadventures. Most notable for: Streisand has been absent from motion pictures for some time, as opposed to Rogen, who is never absent from anything. This film gives them a chance to play off each other while reminding the audience that the holidays are all about family and sight gags. Unqualified critical observation: Maybe it’s just me, but Rogen’s shtick is wearing thin. He is best when playing a crass yet insightful loveable loser. Streisand is hit-or-miss for me, and she seems barely tolerable in this film. Still, the bit in the trailer about how long exactly to stare at the Grand Canyon may save this from a movie that I would never see, to a movie I would rent for a dollar.

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This is 40 In theaters: December 21 Starring: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel, Lena Dunham, Melissa McCarthy, Megan Fox What I got from the preview: A sort-of sequel to the muchbeloved Knocked Up, this film follows up on the lives of married couple Pete and Debbie, who served as the countercharacters to Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl. Should contain a nice balance of sweet sentimentality and gross-out humor to tell the story of the ups and downs of being married with kids. Most notable for: Yet another entry in Judd Apatow’s growing comedy catalog, this film reunites most of his usual actors. Mann is actually Apatow’s wife in real life, and most of the actors have appeared together before and play off each other rather well. Unqualified critical observation: I have a soft place in my heart for Apatow’s films. Even Funny People was good, at least to me. I’ll probably love this film regardless. Rudd is brilliant at deadpan humor and Mann plays the stereotypically neurotic wife character well. I’ll be one of the few in line to see it, and you should too. Django Unchained In theaters: December 25 Starring: Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington What I got from the preview: The D is silent. Thank goodness for that last piece of phonic advice at the end of the trailer. But seriously, this film appears to tell the story of a slave-turned-bounty hunter, Django, played by Foxx, who sets out to rescue his wife from a sadistic plantation owner, Calvin Candie, played against type by DiCaprio. Lots of gratuitous violence and dark humor. Most notable for: Quentin Tarantino. This film stands apart from every other holiday feature because Tarantino is at the helm. He has an affinity for violence, a knack for writing witty dialogue, and a talent for making even dark subject matters fantastically entertaining. Unqualified critical observation: Has Tarantino ever made a bad film? I can’t think of one, and a foray into the Western genre with subplots of race and class is certainly no time to start. This film will have a pulpy, campy quality that rides on the edges of realism yet speaks volumes about the state of race and violence in today’s world. At least I hope so. If not, it’ll be a good time, and probably one of the more fun movies at the multiplex this winter. I’ll get my advance tickets soon.


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C h o w D o w n To w n By Emily Lullo

Polonza Bistro When Polonza Bistro opened in the long empty restaurant space at the corner of Wright Street and North Palafox, the business breathed new life into that corner that many Downtown employees pass several times daily. In the year and a half that has passed since, Polonza Bistro has proved to be a top breakfast, lunch and brunch spot with a beverage bar featuring seemingly endless options. As the story goes, the earliest Spanish explorers called Pensacola Bay “Polonza,” giving the bistro its name and bringing to the forefront the southern history of the area, which goes with the theme of the menu. The cool blue interior with dark wood accents is decorated with photographs that also recall the rich history of the area. Manager Jami Brown says the menu consists of “classic Southern food,” and the menu consists of traditional comfort foods like fried green tomatoes and pulled pork as well as plenty of salad and soup options. Dessert options include a New Orleans style bread pudding, chocolate mousse cake, and a daily special. Brunch fare includes chicken and waffles and crab cakes Benedict and Southern mainstays like fried chicken and barbecued ribs and seafood specialties like poboys and grilled or fried shrimp plates round out the lunch menu. There are also good old-fashioned burgers and sandwich options like a brisket Reuben or a Portobello sandwich. Additionally, there are daily specials that have become local favorites.

“The Thursday chicken pot pie is number one, and on Fridays we also have fish tacos that always sell out,” Brown says. “At breakfast one of our biggest selling items is the create your own breakfast plate.” Polonza also features a daily vegetarian special as well as other meat-free options on the menu. Brown says they try to get as much fresh ingredients locally as possible, often buying produce from Bailey’s Farmers Market, and they also utilize East Hill Honey in the restaurant. Some of the coffee is also locally sourced as well. Freshness is also key to the menu at Polonza. All of the breads and several other staples are made in house. “We smoke all of our own meats and grind our own hamburger meat, we make our own pimiento cheese and we even make all of our own salad dressings,” she says. The coffee bar has been the focal point of the bistro since it opened, with an array of gourmet coffee and espresso beverages available with a slew of flavor offerings. The beverage menu has now expanded to include beer and wine, and roughly 20 different types of loose leaf teas. For a heartier sip-able concoction, there are also smoothies and shakes available. Polonzo is also available to host catered events at their space at 286 N. Palafox, and can offer

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catering ordered that are picked up. Now open seven days a week, Polonza Bistro has something for every member of the Downtown crowd, whether you’re stopping in for a quick coffee or a hearty breakfast, or picking up lunch for the office. And now it’s also the perfect stop all weekend as well. Polonza is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. If you haven’t yet tried a cup of Joe at the coffee bar or a famous chicken pot pie, now is the perfect time for some of that Southern comfort.


Su B Bh!

Bring Your Jackson to Jackson’s!

A N D G ET T WO G L A S S E S O F O U R S E L EC T H O U S E W I N E A N D YO U R C H O I C E O F A P P ET I Z E R — F O R O N LY $ 20 . GO O D A F T E R 5 P. M .

Lunch 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Tues.–Fri. · Cocktails: 5 p.m., Dinner: 5:30 –10 p.m., Tues.–Sat. 11 A.M. · DOWNTOWN ON THE WATER · 600 S. BARRACKS ST. · WWW.GOODGRITS.COM

Downtown, South 400 Palafox · Reservations: (850) 469-9898 · www.jacksonsrestaurant.com

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To place your ad here please call Sharyon Miller at 433-1166 ext. 28 Celebrate the Holidays in the Historic District The air is brisk and chilly, and the holidays are upon us. What better way to ring in the season than by spending some time in the Historic District of Downtown Pensacola? It may not be picnic weather any longer, but it’s the season for seeking out the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Shop locally in the Historic District for everything from chic winter fashions, unique jewelry or ornaments or a growler of fresh locally brewed beer. And don’t forget about gift certificates! December also brings some holiday cheer to Seville Square, which will play host to holiday concerts like the Carols in Seville Square on December 20. Winterfest Trolley Tours will also wind through the Historic Tour with holiday-themed performances to delight riders along the way. Whether you’re grabbing a tasty cappuccino to warm yourself during a local shopping spree or getting in on some of Pensacola’s unique holiday fun—or even if you’re just running everyday errands—the Historic District is here to meet your needs, and it’s always growing. Come see what’s new this holiday season!

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1.) La Bona International Boutique 507 Adams St., 850-857-1211

E. Intendencia St.

3.) Pensacola Bay Brewery 225 E. Zaragoza St., 850-434-3353

6.) Olde Seville Chiropractic Dr. Lindsey Jeudevine 208 S. Alcaniz St., 850-607-2105 7.) Historic Pensacola village 205 East Zarragossa St., 850-595-5993

7

8.) Pensacola Historic Lighthouse 2081 Radford Blvd. 850-393-1561

E. Government St. Seville Square

Alcaniz St.

Tarragona St.

5.) The Mole Hole Unique Gifts 425 E. Zarragossa St., 850-434-7329

Florida Blanca St.

N

4.) Tanner Realty Find Your Home in Paradise 421 E. Zarragossa St., 850-435-9007

6

3

E. Zarragossa St. 4 1

8

5

Parking

Bayfront Pk wy.

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Blue Wahoos Winter Wonderland By Emily Lullo

Around these parts, the closest thing to a white Christmas is the snowy sand along the coastline. Pensacola’s December weather can certainly be almost beach-worthy, but there’s something about roasting chestnuts or singing carols in a T-shirt and shorts that is just wrong. This time of year was meant for rosy cheeks bundled up in knitted scarves and frosty fingers gripping onto hot mugs of cocoa. If you long for those wintry scenes to go with your holiday tidings, your wait is over, because this month brings the Blue Wahoos Winter Wonderland to Pensacola. The stadium that by summer hosted our newest home team and thousands of fans munching peanuts and catching fouls under the setting sun will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland complete with an ice skating rink, live holiday music, games and crafts and the man of the season himself: Santa Claus. The Winter Wonderland kicked off the season on November 23, with a free event that included a holiday-inspired fireworks display and a grand illumination of a 60 foot tree, which is on loan from Sacred Heart Hospital. The idea for the event has been in the works since the beginning of last year, says Blue Wahoos events coordinator Shelley Yates. The project started with talks about the logistics of putting an ice rink in the park, and they found a group able to create a rink built from pieces that lock together like a puzzle “You can really make it any shape that you want, it’s really versatile,” says Yates. “We realized that we could make it pretty big and we thought how cool would that be to have such a big skating rink that would cover the baseball diamond, so that’s what we did.” While the rink will certainly be a centerpiece for the event, there is much more going on throughout the stadium for the Winter Wonderland. Guests can climb up and then slide down a 90-foot-long

toboggan run, or go on a holiday hay ride around the park. There will also be giant game boards for people to play on. “Our grounds manager Ray Sayre has painted game courts onto the field. There’s checkers, we’re going to have a Twister board, tic-tac-toe, all kinds of fun stuff,” says Yates. The festive atmosphere will be bolstered by holiday music, with live performances on Thursdays from performing groups like the Escambia High School Jazz Band and the Choral Society, among others. First City Arts Center will also have a working artist market on the weekends. For the kids, Marcus Pointe Baptist Church will be hosting a Christmas Corner with free arts and crafts activities and the West Florida Public Library will host a story time during the event. If you come hungry, Yates says you will be able to grab some hot fare to warm you through. “We have our chef Chris Voorhees who’s a local chef, and he’s doing different soups and eggnog drinks and all kinds of fun things that are cold weather inspired,” she says. The event will also bring some holiday cheer to needy families in our community, with a sponsored tree decorating contest in which companies were able to sponsor and decorate a tree for $200. Guests can view the decorated trees and vote for their favorites ($1 per vote) at guest services. “All that money goes to Gulf Coast Kids House, and United Way is helping the to donate the trees to families who might not be able to afford them this Christmas,” Yates says. Tickets to the Winter Wonderland are $11, with $1 from each admission going to the CMPA, and includes all of the activities in the park. For more information call Shelley Yates (850) 934-8444 x 122 or email her at syates@bluewahoos.com. This brand new event is bringing winter fun to our

own seaside community, complete with art and games, music to get you in the holiday mood, and an ice skating rink overlooking the bay—a true Gulf Coast Winter Wonderland.

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Faces in the Crowd

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...at the Gallery Night Downtown Pensacola: 1. Karrie Reynolds, Shakespeare Smith & Brittney Wentowski; 2. Brandon McFarren, Katie & Tony Garrett; 3. Megan Shane & Juan Sanchez; 4. Jeanna Rotch & Susan Parker; 5. Mick & Sandy Ryland; 6. Mary Anne Holland & Glenna Smith; 7. Annette Cormier, Kimberly Corley & Jeanine Atherton. ...at the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival in Seville Square: 8. Deb Asplund & Pam Carr; 9. Kim Chope & Katy Mann; 10. Lisa & Lauren Lamb; 11. Melinda Baransy & Dottie Phetteplace; 12. Susan Palmer & Emily Ilano.

QUIZ:

How tall is the Pelican that descends on Downtown Pensacola every New Year's? (search this issue for answer)

ADMIT ONE

Grand Prize is

Pair of tickets to an Ice Flyers ice hockey game

Deadline to enter is December 15. Answers may be emailed, faxed or mailed (no telephone entries). On the 15th of the month, the winner will be selected at random. Grand Prize: Two tickets to Ice Flyers hockey game The Rules: Employees and family members of Ballinger Publishing and the Downtown Improvement Board are ineligible for prizes. Ballinger Publishing is not responsible for restrictions of each prize. Winners are chosen at random from a pool of eligible respondents. Daytime phone number MUST be provided with submissions. Winners will be contacted by phone. Winners are ineligible to win again for a 6-month period. IMPORTANT: All entries MUST be sent by E-MAIL (emily@ballingerpublishing.com), FAX 435-9174, or MAIL (PO Box 12665, Pensacola, FL 32591). Entries must be in by the 15th by noon. NO TELEPHONE ENTRIES.

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Downtown Crowd - December 2012  

Official Winterfest Guide Blue Wahoos Winter Wonderland Christmas Parade Pelican Drop

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