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Winterfest Makes Downtown Twinkle


Every December, Downtown Pensacola transforms into a winter wonderland through the magic of Pensacola Winterfest.

No, Pensacola doesn’t see a lot of snow, and yes, we've been known to wrap palm trees in strings of colored lights. None of that means we can’t appreciate a good cup of hot chocolate, holiday cheer and celebrating the winter season – we simply do it the Pensacola way with Winterfest! Our historic streets become Christmas Town, complete with thousands of twinkling holiday lights, elves, Santa, and more. You can see it all by taking a tour on our Polar Express Trolley.

It all kicks off with the annual Elf Parade through downtown. Costumed kids of all ages march alongside an alligator “second line” brass band, Santa, and a host of holiday characters. The four-block promenade includes a Christmas song battle, tumbling snowflakes and plenty of cheer.

Winterfest’s premier trolley tour features 16 performances along a 60-minute trolley trip through Downtown Pensacola. Jolly, singing guides accompany you into a world of wonder with scenes from your favorite holiday memories. Along the way, Elvis, the Grinch, and characters from “The Polar Express” and “A Christmas Story” get on board to share in the spirit of Christmas.

The week before Christmas the special Santa’s Express Tour provides the perfect holiday outing for tiny tots with their eyes all aglow! Santa and Rudolph give the sleigh a night off and join in the fun on the trolley ride.

And everyone is invited to take part in the Winterfest Reindeer Games, which include a snow machine, gourmet cocoa, visits with Santa and actual reindeer games with Santa’s reindeer. Reindeer games are free fun for all!


Winterfest Events

Here are a few events that celebrate the celebrations. Be sure to view our full calendar so you don't miss a thing!