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Pensacola's 2012 Calendar of Events

   
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Laura Lee, director of communications, Visit Pensacola,
(850) 434-1234; (800) 874-1234, llee@visitpensacola.com or,
Kristen Wimer, communications intern, Visit Pensacola,
(850) 434-1234, intern@visitpensacola.com

Pensacola's 2012 Calendar of Events

Pensacola, Fla. –– Oct. 14, 2011 –With a packed calendar, 2012 is proving to be another exciting year full of celebrations for Pensacola.

Events such as the annual seafood festival, McGuire's prediction run, Blue Angels air shows, Gallery Nights and evenings in Olde Seville Square are sure to keep visitors entertained. Whether you're interested in sports, food, history, or just fun in the sun, the Pensacola Bay Area has a special event for you.

Following are the special events for 2012:

Polar Bear Dip. Jan. 1. The Flora-Bama Lounge hosts this popular, annual splash-around in the Gulf of Mexico. (850) 492-0611, www.florabama.com

Polar Bear Plunge. Jan. 1. Wade, swim and scurry in Santa Rosa Sound at Paradise Bar & Grill to the finish line where black-eyed peas await. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com

Pensacola Beach Run. Jan. 14. Compete in your choice of a 5K, 10K or half-marathon race which takes you along the waterfront on beautiful Pensacola Beach. Be sure to stick around the finish line after you complete your run for the post-race party. www.pensacolarunners.com

Gallery Night. Jan. 27. Enjoy an evening of arts and culture by touring downtown art galleries open 5-9 p.m. (850) 434-5371, www.downtownpensacola.com

Pensacola Double Bridge Run. Feb. 4. A 15K course takes runners over two bridges crossing Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Sound, from downtown to Pensacola Beach. Runners and walkers are also welcome at the 5K course and Kids Fun Run. (850) 434-2800, www.pensacolasports.com

Mardi Gras. Feb 17-19. One of the country's original celebration sites, Pensacola and Pensacola Beach host family-oriented fun at numerous parades with lots of beads and moon pies. Perdido Key also hosts its version with a street party. (850) 434-1234, www.visitpensacola.com

Mardi Gras Kid and Kritter Krawl. Feb. 26. This walking parade on Pensacola Beach is open to children and pets. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com

3rd Annual Perdido Key Spring Wine & Art Festival. March. Sample wines from boutique, international and local vineyards as artists display their original paintings, jewelry and sculptures at the Villagio. (850) 492-4660, www.visitperdido.com

Smokin' in the Square. March 2-4. Enjoy some of the South's best barbecue in Seville Square. (850) 516-2622

McGuire's 5K Prediction Run. March 10. With more than 5,000 participants, it's the nation's largest prediction run. Awards go to the fastest as well as the most accurate in predicting completion time. MGuire's signature bean soup, Irish Wakes, home-brewed beer and authentic Irish tunes are available at the post-run party. (850) 433-6789, www.mcguiresirishpub.com

Gulf Coast Renaissance Fair. March 10-11. Step back to the days of old with jousting exhibitions, falconry, medieval musicians, jesters, jugglers, fire breathers, belly dancers, bagpipers and more. (877) 429-8462, www.gcrf.net

Gallery Night. March 16. Enjoy an evening of arts and culture by touring downtown art galleries open 5-9 p.m. (850) 434-5371, www.downtownpensacola.com

Go Irish on the Island. March 12-17. Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a pub crawl, green bikini contest, jig dancing contest, leprechaun hunt and other activities. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com

Beulahfest. March 18-20. Enjoy some of Nashville's hottest country music stars, arts-and-crafts, carnival-style rides and great sausage. (850) 944-3167, www.beulahfest.com

Festival on the Green. March 30-31. University of West Florida's annual spring event features a fine arts-and-crafts show, dog agility showcase, live music, sporting events, food and a children's fair. (850) 474-2610, uwf.edu/festival

Reggae Festival. April 13-15. Enjoy a weekend of live reggae music at Seville Quarter. (850) 434-6211, www.sevillequarter.com

Pensacola JazzFest. April 14-15. Pensacola's historic Seville Square hosts an event filled with great jazz performed by local and national talents. (850) 433-8382, www.jazzpensacola.com

Perdido Key Dragon Boat Races. April 14. Watch dragon boats glide across the Intercoastal Waterway in this fun and competitive race. (850) 492-4660, www.visitperdido.com

Crawfish Festival on Portofino Boardwalk. April 14-16. Spend the weekend on the boardwalk with live music and spicy crawfish. (850) 932-1500, www.visitpensacolabeach.com

Pensacola Community Soulfest. April 16. Enjoy great soul music at this annual event in the West Pensacola Ballpark. (850) 438-4882

White Sands Music Festival. April 19-21. Enjoy food, arts-and-crafts and non-stop jam sessions in the Farmers' Opry House. (850) 994-6000, www.farmersopry.com

Mullet Man Triathlon. April 21. Push yourself to the limit on this scenic and exhilarating course. (850) 429-0611, www.florabama.com

28th Annual Interstate Mullet Toss. April 27-29. Perdido Key's Flora-Bama Lounge hosts this wacky annual tournament that has participants compete in tossing an actual mullet across state lines. (850) 492-0611, www.florabama.com

6th Annual Goombay Gulf Coast. April 28-29. Feel the rhythm of some of the best regional and international reggae, calypso, steel drum bands and Caribbean music around, plus stilt-walkers, African dance and drum presentations and other activities. (850) 380-6109, www.goombaygulfcoast.com

28th Annual Pensacola Crawfish Festival. May 4-6. Head downtown and treat yourself to spicy crawfish and authentic bayou country entertainment along the waterfront at one of the largest crawfish boils in Florida. (850) 433-6512, www.fiestaoffiveflags.org

Rosamond Johnson Day Ceremony. May 5. Share in a special remembrance of Korean War Hero and Purple Heart recipient, Rosamond Johnson, who was killed during war at the age of 15 while bravely attempting to save fellow soldiers. (850) 492-4660, www.visitperdido.com

Evenings in Olde Seville Square. Every Thursday, beginning May 10. This summer concert series features a variety of musical styles from big band to jazz and from Broadway to modern dance. (850) 438-6505, www.pensacolaheritage.org

Wet and Wild. Celebrate nature at this four-day event in Perdido Key. (850) 492-4660, www.perdidochamber.com

Gallery Night. May 18. Enjoy an evening of arts and culture by touring downtown art galleries open 5-9 p.m. (850) 434-5371, www.downtownpensacola.com

Perdido Key Wine and Art Festival. May 21. Sample wine paired with cheeses and fruits while perusing arts-and-craft vendors. (850) 492-4660, www.visitperdido.com

Bands on the Beach. Tuesdays May-Oct. Attend this popular summer evening concert series with local musical favorites playing at Gulfside Pavilion. (850) 932-2257, www.visitpensacolabeach.com

Fiesta Days Celebration. May 31-June 9. Celebrate the founding of Pensacola with a boat parade, street parade, parties, sand-sculpting contest and more. (850) 433-6512, www.fiestaoffiveflags.org

Sounds of Summer. June-Aug. The beat goes on in Pensacola Beach with this free concert series most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the boardwalk amphitheatre. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com

Shallow Water Slam. June. Redfish, flounder and speckled trout are the game in this tournament, with Flounder's Chowder House as head-quarters. www.pensacolakingmack.com

Pensacola Fishing Rodeo. June. See some of the biggest king mackerel and cobia caught at the largest two-day boat event in the Gulf of Mexico. www.pensacolakingmack.com

42nd Annual Bill Hargreaves Fishing Rodeo. June 18-19. Enjoy great fishing from the Grand Lagoon Yacht Club, (850) 492-4660, www.visitperdido.com

42nd Annual Pensacola International Billfish Tournament. July 5-8. The Pensacola Big Game Fishing Club hosts one of the country's largest billfish tournaments at NAS Pensacola, which attracts around 600 anglers from all over the Southeast. (850) 453-4638, www.pbgfc.com

4th of July Celebration. July 4. The family-oriented, patriotic event held downtown is the largest on the Gulf Coast. Fireworks displays are also on Perdido Key and Pensacola Beach. (850) 434-1234, www.visitpensacola.com

Red, White and Blues Week. July 4-14. This week-long celebration on Pensacola Beach kicks off with a huge fireworks extravaganza and ends with the Blue Angels show. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com

Pensacola Beach Air Show. July 13-14. This must-see event features a show by the world-famous Blue Angels. (850) 932-2257, www.visitpensacolabeach.com

Gallery Night. July 20. Enjoy an evening of arts and culture by touring downtown art galleries open 5-9 p.m. (850) 434-5371, www.downtownpensacola.com

Reggae Festival. Aug. 3-5. Enjoy a weekend of live reggae music at Seville Quarter. (850) 434-6211, www.sevillequarter.com

Bushwacker Festival and 5K. Aug. 3-5. This festival is centered around Pensacola's favorite adult beverage: the milk chocolaty bushwacker. Enjoy a fun run and celebration on the boardwalk. (850) 434-1234, www.visitpensacola.com

4th Annual Perdido Key Open. Sept. 16-18. Play beach volleyball right on the Gulf of Mexico.(850) 492-4660, www.perdidokeyopen.com

Jamaican Fest. Sept. 1-3. Featuring live music, The Kids Zone, sidewalk sale and the “Anything that Floats” race and bathtub races in Santa Rosa Sound. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com

Shaker Fest. Sept. 8-9. Head over to the Sandshaker, “Home of the Original Bushwacker,” on Pensacola Beach to enjoy live music and signature drinks. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com

5th Annual Taste of the Beach. Sept. 15-16. Get a sampling of island flavors from the area's best chefs. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com

Gallery Night. Sept. 21. Enjoy an evening of arts and culture by touring downtown art galleries open 5-9 p.m. (850) 434-5371, www.downtownpensacola.com

35th Annual Pensacola Seafood Festival. Sept. 28-30. Sample a variety of mouth-watering seafood dishes, enjoy continuous live entertainment, shop at the many arts-and-crafts vendors and participate in a 5K. (850) 433-6512, www.fiestaoffiveflags.org

Oktoberfest. Oct. 2. The Villagio hosts this German-inspired festival with lots of fun, music, food and beer. (850) 492-4660, www.visitperdido.com

Pensacola Beach Songwriters Festival. Oct. 2 - Oct. 7. Original music comes to the island. (850) 341-0889, www.pensacolabeachsongwritersfestival.com

17th Annual Santa Rosa Island Triathlon. Oct. 6. A triathlon along Pensacola Beach is offered for seasoned athletes, while a sea turtle triathlon is offered for kids. (850) 380-0741, www.sritri.org

5th Annual Art and Wine Weekend. Oct. 6-7. Enjoy wine tastings and local art as you're transported by trolley across the island. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com

Annual Historic Haunted House Walking Tours. Oct. 12-13, 19-20, 26-27. A family favorite for Halloween, the narrated tours are led by costumed guides, visiting more than 50 sites. (850) 595-5985, www.historicpensacola.org

78th Annual Pensacola Interstate Fair. Oct. 18-28. With big-name entertainment, games, rides and exhibits, the fair is fun for the whole family. (850) 944-4500, www.pensacolafair.com

Gallery Night. Oct. 19. Enjoy an evening of arts and culture by touring downtown art galleries open 5-9 p.m. (850) 434-5371, www.downtownpensacola.com

Greek Festival. Oct/Nov. Get festive with traditional Greek dances, gifts, entertainment and dishes such as baklava, gyros and spanakopeta. (850) 433-2662, www.annunciationgoc.org

The Frank Brown Songwriters' Festival. Nov. Musicians from across the world bring music to Perdido Key. (850) 492-7664, www.fbisf.com

6th Annual Martini Festival. Nov. Enjoy live music and martini samplings at the JellyFish Bar in Perdido Key. (850) 492-4660, perdidochamber.com

Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show. Nov. 2-3. With Pensacola as their home base, the Blue Angels perform the season's final show at Naval Air Station Pensacola. (850) 452-2583, www.blueangels.navy.mil

Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival. Nov. 2-4. Browse more than 200 fine art and hand made craft exhibitors from around the country in Pensacola's historic Seville Square. www.ggaf.org

Pensacola Marathon. Nov 11. This 26.2-mile scenic USATF-certified course is one of the last Boston Marathon Qualifiers in the Southeast. The course begins and ends in historic downtown and winds along Pensacola Bay. (850) 434-2800, www.pensacolamarathon.com

Gallery Night. Nov. 16. Jump start the holiday season with an evening of arts and culture in the downtown art galleries, open 5-9 p.m. (850) 434-5371, www.downtownpensacola.com

Pensacola Wine Festival. Nov. 16-18. Sample a variety of wines from all over the world. (850) 434-5371, www.pensacolawinefestival.com

Creek Indian Tribe Indian Day Celebration. Nov. 17-18. Attend this annual Creek pow-wow in Pace featuring Native American dances, traditional food dishes authentic crafts. (850) 994-9633

Season the Holidays with Island Spirit.Nov. 23-Dec. 31. Santa Rosa Island hosts numerous holiday events throughout the season. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com

Elf Parade. Nov. 23.Kids dress up and parade five blocks from the T.T. Wentworth, Jr., Florida State Museum to the Saenger Theatre, caroling along the way.(850) 434-5371, www.downtownpensacola.com

Winterfest Trolley Tours. Nov. 23, Dec. 1, 14, 21. Trolleys act as theaters taking passengers to a series of interactive performances in historic downtown. (850) 435-0914, www.pensacolawinterfest.org

Holiday Evening in Olde Seville Square. Dec. Get in the holiday spirit with a concert under the oaks. (850) 438-6505, www.pensacolaheritage.org

45th Annual Snowball Derby. Dec. 1-4. Auto racing fans delight in the action at Five Flags Speedway. (850) 944-8400, www.fiveflagsspeedway.com

Lighted Boat Parade. Dec 7. The nautical parade officially delivers Santa Claus to the island. (850) 932-1500, www.visitpensacolabeach.com

Downtown Christmas Parade.Dec. 8.Downtown Pensacola comes alive with this lighted, family-friendly parade. (850) 450-3792, www.coxpensacolachristmasparade.org

Surfing Santa Parade. Dec. 9. Holiday floats wind their way down Santa Rosa Island's main street. Santa rides atop his a red fire engine and visits with children. (850) 932-1500, www.visitpensacolabeach.com

Big Lagoon's Christmas in the Park.Dec. Enjoy hot chocolate and Christmas lights in this natural, waterfront setting. (850) 492-4660, www.visitperdido.com

5th Annual Pelican Drop. Dec. 31. Families can enjoy a street-party atmosphere downtown with live music, a children's area and fireworks, along with a 10-foot, half-ton illuminated pelican that's dropped 100 feet at midnight. (850) 435-1603, www.pensacolapelicandrop.com

New Year's Eve Fireworks. Dec. 31. End the year with a bang with a fireworks display over the Gulf of Mexico. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com

For more information about the Pensacola Bay Area, or to request a Visitor Guide, call Visit Pensacola at (800) 874-1234, (850) 434-1234 or visit www.VisitPensacola.com. You can also stay informed of Pensacola Bay Area happenings through www.Facebook.com/VisitPensacola.