Downtown Crowd

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Emily Editor Pic 4-13

Can you feel that, you guys? Love is in the air! Ew, no, I’m not talking about the prepackaged, cardboard chocolate, stuffed-gorilla-holding-a-heart-type love. I’m not talking about the oh-so-romantic Valentine’s date you’ve been meaning to start planning. I’m talking about all the love Downtown Pensacola has been getting.

Social media seems to be teeming with well-clicked blog posts and articles about our secret gem and my inbox is seeing more and more press releases about accolades from travel magazines and tourism organizations and…I’m not really sure where else—I only skim them. After all, I’ve known what these emails are telling me all along: Downtown Pensacola is amazing!

There’s been such a burst of activity and it seems that growth spurt will continue on as various projects are completed and planned ones begin. The REX Theatre renovations, the new YMCA, the ferry system and the high hopes for the ECUA property all loom in our future, whether near or far off on the horizon. But remember when the Maritime Park and the baseball team seemed like distant fantasies? Or when the Ever’man expansion seemed like it would never be complete?

Those future visions are realities now, and the momentum surrounding the area is incredible. In this issue we’ve featured some of the new additions that are pushing that momentum forward as well as some mainstays that have been a bedrock in Pensacola all along.

Speaking of momentum, Pensacon is hitting us again this month with another super-powered, action-packed and celebrity loaded edition of Pensacola’s own comic convention. Find out what the sequel to this epic pop culture powerhouse will bring on page 13.

We’ve also got an artist profile on Michael Boles, a Pensacola sculptor and educator who’s been active in our art scene for 35 years. Read about his work and life living Downtown on page 10, then check out his exhibit starting Feb. 20 at the Pensacola Museum of Art.

If the love in the air you’re feeling is more of a mid-February date night, go ahead. There’s only like a million options Downtown to suit any couple’s style and taste (some ideas on page 8). As for me, like Carrie Bradshaw and New York City, Downtown Pensacola shall be my valentine—every day of the year! Does this reference date me? I don’t care! Culturally relevant dramedies will come and go, but for me Downtown will always be the home where my heart is.

Questions? Comments? Story ideas? Please email Emily Echevarria at

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