Sites & Sights — 01 October 2018
Head to Pensacola, Florida for a 12-day celebration of arts and culture—including food!

The 5th annual Foo Foo Festival is set to take place November 1-12, 2018, in Pensacola, Florida. One of the South’s most charming coastal cities will be transformed into a delightful, sensory feast for the 12-day celebration with creative happenings, events and moments. Come “Vacation Artfully” in Pensacola for nearly two weeks.

Pensacola, known as the “Festival City of the South,” is the only city on the stretch of the Gulf Coast from Mobile, Ala. to Tampa, Fla. that boasts all of the “big five”: an opera, ballet, symphony, theatre and museum. Foo Foo Festival’s roster of events celebrates art, music, dance, opera, theatre and cuisine throughout the city of Pensacola for nearly two weeks.

Strategically positioned in and around some of Pensacola’s most popular and longer-running events, the Foo Foo Fest encourages cultural tourists to make Pensacola an arts destination and enjoy other events those two weeks including The Greater Gulf Coast Arts Festival, the Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show, Pensacola Eggfest, the 34th Annual Frank Brown Songwriters Festival, and the 14th Annual Pensacola Marathon.

To mark the 5th anniversary of the Foo Foo Fest, the 2018 event features a special, large-scale interactive picture mural created from thousands of images of festival-goers. This Foo Foo Festival Picture Mosaic allows visitors to become “part of the art,” actually leaving personal, creative marks on a permanent historical art collage in downtown Pensacola, thus further emphasizing the wider community’s interconnectivity.

Foo Foo Festival in Pensacola FloridaFoo Foo Festival in Pensacola Florida

2018 Foo Foo Festival Highlights…
  • CUBED Luminous: Outdoor Digital Arts Festival – a four day and night outdoor digital art festival consisting of a 12-foot by 18-foot LED cube and 16 laser projectors projecting on four eight-foot square cubes located at UWF Historic Trust’s Museum Plaza in downtown Pensacola.
  • On Air with Doc Severinsen with the Pensacola Civic Band – The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson band leader and trumpeter, Doc Severinsen will perform a concert with the Pensacola Civic Band at the Pensacola Saenger Theatre. Doc will be joined by trumpeter Cathy Leach in a program featuring several selections from his musical repertoire of jazz and television tunes. In addition, the Pensacola Civic Band will perform many familiar television theme songs from the Fifties until today in a rollicking concert that you won’t want to miss.
  • First City Arts Center and Pensacola State College present Women of Fire – Women artists have faced gender bias throughout history and their work has often been undervalued, stereotyping to particular media, such as fiber arts. Women of Fire presents a collaborative event including a diverse group of six female artists including a blacksmith, glassblowers, ceramic artists and a flame worker.
  • See the Music, Hear the Dance – Pensacola Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and Ballet Pensacola will join forces for a performance combining breathtaking dance with live instrumental music. Featuring Ballet Pensacola’s dancers joined onstage by a septet of PSO musicians, See the Music, Hear the Dance includes landmark Impressionist works from renowned French composers, including Maurice Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro. Carrying the French tradition forward is Golden Fish Under the Arched Bridge by a living American composer, Michael Senturia.
  • The African American Heritage Society, Inc. – “STORYTELLER’S CIRCLE: The Gullah Experience with Aunt Pearlie Sue.” Unique to the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and the Sea Islands around Pensacola, the Gullah people are a distinctive group of African Americans who live in small farming and fishing units. Story telling offers rich history from this tightly knit community that has survived slavery, the civil war and the emergence of modern American culture.
  • Pensacola LGBTQ Film Festival – Stamped is a film festival featuring awarding-winning New York City Broadway performers Nick Cearley and Lauren Molina. Better known as the Skivvies, the comedy-pop duo strips down not only their musical arrangements, but to their skivvies. They perform distinctive mashups and eccentric originals on cello, ukulele, guitar, and a surprising array of bizarre, under-used instruments in a part Weird Al-parody / part sexy burlesque.
  • Sunday’s Child, the UNITY project – an interactive, public, larger-than-life art structure celebrates our cultural uniqueness and strengthens our ties to each other. The project consists of posts, each with identifiers such as, “I’m a parent; I’m a Veteran; I speak English as a second language; I identify as LGBTQ.” Participants tie colorful ribbons to those posts that reflect their identities. Ribbons intertwine together to create a web of interconnectedness, visually showing the connectivity and diversity that builds a strong, vibrant community.
  • Truth for Youth, Inc. – Two events by Back On The Blocks include “Motown Madness Music Medley: an evening of sangin’, dancin’, and eatin’- THE SOULFUL WAY!” and “Street Beats, Bands & Bar-B-Que: an afternoon of steppin’, beatin’, and eatin’- THE SOULFUL WAY!”

In addition to the arts, downtown Pensacola offers historic walking tours, a large farmer’s market, quaint shops, food trucks, brewery tours and daily running clubs. Hosting the Foo Foo Festival in the fall offers big fun and a hefty dose of Southern sophistication delivered to boost tourism and travel during the “off season” with its unique slate of events.

Foo Foo Festival in Pensacola FloridaFoo Foo Festival in Pensacola Florida

Fun Facts…

The Name
A “Foo Foo” is, by definition: An impromptu musical band known to come together on late 19th-century sailing vessels, consisting of members from the ship’s crew. So, quite literally, the gathering of Pensacola’s arts and entertainment organizations during this period of time is our very own “Foo Foo.” Arts, Culture and Entertainment, Inc. (ACE) approached the county commission with the thought of securing grant monies, to be distributed among various arts/cultural organizations in the Pensacola area. The goal was to fill the period of time between some of Pensacola’s most popular cultural events with fun events attractive to “cultural tourists.” Foo Foo Fest offers a unique slate of events during the month of November, or the middle of said off-season.

The Creatives
The nonprofit organization, Art, Culture, and Entertainment, Inc. (ACE), presents this sensory event. Foo Foo Festival’s roster of events celebrates art, music, dance, opera, theatre and cuisine with programming from 30 ACE grant recipients, throughout the city of Pensacola for nearly two weeks. The 2018 ACE grant recipients will host individual experiences specific to their craft throughout the festival.

More Information…

Foo Foo Festival

Visit Pensacola

Foo Foo Festival in Pensacola Florida

– SPONSORED EDITORIAL: Text & images courtesy Leesburg PR

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