Pensacola Magazine


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Another year has come and gone and it seems like just yesterday I was writing my December 2013 editorial. As this year comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on my successes and my shortcomings and thinking about how I will try to be better in 2015. I’ve decided to keep it simple—rather than making a bunch of specific promises that I won’t be able to keep in the long run, my goals for 2015 are simply to do better. I know what’s good for me and what isn’t. So, it’s all about choices and I hope in 2015 we can all make healthier choices. Here’s to that! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves—before the New Year comes Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanza or just a great time to gather with family and friends. However you celebrate the season, I hope it’s warm and full of love and focused more on people than presents.

My family and I really enjoy all of the Pensacola holiday traditions, especially Winterfest. If you haven’t experienced the fun-filled trolley rides and performance tours, make sure to add it to your to-do list this year. You won’t regret it. Even the most cynical Scrooge in your family will be swept up in the wonder and delight of the season. And be sure to head down to Palafox Street for Pensacola’s annual New Year’s celebration, The Pelican Drop. Where else can you ring in the New Year as a giant metal bird descends upon thousands of revelers? With early activities for families and later activities for grown-ups, it’s sure to be a great time for everyone. Read about both events on pages 8 and 10.

Another December tradition here at Pensacola Magazine is our interview with Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward. It’s been an interesting year for Mayor Hayward—one full of challenges and triumphs. We hope you enjoy the interview and Mayor Hayward’s reflections on his first term in office and his goals for his second.

This issue also holds profiles on the winners of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropy awards, some fun holiday DIY décor tips, and so much more. I hope you enjoy this issue and that you have a very happy holiday and a fantastic and healthy New Year.

Questions? Comments? Story Ideas? Please email Kelly Oden at

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