Pensacola, Florida
Monday December 22nd 2014

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A Tasty Tradition Returns

By Lilia Del Bosque Oakey Whitehouse

Boiled, fried or in a bisque, it’s safe to say that the South loves its crawfish. More than 16,000 pounds of crawfish will be boiled at Bartram Park for the 29th Annual Pensacola Crawfish Festival giving festivalgoers plenty of opportunities to find their favorite method for consuming the South’s favorite crustacean.

But the Crawfish Festival is more than great food. To give festival goers the complete bayou experience, 11 bands will be playing at the festival.

Beej Davis, the Marketing Coordinator of Fiesta Five Flags is excited for the variety and quality of the bands playing this year’s festival including Revival, an Allman Brothers
Tribute Band.

“We have some returning groups,” Davis said. “Wayne Toups and Rockin Dopsie Jr. will be playing at the festival again and are coming straight from Jazz Fest in New Orleans.”

Davis said that, year after year, many of the festival’s bands make sure that the Crawfish Festival is an annual stop in their schedule.

Julie Remke, the Chair of the 2013 Crawfish Festival believes that the mix of good food, great music, and a family-friendly atmosphere makes the festival an annual favorite for crawfish lovers across the Southeast.

“I have friends that visit from other cities and they are constantly amazed that everyone, children and adults, can hang out and have a good time,” Remke said. “It’s a family-friendly way to enjoy Pensacola and it’s one of the things that makes Pensacola such a great place to live.”

Peter Dyson, the co-chair of the 2013 Crawfish Festival said that he has met festivalgoers that travel many miles just to enjoy Pensacola’s Crawfish Festival.
“We have people that come from Chicago, Nashville because they love the crowd and love the music,” Dyson said.

Remke also believes that Bartram Park, the waterfront park where the festival is held, is the perfect way to spend a perfect spring weekend.

“The music is great, the food is great,” Remke said. “It’s one of the first festivals when the weather breaks and everyone is excited to be outside and enjoy it. People just like hanging out; it’s a great location.”

The Crawfish Festival is not only the perfect way to enjoy time with your family; it’s an event that highlights that positive, unified community atmosphere of Pensacola.

“It takes a village to put this together,” said Davis, citing that hundreds of volunteers plan the event of the entire year.

“This is something that is by the community, for the community,” said Dyson. “We have a couple hundred volunteers from all walks of life and it gets everyone community
minded. It’s also heritage; it’s always been about the heritage of the town and heritage of the city. It’s all about promoting Pensacola and promoting what is right about this
place.”

Whatever your motivation for going to the festival—be it the music, the food, a family-friendly way to enjoy a beautiful day or a way to celebrate a Pensacola tradition—not only will you walk away with a full stomach, Remke is sure you’ll leave the festival with great memories.

“There is something special about this festival,” Remke said. “It’s the right size and this is where my favorite memories with my family are made. There is nothing better. It’s such a great, fun atmosphere and I can’t imagine why people would miss it. If they do, they are missing out.”

PENSACOLA CRAWFISH FESTIVAL
WHEN: Friday, May 3 – Sunday, May 5
WHERE: Bartram Park, 211 W. Main St.
COST: Free noon to 3 p.m. on Friday; $5 per day; $10 weekend pass; Free for active duty military (with ID) on Friday; Free for children 12 and under
DETAILS: pensacolacrawfishfestival.com

Entertainment Schedule

Friday,  May 3
3 – 5 p.m.  Derek Givens
6 – 8 p.m.    Revival (tribute to Allman Brothers)
8:30 – 10:30 p.m. Cool Rayz

Saturday, May 4
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Nate Pennington
1 – 3:30 p.m.   Bayou Boys
4 – 6 p.m.     Lil Malcolm & The House Rockers
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.     Rockin Dopsie Jr.
9 – 10:30 p.m.     Wes Bayliss & Richochet Creek

Sunday, May 5
11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  Stevie Monce
12:30 – 2 p.m.  Mulligan Brothers
3 – 5 p.m.  Wayne Toups