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Free DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | OCTOBER 2017

AN INTERVIEW WITH LUCKY CHOPS ICE FLYERS GEAR UP FOR NEW SEASON THAT VOODOO THAT YOU DO SO WELL CHIzUKO’S MONSTER MASH BARKTOBERFEST, PROST!


Downtown Crowd | October 2017

Editor’s Letter

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contents 7 Punk Rock Flea Market Debuts 9 Temple of Boom: Lucky Chops 10 Ice Flyers Gear up for New Season 13 Chizuko’s Monster Mash 14 The Voodoo That You Do So Well 17 Barktoberfest, Prost! 18 Music + Film 22 Events Calendar 25 Out of Darkness Walk Shines a Light

For this issue, we focused on some of our favorite fall staples like Voodoo Fest, Barktober Fest, and the Ice Flyers’ return to the ice, while highlighting some newcomers to the autumn event roster like the first annual Punk Rock Flea Market or Chizuko’s inaugural Monster Ball. We’ve got all the details on all things fall scattered throughout the next 28 pages, so grab a pumpkin spice latte, or anything else that gives you those fall feelings and scan through our lineup at your leisure. We also had the pleasure of talking to New York City natives, Lucky Chops about their upcoming show at Vinyl Music Hall. To read about their rise from the subways of NYC to stages around the world, head over to page 9.

Owners Malcolm & Glenys Ballinger Executive Editor Kelly Oden Editor Hana Frenette Art Director Guy Stevens Graphic Design and Ad Coordination Carly Stone

Hana Frenette editor hh October. That magical time when leaves change colors and scarves adorn the necks of all those walking downtown—at least in other parts of the country. October weather is always a crap shoot in the Panhandle, but I will hand to Pensacolians—they know how to embrace fall, no matter the humidity level!

Publisher Malcolm Ballinger

Editorial Assistant Tanner Yea

Another event we highlighted this month is the second annual “Out of the Darkness Walk,” hosted by a local chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP.) Event founder, organizer, and AFSP board member Jamie Thurman took some time to talk with us about the devastating personal impact suicide has had on her life and why she’s passionate about fighting the mental health stigma on a local, national and global level. Read more about Thurman’s story and how you can participate on page 25.

Contributing Writer Haley Weaver Editorial Intern Taylor Purvee Advertising Account Executives Paula Rode paula@ballingerpublishing.com Geneva Strange geneva@ballingerpublishing.com 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 by Ballinger Publishing. Offices located at 314 N Spring St., Ste. A, Pensacola Florida 32501 Published by Ballinger Publishing

I’m excited to get out and experience the wonderful and inspiring events we’ve featured this month and hope to see you doing the same—cheers to you and the new season! For any questions, comments or story suggestions, please email me at hana@ ballingerpublishing,com.

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. © 2017

Cover design by Carly Stone


Get Your Ghoul On in Historic Pensacola


an Evening of Fashion

presented by the Women’s Board of Baptist Health Care Foundation and Gulf Coast Health Care

41 st Annual Fashion Show October 19, 2017 Skopelos at New World, 600 S. Palafox St. Fashions by Bluetique, cabi by independent stylist Jennie Barrow, duh for garden & home, The Market and Mainly Shoes and The South Outfitters 5:30 p.m. Cocktails, Silent Auction and Hors D’oeuvres 6:30 p.m. Program and Live Auction 7:00 p.m. Fashion Show Tickets $50 For information about sponsorships or to purchase tickets, call 850.469.7906 or visit BaptistHealthCareFoundation.org.

Acumen Medical Imaging & Interventional • Beggs & Lane, RLLP • Fiore • Hancock Bank • Highpointe Hotel Corporation Heart Rhythm Center at Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute • Iron Horse Wealth Strategies/Rick Lambert • Kia AutoSport Pensacola Levin Rinke Resort Realty • Margie Moore/Merrill Lynch • Pensacola News Journal and Bella Magazine • Retina Specialty Institute Skopelos at New World • Summer Vista/The Beacon/The Arbors • WEAR ABC3 - WFGX 35 4 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM


A word from Curt Morse, Executive Director of the Downtown Improvement Board We have a couple really exciting things that we’re wrapping up downtown this month, with the first one being the new landscaping around Jefferson Street. We’ve invested over $30,000 into creating this new landscape vision. The big emphasis for us are all the new residents getting ready to move into downtown in a few months once the first phase of Southtowne Apartments are ready. We’ll have 390 people living right downtown—that’s a lot of folks— and we really want to meet the expectations of these new residents. The Jefferson Streetscape is going to be beautiful, and we want the new landscape to be as fresh and inviting as the new apartments the people are going to reside in. We’re very excited about being able to complete this project and start in on the next phase of the landscape additions, which will consist of remodeling the landscape from the Jefferson Street garage down to Government Street. When those new residents look out their windows or walk into our core downtown district, they’ll have this really great welcome mat of clean sidewalks, great street trees, and plenty of greenery. In conjunction with that project, we’re also launching our ambassador program. We’re really excited to make this happen. Our intent for the program is to have three ambassadors working in the downtown district—cleaning and restoring our sidewalks, parking area, and walking spaces to a very clean and safe environment. They’ll be focused on revitalizing the appearance of downtown by picking up litter, getting rid of the graffiti and decals on backs of signs, getting rid of weeds in or around the sidewalks. We’re really going to do our very best to create a clean, vibrant and safe downtown.

We also have our annual meeting coming up on Oct. 10 at the downtown Cowork Annex at 1 Palafox Place. The meeting will begin at 7:30 am with a networking session and then at 8 am we’ll start the official meeting. The DIB hasn’t had an annual meeting that we can detect, since around 2012, so this is an important step we’re taking. This is something we will do annually from here on out. In conjunction with our meeting, we will be presenting the results of a perception survey we performed in the downtown area. The survey was completed by a company called Majority Opinion Research and will provide Pensacola with a Net Promoter Score, which we can use to benchmark our successes and growth opportunities. We’ll be able to share what people love most about our downtown, along with the areas we can improve on. It’s a really great study to have and I look forward to sharing the full and complete survey results at the meeting. I encourage anyone interested in downtown or Pensacola on the whole, to attend the meeting and share your thoughts and opinions with us. Downtown is gearing up for all things fall, with Foo Foo Fest on the horizon for November. We’ll have dozens of amazing exhibits, installations, festivals and food in the coming months and I hope to see you all downtown, partaking in the events of our great city!

DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 5


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Kyle said she never expected to sell all 50 vendor slots. “I knew there were a lot of creative souls out there, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to reach them and let them know about the event. Once it started catching on, I could barely keep up with the requests I had for booth spaces,” she said. She also donated booth space for two local organizations: SouthBARK, “because animal rescue groups rock,” and the 309 Punk Museum Project. SouthBARK is a volunteer-based organization that provides medical care and loving families to rescued dogs from high-kill shelters along the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida.

Punk Rock Flea Market Makes it’s Debut by Taylor Purvee

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ttention punk rock fans—your biggest fantasy is finally coming true. Bari Kyle, owner of local vintage clothing shop Nearly Dead Threads, has organized the ultimate punk rock haven: Pensacola’s first ever Punk Rock Flea Market. Kyle has worked extremely hard on this project seven days a week since the beginning of May to make it the goto event of the fall.

“Originally, I started this as a way to sort of branch out Nearly Dead Threads’ name to celebrate entering our third year here in Pensacola. I saw my old stomping ground of Knoxville, Tennessee was on their fifth year of a punk rock flea market and other cities were starting their own as well. It seemed with the recent resurgence in the Pensacola punk scene, why couldn’t we have one,” said Kyle. Fifty vendors have signed up to be a part of this event including locally owned Tea Tree Boutique; California bred Get Omarized; and the very first vendor to participate, Mose Mary and Me. These vendors will be at the event with items ranging from vintage clothing to handcrafted jewelry to slightly inappropriate cross stitch.

309 Punk Museum Project is a fundraiser for one of oldest punk houses in the United States. The 309 House has been a home to writers, painters, photographers and musicians for years. This fundraiser is fighting to keep the home as a museum for punk rock history. “Being able to even contribute the space for them to raise awareness about their project is an honor,” Kyle said. For now, Kyle says that the flea market is only an annual event. She, along with Jess Laws and Daisy Doyle (owners of Chizuko), might consider doing it twice a year. “Chizuko has plans and hopes for possibly expanding for the next one, if we can secure permits for street closure. Jess and Daisy have been so open and welcoming and supportive, I can’t imagine even considering another venue, even if it means limiting to 50 vendors each time,” Kyle said. Not only will there be awesome vendors with awesome products and charitable booths available, but what is a Punk Rock Flea Market without some live music? Two scene staples, legendary Kent Stanton and Earl’s Killer Squirrel, will be performing. Chizuko will also be offering food and

drinks to visitors of the flea market. Kyle is extremely passionate about this project, and hopes that attendees will come with no expectations and simply enjoy this unique experience being offered.

“It’s never been a more welcome time to be a nerd, freak, punk or outcast and it’s good to see people embracing that instead of hiding it. It’s not just punk, but about the outcast community and how important that is to have and encourage” “My passion is simply that I want to make a place for under-appreciated artists to have a chance to be seen and for like-minded people to meet. It’s never been a more welcome time to be a nerd, freak, punk or outcast and it’s good to see people embracing that instead of hiding it. It’s not just punk, but about the outcast community and how important that is to have and encourage. It’s nice to have the opportunity to bring people together and celebrate who they are and what they can do artistically or otherwise.” The Punk Rock Flea Market is a free event and will be held at 2 pm on October 8, at Chizuko, 506 West Belmont Street in downtown Pensacola.

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Temple of Boom: An Interview with Josh Holcomb of Lucky

Chops By Tanner Yea

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here are a few sounds that really define New York City— the honking of cabs, the calling of orders at bodegas and delis and the dull roar of the crowds. Another sound that stands out are the musical acts performing in subway stations across the city. Lucky Chops started as one such act, and now they will be opening for Gogol Bordello Oct. 20 at Vinyl Music Hall.

Lucky Chops, formed in 2006, describe themselves as a brass funk band. The band features Daro Behroozi on saxophone, Joshua Gawel on trumpet, Raphael Buyo on sousaphone, Charles Sams on drums and Josh Holcomb on trombone. “In horn instruments, your chops are your lips. We play our stuff pretty aggressively, so we always need lucky chops,” said Holcomb, who has played with most of his band mates since they attended LaGuardia High School—a performing and visual arts high school

Lucky Chops will be performing at Vinyl Music Hall on October 20 in support of Gogol Bordello. in Manhattan that gained notoriety from the 1980 movie, Fame. Members of Lucky Chops played throughout high school together, and after graduating they played in the streets and parks of New York City to make money and hone their skills. It wasn’t until a few years later that they actually started playing in the city’s subways. “You actually can’t just play in the subway,” said Holcomb. “You need to have a permit to play there, and you have to do an application and an audition for the permit.” Since then, Lucky Chops have headlined concerts and festivals around the world, taking influences from genres such as soul, funk, classical, jazz, soca, pop, dance and more. Holcomb attests this to the multiculturalism of New York, as well as the diverse backgrounds they all come from. “This new generation likes how the music makes them feel. Brass music is seeing a renaissance, and you can see its popularity in different countries,” said Holcomb. “This music has a place in every culture in the world. Our songs don’t have any lyrics, so everyone can digest them no matter what language

they speak.” In April of this year, Lucky Chops released their first EP called “Walter E.P.” Though the band has singles, demos and live recordings, this is the first time they’ve put out a studio release. Holcomb said when they started recording, they had just come off extensive touring and had developed a high intensity set that they thought worked well together. “The name Walter has kind of a funny story. Raphael loves the name Walter, and that’s what he calls his sousaphone. Since then, he’s given Walter his own personality¬—he’s like the sixth member of the band,” said Holcomb. Lucky Chop’s repertoire ranges from composed pieces to jams to brass covers of popular songs like The Beatles’ Helter Skelter. Holcomb said there is no book on how to write songs for a band like Lucky Chops, so they keep experimenting and approaching the process from every angle possible. “We think music should be really fun, and our energy is important to that,” said Holcomb. “So many other bands are super serious, and we say ‘let’s just be sincere and genuine’.”

Lucky Chops is currently touring with Gogol Bordello across the US and Europe to promote Gogol Bordello’s new album, Seekers and Finders. Holcomb said the band has been fans of Gogol Bordello since seventh grade, and that their different style and musical approach was a big influence on Lucky Chops. In addition to touring, Holcomb has said that Lucky Chops has big plans for the future. “We’re working on the LP now, and it’ll be released in the next six months,” he said. “We also have a live CD and DVD that was recorded in Poland, and we have new music videos and singles throughout the next couple of months. It’s a pretty exciting time.” Lucky Chops will be performing at Vinyl Music Hall on October 20 in support of Gogol Bordello. The show starts at 7 pm, and tickets are $30 ($35 for under 21). For more information and to purchase tickets, visit vinylmusichall.com. For more information on Lucky Chops and Gogol Bordello, visit luckychops.com and gogolbordello.com. DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 9


Ice Flyers welcome new coach and gear up for season

token, there is a new adrenaline taking charge—one that comes from helping players work on their skills and get better on the ice and to move their game up to the next level. To be successful with the Ice Flyers—that’s what really excites me now— it’s the same adrenaline, it’s just changed shape a bit. I’m still learning each and every day, using my 19 years of experience. I want to keep getting better just as much as the players do.

By hana Frenette

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n July, the Pensacola Ice Flyers announced longtime hockey player and coach Jeff Bes as the FlYer’s new head coach. Bes, originally from Ontario, Canada, had an extremely successful playing career, which includes 18 seasons at the pro level in North America and in Europe. He spent his last eight seasons with the Laredo Bucks of the CHL, winning two championships and accumulating 640 points in 458 games. Bes is a former Pensacola Ice Pilot, playing 48 games and tallying 68 points during the 2000-01 season. He also won a gold medal when he represented Team Canada in the World Junior Hockey Championships in 1992-93. Bes took some time to talk to with Downtown Crowd about growing up in a hockey town, the transition from player to coach, and whether he’s finally grown accustomed to the ways of the South. How did you first became involved with hockey—did you play as a child, or in school, or have favorite players growing up? Absolutely. I’m originally from Ontario 10 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM

and up there hockey is away of life. I lived in a small town of about 10,000 people and a guy from my home town played in national league—Colin Campbell—he’s actually the president of the National Hockey League right now. Hockey was definitely big in our little town. My uncle and my dad both played hockey as well, kind of how down in the South everyone grows up playing football or baseball. It’s something I always loved doing. I probably had skates and hockey stick in my hand from the time I could walk. Tell me about your time and experiences as a player before becoming a coach, and the different teams you’ve played for. I grew up going through minor hockey teams in Tillsonburg, Ontario. When I was 14 years old they jokingly called me the human Zamboni, because I just liked to skate, slide on knees, and get snow on myself. At 14, I played Junior hockey at St. Mary’s for two years where I went to school, and then I was drafted to the Ontario Hockey league, Dukes of Hamilton in 1990, which then became the Guelph Storm in 1991. I played with them for a couple years and then I turned pro in 1992 when I was fortunate enough to be drafted by Minnesota North Stars, playing for their farm team Kalamazoo Wings. I had a 19 year professional career between several different leagues, and at one point my mind set was basically, “have skates will travel.” During my journey, I

played for the Ice Flyers in 2001. I definitely enjoyed my time with the team and made a lot of great friends—it’s exciting to reconnect with them so many years later. How did you transition from player to coach? I always wanted to stay in the game of hockey. The last nine seasons I played were in Laredo, Texas for the Laredo Bucks. I was working with the team as a player, but also as an assistant coach under the head coach, Terry Ruskowski. He was grooming me for coaching and I was learning a lot back then. I was understanding that it’s great to coach, and it’s really great being able to work with the players—there’s still a lot of paperwork, and a lot of behind the scenes work, but it was great to have the chance to be exposed to it all. Was that a transition you were always hoping to make and was it difficult at all? I think it was an easy transition to make, because I knew that my playing days were over. I’d had a tremendous career, been fortunate to play with so many amazing teams all over the country. To be honest, at first it was hard not to be in the locker room, getting ready to play, but on the same

“To be honest, at first it was hard not to be in the locker room, getting ready to play, but on the same token, there is a new adrenaline taking charge—one that comes from helping players work on their skills and get better on the ice” —Bes

Jeff Bes, shot by Bob Hunt


“Pensacola has most supportive fans and best atmosphere. We’re looking forward to being in that atmosphere and giving 100 percent each and every night, and making the city of Pensacola proud.” —Bes Picture courtesy of the Pensacola Ice Fliers You began coaching with the Mississippi Surge—how did that come about? My first year coaching was in 201112 with the Mississippi Surge of the Southern Professional Hockey League. I coached them for three years, and when the team folded in 2014, I took a year off. My daughter Ava was born, and that was very enjoyable to spend time at home with my family. I was very fortunate to be able to do that. What was your next move after returning to the game from your year off? The opportunity came up to coach in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I coached two seasons and it was hard because my family was living in Biloxi, Mississippi, and I was away from my wife and daughter. My wife is a professor at the University of Mississippi and wasn’t looking to move. I made a decision this last summer not to go back to Fayetteville, so I could be closer to home, not knowing what the future had in store for me as far as my career. A month later, the Pensacola Ice Flyers job opened up, and I was

fortunate enough to get the job. It’s a very exciting thing to be able to do what you love and to also be so close to your family. What are your goals for the Flyers’ new season and for the team as a whole? How do you go about the recruiting process? Obviously the traditions of the Ice Flyers is second to none—every team, especially ours, wants to win a championship. I’ve been recruiting diligently, trying to bring in quality people, first and foremost, who also happen to be quality hockey players. I think on the whole, we’ve done that. I’m looking forward to going out there, getting ready for training camp, and bringing home that excitement to Pensacola.

promoting the team and encouraging the community to come out and see us. We’re definitely getting prepared for a long, hard, successful season. Pensacola has the most supportive fans and best atmosphere. We’re looking forward to being in that

atmosphere and giving 100 percent each and every night, and making the city of Pensacola proud. You’re originally from Ontario- have you fully adjusted to life in the south after all these years? I’d like to say I’m accustomed to it now, because if I went up to the north for an extended time I would probably freeze. I’ve been able to play in the south, and then , coaching opportunities has always been in the south—Fayetteville, North Carolina was the most north I’ve been in the last 10 years. I’d certainly say I’ve grown accustomed to the south—love the heat, but the humidity not so much. When you’re looking out on the beach in Pensacola, life isn’t too tough and all those problem don’t seem as bad. I would say I’ve been southernized.

What has the team done to prepare for the season? Right now, we’re gearing up for training camp on Oct. 11. That means getting the condos ready for all the new players, completing immigration paperwork for all Canadian or foreign players so they have a seamless transition, and just trying to be good citizens and teammates by DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 11


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chizuko’s monster mash As the harvest moon rises and the moans of the dead echo out of the graveyard, packs of ghouls and goblins are set to gather at Chizuko for a frightening good time as they host their first annual Monster Ball on October 28.

Presented by Chizuko, O’zone Pizza Pub and the band Company of Ghosts, the Monster Ball combines what was originally going to be three unique events into one large, spooky extravaganza. Jess Laws, the co-owner of Chizuko, said the combining the events was a natural fit for the bar. “Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday. I love candy, I love dressing up and I love all things horror, so it just seemed right,” said Laws. The bar plans on holding the Monster Ball as a yearly event, with each having a theme. This

year’s theme is ‘classic monsters,’ such as Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, and all those other Universal and Hammer Horror favorites. Laws said the bar will be fully decorated, and though she could not reveal the nature of the decorations, she said it would be hard to recognize Chizuko. The ball itself is both a DJ-led dance party and a concert featuring local acts as well. Acorns, Future Hate and Free Love Clinic (formerly Dicks from Mars) will all be performing in support of the headliner, Company of Ghosts. Fronted by singer p//hutchnsuch, as he requested to be called, Company of Ghosts performs an annual Halloween show to celebrate their anniversary as a band—with this being their ninth annual show. “The band started because a couple of the members lived in what turned out to be an actual haunted house. The first couple of weeks we were there, all this weird stuff kept happening to us, and we eventually did research and found it happened to other people,” said p//

hutchnsuch. “That’s what the Flophouse Ghosts EP is about: true stories from that house.” Company of Ghosts was founded in 2008 by p//hutchnsuch and Jesse Vanderweert, and the original line-up consisted of eight members—their instruments including banjos, washtub basses, guitars, musical saws, junkyard percussion, washboards, drums and sometimes accordions and mandolins. Over the years, they have been through between 28 and 30 members, but p// hutchnsuch says ‘once a Ghost, always a Ghost.’ Chizuko and Company of Ghosts have also teamed up with O’Zone Pizza Pub for the Midnight Costume Contest— which Laws said is designed to be a highlight of the night. First place will win $100 in cash, as well as $50 gift certificates to both Chizuko and O’Zone; second place will win $50 in cash and $25 gift certificates to Chizuko and O’Zone. An honorable mention is also awarded with $25 gift certificates to both locations as well.

by tanner yea “Company of Ghosts is one of our favorite local bands, and it’s so cool to be able to team up with them and O’Zone to make this ball happen,” said Laws. Both Laws and p//hutchnsuch said there would be many surprises during the evening that would really make the event stand out. “We do this big Halloween show every year, but this one is looking like it will be the best one yet,” said p//hutchnsuch. Chizuko’s Monster Ball is on October 28 at 506 West Belmont Street. Doors open at 7 with a cover charge of $8 for 18 and up, and the show starts at 9. Chizuko will be closed on October 29. For more information, visit facebook.com/ chizukopensacola or facebook.com/ companyofghosts. Chizuko October Events October 1: Oktoberfest October 6: Bars > Bullsh!t: The Return October 8: Punk Rock Flea Market October 14: AF the Naysayer October 25: Walter Etc./Marona/Feed Lemon/Lights With Fire October 27: Hip-hop Night #3 DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 13


o o d o o V That Th at you do

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New Orleans, and not just geographically. The city is alive with culture, a love of music and theatre, and this celebration of life,” said Don Kelly, the festival director for Voodoo Fest. The festival is operated by C3 Presents, a festival organization company that also puts on festivals like Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and Shaky Knees. Voodoo Fest originally started in 1999 as a one-day festival in City Park—which is roughly 1,300 acres, around 50 percent larger than New York’s Central Park. In 2000, the festival expanded to two-days, and finally to its current three-day lineup in 2007. The event has been held in City Park every year with the exception of 2005, when Katrina struck, and the fest

written by Tanner Yea Kelly. “Everything from better lineups to ease of getting in and moving around, we do anything to make the experience enjoyable.” Voodoo Fest has always enjoyed some of the most popular names in music throughout its run, with headliners like Pearl Jam, The Weeknd, Eminem, Modest Mouse, Pixies and Outkast. This year will see headliners including Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters, The Killers, LCD Soundsystem and DJ Snake. Over 70 different acts across all genres will be performing throughout the weekend. Aside from the music, Voodoo Fest is also a fully-fledged art festival. Kelly said each annual festival features anywhere from five to eight large-scale visual art pieces, usually in the form of sculptures, across the 56 acres

f any city best encapsulates the spirit of Halloween, it may very well be New Orleans. The blend of cultures, gothic architecture and superstition give the whole city an air of mystery and the supernatural. All these aspects, combined with some of the largest names in music today, meld together to create the one-of-a-kind experience that is the Voodoo “We all love New Orleans, and Voodoo Music + Arts Experience.

Also called Voodoo Fest, Voodoo Music + Arts Experience is a three day music and arts festival that takes place in City Park in New Orleans. Running from October 27 to 29, it combines music, food, art, entertainment and the spirit of New Orleans into a cohesive sensory experience. “The festival is inseparable from 14 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM

Fest embraces that. It’s a bit gothic, a bit decadent and a little wild,” ­— Kelly

was held as a special one-day event in Audubon Park to benefit Katrina responders. “It’s been a logical expansion. One of the biggest changes in the past four or five years is a much more defined focus on the fan experience,” said

the festival takes place on. This is in addition to vendors, craft tents, beer tents and restaurant vendors—with over 23 local restaurants selling nontraditional and traditional New Orleans fare.

There will also be events leading up to Voodoo Fest, such as the Feast Under the Stars—a dining event where five New Orleans chefs present a lavish dinner right in the middle of the festival grounds the Thursday before the gates open. There are also VIP experiences available for those looking to indulge. “Since the event is Halloween weekend, too, I’d say at least 50 percent of our attendees come in full costume, with some having a different costume for every day they are there. We even have big name artists dress up too. Two years ago, Florence and the Machine came out in full Day of the Dead makeup,” said Kelly. The festival also features The Mortuary: an interactive haunted house experience that Kelly says is less frightening, and more on the creepy spectrum. Kelly says all events that C3 Presents puts on, including Voodoo Fest, require a huge amount of planning to make successful. “It’s a fun business, but sometimes people forget it is an actual business. We have all the departments a normal business has. It takes a whole year to put one of these together, and we are already booking acts for 2018.” Kelly said one of the most exciting parts of the festival is actually physically building the festival grounds. Three weeks before they open, they are working with just grass fields and 150-year-old trees. By the time the gates open, Kelly said they have created what amounts to a miniature temporary city. He likens it to a circus coming into town and then leaving without a trace—what he calls a temporary place that gives people a ‘permanent memory’ they won’t forget. “Successful events are not cookie cutter events. You can’t take Voodoo Fest and drop it into Chicago—it wouldn’t work there,” he said. “We all love New Orleans, and Voodoo Fest embraces that. It’s a bit gothic, a bit decadent and a little wild.” The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience will take place on Halloween weekend, October 27 – 29, in City Park in New Orleans. Three-day general admission tickets are still available for $155 dollars, with individual day general admission and VIP passes also being available. For more information, as well as full line-ups and other events,


kendrick lamar ‡ foo fighters ‡ the killers lcd soundsystem ‡ dj snake galantis ‡ dillon francis ‡ brand new ‡ the head and the heart kehlani ‡ post malone ‡ miguel ‡ rl grime ‡ prophets of rage ‡ cold war kids yellow claw ‡ crystal castles ‡ superduperkyle ‡ the afghan whigs live ‡ andrew mcmahon in the wilderness ‡ marian hill ‡ k.flay ‡ illenium charles bradley and his extraordinaires ‡ louis the child ‡ nghtmre ‡ whitney the black angels ‡ aminÉ ‡ vintage trouble ‡ gnash ‡ g jones ‡ hayley kiyoko rich chigga ‡ bibi bourelly ‡ the record company ‡ benjamin booker ‡ mija colony house ‡ chicano batman ‡ strand of oaks ‡ autograf ‡ joyryde flow tribe ‡ boombox cartel ‡ mondo cozmo ‡ snbrn ‡ tokimonsta ‡ pell ‡ cid black pistol fire ‡ saint jhn ‡ sam dew ‡ flint eastwood ‡ pham ‡ la femme ‡ ron gallo durand jones & the indications ‡ mannequin pussy ‡ public access t.v. ‡ bleached tim gunter ‡ dj mel ‡ dj gracie ‡ malik ninety five ‡ alfred banks ‡ carmine p. filthy free swim ‡ unicorn fukr ‡ otto ‡ herb christopher ‡ s.k.b. & yrstrly ‡ werd2jah ‡ zander


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Barktoberfest, Prost! by Tanner Yea

O

ctober is a time for horror movies and crisp air, but is also the celebration of our favorite furry companions—our pets! Whether they meow or bark, now is the perfect time to take them into the cool weather to help support those pets that may not have homes, as a part of Pensacola Humane Society’s annual fundraiser, Barktoberfest. Held on October 28 at Seville Square, the 17th Annual Barktoberfest Celebration is held by the Pensacola Humane Society as their largest fundraising event of the year. Jeff Keener, the director of development for the Humane Society, said the event has been growing consistently over the last four to five years. “Usually the summer is a difficult time for animals to attend due to the heat. But October is the perfect time because it cools down and the animals can participate,” said Keener. “And it’s just a happy time of the year.” The Pensacola Human Society was first incorporated in 1943 as an organization that rounded up stray pets and investigated animal cruelty cases. As time went on, they became a no-kill facility that

offered food, shelter, medical care and affection to lost, misplaced and stray dogs or cats. Currently, the Human Society has two primary activities: supporting the shelter to help find second chance opportunities for dogs and cats, and operating their low-cost spay and neuter clinic. Keener said that in the last year, the Pensacola Humane Society has found homes for 1,062 dogs and cats and has performed over 6,000 spay and neuter surgeries, many for low income residents of Escambia County. “The event supports the Humane Society, but it also supports many of the other shelters and rescues in the region,” said Keener. “They are encouraged to participate, which they can do for free. It’s a great time for all these organizations to fundraise, promote adoptions and recruit volunteers.” Barktoberfest is set to be an all day affair and feature lots of activities for pets and their owners. This includes costume contests, petowner lookalike contests, agility and trick demonstrations, and food and drink for both owners and animals. Keener says they expect about 9,000 to 10,000 visitors to take part in the activities throughout the day. One contest leading up to Barktober Fest is the Most Adorable Pet Contest. People can submit pictures of their dog or cat via the Pensacola Humane Society website to hopefully be called the most adorable pet in the Pensacola area, with the contest running up to October 27. The top dog and cat will receive free food for a year courtesy of Woerner’s Landscape

and Pet Supply, and will also be featured in advertising for the Human Society’s 75th Anniversary in 2018. The top six dogs and cats will also receive prizes, and the first 75 dogs and cats submitted will get displayed on the Lamar Outdoor Advertising Billboard. Keener says though this is only his second year hosting Barktoberfest, he has seen the appeal grow. “I spoke to people who came west of Mobile, one who came from Atlanta, some from North and South Carolina. We think of it as a local event, but it has a regional appeal.” The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA, estimates that every year, roughly five to seven million animals enter shelters, and though Pensacola Humane Society is a no-kill shelter, roughly 3.7 million of those shelter animals are euthanized. The funds raised by Barktoberfest not only ensure our local shelter animals are happy and healthy, but that they can find a permanent home and help to prevent euthanization. Barktoberfest has a fundraising goal of $60,000, and a single dollar can feed three cats or two dogs for a day. There is still plenty of time to donate and also time to celebrate the fall season with the pets we love so much. The 17th Annual Barktoberfest Celebration is on October 28 from 9 am to 4 pm at Seville Square. To register for the event, donate, apply to be a vendor or sponsor, or to submit a pet to the Most Adorable Pet Contest, visit pensacolahumane.org.

“The event supports the Humane Society, but it also supports many of the other shelters and rescues in the region,” said Keener. “They are encouraged to participate, which they can do for free. It’s a great time for all these organizations to fundraise, promote adoptions and recruit volunteers.” DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 17


Albums: What we’re listening to this month Steely Dan Aja

stolen jars kept

by tanner yea – Not long after we released our September issue, the news dropped that Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker died at the age of 67. Combining that with this month being their seminal album Aja’s 40th birthday, it seems like the perfect time to reflect on what may be one of the most perfect albums ever put to wax. I was raised on Steely Dan – my mother’s favorite band. She would always play them while my sister and I were swimming, so we ended up referring to their style of music as ‘pool music.’ A few songs stuck out to me even at a young age, and most of them came from Aja. It is almost impossible to fathom how complicated this album is. With nearly 40 musicians listed on it and production that is often cited as the height of mixing, it doesn’t contain a bad track. “Deacon Blues”, “Aja” and “Peg” are often ranked among their best songs, and it’s easy to see why. Poppy piano and guitar, mixed with swelling, sprawling jazz breaks litter every song. The songs are endemic of the era – talking about women, cocaine and conflict. Becker and Fa-

by Carly Stone – Stolen Jars’ Kept was actually released in 2015 and even though I’ve only just recently heard it for the first time, it has quickly become one of my favorites. Hailing from Montclair, New Jersey, Stolen Jars is the brainchild of Cody Fitzgerald and originally began as his guitar-based solo project. Fitzgerald’s first album, Stolen Jars, was recorded entirely in Fitzgerald’s home with his good friend Magdalena Bermudez singing along with him. When the project began to grow, Fitzgerald realized he needed more people to help contribute and that’s when the Stolen Jars I’ve come to know and love was born. Kept is bright and fully recognized and also happens to remind me of the Omahabased band Tilly and the Wall, which is quite the compliment as far as I am concerned. According to Fitzgerald, “Kept is about getting caught up in an anxious dream and trying to find a way to stay in the present moment. It remains a note to myself, a repeating idea, keep close to the person next to you and realize the things you are waiting for will come in

self-released

ABC

gen are unstoppable, backed by legendary producer Gary Katz and supported by musicians like Michael McDonald. It may be nostalgia speaking or some kind of sorrow, but Aja is a must-listen for anyone who considers themselves a music fan. I need to listen to it front-toback each time I play it, and every time I’m blown away by all aspects of the record. Becker may have died too young, but he and Donald Fagen left us something amazing that’ll be hard to forget.

STANDOUT TRACKS: The whole album

time.” A favorite track, “Wreaths Rakes” speaks to transformation and renewal with lyrics like “sorry but we leaned too long / now I’m shedding my skin is gone / and other creatures we must become.” Grateful for Fitzgerald’s own metamorphosis early on, Kept exists as a gentle reminder to never settle for anything less, musically or otherwise.

STANDOUT TRACKS: Wreaths Rakes Another November Kept

Movie reviews (based solely on the trailer) BY TANNER YEA

BOO2! A MADEA HALLOWEEN

BLADE RUNNER 2049

This is less of a review, and more of an open letter to Tyler Perry. Every time a new Madea movie comes out, it surprises me how dry this cow can be milked. This ‘comedy’ is bare bones and presents the lowest common denominator humor leveled directly, and disparagingly, at the African-American community. I wish Tyler Perry would go back to directing moral plays instead of shilling out movies that seem to more mock his audience’s intelligence than actually try to do anything productive, interesting or meaningful. This is early 2000s Eddie Murphy all over again, but somehow even worse.

A direct sequel to the revolutionary 1982 film Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049 features heart-throb Ryan Gosling picking up the mantle of policeman hunting the disenfranchised replicants. The sequel also costars Harrison Ford and Jared Leto, and near-future LA has taken a very post-apocalyptic turn. The trailer doesn’t reveal much, but does promise striking visuals, high action and the neo-noir aesthetics the first film delivered on. It looks like a lot of care and effort went into the movie, so I have high hopes for it. Will it be as important culturally as the first one? I doubt it, but it’ll be a fitting follow up.

OCTOBER 20

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OCTOBER 6


MUNA ABOUT U

CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN THE RIDE

RCA records BY HALEY WEAVER – For the past few months, I’ve had MUNA’s debut album, About U, on repeat. Having just seen them live, I can confirm that my love for them is deserved. MUNA has an interesting altpop sound, elements of synth mixed with harsh guitars to create something overall sad and fuzzy. Their backstory as a queer, all-girl band three-piece from Los Angeles, shines through on tracks covering heavy topics with peppy electro drum beats. It’s their identity that sets them apart; I’ve probably heard this brand of music numerous times without being able to identify one band from another, but MUNA has a raw, relatable quality that makes the listener pay attention. About U has a blanketing rumination of the struggle with feeling undeserving of love, with little surges of encouragement against said struggle. The more empowering songs, like “So Special”, a call against slut-shaming, and “Loudspeaker,” a more upbeat track about ending an abusive relationship, set the tone for a record by girls, for girls. “I Know A Place” is the LGBTQ anthem of the album, a hopeful track about finding love and acceptance through a community that celebrates differences. “If U Love Me

ISLAND RECORDS

Now” cuts the deepest, a heartbreaking reflection on loving someone enough to ask them to leave when your own shortcomings make you the abusive one. If you were to ask MUNA, they’d say the album is “sad soft pop songs for sissies, angry girls, emo queers, and crybabies”; that about covers everyone, doesn’t it?

STANDOUT TRACKS: If U Love Me Now So Special I Know A Place

by taylor purvee – It was around October of last year when I first started listening to Catfish and the Bottlemen and I have been ‘hooked’ ever since. Great pun, I know. The Ride is their latest album; however, it was released back in May of 2016 which feels like ages ago. This is one of those albums that I could listen to on a daily basis (I basically do) and still not get tired of. Really, it’s just the best punch in the face you could ever experience. Van McCann tells it exactly how it is and I love that. While slightly inappropriate, it’s unapologetic and it’s honest and that’s hard to find in music of the last few years. It’s not only lyrically genius, but the breakdowns are awe worthy. “Soundcheck” has this solo after the bridge that brings elements of 80’s rock into the mix of already amazing music, making it even better. From the beginning of the album to the end, the songs are unique and unforgettable (also hard to find in music of the last few years). Yeah, so most of the songs are about relationships, but the viewpoint of not really caring about those relation-

ships is what makes this album different. The final track is “Outside,” and one of my favorite things about this song is the way it brings the record to a close. It comes to a full, unexpected stop. I love that. The Ride is one of the only albums I can listen to all the way through and not want to skip at least one song. Its creative, its original, and I can’t get enough of it.

STANDOUT TRACKS: 7 Anything Oxygen Outside

BY HALEY WEAVER

All i see is you october 27

Queen of amazing movies, Blake Lively, is back again, people! The trailer for this movie confuses me, but I’m also completely fascinated by it. The first thing I thought about was that Jessica Alba movie, The Eye. I have no idea if that is what it will be like or not, but my mind just automatically went there. The trailer shows Gina (Blake Lively), a woman that has been blind since an accident a few years prior, regaining sight which causes a strain on her marriage. Gina’s newfound independence seems to make her husband, James (Jason Clarke), wary. One of them is definitely going to end up going crazy, but there is no way to know which one that is yet. Overall, the movie looks like a genuinely interesting thriller and I have high hopes for it.

jigsaw

october 27

If you were worried that the Saw franchise was going to stop at seven movies (as it should have), I have news for you: they are coming out with yet another one. If you’re anything like me though, you’re wondering when this madness will end. The first Saw is one of my favorite horror movies, but you can only make so many movies about torturing people without it getting a little repetitive. This one really looks no different. So, yet again, I will spend my well-earned money to go see this movie that I know for a fact will be just the same as all of the other ones, but because I have no self-control, I must know what is going to happen. My advice: wait until it comes out on Redbox.

DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 19


Da teline D ow n t ow n Vinyl Music Hall

Vinyl Music Hall hosts a variety of events, and June features original artists, events and once-in-alifetime entertainment. For more information and to purchase tickets for any of these events, visit vinylmusichall.com. October 1: Robert Randolph & The Family Band October 4: The Toasters October 5: J Roddy Walston & The Business October 6: Seu Jorge Presents: The Life Aquatic, A Tribute To David Bowie October 7: The Ataris, The Queers October 9: American Murder Song Presents: The Donner Party October 10: Anuhea & Sammy J – Mixed Feelings Tour October 12: Atlas Road Crew October 14: Five-Eight October 15: Between The Buried And Me – Colors 10 Year Anniversary Tour October 16: The Devil Wears Prada – No Sun/No Moon Tour October 17: Rainbow Kitten Surprise October 18: The Lacs October 19: Lords of Acid October 20: Gogol Bordello October 21: Post Pluto October 22: Conor Oberst October 25: Grizfolk October 26: Cody Johnson October 27: Bad Girls of Burlesque-Halloween Weekend Edition October 28: Halloween Weekend Tribute Show! The Cold Hard Cash Show, Palafoxx as Def Leppard & Nik Flagstar as The Misfits! October 29: (hed)PE

Saenger Theatre

The Saenger Theatre is one of the oldest performance halls in Pensacola, and every season they offer the best in music, comedy, theatre and performance. For more information and to purchase tickets for any of these events, visit pensacolasaenger. com October 5: Craig Morgan October 7: Pensacola Symphony 20 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM

Orchestra Presents: Opening Night! October 12: West Florida Hospital’s Women’s Night Out – Featuring Kathrine Switzer October 15: Russian Grand Ballet presents Swan Lake October 21: Black Jacket Symphony Presents: Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours October 25: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music

Pensacola Museum of Art

September 8 – December 31 Women. Rebels. Artists. Rebels With a Cause presents a selection of works by female artists active between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries who rebelled against the conventions of their day by exhibiting alongside their male counterparts, receiving awards, and clearing a path for future artists. The Catch Conor Oberst Vinyl Music Hall on Oct 22 Haunted History Seg- collection of paintings embody the early influence of French Bastien and Bastienne. Dr. Hedi a “phenomenal pianist” by The way Tour impressionism and its precur- Salanki-Rubardt’s Chamber Mu- New York Times, is sure to deSeptember 8 – October 31 Pensacola’s best, year-around sor, the Barbizon Style. For more sic class will join in the perfor- light. The show starts at Saenger Haunted History Tour. Take a information, visit pensacolamu- mance. Dr. Boyan Bonev will con- Theatre at 7:30 pm. For more induct. For more information, visit formation and to purchase tickguided Segway tour through his- seum.org. uwf.edu/cfpa ets, visit pensacolasymphony. toric Downtown Pensacola and com. learn our city’s stories of ghosts, Bands on the Beach murders and mayhem. Must be Throughout October Oktoberfest 14 years old or older to ride the EveryTuesdayPensacolaBeach’s October 7 Pensacola Walk to Segways. Tickets are available popular outdoor summer concert Join Flora-Bama for an Oktoberfrom Emerald Coast Tours for series, Bands on the Beach, fea- fest celebration on Saturday, Oc- End Alzheimer’s $45. For more information and to tures a lineup of performers sure tober 7th! Break out your lederho- October 7 purchase tickets, visit emeraldo- to please every musical taste. sen and beer maid outfits to join Join the Pensacola-Bay Area Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Occasttours.net Located in the beautiful Gulfside in on the fun. Brats, sauerkraut, tober 7 at Bayview Park. RegisPavilion overlooking the Gulf of and a variety of German beer and tration begins at 8 am followed Mexico, the series features re- food will flow during this festival. by the Walk at 9:30 am. When Fear and Folly: The gional artists performing a wide German style musical acts per- you participate in the Walk, your Visionary Prints of variety of music. October’s show form while party goers chicken fundraising dollars and your parFrancisco Goya and include Holly Shelton Band on dance. The party will go all day ticipation in the event helps to Oct. 3, Bring on the Benjamins and night at all three locations: change the level of Alzheimer’s Federico Castelo at on Oct. 10, Category 4 on Oct. Flora-Bama, Flora-Bama Yacht awareness in your community. Pensacola Museum 17, Touch of Gray on Oct. 24 and Club, & Flora-Bama Ole River Bar. While there is no fee to register, of Art Emerald Coast Blues Brothers on Children are welcome during this participants are encouraged to September 1 – December 31 Oct. 31. For more information, family friendly event. After 6pm fundraise in order to contribute to Despite living in different cen- visit pensacolabeach.com a modest cover will be charged the cause and raise awareness. turies, Francisco Goya’s (1746for those 18 years and older. For more information and to do1828) and Federico Castellon’s UWF’s Runge Strings For more information, visit flor- nate, visit act.alz.org/pensacola. (1914-1971) body of work often abama.com draws sharper relationships to present “Bastien and 58th Pensacola one another than to their con- Bastienne” Pensacola Symphony temporaries in their attention to October 5 Greek Festival the darker and complex side of The University of West Florida Orchestra Presents: October 13 – 15 the human condition. Many art- Department of Music will pres- Opening Night! If your looking for something the ists have been drawn to the dark ent the Runge Strings Orchestra October 7 whole family will enjoy this fall, and the fantastic, but few have in Bastien and Bastienne with the Start the season with a high-pow- than look no further than the 58th probed the human condition Chamber Music class on Thurs- ered evening of favorites. This annual Pensacola Greek Festival. with the insight and truthfulness day, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. The per- concert features Strauss’ Suite The Pensacola Greek Festival is found in these images. For more formance will be held in the Mu- from Der Rosenkavalier and the a true sight to see. From the deinformation, visit pensacolamu- sic Hall at the Center for Fine and virtuosity of guest Santiago Ro- licious Greek food and pastries, seum.org Performing Arts, Building 82, on driguez performing Saint-Saens’ lively Greek music and dancing, the Pensacola Campus. In their dazzling Piano Concerto No. 5, to the beautiful church tours, the Rebels With a Cause: first performance of the semes- “The Egyptian.” Under the baton Pensacola Greek Festival has ter, the Runge Strings Orchestra, of Peter Rubardt, the orchestra something to offer everyone. American Impresunder the direction of Dr. Leonid will deliver a masterful perfor- With a warm smile and an open sionist Women at Yanovskiy, will present Mozart’s mance, and Rodriguez, dubbed heart Greek Fest welcomes all


D a t el i n e D own t own Pensacola side and will run over the Bay Bridge into Gulf Breeze, finishing at The Bridge Bar and Sunset Lounge. The post race party & awards will take place immediately following the race. There will be music, refreshAnnual St. Rose of ments, plus a beautiful view! Lima International Buses will transport runners post race from Gulf Breeze back to Fall Festival Pensacola. For more information October 13 – 15 Come join St. Rose of Lima and to register for the race, visit Catholic Church for this fall cel- werunwild.com ebration! There will be interna- Pensacola Interstate tional food: Polish, Filipino, Italian, American, Cajun, plus BBQ, Fair Cajun, Fish and more! 5K Run/ October 19 – 29 walk, live entertainment all week- It’s fall again, and that means it is end feat. Chloe Channell! Raffle, time for the Pensacola Interstate games, vendors, car & indian mo- Fair to roll into town once again! torcycle exhibit, arts & crafts! Fun Come enjoy the entertainment, for the whole family! For more food, rides, games and showcasinformation, visit srolparish.org/ es that make the fair a can’t-miss event. Entertainment this year fall-festival-1 includes Trace Adkins, Candlebox, Bret Michaels, A Thousand Bridge to Bridge 5k Horses and William Michael MorOctober 14 gan. For more information, hours The 4th Annual Bridge to Bridge of operation and showtimes, visit 5K will start at the base of the 3 pensacolafair.com. mile Bay Bridge at 7 am on the who want to have a good time. The festival runs from 11 am to 9:30 pm each day. For more information, visit pensacolagreekfestival.com.

Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead at Pensacola Little Theatre

October 20 – 28 A Studio 400 Production. Directed by Denley Messerly. The unauthorized further adventures of the Peanuts gang as they go through puberty, and experience life beyond their traditional six year old selves. The NY Post has called it “Inventive and raunchy… hysterically funny.” For more information, showtimes and to ing tour routes including the Sepurchase tickets, visit pensaco- ville Spirits, Murder and Mayhem, and the Adult-Only Redlight Tour. lalittletheatre.com The Seville Spirits and Murder & Mayhem tours depart every thirty Voices of Pensacola minutes between 7:00 and 8:30 Annual Haunted p.m. The Adult Only Red-Light tour departs at 7:30 and 8:30 House Walking and p.m. The walking tours, led by Trolley Tours volunteer guides who share the October 21, 27, 28 haunted history of Pensacola, Historic Pensacola will host its last an hour and 15 minutes. ParAnnual Haunted House Walking ticipants do not go into any of the and Trolley Tours on October 21, buildings. To purchase tickets, 27 and 28. Ghoulish guests may visit historicpensacola.org. choose from among three walk-

Boo at the Zoo

October 21 – 22, 28 - 29 Designed for a younger audience, Boo at the Zoo offers 4 days of scare-free fun! Join our safe zoo neighborhood of Halloween entertainment, with kid-friendly fun around every corner from 10 am to 4 pm. Enjoy a trail of trickor-treating stations with treats, toys and treasures for children of all ages! Kids and adults are encouraged to wear fun costumes. For more information, visit gulfbreezezoo.org.

DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM | 21


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24 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM


Out of Darkness Walk Shines a Light on Mental Health by Hana Frenette

J

amie Thurman, Walk Chair and Florida Panhandle Board Member for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, is passionate about suicide awareness. After losing her mother and the father of her daughter to suicide, Thurman reached out to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and launched a local chapter of the organization, along with an annual “Out of the Darkness Walk.” The walk takes place on Oct. 14. Thurman answered some questions regarding the walk and what to expect, fighting the stigma surrounding suicide, and vowing to raise awareness for mental health. How did you become involved with this event and why is it important and special to you? My life was directly impacted by suicide, for the first time, in 2007, when the father of my oldest daughter took his own life. In January 2016, yet again, I experienced this agonizing pain, when I lost my mother to suicide. The overwhelming conflicting emotions I encountered afterwards inspired me to get involved with my community in order to help prevent other families from experiencing this pain. It also motivated me to become an advocate for those who are afraid to speak up for themselves, because of the unnecessary and insensitive reaction our society has to those who struggle with unseen internal battles. How did this event get started? During my endless sleepless nights after losing my mother to suicide, I began researching suicide awareness on the internet to help me understand suicide better. It had been almost 10 years since the first loss I had to endure due to suicide,

but this time it affected me much differently. Within a few weeks of my mother’s death, I began reaching out to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention requesting information about the “Out of the Darkness” Community Walks. Because the final chapter for the foundation was in the process of being created in our area, now known as the Florida Panhandle Chapter, there were a few hiccups being worked out internally and my emails weren’t receiving a response. Because I am the persistent person that I am, I didn’t allow that to discourage me and I kept sending emails until I received a response from AFSP with attachments on how to start my own community walk. The death of my mother impacted my life in so many ways, but most importantly, I began to realize that helping others cope with the loss of a loved one to suicide became a part of my healing process. I have made a vow to myself, my family, and my community that my priorities would include making a difference in how the world views suicide, by fighting to end the stigma related to suicide, and facilitating the many avenues available for raising mental health awareness. Tell me a little bit about what a participant might expect from this event? An overwhelming feeling of empathy for those who have lost a loved one by suicide. Our society has created the stigma surrounding suicide and taught everyone that suicide is socially unacceptable and in fear of having your family frowned upon amongst the community that they live in, the families brushed these deaths under the rug, or felt that they needed to falsify the cause of death by their loved ones to prevent feeling publically humiliated. At this event you will stand beside hundreds of individuals, families, and groups that are there supporting the same cause for the same reasons. There isn’t a better feeling than knowing you are completely understood standing next to the stranger beside you and not having to speak one word about

your loss —and just knowing that they know exactly how you feel without any explanation. Why should someone consider participating in this walk? A major goal of this event is to show support for the families and friends of the more than 41,000 Americans who die by suicide, and the 20 million people who suffer from depression, each year. Support of the community walks also helps to raise funds for suicide prevention research and educational programs, erase the stigma surrounding suicide and its causes, and encourage those who are suffering from mental illness to seek treatment. Suicide isn’t something that is spoken about very often and is kind of a hush, hush topic. I know a lot of people that have suffered through mental illness and depression and I think this is something that needs to be addressed more often and be spoken about more frequently. Having the opportunity to walk through downtown Pensacola in a huge crowd supporting suicide awareness is exact attention that we need to save lives. What will the ceremony consist of? We are so excited about this year’s event speaker, Sean Dietrich. Sean is a writer, humorist, and novelist, known for his commentary on life in the American South. Sean’s father died by suicide when he was 12. Sean also has a blog that thousands of people follow called, “Sean of the South.” If you’re not already following Sean Diertich, you’re definitely missing out. Absolutely cannot wait to hear what he has to say on October 14th. Do you have to have a team to participate? You do not have to walk with a team. You can sign up as an individual, and if you feel uncomfortable doing that, PLEASE feel free to join my team as my family and I walk in support of my two loved ones we lost. I would be thrilled to have you walk beside me. Look for the team “Justice for Joyce”.... nobody walks alone at my event. Is there a goal or a specific way that money is raised for this walk? Our community has been raising money on our walk page at www.afsp.org/ pensacola. Our ultimate goal is $75,000. Each team sets their own goal which

counts for their team goal and the event goal. Raising money isn’t required, but we would love for you to help us meet this year’s goal. Last year, in 8 shorts weeks of raising money and planning the 1st annual walk, Pensacola raised $50,000. We decided to bump it up a little this year and challenge the community to a larger goal. What was last year’s debut walk like? Last year’s walk was so amazing. It was a little stressful trying to figure out the ins and outs of planning a community walk, all while working a full-time job during the day and taking care of your family at night, but it goes back to the old saying my mom used to tell me when she was alive regarding everything in life, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” So far in my life, those words couldn’t be more true. I honestly expected about 200 people to show up with us having only 8 weeks to plan a walk. I assumed that we wouldn’t be able to get the attention we needed to get the word out to the community in that short period. During my permit process with the City, I was told that 100-200 people may be a little more than they have seen for 1st annual walks in Pensacola. So, for 1,000 walkers to show up for the 1st annual event, we were absolutely elated. Can’t wait to see what the numbers will be this year. What are you hoping for this year as far as turnout goes? Last year’s event caught me by surprise by the number of walkers that showed up to support the cause and we were pleasantly surprised with the outcome. This year, we had all year to plan and spread the word about the walk, so Im hoping for a larger turnout this year. Honestly, if we only had 5 people come out to show support this year, I would be ok with that. At least I know that I had the chance to make a difference in just those 5 people’s lives. However, we strongly encourage everyone to help us spread the word. Tell everyone you know to come join us raise awareness. Where and how can you sign up? When is the cutoff date? Everyone will need to sign up at www.afsp. org/Pensacola. This event is free to the public, but you must be registered.

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Chris�m�s

One World, Many Voices

on the Co�st join us for a fun-filled, entertaining, and unforgettable evening of dueling pianos and Italian fare, featuring the talent of PCC’s own Alex Gartner and Martin Tate.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 7:00 PM | PENSACOLA YACHT CLUB Tickets $75 each | Table of Ten $650 | Cash bar will be available Emcee, T. Bubba Bechtol “...Our own home grown national celebrity...!”

Hanan Tarabay Reddy Opera Star and Pensacola Children’s Chorus alumna

Cocktails and Check-In at 6:30 PM | 21 and Over Call 434-7760 for more information mary@pensacolachildrenschorus.com

26 | DOWNTOWNCROWD.COM

From toys to tinsel and snowflakes to Santa, the Pensacola Children’s Chorus knows how to celebrate the season. Your family won’t want to miss Christmas on the Coast, where we’ll transform sunny weather into a winter wonderland. You’ll experience all the sights and sounds of the holidays that will have you humming through the New Year! December 8, 9 & 10, 2017

A Celebration of Diversity Through Song

One World, Many Voices is a celebration of music’s rich cultures and how we can achieve oneness through song. Guest conductor and renowned composer Andrea Ramsey will take the podium to bring her own style and flavor to our eclectic program. Join us as we bring a global message to our small town home.

Show�ime Do you like Broadway? Get your ticket. Country, rock, or even disco? Then Showtime is right for you! Join us for a celebration from music across all genres, featuring our amazingly talented PCC singers. From lights to sound and costumes to choreography, you’ll leave dazed and amazed. Don’t miss this musical extravaganza!

February 18, 2018

May 4, 5, & 6, 2018

TICKETS ON SALE TO THE GENER AL PUBLIC BEGINNING: October 25, 2017 January 16, 2018 March 21, 2018 WWW.PENSACOL ACHILDRENSCHORUS.COM


Keep Our Friends Safe Adopt-A-Manatee®

Call 1-800-432- JOIN (5646) savethemanatee.org Photo © David Schrichte


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Downtown Crowd October 17