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It's Called the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival for a Reason

November 5-7, 2021

The nation’s top artists, scenic views, a cool breeze, live music, a spirited crowd– blended together, these sensories make the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival in Historic Downtown Pensacola one of the best-regarded, most popular arts festivals in the United States.

The three-day, juried art show draws more than 200 of the country's best painters, potters, sculptors, jewelers, graphic artists, craftsmen and other artists. It is held each year beginning on the first Friday in November.

The Festival is ranked #30 in the nation by Sunshine Artist Magazine and the American Bus Association has named the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival one of the Top 100 Events in North America.

Featured festival art ranges from classical to whimsical with everything from traditional painting, photography and sculpture to yard art, musical instruments, clothing, and jewelry. It's the perfect time and place to begin holiday shopping or to treat yourself to a handmade treasure.

Step back in time at the GGAF Heritage Arts section, where craftspeople from around the country demonstrate their own skills of blacksmithing, engraving, spinning, weaving, and more.

Music fills the festival grounds throughout the weekend. Live performances on the Main Stage include bluegrass, Cajun, jazz, blues and classical. The Parrish Performing Arts Stage showcases dance performances including folk, ballet, and more. It’s where local performing companies, dance schools, community groups and area folk groups have their time to shine.

Neighboring Bartram Park is the site of the Children’s Arts Festival featuring hands-on art projects, all provided free of charge. While activities change from year to year, families are likely to find face painting, clay play, sand art, sidewalk art, paper crafts and a balloon man. The Children’s Festival is open Friday by invitation only for children with special needs from selected schools and is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

Each year the event welcomes an International Invited Artist, who creates and sells their work at the event. Past years have featured artists from China, Scotland, England and the Indonesian island of Java. The International Invited Artist also gives a public talk and speaks to hundreds of students at area schools during their stay.

Early November weather is some of the best Pensacola has to offer. It’s warm and breezy during festival hours with a transition into cooler nights, perfect for strolling through downtown or enjoying one of the many outdoor dining options available in the area.

The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival is the perfect place to see the best of what the Pensacola area has to offer, while also learning about culture and enjoying art from across the country and around the globe. Plan your fall festival trip now to indulge in a vast array of art, music, food, scenery and of course, Florida sunshine.