While the oil spill put a damper on much of the local summer season, September still shapes up to be a good close to what could be the best month yet for entertainment in 2010.
Two months ago the county’s TDC was granted $1.4 million from BP to help bring back some of the tourism revenue lost. With that extra cash, annual events such as the Pensacola Arts Festival have had more money to work with; allowing organizers to pad their entertainment lineup with some notable national acts.
“The big difference for us this year is we have the TDC money that has allowed us to go out and get Sister Hazel and Fastball,” says Paul Remke, the chairman for the 2010 Pensacola Seafood Festival. “We can expect 80,000-100,000 patrons during the 3-day festival, no telling what this year’s turnout will be with the headliner bands being added.”
Remke says the fest will still have much of what it has had in the past, with roughly 175 arts and crafts and 18 food vendors. It will also feature a children’s area in Bartram Park with dog jumping and wading in the nearby Fountain Park area.
The 33rd annual festival put on by The Fiesta of Five Flags was allotted an extra $50,000 from the TDC to create a star lineup for Saturday, its busiest day in years past.
It’s that time of year again. Time to put on your drinking cap and prepare for the Emerald Coast Beer Festival. The event held at Seville Quarter on Sept. 10 will shut down the strip of Government St. between Taragona and Jefferson for more than 35 breweries that will be distributing more than 300 different beers—including top indie beer names such as Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada and Sweetwater.
According to co-organizer Pat Johnson, there will also be several home breweries represented, including the Pensacola Bay Brewery, which is scheduled to open in the next few months.
“It is our mission to help people learn to make their own beverages and then to help folks learn about, and appreciate, quality beverages,” says Johnson. “In a nutshell, we call that “Brew It/Drink It.”
This year’s fest is supporting three different local charities: Big Brothers Big Sisters; The Independence Fund and The Belmont Arts & Cultural Center.
“We try to pick charities that we feel benefit our community and that we have a personal interest in,” says Johnson. “There are lots of great charities out there and we’d like to help them all. However, like any benefactor, you have to make hard choices.”
And if you don’t get enough of a beer fix in September, the first week of October the Perdido Key Chamber of Commerce is hosting its first Oktoberfest. The event on Oct. 2 will be held at the Villagio and feature 100 different beers and German-inspired entertainment.
“We are hoping for about 500 event goers,” says Lauren Turner, spokesperson for the Chamber. “I believe we will be having at least four beer vendors with over 100 different imported, specialty, and micro-brewed beers.”
The event was spawned from BP money the Chamber received from the TDC.
ISLAND CUISINE…AND MUSIC
What’s better than great food? Eating great food on the beach.
The Pensacola Beach Chamber will host its third annual Taste of the Beach on the weekend of Sept. 18-19, featuring dishes from more than 20 restaurants in the area.
According to Chamber co-char Renee Mack, all menu items will be priced under $5 and there will be awards for the venue with the best decorated booth and dish.
The event will also host the Miracle Strip Corvette Club’s “Life’s A Vette” show on Saturday.
And just because Bands on the Beach concludes this month, doesn’t mean the music officially does. The second annual Pensacola Beach Songwriter’s Festival kicks off on Sept. 27 and runs through Oct. 3.
More than 60 nationally acclaimed artists are expected to play on 10 stages, according to event promoters.
Pensacola Seafood Fest
Festival times at Seville Square:
Friday, Sept. 25; 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 26; 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 27; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday, September 24
3 – 4:30 p.m. – Kyle Parker & East Hill
5 – 6:30 p.m. – The Springs
7 – 8:30 p.m. – Reunion Band
9 – 10:30 p.m. – The Molly Ringwalds
Saturday, Sept. 25
10:30 a.m. – Noon – Beulah Land South Band
12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. -Trunk Monkey
2:30 – 4 p.m. – Starz
5 – 6:30 p.m. – Modern Eldorados
7 – 8:30 – Fastball
9 – 11 p.m. – Sister Hazel
Sunday, Sept. 26
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Johnny Barbato and the Lucky Doggs
1:30 – 3 p.m. – Chuck Lawson
3:30 – 5 p.m. – Heritage
Emerald Coast Beer Fest
Sept.10 at Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St.
VIP access ($50) entry time, 5:15 p.m.; general admission ($25), 6 p.m.
Oct. 2 at Villagio in Perdido Key; 2-6 p.m.
$15 for sampling; $12 for T-shirts and $5 for a beer mug
Taste of the Beach
Sept. 18-19 at the Pensacola Beach Paviliion
Vending prices vary for food (under $5 for sampling)
Sept. 27-Oct. 3
Stages will include Bamboo Willie’s, The Grand Marlin, Margaritaville, Lilo’s Tuscan Grille, Paradise Bar and Grill, Sabine Sand Bar, Sandshaker, the Amphitheatre on the Boardwalk, and StudioAmped.