Each year, the University of West Florida marks the return of spring with Festival on the Green. Hosted on the university’s main campus Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6, this free, two-day event provides the community with a prime opportunity to gather and explore Pensacola’s rich history and diverse culture through a wide array of arts, entertainment and of course, food. In its 13th year, the annual celebration has grown to become a university tradition, typically drawing in a crowd of more than 20,000 attendees. While the festival is primarily located outdoors atop the campus “greens,” it now extends to several locations around campus.
Throughout the duration of the festival, art aficionados may enjoy viewing or purchasing the works of regional artisans at the fine arts show, located along what is known as magnolia row. Also spanning the entirety of the event is the craft fair. Situated on the library green, area crafters display and sell a variety of goods, such as jewelry, clothing and ceramics. Meanwhile, inside the John C. Pace campus library at the book sale, literary enthusiasts can take advantage of purchasing a plethora of discounted books, textbooks and magazines to add to their collections.
Unique to Saturday are several events that truly offer something for the entire family. The returning children’s festival includes endless entertainment for the younger ones in the form of crafts, games, face painting and more. Sponsored by Five Flags Dog Training Club, the Dogs Sports Exhibition provides dog lovers the opportunity to watch canines strut, jump and run in an agility competition, with a Best of Show dog demo occurring at noon.
A new, truly “green” addition to the festival this year is the Green Trading Post. Opening Saturday morning, the post serves as a venue for environmentally friendly products and demonstrations.
In addition to highlighting the flourishing local arts community, Festival on the Green highlights the wide range of talent that abounds within the university’s own campus community. Members of the UWF Music and Theatre Departments and several UWF dance classes proudly take the stage to perform throughout the event.
To close out the festival, local psychologist, poet, artist and musician Michael Brant DeMaria will be performing a Peace and Healing Concert Saturday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. in the UWF Center for Fine and Performing Arts Music Hall. This four-time Grammy nominee, award-winning composer and five-time No. 1 chart-topping recording artist is a multi-instrumentalist with six released solo albums to date. Tickets for this free performance are available in advance at the University Commons Service Desk.
All festival events and times are subject to change. For a complete, updated schedule of events, visit uwf.edu/festival