Jazz Fest 2014

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Seville Square Will Be Filled With Hot Crafts and Cool Jams At Jazz Fest 2014
By: Kelly Woodard

The 31
st Annual Pensacola Jazz Fest hits the streets of historic downtown Pensacola’s Seville Square next Saturday and Sunday, April 5th and 6th. Presented by the Jazz Society of Pensacola (JSOP), the 2 day event celebrates the soulful and unique musical art of all types of jazz.
This free two day event is held from 10 am–6:30 pm in a lovely park setting. With its sprawling lawn and shady oaks, Seville Square Park also offers music lovers a state-of-the-art sound system so the music can be enjoyed anywhere you sit in the park. In addition to some of the best musical jazz acts around, the Pensacola Jazz Fest will also feature food, drinks and jazz merchandise.
The music will include a variety of jazz styles, presented by prominent national, regional and local artists, as well as local college and high school jazz bands. There is even a “Kids Jam with Harmonicas and Kazoos” each afternoon for the children so they can get musical creativity flowing.
The Arts & Crafts Exhibition allows vendors to present a variety of art items, including paintings, photographs, pottery, jewelry, and various other one of a kind pieces.
JSOP will have designated merchandise areas for the purchase of Jazz Fest posters, a variety of jazzy shirts and memorabilia, plus beer, wine, and soft drinks in order to raise money for the festival. Some seating is provided, but it is recommended that you bring your own folding chair and sunscreen. Dogs are prohibited in the park.
All performances will take place in the Seville Square Gazebo.
This year, you can celebrate Jazz Fest in style with a VIP pass. You can become a VIP donor for only $100 (or more if you wish), and invite a guest to join you in the VIP tent. With you donation, your VIP pass will give you a seated place under a VIP tent with a great view of the Gazebo stage, along with soft drinks and delicious light fare catered by Joe Patti Seafood. Your name will also be listed in the program as a VIP, acknowledging your special contribution toward making the Pensacola JazzFest a reality.
Admission to Jazz Fest is free. For more information, call Crystal at 850-433-8382.

Reggae Festival and Boat Show

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Reggae Lovers Will Be “Jammin’” As the Seville Quarter Reggae Festival Returns Next Weekend
By: Kelly Woodard

‘Don’t worry about a thing’ in Pensacola next weekend as the spirit of Jamaica returns with Seville Quarter’s Reggae Fest at the End O’ the Alley Courtyard next Friday and Saturday, April 4
th and 5th. This laid back weekend Festival will be jammin’ with Reggae inspired music and food.
Headlining the Reggae Festival are various local and nationally known acts. The fun starts on Friday, April 4th on the End O’the Alley Stage from 5pm-7pm with the Fhyah Bun Crew, followed by the Reggae Ambassadors from 9:30 pm-11 pm, and Fat Lipped Fish from 11:30 pm-1:30 m. Friday on the Main Stage in the Seville Quarter Party Plaza will be National Touring Band, Vibe Irie, from 6 pm-7:30 pm, and Sol Tribe from 8 pm-10 pm.
On Saturday, the Reggae music will start again at 3 pm on the Party Plaza Stage with Calypso Nuts from 3 pm to 5:30 pm, followed by Sol Tribe from 6 pm-8:30 pm and Heritage from 9 pm-11 pm. Saturday inside End O’the Alley will be Vibe Irie from 9 pm-11 pm, One Drop from 10:30 pm-12 am, and Reggae Ambassadors closing out the festival from 12:30 am-2 am.
In addition to great music, the festival will also feature a menu of traditional Jamaican fare like Jerk Chicken and Conch Fritters. Local Jamaican spirits like Red Stripe and Appleton rum drinks will be featured along with several other island specialties. Be sure to take a stroll through the festival merchandise booths, filled with tie-dyes, hair braiding, hair feathers, festival art & jewelry and much, much more.
The Reggae Festival will flow into streets in front of Seville Quarter will the 3
rd Annual Seville Quarter Average Joe Boat Show, a special showcase of local boat owners, showing & selling their trailered in boats. It is free to enter your boat and sellers will not be charged any sales commission. There will be boat manufactures, local marina’s and even a local bank on site to help you with any of your boating/financing needs.
Thousands are expected to walk around Downtown Pensacola with the many festivals that are happening that weekend (Jazz Fest in Seville Square, Wine & Arts Event at Jaco’s and Seville Quarter’s Reggae Festival, etc.). This is a great way to show your boat to tons of people in one day without having to spend the money to list online or in the paper. Who knows, you may arrive with one boat and leave with another!
For more information go to www.sevillequarter.com or call 850-434-6211

Top 25 Beaches List For 2014

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Two Local Beaches Make TripAdvisor’s Top 25 Beaches List For 2014
By: Kelly Woodard

As residents of the Gulf Coast, we all know that our beaches are some of the most beautiful in Florida, but thanks to TripAdvisor’s second annual Travelers' Choice Awards which includes the Top 25 Beaches, not only in the U.S., but the world, we now have official bragging rights.
The list for 2014, which won't come out until Memorial Day weekend, ranks our very own Pensacola Beach at #19, beating out such other popular Florida beaches like Panama City Beach (#20) and Clearwater Beach (#21). The beach rankings, in their second year, are determined by analyzing the quality and quantity of a year's worth of TripAdvisor user reviews of beaches across the globe.
According to an official statement made on the TripAdvisor website, “Pensacola Beach is an undiscovered gem that boasts undeniable beauty with a family friendly atmosphere that is as magnetic to visitors as the sugary white sands that lie next to its emerald waters.” TripAdvisor went on to say that Pensacola Beach beat out other popular choices due to its “tight knit community feel, delightful beachside eateries, and ease of access”.
One of the highest rated TripAdvisor reviews of Pensacola Beach read, “It’s clear that the beaches are beautiful, but what made our trip extra special was the kindness of the people who live there. We met tons of locals who were so inviting and helpful. We have been other places where we never felt this welcome. Do yourself a favor and see this gorgeous beach and hang with the wonderful people that call it home.”
All in all, out of the top 25 beaches listed on the Best List, Florida landed 10 spots including another local favorite, Navarre Beach, which snuck in at #25. Not too shabby, Gulf Coast.

1st Annual Rage 5K Glow Run

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Light Up the Night At the 1st Annual Rage 5K Glow Run
By: Kelly Woodard

The night is about to get a little brighter as the Rage 5K lights up the streets of downtown Pensacola this Saturday, March 22
nd. Walk, run, and dance your way through the neon illuminated streets for this fun and festive event.
The fun gets started at dusk with a pre-run “Rager” with music and fun activities to get you amped and ready for the race. From there, participants will sashay their way to three Mini-Rager stations where you’ll enjoy DJ’s spinning your favorite songs, lights, special effects and phosphors based colors (phosphors glow under black light).
You can stay at each Mini-Rage as long as the course is open. If the music at one stop isn’t you cup of tea, head over to the next Mini Rager as all the DJ’s will have a different style of music cranked up for runners to enjoy.
After the race, a huge party will take to the streets where runners and their “fans” alike can dance the night away. Be sure to head over to Twenty One West, located at 21 Romano Street for a race sponsored after party with music and drink specials that will last all night long.
Come out and take your time while having fun, or challenge yourself to finish with a great time as there will be a run clock available to all and optional RFID chipped timing available for those who wish to track their time.
Registration starts at just $20, and students with a valid I.D. will receive $5 off standard registration fees. So what’s included with your registration? All participants will receive a killer black and glow race shirt, ticket for 1 FREE Beer or Coke,1 FREE Water,1 glow toy, and 1 Ice Flyer Ticket to The Rage 5K home game. In addition, runners will also receive special coupons for free or cheap food, discounts on other events, and a cool keepsake run bib.
Packet pickup will be the night before the event, March 21
st at the Maritime Park located at 301 West Main Street from 5 to 8 pm.
For more information or to register for this unique event, visit

New 4-H Facility Finally Approved

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Plan For New 4-H Facility Finally Approved
By: Kelly Woodard

Pensacola agriculture will soon be getting a boost as the Escambia County Commissioners approved construction of a new $1.47 million 4-H center. The approval of the project comes after weeks of delay due to disagreements over the land that the site will call home.

After weeks of negotiating, a compromise deal, brokered by Commissioner Steven Barry, was reached Tuesday that includes the 4-H community and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Services. Pensacola-based A.E. New Jr. Inc., has been commissioned to build the new Escambia County 4-H Center at the Escambia County Extension Office property on Stefani Road.
The previous proposal stated that the 240-acre Langley Bell 4-H Center in Beulah that the 4-H Foundation sold to Navy Federal Credit Union in 2012 for $3.6 million could only be replaced after $1.6 million of the proceeds was used to purchase land to replace the 240 acres lost by 4-H.

After much controversy within the 4-H and the local farming community, a new plan was proposed where IFAS would purchase 108 acres near Molino for about $530,000 that would be used for agriculture, animal programs and outdoor education, and would compensate the loss of the Langley Bell property leaving almost $3 million for programs, activities and scholarships for 4-H youths.

Both parties seem pleased with the final agreement, and Barry said, "We look forward to getting this project underway and hope it will improve the 4-H programs in our area and the benefits that they provide our communities."

Gala of the Royal Horses

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Gala of the Royal Horses Celebrates Tradition and Beauty At the Pensacola Bay Center
By: Kelly Woodard

For the first time ever, riding Master Rene Gasser, creator and producer for “Gala of The Royal Horses” will be bringing his world-renowned equestrian tour to the Pensacola Bay Center for two shows on Saturday, March 29
th at 2 pm and 7 pm.
The Royal horses of Europe are some of the most celebrated in history, favored for centuries by royalty, equestrian riders and bullfighters and this performance will celebrate the tradition, athleticism and grace of these revered creatures. Following in the family footsteps of seven generations, Gasser has recreated a show for this tour only previously seen at the famous riding schools in Vienna and Spain.
“The unique qualities of the Royal Horses single them out from all other breeds in the Equine world. Their physical beauty & grace, coupled with exceptional courage and nobility make them an object of admiration and a source of inspiration for horse lovers everywhere,” says Gasser.
In addition to the marvelous stallions, Gala of The Royal Horses will also feature vivacious Spanish Flamenco dancers that will dazzle you with authentic costumes and heart pounding music that will leave you feeling like you’ve been transported to the streets of Madrid.
In the south of Spain, the tradition of flamenco dancing is rivalled only by the tradition of breeding fine Spanish horses and Rene Gasser says the breeds have been featured in portraits with European royalty, used in multiple movies and are extremely popular among riders.
Gala of The Royal Horses will feature a number of performances involving the Andalusian, Friesian, Lipizzaner and Arabian breeds and the event is dedicated to showing off the amazing beauty and maneuvers these horses are capable of including the stunning maneuvers once used on the battlefield now known as “The Airs Above The Ground”.
Tickets are $29.50, $40, and $50.50. There are a limited number of VIP seats available for $60.50 each. Children 12 and under and seniors 60 and over receive a $5 discount (Excluding VIP and $50.50 ticket). Tickets are available at Pensacola Bay Center Box Office, Pensacolabaycenter.com and All Ticketmaster Outlets. To Charge by phone call 1-800-745-3000.

Pensacola Crawfish Festival

Pensacola Crawfish Festival Entertainment Schedule Announced
Fiesta of Five Flags announces the 30th annual Pensacola Crawfish Festival. The festival will be held May 2 to May 4 in Bartram Park, downtown Pensacola. Festival hours are Friday, May 2 from noon to 11 p.m., Saturday, May 3 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The entertainment lineup features a variety of artists that encompass traditional Swamp Pop, Cajun and Zydeco beats straight from Louisiana. The lineup includes artists such as The Redfield, Hazy Ray, Chubby Carrier and Gravy.
Headliners for the festival include Wayne Toups, Roddie Romero & Hub City Allstars and Cowboy Mouth. Wayne Toups, Grammy winning artist, integrates Rock, Cajun, R&B and Zydeco music to create a genre that he has dubbed “Zydecajun.” Toups began playing the accordion at age 13 and currently tours all over the country. Roddie Romero and the Hub City Allstars, Grammy nominated artists, have been bringing their traditional Cajun flair worldwide for over twenty years. Known for their songwriting as well as keeping to their Creole roots, they’re sure to keep the energy high and dance floor packed. Cowboy Mouth joins this year’s lineup and promises to not to disappoint with their New Orleans Rock n’ Roll, “… on a bad night they’ll tear the roof off the joint and on a good night, they’ll save your soul.” Cake Magazine. The band plays roughly 150 shows a year and has produced over 11 albums.
The 2014 Pensacola Crawfish Festival entertainment schedule:
Friday, May 2
3 to 5:30 p.m.                     The Upstarts
6 to 8 p.m.                           The Redfield
8:30 to 10:30 p.m.            Wayne Toups
Saturday, May 3
11 to 12:30 p.m.                Hazy Ray
1:00 to 3 p.m.                     AJ Ghent Band
3:30 to 5:00 p.m.               Chubby Carrier
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.               Roddie Romero & Hub City Allstars
8:30 to 10:30 p.m.            SuperFunk Fantasy
Sunday, May 4
11 to 12:15 p.m.                Gravy
12:30 to 2 p.m.                  Rollin in the Hay
3 to 5 p.m.                           Cowboy Mouth
For more information about the Pensacola Crawfish Festival and other Fiesta events, call (850) 433-6512 or visit

Irish Eyes Will Be Smiling On Pensacola Beach For the 2014 ‘Go Irish On The Island’ Celebration

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Irish Eyes Will Be Smiling On Pensacola Beach For the 2014 ‘Go Irish On The Island’ Celebration

By: Kelly Woodard

Pensacola Beach is going green and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in style as the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce presents ‘Go Irish On The Island’, a fun filled week of celebration and debauchery.

Kicking things off for the weekend on Friday, March 14
th at 3 pm is a family friendly Scavenger Hunt that will keep you searching for that pot of gold until the winner is announced on Sunday, March 16th at 2 pm. You can pick up your information and “rainbow map” at the Pensacola Beach Visitors Information Center now through Saturday, March 15th. There will be plenty of prizes and a Pot O' Gold Drawing Sunday 3pm.

Monday, March 17
th, brings the big day filled with festive activities beginning at 9:30 am at Paddy O’Leary’s with Catholic Mass celebrated by Monsignor Hunt followed by a traditional Irish meal of Corned Beef & Cabbage & Fish and Chips. Then at 11am Tom Burman and Duel Christain will take the stage. At 12:30 pm, the An Broc Irish Dancers will entertain you with their fast footwork, followed by live music by Dennis Parkin and friends. At 5 pm, celebrate a Re-enactment of Tim Finnegan's Wake and then head over to Bamboo Willies for the annual Green Bikini Contest at 5:30 pm.

In addition, on Monday, St. Patrick’s Day, March 17
th, the island will celebrate the long awaited 2014 St. Paddy’s Day Pub Crawl. The fun begins at 10am at Sidelines and continues on visiting all of Pensacola Beach’s hotspots until 6:30 pm. Events throughout the day include a festive Irish Stew and Corned Beef and Cabbage special at Flounder’s including $5.95 Diesel Fuels all day, and the Crawl on In Post Pub Crawl Party at the Sandshaker featuring music by Hippie Radio from 6 to 10 pm.

Make sure to wear you best Irish inspired attire and enter to win cash and prizes at the 2014 Go Irish Costume Contest at 6:30 pm at the Sandshaker Lounge after the pub crawl.

Island specials throughout the weekend will include:

Surf Burger: Drink Specials with Mini Sliders for Pub Crawl Participants
Paddy O’Leary’s: March 14th - "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" Guinness party. Music by Whiskey Down, 9pm-1pm. Guinness give aways. $4 Pints of Guinness and $5 Irish Carbombs all night
March 15th - Aye, Their Givin' It Away "Paddy" Irish whiskey night. "Paddy" Irish whiskey promo, free samples (while they last) and $1 off regular price and $3 Tullamore Dew. Ultra Violet on outside stage 8pm-midnight
March 16
th - Leprachaun Sunday Funday, Electrick Mullets on outside stage, 3pm-7pm. Paddy's Pot O' Gold is a $50 bar tab for best Elton John look alike. Karaoke 9pm-1am inside. $3 Paddy Punch.

In addition to great themed parties and drink specials throughout the weekend, local restaurants like Hemmingways, Crabs We Got Em and Grand Marlin will be featuring special Irish themed menu selections.

For complete Pub Crawl schedules or for more information regarding any of the week’s activities, visit
www.pensacolabeachchamber.com or call 850-932-1500.

Cirque du Soleil Returns To the Pensacola Bay Center With A Dazzling New Show

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Cirque du Soleil Returns To the Pensacola Bay Center With A Dazzling New Show
By: Kelly Woodard

Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai, which has been touring the world since 2002 under the company’s trademark yellow and blue big top, has returned bigger and better than ever in a new arena show, and it is coming to the Pensacola Bay Center this Wednesday, March 19
th through Sunday, March 23rd.
With a fresh cast of 50 performers, Varekai has dazzled crowds all over the world with multiple aerial acts, colorful costumes, and whimsical music. Varekai, which takes its title from a Roma word that means “wherever,” is built around the Greek myth of Icarus who flew too close to the sun. The wax on his wings melted and he fell into the sea.
For Varekai, director Dominic Champagne (who also directed the Cirque’s Beatles show, Love, in Las Vegas) let his imagination run wild, creating a forest peopled with fantastic creatures to welcome the fallen Icarus. This allowed composer Violaine Corradi to come up with a highly variegated world beat soundtrack. And it gave Academy Award-winning costume designer Eiko Ishioka (who passed away last year) free rein to conjure up elegant, vibrantly colorful costumes adorned with petals and appendages. They range from the floral to the avian and the reptilian.
The look of Varekai is ravishing and several of the acts are simply sublime. That includes the ascent of Icarus (Mark Halasi), after he has lost his wings, within a net that allows him to make sinuous moves high above the stage. There’s a sensuous aerial hoop act, as haunting as the moon, performed by a woman (Katja Kortstrom) with limbs of shining gold. And a seductive hand-balancing act, performed by a woman in a silver striped white body suit (Alona Zhuravel), leads into a romantic connection with Icarus and the suggestion of a wedding.
Strikingly original moments include a man on crutches (Raphael Botelho) dancing for the wingless Icarus and two men (Oleksii Kozakov and Oleksandr Romashyn), scantily dressed in raven black, flying high on aerial straps.
The dramatic show’s most daring and riveting act of them all is the Russian Swing act that provides the show with an explosive finale. The swings catapult bodies into the air, aimed to land in one of two giant canvas panels suspended at the back of the stage, or on another swing.
Tickets for Varekai are on sale now by visiting http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/varekai, the Pensacola Bay Center Box Office, or through all Ticketmaster Outlets. Ticket prices are $55.50 and $154 plus applicable service fees. Parking is $5 and cash only will be accepted.
Groups with 12 or more can save up to $16.50 with a group discount!
Showtime for March 19
th, 20th, and 21st is 7:30 pm. Showtime for March 22nd is 4 pm and 7:30 pm, and March 23rd at 1:30 pm and 5 pm. Doors open one hour before the show.
For more information, visit
www.pensacolabaycenter.com or call 850-432-0800.

2014 Beulahfest Set To Feature Country and Southern Rock Royalty On Stage

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2014 Beulahfest Set To Feature Country and Southern Rock Royalty On Stage
By: Kelly Woodard

The 28
th Annual Beulahfest is gearing up for a big weekend next Friday and Saturday, March 21st and 22nd with plenty of great entertainment, food, and fun for all.
Formally known as the Beulah Sausage Festival, the event has gone through some changes over the past few years. Traditionally held on the farm land of Jim and Joyce Whaley, the event committee was forced to make a change in location due to growing crowds, parking problems, and county requirements.
Now held at the Escambia County Equestrian Center, located at 7750 Mobile Highway, the newly named ‘Beulahfest’ hasn’t lost its’ original charm. The move to the ECEC has provided answers to parking problems and much more space to grow. It provides a covered arena for the stage and entertainers, and covered stalls for crafters.
Sausage is still provided by Thompson, and comes in two flavors. The monies raised are still largely donated to charities and others in need. Each year our goal is to raise money for those charities and provide funds needed for firefighter training and recruitment.
This year, Beulahfest is featuring some of country music’s biggest acts such as the Charlie Daniel’s Band, Randy Houser, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and hometown cutie and America’s Got Talent Star, Chloe Channell.
Beulahfest not only has great live entertainment, crafters and vendors, but great rides as well, including a mechanical bull and roller coaster ride. All rides are furnished by the James Gang Amusements.
Doors open at 4 pm on Friday, March 15th and festivities begin at 4:15 pm with the Opening Ceremonies. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. Advanced tickets are $15 for a one day pass, or $26 for a weekend pass. VIP admission tickets are available for $36, and include two general admission tickets, two sausage sandwiches, two soft drinks/water, and one parking pass. The last day to purchase advance tickets is March 20
General admission tickets at the gate are $15 before 7 pm, and $20 after 7 pm. Children under the age of 12 are free. Only cash is accepted at the gate, and ATMs will be available onsite.
To purchase advanced tickets, visit www.beulahfest.com and use the PayPal option. Tickets will be mailed to you, so make sure that you correct mailing address is entered upon ordering.
Pets are not allowed at the festival, and cameras are permitted except during musical acts. For more information, visit www.beulahfest.com.