Feeling festive in Pensacola 


Emma Tracy, Staff Writer

With Thanksgiving over and calendars turned to December, holiday events in Pensacola are taking off to get the community in the spirit. The season goes quick, so here is a quick list of some of the biggest local holiday celebrations over the next few weeks!

Santacon Pub Crawl, Dec. 4

Starting off strong this weekend is one of Pensacola’s most anticipated celebrations of the year: Santacon. 

Hosted by O’Riley’s Irish Pub, the annual pub crawl collects toys and donations for local organizations and charities. Last year, the event raised $5,200 and 248 toys for Toys for Tots, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The event is 21+ and Santa attire is mandatory. Gather a group of friends, find your best St. Nick suits and see what the crowd is about this Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

There is a $15 participation fee plus a donation for Shriners International or an unwrapped gift for Toys for Tots is appreciated. The fee and donation will secure you a T-shirt (while supplies last), a 22oz stein for drink specials and a raffle ticket to enter for your chance to win one of the great prizes at the end of the night. 

Tickets can be purchased here.

Deck the Halls: A Holiday Lunch Event, Dec. 4, 11, and 18

For those who prefer a more intimate and relaxed experience, Jackson’s Steakhouse has brought back the Christmas Carolers Lunch. On Dec. 4, 11 and 18, the Pensacola Opera will be spending lunch at Jackson’s, performing classic Christmas carols to diners.

Each Saturday will offer two seatings for this event,  one at 10:30 a.m. and the other at 1 p.m. In addition to their full lunch menu, Chef Miller will have a special feature presentation. 

Please note seating will be limited. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 850-469-9898 or visiting www.jacksonsrestaurant.com.

Pensacola Beach Lighted Boat Parade, Dec. 4

There will be plenty of celebrations across the bridge, starting off with the Lighted Boat Parade on Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The boats will set sail from the Sabine Marina in Little Sabine Bay, going around the Santa Rosa Sound/Boardwalk area before circling back to show off the festive boats. 

The parade will be visible for spectators located at Little Sabine, the boardwalk or any other businesses along the route. Immediately following the parade will be an impressive firework display at around 8 p.m. 

Boats of all sizes, shapes and colors are invited to enter the parade and compete in the boat decorating contest.

Surfing Santa Beach Parade, Dec. 5

Looking for another excuse to wear your best Santa suit? Pensacola Beach will be hosting the Surfing Santa Parade on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. 

Thousands of people gather each year to enjoy the different depictions of Santa Claus, with the big man himself closing out the parade. 

Starting from Avenida 10 on Pensacola Beach, the parade will make its way down Via De Luna toward Casino Beach and end at the Gulfside Pavilion. Kids will be able to meet and greet with Santa until 3 p.m.

Holiday Arts & Crafts Show at The Center, Dec. 11

Whether you need to finish up some gift shopping, or are in the mood to browse local crafts and creations, the Holiday Arts & Crafts Show will have what you’re looking for. 

A Holiday Arts & Crafts show will take place in the Gulf Breeze Community Center on Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Arts and Crafts will be available for purchase from local artists and crafters. 

Local artists can apply online at gulfbreezearts.com. 

Choral Society of Pensacola Holiday Sing-Along, Dec. 12

If you still haven’t gotten your fix of Christmas music, the Rex Theatre is where you’ll want to be for the Choral Society of Pensacola Holiday Sing-Along on Dec. 12 at 5 p.m. 

Generation Church will host the family-friendly celebration with a big-screen for holiday sing-along music, special performances, festive treats and selfies with Santa. The Women’s Ensemble, directed by Isabelle Peterson, will lead the music. 

Admission is free, but nonperishable food items for Manna Pantries are appreciated and encouraged. 

The Nutcracker by Ballet Pensacola, Dec. 17-19

Following classic tradition, The Saenger Theatre will have four performances of the timeless classic, “The Nutcracker.”

Whether it’s a yearly tradition, or you’re planning to take your family for the first time, the ballerinas of Pensacola will not disappoint in the festive celebration of the holidays and the world of dance. 

Showings will be on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m., Dec. 18 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday Dec. 19 at 1:30 p.m.