Piece by Julie Toler.
When you picture Pensacola, Florida, you usually picture white sand beaches along the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But, beyond the beach, Pensacola has a vibrant cultural community dedicated to sharing their love of art. Home to its own theatre, symphony, ballet, museum and opera, the city has a year-round affinity for cultural events. Pensacola has everything you need for an artsy vacation.
From this community’s love of art, the Fu Fu Festival was born. What is Fu Fu Festival? It’s a 12-day celebration created to highlight the rich cultural community with special events and cutting-edge artistic experiences taking place throughout Pensacola. Basically, the Foo Foo Festival is a love letter to the community of Pensacola and its visitors. It’s a way for this city to share its passion for art. The Foo Foo Festival highlights how Pensacola gives back to the beauty around them and celebrates the artistic and cultural endeavors that bring joy to so many.
This year Fu Fu Festival is held on November 3rd-14m While the weather in Pensacola is less than perfect. Beautiful beach days turn into cool nights that allow the festival’s outdoor events to be fully enjoyed. All different types of art and music abound in this beach town during the two-week celebration. From quaint bed and breakfasts, luxury beach rentals, family-friendly hotels and condos, you have many options to choose from for your stay. Just a short drive or quick flight from Atlanta makes Pensacola easily accessible and ideal for a weekend getaway or mid-week stay.
Fu Fu celebrates and showcases all forms of art and music. It also includes some long-standing cultural traditions such as the Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival. The Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival is one of the nation’s premier juried art festivals and is celebrating its 50th year.m This year is the anniversary. Celebrating more than fifty years of bringing the arts to the community, the Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival is a 100% volunteer organization and this year is the recipient of the Foo Foo Festival grant for the first time. For fifty years a group of Pensacola residents have coordinated, cultivated and hosted this arts festival. “One hundred percent it’s a labor of love,” Kathy Dunagan, 50 of the Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival.m The chair of the celebration committee told Atlanta Magazine.
Dunagan, a longtime committee member, said the volunteer group is not made up of artists, but Pensacola residents who want to share their love of art and sense of community. “We love it. We think of it as a celebration. Our goal every year is to make the best festival possible.” This year they celebrate 50 yearsm Anniversary Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival will host a free outdoor concert featuring renowned, Grammy Award-winning banjo player Bela Fleck, produced with grant-aided funds from the Pensacola Foo Foo Festival.
Foo Foo Festival includes Stamped LGBTQIA+ Festival, Pensacola’s LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, November 10-13. Stampede celebrates its 10th anniversary this yearm anniversary, and will have some very exciting guests honoring Stampede and the impact of the LQBTQIA+ community in Pensacola. Sid Williams-Heath, Executive Director of Pensacola Little Theater and Vice President of the Stamped LGBTQIA+ Film Festival is proud of the matching art Stamped features with the Fu Fu Festival. He describes Fu Fu as having something for every type of art lover, “Whatever your taste in art, it’s just art everywhere.”
The Foo Foo Festival is about presenting new and exciting works of art to the community. This year Pensacola Little Theater’s contribution is Foo Foo Unexpected: An immersive affairIt’s an enveloping retelling Romeo and Juliet Held on 28 Octoberm Until November 9m. I like it a lot don’t sleep anymore In New York, participants will be fully immersed in the world Romeo and Juliet As they walk through the Capulet and Montague houses for a modern interpretation of the classic Shakespeare story. Shakespeare lovers and non-lovers alike will find this unique piece of experiential theater riveting and memorable.
Pensacola is blessed with natural beauty and beaches, truly making it The Way to the Beach™. But its greatest gift is the community of people who are warm and welcoming and want to share their love of art. The Foo Foo Festival is Pensacola’s way to celebrate and welcome friends from around the country. The beauty of Phu Phu is that you can enjoy the beautiful beaches, art and culture as Williams-Heath says, “You don’t have to choose, you can enjoy it all if you visit this sweet spot.”