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Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle and the county seat of Escambia Countymarker. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 56,255 and as of 2007, the estimated population was 54,283.However, the Pensacola–Ferry PassmarkerBrentmarker Metropolitan Statistical Area, comprising Escambia and Santa Rosamarker counties, had a population of 453,451.

Pensacola is a sea port on Pensacola Bay, which connects to the Gulf of Mexicomarker. A large United States Naval Air Stationmarker, the first in the United States, is located southwest of Pensacola (near the community of Warringtonmarker) and is home to the Blue Angels flight demonstration team and the National Museum of Naval Aviationmarker. The main campus of the University of West Floridamarker is situated north of the city center.

Pensacola is nicknamed "The City of Five Flags" due to the five governments that have flown flags over it during its history: those of Spainmarker, Francemarker, Great Britainmarker, the Confederate States of America, and the United Statesmarker. Other nicknames include "World's Whitest Beaches" (due to the white sand prevalent along beaches in the Florida panhandle), "Cradle of Naval Aviation" (the National Museum of Naval Aviation is located at the Pensacola Naval Air Stationmarker, home of the legendary Blue Angels), "Western Gate to the Sunshine State," "America's First Settlement," "Emerald Coast," "Redneck Riviera," and "Red Snapper Capital of the World."

On February 19 of 2009, the King and Queen of Spain, Juan Carlos I and Sofía, took part in commemorating Pensacola's 450th anniversary, as America's first European settlement.

History

Pensacola was the first European-inhabited settlement in what would later become the United States of America.


Pensacola, Florida has a rich and colorful history dating back 450 years, being the first European settlement in the continental United States (1559) and controlled by five countries. Pensacola's location has caused great turmoil, with many buildings destroyed by wars and by numerous major hurricanes. The location, south of the original British colonies, and on the dividing line between French Louisiana and Spanishmarker Floridamarker along the Perdido River, has caused the possession of the city to change multiple times. Pensacola has been under the possession of the Spanishmarker, Frenchmarker, Britishmarker, United Statesmarker and Confederate States, and has remained a part of the United Statesmarker since the end of the American Civil War.Along with wars, numerous hurricanes have been a massive factor in Pensacola history, destroying houses and leaving many people homeless.



Early exploration of Pensacola Bay (called Polonza or Ochuse) spanned decades, with Ponce de León (1513), Pánfilo de Narváez (1528), and Hernando de Soto plus others charting the area.

Due to prior exploration, the first settlement of Pensacola was large, with over 1,400 people on 11 ships from Vera Cruzmarker, Mexicomarker landing on August 15, 1559, led by Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano.However, weeks later on September 19, 1559, the colony was decimated by a hurricane which killed hundreds, sank five ships, grounded a caravel, and ruined supplies. The 1,000 survivors decided to relocate and resupply the settlement but, due to famine and attacks, the effort was abandoned in 1561. About 240 people sailed to Santa Elena (today's Parris Island, South Carolinamarker), but another storm hit there, so they sailed to Cubamarker and scattered. The remaining 50 at Pensacola were taken back to Mexico, and the Viceroy's advisers concluded that northwest Florida was too dangerous to settle, a belief that endured for 135 years.

Pensacola was permanently reestablished by the Spanish in 1696 on the mainland, near Fort Barrancasmarker (see map), It was occupied by the French in 1719, but another major hurricane devastated the settlement in 1722, causing the French to evacuate, and the Spanish returned.

The Spanish built three presidios in Pensacola:
  • Presidio Santa Maria de Galve (1698-1719): the presidio included fort San Carlos de Austria (east of present Fort Barrancasmarker) and a village with church;
  • Presidio Isla de Santa Rosa (1722-1752): this next presidio was on Santa Rosa Islandmarker near the site of present Fort Pickensmarker, but hurricanes battered the island in 1741 and 1752, and the presidio was closed and moved to the mainland;
  • Presidio San Miguel de Panzacola (1754-1763): the final presidio was about five miles east of the first presidio, over in the present-day historic district of downtown Pensacola, named from "Panzacola" (of Spain).


At the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, Pensacola became the capital of the 14th British colony, West Florida. The British went back to the mainland area of fort San Carlos de Barrancasmarker, building the Royal Navy Redoubt. After Spain joined the American Revolution late in 1779, the Spanish captured East Florida and West Florida in the 1781 Battle of Pensacola, retaining it from (1781-1819). In the Transcontinental Treaty (Adams-Onis) of 1819, Spain renounced its claims to West Florida and ceded East Florida to the U.S. (US$5 million). In 1821, with Andrew Jackson as provisional governor, Pensacola became part of the United Statesmarker.

St. Michael's Cemetery was established in the 18th Century at a location which at the time was on the distant eastern outskirts of the city. Initially owned by the Church of St. Michael, it is now owned and managed by St. Michael's Cemetery Foundation of Pensacola, Inc. Preliminary studies indicate that there are over 3200 marked burials as well as a large number unmarked.

Geography

Topography

Pensacola is located at .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 102.7 km² (39.7 sq mi). 22.7 square miles (58.8 km²) of it is land and 17.0 square miles (43.9 km²) of it (42.77%) is water.

Climate

The climate of Pensacola issubtropical, with mild winters and hot, humid summers. Summer temperatures are characterized by highs in the low 90s and lows in the mid 70s. The average high in July is 91 °F (32.8 °C), with 59 days per year reaching at least 90 °F (32.2 °C). The average low in July is 75 °F (23.9 °C). Evening thunderstorms are common during the summer months. Temperatures above 100 °F (37.7 °C) are rare, and last occurred on June 23, 2009, when the all time record high for June of 102 °F (38.8 °C) occurred. The hottest temperature ever recorded in the city was 106 °F (41.1 °C) on July 14, 1980.

Average highs in January are 61 °F (16.1 °C) and average lows are 43 °F (6.1 °C). There are, on average, fifteen nights per year of below freezing temperatures. Temperatures below 20 °F are rare, and last occurred in January 2003, when a low of 18 °F (-7.7 °C) was seen. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the city was 5 °F (-15 °C) on January 21, 1985.Snow is rare in Pensacola, but does occasionally fall. The most recent frozen precipitation occurred on December 25 and December 26, 2004, when the city received ice pellets.

The city receives 64.28 inches (1633 mm) of precipitation per year, with a rainy season in the summer. The rainiest month is July, with 8.02 inches (204 mm), while 3.89 inches (99 mm) falls in April, the driest month.

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F   80   82   86   96   98 102 106 104   98   92   86   81
Norm High °F 61.2 64.4 70.2 76.2 83.4 89.0 90.7 90.1 87.0 79.3 70.3 63.4
Norm Low °F 42.7 45.4 51.7 57.6 65.8 72.1 74.5 74.2 70.4 59.6 51.1 44.7
Rec Low °F    5   15   22   33   48   56   61   60   43   32   25   11
Rainfall

(inches/mm)
5.3 /

135
4.7

119
6.4

163
3.9

99
4.4

112
6.4

163
8.0

203
6.9

175
5.8

147
4.1

104
4.5

114
4.0

102
Source: USTravelWeather.com [16412]


Hurricanes

Flooding in Downtown Pensacola from Hurricane Katrina
Pensacola's location on the Florida Panhandle makes it vulnerable to hurricanes. Significant hurricanes which have made landfall at or near Pensacola include Eloise , Frederic , Juan , Erin (1995), Opal (1995), Georges (1998), Ivan (2004), and Dennis (2005).

Pensacola and several surrounding areas were devastated by Hurricane Ivan. Pensacola found itself on the eastern side of the eyewall, which sent a large storm surge into Escambia Bay that eventually destroyed most of the I-10 Escambia Bay Bridge.The storm heavily damaged the bridge. It knocked 58 spans off the eastbound and westbound bridges and misaligned another 66 spans, causing the bridge to close to traffic in both directions. Over six billion dollars in damage occurred in the metro area and more than 10,000 homes were destroyed, with another 27,000 heavily damaged. NASAmarker created a comparison image to illustrate the massive damage. Hurricane Ivan drove up the cost of housing in the area, leading to a severe shortage of affordable housing.In July 2005, Hurricane Dennis made landfall just east of the city, sparing it the blow it had received from Ivan the year before. However, hurricane- and near-hurricane-force winds were recorded in downtown, causing moderate damage.

Although Pensacola only received a glancing blow from 2005's devastating Hurricane Katrina, light to moderate damage was reported in the area. There was significant damage to Pensacola air conditioning condenser units, but minimal structural damage. Katrina also undermined a large percentage of Pensacola's tourist base from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Transportation

Pensacola is served by Interstate 10 and the Interstate 110 spur connecting I-10 with downtown Pensacola. Major air traffic in the Pensacola and greater northwest Florida area is handled by Pensacola Regional Airportmarker. Airlines currently serving Pensacola Regional Airport are Air Tran Airways, American Eagle Airlines, Continental Express, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlink (soon to be folded into Delta) and US Airways Express. Greyhound bus service is also available. However, Amtrak suspended service to Pensacola (and the rest of the Gulf Coast) because of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. As of October 2008, it is still unknown whether Amtrak service will be restored.

The local bus service is the Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT). In December 2007, ECAT announced that it would cut many of its routes, citing poor rider frequency. However in January 2008, ECAT announced that it would expand service to neighboring Gulf Breeze and change existing routes to more convenient locations.

Cityscape

Neighborhoods

The city of Pensacola is composed of several neighborhoods, each of a different age and character:
A generalized map of neighborhoods within the city limits of Pensacola.
  • 1. Downtown Pensacola: The historic core of the city. Historic preservation efforts have centered around Palafox Street, downtown's main retail and entertainment corridor. Many of Pensacola's major attractions are here, including Plaza Ferdinand VIImarker, the Pensacola Civic Centermarker and Seville Quarter, as well as much of the city's government and professional office space.
  • 2. Brownsville: A working-class neighborhood composed of most of the streets with single-letter names from "E" Street west. It is perhaps most famous as the center of the Brownsville Revival of the 1990s. This neighborhood extends west into unincorporated Escambia County.
  • 3. College Park: Consists mainly of middle class homes built in the 1970s. Major landmarks include Pensacola Junior College, Sacred Heart Hospital and Washington High School. Larger subdivisions include Springdale and Broadview Farms.
  • 4. Cordova Park: Upper middle class housing built from the 1950s to the 1980s. Some of its wealthier residents live along Bayou Texar. Subdivisions include Cordova Park proper, Birnam Woods and Inverness. Cordova Mallmarker is the commercial center of this neighborhood and the remainder of northeast Pensacola.
  • 5. East Brent: Lies east of the unincorporated community of Brentmarker. The area west of Interstate 110 is largely industrial. Major residential subdivisions on the east side of the neighborhood include Highland Terrace and Woodland Heights. Includes Pensacola Christian College immediately adjacent to I-110, and Pensacola Christian Academy along Highway 29.
  • 6. East Hill: A middle to upper class neighborhood known mostly for its 1920s-era bungalows and mansions. Housing stock extends into the post-World War II period. Like Cordova Park, the most expensive homes are found along the bayou. Major landmarks include Bayview Park and Old Sacred Heart Hospitalmarker.
  • 7. East Pensacola Heights: Consists mostly of 1930s-era bungalows with a cluster of apartment complexes and towers along the Scenic Highway bayfront. This neighborhood is known for its eclectic, bohemian atmosphere. Its commercial center stretches along Cervantes Street and includes the locally famous Jerry's Drive-In.
  • 8. Gull Point: Developed mostly in the 1980s and predominantly upper-middle class residential. Major subdivisions include Baywoods, Bohemia, Ironwood and La Belle Terre/La Mirage.
  • 9. North Hill: Pensacola's first suburb, dating to the post-Civil War period, it is home to the North Hill Preservation Districtmarker and has been the focus of a tremendous revitalization effort. The majority of the homes in the neighborhood are large Victorians. Belmont-Devilliers, the historically black commercial district, is located in this area, as well as Pensacola High Schoolmarker, the oldest high school in the city.
  • 10. Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport
  • 11. Sanders Beach/Tanyard: A working class neighborhood consisting of most of the streets with single-letter names south of Garden Street. Barrancas Avenue cuts diagonally through this neighborhood and connects Pensacola to Warringtonmarker via the Bayou Chico bridge. The area west of Pace Boulevard is mostly industrial, and the east side of the neighborhood consists mainly of 1930s-era bungalows.
  • 12. Scenic Heights: A middle class neighborhood developed between the late 1950s and the late 1970s. It is vastly residential and includes the subdivisions of Scenic Heights proper, Belvedere Park, Eastgate, Hidden Oaks and Tierra Verde.
  • 13. Seville Square: The oldest part of modern Pensacola. Consisting of homes, churches and commercial buildings dating to the 18th Century, this is the most consistently historic neighborhood in the city. Historic Pensacola Villagemarker, Seville Square Park, Old Christ Churchmarker and the New Urbanist development of Aragon Court are located in this neighborhood.
  • 14. South Ferry Pass: Lies to the south of the unincorporated community of Ferry Passmarker. Predominantly residential, it includes the subdivisions of Camelot, Dunmire Woods and Eau Claire Estates, all developed in 1960s and 1970s. The small portion of the city limits that stretches north of Interstate 10 is located in this neighborhood.
  • 15. Summit Park: Consists of the middle class subdivision of Summit Park proper as well as the adjacent upper middle class Gaberonne/Lavallet addition. Developed mostly in the 1960s, it also includes clusters of multi-family and high-density single-family residential development along Summit Boulevard and Spanish Trail.
  • 16. Long Hollow: A working class neighborhood surrounding the Interstate 110 corridor. The Crystal Ice Company Buildingmarker is a feature of this neighborhood.
  • 17. Innerarity Point/Perdido Key: Located to the west of downtown Pensacola, Perdido Key is a largely undeveloped barrier island. Beautiful beaches and numerous accommodations, Perdido Key is a magnet for tourists. The name means "Lost Key" when translated from Spanish. Perdido Key is considered a cash cow for Escambia County. Millions of dollars in taxes are generated through tourism and the county does minimal upkeep on the area. Innerarity Point is more a bedroom community that is separated from Perdido Key by the "Theo Baars" Bridge. Innerarity Point is the home of Big Lagoon State Park, a beautiful Florida State Park that features nature walks, boat landings, camping and much more.


Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 56,255 people, 24,524 households, and 14,665 families residing in the city, and 402,000 people in the Pensacola MSA. The population density was 2,478.7 people per square mile (956.8/km²). There were 26,995 housing units at an average density of 1,189.4/sq mi (459.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city is 64.91% White, 30.58% African American, 1.77% Asian, 0.52% Native American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. 2.07% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 24,524 households out of which 24.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.7% were married couples living together, 16.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.92.

In addition to the Christian majority, Pensacola is home to a small but significant Jewish community, whose roots stretch back to the mid to late 1800s. The first Florida chapter of B'nai Brith was founded downtown in 1874, as well as the first temple, Beth-El, in 1876. Paula Ackerman, the first woman who performed rabbinical functions in the United Statesmarker, was a Pensacola native and led services at Beth-El. Apart from the Reform Beth-El, Pensacola is also served by the Conservative B'nai Israel Synagogue.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,779, and the median income for a family was $42,868. Males had a median income of $32,258 versus $23,582 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,438. About 12.7% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.2% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.

The population of Pensacola belies its standing within the state and the region. A longtime opposition to annexation in the areas surrounding the city has held its 2000 Census population figure at 56,255. However, the 2000 Census population of Pensacola Urbanized Area was 321,875, the eighth largest in the state.

Law and government

Council Members
District Council Member
1 P.C. Wu
2 Sam Hall
3 Maren DeWeese
4 Larry B. Johnson
5 John Jerralds
6 Jewel Canada-Wynn
7 Ronald Townsend
8 (at large) Diane Mack
9 (at large) Megan B. Pratt
The City of Pensacola is governed by an elected City Council with nine seats, two of which are considered "at large." The other seven are elected from single member districts. The city government also has an elected mayor; Michael C. Wiggins has held that office since 2008.

Politics

Like other parts of the South, Pensacola was solidly Democratic for more than a century after the Civil War. Until the 1970s, most local elections were determined by the Democratic primary. However, from the 1960s onward, the staunchly conservative military and Bible Belt city became increasingly Republican. However, Democrats continued to win most elections at the state and local level well into the 1990s, though most of them were very conservative even by Southern Democratic standards.

This changed in 1994, when Republican attorney Joe Scarborough defeated Vinnie Whibbs, the son of popular former Democratic mayor Vince Whibbs, in a landslide to represent , which is based in Pensacola. Republicans also swept all of the area's seats in the state legislature. Since then, Republicans have dominated every level of government, although municipal elections are officially nonpartisan. In August 2005, registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats for the first time in the area's history. As of August 2005, in Escambia County, 44% of the residents are registered Republicans compared to 39.91% of the population having registered as Democrats with another 13.21% having no party affiliation.

In the 2004 presidential election, 65% of Escambia County residents voted for George W. Bush over John Kerry. The Pensacola area has not supported a Democrat for President since John Kennedy in 1960. In 1968, Pensacola and the rest of North Florida supported American Independent Party candidate George Wallace.

Chuck Baldwin, the 2008 presidential nominee of the Constitution Party, is the pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola.

Regional representatives

Pensacola is currently represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Jeff Miller (R) and in the U.S. Senate by Bill Nelson (D) and George LeMieux (R), in the state senate by Don Gaetz (R) and Durell Peaden (R), and in the state house by Clay Ford (R), Dave Murzin (R), and Greg Evers (R).

As of January 2007, Pensacola, and the rest of the State of Florida, are served by Charlie Crist (R) as governor, who replaced term-limited Governor Jeb Bush (R).

Sister cities

According to Sister City International, Pensacola has the following sister cities:

City, schools, libraries and hospitals

Public primary and secondary education schools in Pensacola are administered by the Escambia County School District. The current superintendent of schools for Escambia County is Malcolm Thomas. The University of West Floridamarker, which resides north of the city, is the primary tertiary school in the area. UWF also has the largest library in the region, the John C. Pace Library.

Universities and colleges



High schools in the City of Pensacola



Libraries

The West Florida Regional Library is a system of libraries with five locations throughout the Pensacola area. They offer fiction and non-fiction books, magazines, books on cassette or CD, DVD and VHS films and music. Each library offers public access computers, children's materials, and a variety of reading materials.

Genealogy and local history resources are available at the Main Branch downtown. Library staff and various volunteers from the West Florida Genealogy Society are available to help start the research process. The Friends of the Library hold periodic book sales where donated and discarded items are sold to the public. Donations of books or audio-video items in good condition are welcome at the main library.

Hospitals



Culture

Festivals and Holidays

Major holidays in Pensacola include Memorial Day (Memorial Day Weekend), Mardi Gras, and the Fiesta of Five Flags. Celebrations of note in Pensacola are the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, the Seafood Festival, Crawfish Festival, Gay Pride(LGBT), (Memorial Day Weekend), The King Mackerel and Cobia Tournament, Florida Springfest (although canceled in 2006 through 2008), Gracefest (a Christian music festival), Lobsterfest, University of West Florida Festival on the Green, The Diesel Dee Diesel Dyow Attempts, the Bushwhacker Festival and the Bill Fishing Tournament. Independence Day and Blue Angel Weekend also attract many locals and tourists at nearby Pensacola Beach.

Historic Seville Square and its adjacent parks, Fountain Park and Bartram Park, are the sites of most of Pensacola's festivals. In the summer on Thursdays and on the Thursday in the beginning of the Christmas season, the Pensacola Heritage Foundation presents local bands in its famous gazebo for free and very popular concerts. In December the Pensacola Christmas Market is a popular event in Seville Square as is the Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival and Seafood Festival are in the fall and the Cajun Crawfish Festival in in the spring. Festivals in Seville Square is a successful tradition begun by local preservationists in the early 1960s led by Mary Turner Rule Reed and the Pensacola Heritage Foundation who started the movement to save and restore this square and Pensacola's old settlement around it.

City Media

The largest daily newspaper in the area is the Pensacola News Journalmarker. Pensacola is also home to WEAR-TVmarker, the ABC affiliate for Pensacola, Fort Walton Beachmarker, and Mobile, Alabamamarker, and WSREmarker-TV, the local PBS member station, which is operated by Pensacola Junior College. Other television stations in the market include WALA-TVmarker the Fox affiliate, and, WKRGmarker the CBS affiliate, also WPMImarker, the NBC affiliate, which all are located in Mobile. Cable service in the city is provided by Cox Communications. Pensacola Magazine, the city's monthly glossy magazine, and Northwest Florida's Business Climate, the only business magazine devoted to the region, are published locally.

Sports Teams

Pensacola is home to several professional minor league teams. Baseball: the Pensacola Pelicans of the American Association (of Independent Baseball); Football: the Gulf Coast Riptide of the Women's Football Alliance (WFA), who earned 8 consecutive Division Championships when they were the Pensacola Power of the National Women's Football Association (NWFA), Hockey: the Pensacola Ice Flyers of the Southern Professional Hockey League. Also, Roy Jones, Jr., named "Fighter of the Decade" for the 1990s by the Boxing Writers Association of America and a former pound for pound champion, resides in and trains out of Pensacola. Other sports team include the semi-pro football team the Pensacola Lightning of the NAFL (ranked fourth in the nation out of 147 teams in 2007)

Sports Celebrities

The Pensacola metro-area is home to numerous sports heroes: Emmitt Smith (NFL), Jerry Pate (PGA), Buck Showalter (MLB), Don Sutton (MLB), Derrick Brooks (NFL), Roy Jones, Jr. (Boxing), Michelle Snow (WNBA), Fred Robbins (NFL), Jay Bell (MLB), Josh Sitton (NFL), Reggie Evans (NBA), Vince Phillips (Boxing), Lawrence Tynes (NFL), Scooter Tucker (MLB), Marcus Richardson (CFL), Travis Fryman (MLB), Ron Stallworth (NFL), Lakeisha Johnson (WFA), Mardye McDole (NFL), Boo Weekley (PGA), Justin Gatlin (Olympics), Jason McKie (NFL), Preston Hanna (MLB), Tom Sewell (NBA), Phil Hiatt (MLB), Jim Rivera (MLB), Smoke Gainer (Boxing), Horace Jones (NFL), Clifford Lett (NBA), Glen Metropolit (NHL), Cortland Finnegan (NFL), Darby Hart (Fitness), Omar Stoutmire (NFL), Talmadge Nunnari (MLB), Reggie Slack (CFL), Billy Lothridge (NFL), Beth Barr (Olympics), Reggie Johnson (NFL), Joe Durant (PGA), Nick Green (MLB), Joel Anthony (NBA)

Music Scene and Sub-culture

Pensacola's music scene is considered very active. Perhaps most consistently, however, the city has been home to a small, but fairly active Punk, Folk and Indie scene with bands such as This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, The Gills, Sky Tells All, Never Too Soon among others. Country/Folk singer and host of the BBC documentary Searching for the Wrong Eyed-Jesus Jim White was raised in Pensacola before moving to Georgiamarker after Hurricane Ivan. There is also a moderately sized gothic and Industrial scene in the greater Pensacola Area with events such as Freaky Fridaze held monthly at Bedlam, a popular nightclub in the downtown area. There has also been a recent growth in the hardcore metal scene in Pensacola, and shows of this genre are often held at the local American Legion post and the now-closed Red Door Venue, a Christian-based show space.

Popular Venues include Sluggo's, the End of the Line Cafe, the Handlebar, the Gutter Lounge, and the Vault; which has hosted shows by MC Chris and The Horror Pops. Because Pensacola is part of the greater Northwest Florida region, many people from Pensacola frequently attend shows and events in nearby Fort Walton Beachmarker and Mobile, Alabamamarker. Despite the large size of the Pensacola Metropolitan area, the music scene is fairly close knit, with many acts invariably influencing one another.

Aficionados of classical and jazz music also are active in Pensacola. Both Pensacola Junior College and the University of West Floridamarker host a wide variety of concerts at various times of the year, headlining famous musicians as well as local bands and music professors. The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, directed and conducted by Peter Rubardt, hosts a brilliant season of concerts each year at Pensacola's newly renovated Saenger Theatre. The very active Jazz Society of Pensacola sponsors the popular Pensacola JazzFest each spring downtown in Pensacola's Seville Square. Hundreds of people turn out to enjoy energizing jazz and big band musicians from all over the country perform. In years past, Pensacola was also the home for SpringFest and GraceFest, both mega-music street festivals in downtown Pensacola. The National Museum of Naval Aviationmarker also hosts a yearly series of Big Band concerts, featuring bands such as the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Internet sensation Mark Gormley is from Pensacola, as is film composer and musician Nick Monteleone, both of whom were born in Pensacola.

Arts and Theatre

Pensacola has an active art scene thanks to the University of West Floridamarker and the folk music subculture of the area. A recent revival in Dada and surrealism has also surfaced in the area and art shows have become more and more frequent. Events are planned by the Arts Council of Northwest Florida, including Gallery Night; a monthly event in which downtown businesses host artwork from featured area artists.

There are a number of different performance venues in the Pensacola Area, including the Pensacola Civic Center, often used for big ticket events, and the Saenger Theater, used for performances and mid level events. Other theatres used for live performances, plays and musicals include the Pensacola Little Theatre, Pensacola Junior College, University of West Florida, Loblolly Theatre and the Imogene Theatre in nearby Milton, FL.

Pensacola Christian College hosts its Fine Arts Series each year, attracting prominent artists that include the late Jerome Hines of the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Atlantic Brass Quintet, Christopher Parkening, the Vienna Boys' Choir and the Gregg Smith Singers. Other performances include operas, Shakespearean plays, and Gilbert and Sullivan musicals.

See also



References

  1. Pensacola, Florida (FL) Detailed Profile - relocation, real estate, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, news, sex offenders
  2. Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007. United States Census Bureau.
  3. http://www.andersonairllc.com
  4. http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=Amtrak/am2Station/Station_Page&code=PNS
  5. Greyhound.com : Locations : Pensacola, Florida
  6. http://www.pensacolasymphony.com link title/
  7. http://www.jazzpensacola.com/


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