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As a card-carrying hipster of the most Pensacola variety, I love spring. Bike rides, picnics, sundresses, bike rides to parks where you have a picnic while wearing a sundress. It’s like the whole world has a Walden filter on it and I’m the United Colors of Benetton model at the center of this grainy yet colorful world. That’s ironic narcissism, obviously. But seriously, my hair color looks incredible in natural light, and there are literally hundreds of similarly amazing reasons to start spending the majority of your time outdoors and in Downtown Pensacola.
First and foremost, April is the month that really starts ushering in the festivals. On April 4 and 5 the University of West Florida welcomes the community to its campus for Festival on the Green, a varied exhibition of arts and crafts, music, campus life, children’s activities and my personal favorite, a canine exhibition where you can pet a ton of dogs. All this and much more will be on display throughout UWF. It’s the perfect opportunity to check in on my alma mater since so much has changed in the five-ish years since I graduated.
The 31st annual Pensacola Jazz Fest will take over Seville Square on April 5 and 6, and once again April’s Gallery Night will fall on the first Friday of the month to coordinate with this growing festival. Look out for jazz ensembles on Friday night, then spend Saturday and Sunday camped in the Square for even more varieties of America’s unique music style. You can take breaks between sets to check out arts and crafts, food and kids’ activities.
Also this month we’re touching base with the area’s outdoor markets. What kind of hipster would I be if I didn’t eat local kale from the farmers market at every meal? Not a very good one! The Palafox Market has been going strong and now others are popping up around Downtown. Whether it’s fresh groceries from regional farmers and artisans or something created by the personal touch of a Pensacola-based artist, local markets are the hot spot to pick up the goods.
And with the spring weather beckoning, you won’t want to go back indoors to enjoy the spoils. That’s when you cobble together a kale sandwich and join me on this bike picnic.
Questions? Comments? Story ideas? Please email Emily Lullo at Emily@ballingerpublishing.com.