Jimmy Buffett Kicks Off Summer at The Wharf This Memorial Day Weekend
By: Kelly Woodard
Local Parrotheads won’t want to miss their chance to soak up the Jimmy Buffett experience, as the man that brought us Margaritaville, cheeseburgers in paradise, and the idea that it’s five o’clock somewhere, brings his “I Don’t Know” tour to the Amphitheater at the Wharf on Orange Beach for one night only on Tuesday, May 31st at 8 pm.
“We are so happy to welcome Jimmy Buffett & the Coral Reefer Band back to the beach! This concert is always one of the best parties of the summer and the Parrotheads from all over the Gulf Coast come out to celebrate,” said Art Favre, Owner of The Wharf. “Fans won’t want to miss this great concert – it’s always a night to remember!”
Known for his laid-back, island lifestyle-promoting music and his many additional business ventures outside of music, including the Margaritaville restaurants, as a partner in Budweiser’s Landshark Lager line of beer, and writing several novels and children’s books, Buffett is one of the highest grossing tour acts of all time.
Parrotheads, the name for Buffett’s fan club members, have already given the “Fins Up” for the first ever floating Margaritaville Restaurant and “5 O'Clock Somewhere” Bar aboard the all new Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Escape. It’s based in Miami and sails the Caribbean Sea.
Meanwhile, back on land, Margaritaville the Musical is gearing up to make its debut with a world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse, in La Jolla, California, in May 2017. It will feature the music and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett, from an original story, and includes both new songs and the best Buffett classics.
In fact, the most beloved of Buffett’s classics, “Margaritaville” was just inducted into the 2016 Grammy Hall of Fame for its cultural and historic significance. Only those recordings that have influenced and inspired both music creators and fans for generations are considered for this most special honor.
Tickets for the May 31st concert are on sale now, and are available at Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Ticket prices are $44.50 - $124.50. Ticket prices subject to applicable fees.
For more information, visit www.alwharf.com.
The “Funnest” Fishing Tournament Around Benefits Soldiers Returning Home
By: Kelly Woodard
Bait a line and get in on the fun as the Flora-Bama Yacht Club and Marina presents the “funnest fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast”, the Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo, next Thursday through Sunday, June 10th through 12th.
The 3rd annual tournament will be held at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club across the street from the world famous Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store. Described as the “every man’s” fishing tournament, the Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo brings fishing fun to everyone of all skill levels. Categories will ranging from Cat Fish to Bill Fish and everything between.
The FBFR is a 3-day Captains Choice tournament with anglers competing for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in 30 categories including red snapper. At the conclusion of the tournament the FBFR will present top junior angler, top female angler and Master Angler awards along with cash prizes in Red Snapper, King Mackerel, Speckle Trout and Big Game jack pots. Big Game jack pots will include Tuna, Wahoo, Dauphin, Swordfish and Tag and Release Billfish.
There will be over a $160,000 in prizes in hand to give away including a 22’ Contender boat with 250 Yamaha motor and Ameratrail Trailer. Anglers who purchase an adults division FBFR ticket will be given one entry into the drawing for the boat to be given away during the awards ceremony. Anglers do not need to weigh in any fish to be considered for the drawing, and they do not need to be present to win.
With over 30 categories of fish to chase, you can also win big for the Most Unusual Catch, the Largest Mullet, or the Biggest Lionfish. Weigh-in at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club across the street from Flora-Bama and larger boats at Orange Beach Marina.
Accompanying the tournament will be a three day Beach Party and Awards ceremony that will include daily weigh-ins with fish viewing area, live music, great food and hospitality presented to you as only the Flora-Bama can.
Things kick off with the Captain’s Party on Thursday, June 9th from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club. Then fishing kicks off on Friday, June 10th at 12 am and will continue through 7 pm on Saturday, June 11th. The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, June 12th at 3 pm at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club.
Rodeo Tickets are just $45.00 per adult angler and $25.00 per kid angler, and Jackpot tickets are as follows:
King Mackerel Jackpot: $500.00 per boat. Individual prizes include $5,000.00 - 1st Place, $1,500 - 2nd Place, $1,000 - 3rd Place.
Speckled Trout Jackpot: $200.00 per boat. Individual prizes include $5,000.00 - 1st Place, $1,500 - 2nd Place, and $1,000 - 3rd Place.
Offshore Grand Slam (Tuna, Dolphin, Swordfish, & Wahoo): $1000.00 per boat.
All proceeds from the tournament will benefit Operation Reconnect, a non-profit organization managed and operated by Combat Veterans that aims to assist recently returned soldiers in reducing the disconnect that comes from multiple-month deployments.
According to Operation Reconnect, balancing military responsibilities along with daily family situations can be tough for both the deployed member and the family/support system who remained behind. Their mission, thanks in part to local donations by private owners and management companies, is to provide military families with complimentary accommodations here along the gulf coast in an effort to allow veterans to settle back in to civilian life and reconnect with loved ones with whom they have lost so much time.
Tickets are available now, and can be purchased at the Flora-Bama Gift Shop, Flora-Bama Marina, Flora-Bama, Flora-Bama Yacht Club, Orange Beach Marina, Shades (The Wharf, Orange Beach, & Malbis), Bluewater, J&M Tackle, Hot Spots (Gulf Breeze), Outcast, and Greer's (Dauphin Island).
For more information, rules, prize listings, and ticket locations visit www.florabamafishingrodeo.com.
Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon Help “Surrender the City” For the Fiesta Season
By: Kelly Woodard
Emmanuel Sheppard and Condon, one of Pensacola’s premier law firms, is proud to present the kick off party for the 67th Annual Fiesta of Five Flags celebration on Wednesday, June 1st from 7-10 pm at Seville Quarter.
The celebration salutes the rich history of Pensacola under the flags of the five governments that have flown over our city – Spain, France, England, the Confederacy and the United States. Seville Quarter will host five different rooms representing each of these important influences on our city.
Tickets for the event are $35 and include live entertainment from some of the best local a regional bands the gulf coast has to offer. Tickets will also include a delicious variety of food and two drink vouchers, as well as an exclusively designed 67th annual commemorative fiesta medallion.
The ever popular ‘Surrender the City’ ceremony where local dignitaries such as Mayor Ashton Hayward, Fire Chief David Allen, Supervisor of Elections David H. Stafford, Sheriff David Morgan, and Pensacola Naval Air Station Commanding Officer are captured by the Fiesta Forces and surrender the City of Pensacola and its citizens to DeLuna, his queen, and the Fiesta Forces for the Fiesta season, starts at 7:15 pm in Phineas Phoggs.
For more information about the Emmanuel Sheppard and Condon Fiesta Days Celebration or Surrender of the City, call the Fiesta of Five Flags office at 850-433-6512 or go online to www.FiestaofFiveFlags.org.
Sea Turtle Nesting Season Is In Full Swing, So Turn Off the Lights and Save a Life
By: Kelly Woodard
It is that special time of year again when our Gulf Coast beaches are peppered with sea turtle nest filled with hundreds of little ones just waiting to burst from the sand. Every May through August, four of the seven species of sea turtles choose the warm soft sands of Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key as the perfect place to nest. Volunteers are working day and night to ensure that all of our newest additions have a chance for survival, but they need your help.
Three species of sea turtles regularly nest on Florida beaches, the loggerhead, leatherback and green. More than 90 percent of U.S. loggerhead nesting takes place in Florida. A count on 26 Florida beaches in 2012 found 58,172 loggerhead nests, the second-highest number in 24 years, according to the Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Florida also is the only state in the continental U.S. where leatherbacks regularly nest, according to the wildlife commission. In addition, the state hosts one of the largest examples of green turtle nesting in the Western Hemisphere. Here along the Gulf Coast, we are also lucky enough to host the elusive hawksbill turtle.
Adult females nest every two or three years and lay several nests in one season. They emerge from the water to nest on the beach mostly at night, returning to the nesting grounds where they were born. Nests average 100 eggs, and incubate in the sand for approximately 60 days, depending on the species. The hatchlings usually emerge from their nests at night. Only about one in 1,000 baby turtles survive to adulthood.
With such a low number of hatchlings surviving long enough to return home to begin the life cycle again, there are a few simple things to remember to help protect these magnificent creatures and their habitat.
First and foremost, remember that it is against the law to touch or disturb nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or their nests. Sea turtles are protected by both the Federal Endangered Species Act and the Florida Marine Protection Act. If you see an injured or dead sea turtle, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or *FWC from your cell phone.
Please be prepared to answer the following questions: What is the exact location of the animal? Is the turtle alive or dead? What is the approximate size of the turtle? Is the turtle marked with spray paint? (This indicates that the turtle has been documented.) What is the location of the closest access point to the turtle? Wildlife officials want to do everything in their power to help our injured turtle friends, and the more information you can give them in the initial call, the better chance they have at saving these beautiful creatures.
As turtles emerge from the nest, it is their instinct to head for the brightest lights. This typically means the moonlight over the water, as turtles usually hatch during the full moon. In recent years, an overabundance of lights from condos, streetlights, and entertainment complexes has made the hatchlings first day a tough one.
Disoriented hatchlings that crawl northward away from the water typically fall prey to ghost crabs, foxes or other predators, get lost in the sand dunes, or are even hit by passing cars. While volunteers watch the nests as closely as possible, there are still a few things residents and visitors alike can do to help make the little guy’s first dip in the Gulf of Mexico a memorable one.
First, remove any excess outdoor lighting or indoor lighting that may be visible from the beach, or draw your curtains at night to block indoor light from the dunes. Use low-pressure sodium vapor lights of 50 watts or less. These are less likely to attract sea turtles and will also keep bugs away from your doors. Avoid using spotlights and flashlights while on the beach, and finally, turn all unnecessary outdoor lighting off or lower fixtures below the line of sight of the dunes.
While enjoying the beautiful beaches during the day, avoid disturbing marked sea turtle nests, and please take your trash with when you leave the beach. Please use designated cross overs and walk ways when accessing the beach. Do not climb over the dunes or disturb the dune vegetation.
Following these simple rules will help ensure that our shores will continue to be vital breeding grounds for these majestic gentle giants for many year to come.
Pensacola Beach’s ‘No Trace Left Behind’ Ordinance Lifted For Memorial Day Weekend Festivities
By: Kelly Woodard
Memorial Day weekend festivities for the LGBT community on Pensacola Beach will go off without a hitch after Escambia County Commissioners voted in their May 19th meeting to grant a special permit to lift the No Trace Left Behind Ordinance from Friday, May 27th until Monday, May 30th.
The ordinance, which was passed in August of 2015, makes it illegal to leave personal property unattended on the beach after sunset without a permit. The ordinance is common in coastal communities as a way to help reduce litter and to make beaches sea turtle-friendly. The weekend rules apply in the following designated areas only: between beach walkover 28A (dog park) to approximately ¼ mile east of beach walkover 29D, or the University of West Florida boundary. Overnight camping and campfires are not permitted.
Although the ordinance will be lifted for the weekend, beach go-ers are still asked to follow local laws and respect the beaches. County and Santa Rosa Island Authority officials ask guests to fill in any holes in the sand and knock down sand sculptures at day’s end to remove obstacles blocking sea turtles’ nesting activities. Remain at a distance from nesting sea turtles and hatchlings.
Properly dispose of trash and discarded gear. Sea turtles can become entangled in old fishing nets and lines or ingest plastic bags and wrappers, mistaking them for jellyfish. Turn out beachfront lights after dusk and close blinds and curtains in beachfront homes, condos and hotels.
Do not disturb nesting females or hatchlings by using flashlights, flash photography or lanterns at night, and remove as many personal belongings from the beach at the end of each day. While items such as umbrellas, tents, beach toys and chairs may be left unattended on Pensacola Beach overnight during the holiday weekend, they will be removed and disposed of by cleaning crews each night beginning Tuesday.