Tag Archive | "events"

‘I ain’t afriad of no ghost.’ Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum offer haunted tours

By Morganne Lennig

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum at the Naval Air Station is once again putting on a haunted lighthouse tour. The Pensacola Lighthouse Association and the U.S. Coast Guard hold the tour every year October.

A wide-eyed girl stared up at one of the most haunted lighthouses in the country.

“Wait, I think there’s still a man up there,” said Julia Creel, 6. “This year I’m scared. Last year I wasn’t.”

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum at the Naval Air Station is once again putting on a haunted lighthouse tour. The Pensacola Lighthouse Association and the U.S. Coast Guard hold the tour every year October.

The two organizations spilt the admission funds evenly. Half of the revenue goes towards the mission of keeping the property maintained and the lighthouse lit. The other half goes towards the Coast Guard relief fund.

Jason Balbuena is the resident paranormal investigator and tour leader for the Pensacola Lighthouse. Balbuena led the tour dressed as popular horror character Dracula.

“Hey! This is my theme song,” Balbuena said as a children’s mix of the theme song from the 1984 film “Ghostbusters” played over the speakers.

He has been participating in the Haunted Lighthouse exhibit for three years, The tours have been given since 2009.

Jed Daleiden is a 22 year old Coast Guard flight student who volunteered inside the museum, wearing a costume to scare visitors.

“It’s been a lot of fun and it’s great for families,” said Daleiden. “Last Saturday, we had a group of people that were terrified the whole way through and we chased them after they exited the tower all the way to their cars with chainsaws.”

Visitors Donna Clark and her son Eric Ireland, 15, are avid watchers of the Travel Channel’s show “Ghost Hunters.”

“I want to see a ghost, that’s why we’re here tonight,” Eric said.

There are many legends that surround the lighthouse, but the most prominent and featured of the tour is of a woman who died in her nightgown after hemorrhaging to death of childbed fever.

Since then, the Lady in White has been seen floating up and down the stairs of the tower and in every room of the lighthouse while ghosts of young children have been seen playing around the grounds.

After guests make their way through the haunted lighthouse, they are encouraged to climb the 177 cast iron steps of the spiral staircase, to the top of the 171-foot tall lighthouse.

“We do a lot of things like this to raise money for the tower as it is very expensive to restore a 154 year old tower,” said Glen Sefcik, collections manager at the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum. “It’s survived numerous hurricanes and the Civil War. It’s a treasure here in Pensacola.”

There will be one final Haunted Lighthouse tour given on Halloween night at 6 p.m., located at 2081 Radford Blvd. at NAS Pensacola. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children.

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Check out what the tide brought in at the Pensacola Seafood Festival

Pensacola Seafood Festival promises flavors of fun and food.

Pensacola Seafood Festival promises flavors of fun and food.

By Antonio Jones

The tide is coming in and will deliver a feast fit for Poseidon at the Fiesta of Five Flags 36th annual Pensacola Seafood Festival this weekend.

The festival will be Friday, Sept. 27, to Sunday, Sept. 29 at Seville Square in downtown Pensacola. Featured local restaurants include Dharma Blue, Jerry’s Cajun Café, Chet’s Seafood Restaurant and many others.  The Fiesta Seafood Grille that will have local chefs sharing their ways of prepping some cuisine using fresh seafood.

This year’s festival artist will be Pensacola native Carole Holland-Doyle. She will be selling and signing her posters each day.

“This being the 36th annual Seafood Festival, it’s been just a blessing that to put on one of the largest arts and crafts fairs in Northwest Florida,” said Britni Armstrong, office assistant for Florida of Five Flags. “Over 160 craftsmen travel literally from the whole country just to participate in a three-day festival, and that is just giving everybody around the country a little piece of what Pensacola has to offer.”

Wilson encourages students to come check out Gulf to Table, which will once again feature some of the local restaurants serving some of their signature dishes to the guest; as the restaurants in Pensacola have a lot of offer. They will have unique foods that are from parts of the Pensacola areas, and what they have is unique, as each restaurant has their own styles and different taste. She also said to go see the entire artists that come to the festival as it is one of the parts of the festival successful.

Live music will be offered all three days, ranging from country, rock and roll, and the Caribbean. The music stage will be located in Bartram Park, across the street from Seville Square.

Festival goers can enjoy piles of boiled crawfish at the Pensacola Seafood Festival.

Festival goers can enjoy piles of boiled crawfish at the Pensacola Seafood Festival.

The Pensacola Runners Association is sponsoring the Pensacola Seafood Don McCloskey 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 a.m. This year’s course is new, and will start at Seville Quarter, 130 E Government St.

There will also be a children’s area available in Bartram Park on Saturday and Sunday.

Fiesta of Five Flags event coordinator Mallory Wilson said there would be large inflated hamster balls that people can climb into and basically walk on the water.

“The festival will have crowns, wands, sand art and all kinds of arts and crafts for kids to do, like face painting,” Wilson said.

“All of that together I feel it gets stronger every year, and it appeals to all the types of different people,” Armstrong said. All the entertainment, music, seafood, restaurants, vendors, and arts and crafts bring a lot of people together for this big Pensacola event Armstrong said.

For a full event schedule for Pensacola Seafood Festival, go to http://www.fiestaoffiveflags.org/pensacola-seafood-festival.Admission is free.

For more information about the Pensacola Seafood Don McCloskey 5K Run/Walk, visit www.pensacolarunners.com.

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Crowds jam in silence with Headphone Disco

By Morganne Lennig

The crowd at Vinyl Music Hall pulsates and gyrates to the Headphone Disco.

The crowd at Vinyl Music Hall pulsates and gyrates to the Headphone Disco.

A newly installed disco ball helped light up the crowd of pulsating bodies as people gathered at Vinyl Music Hall in downtown Pensacola Saturday night to experience the “surreal spectacle” that is a headphone disco.

Downtown Pensacola is accustomed to music and high energy coming from the corner of Garden and Palafox streets, but Saturday night was a different story. The only thing radiating from Vinyl was silence.

“This is it?” a stumbling man said to the bouncer outside. “Is this where the headphone disco is?” This was a question even I held as I waited for the busy downtown traffic to clear so I could cross the street to the venue.

Unlike most music and dance events, the music at a headphone disco plays through a set of wireless headphones that comes with the ability to switch between two channels that two DJs spun separately on stage.  Channel A pumped the latest hip-hop, rap and electro dance music while channel B mixed alternative tunes with pop throwbacks from the 80s, 90s and today.

“The event has a promising future for tonight,” said disco attendee Derrick James. “It should be a good time.”

A good time is exactly what Connie and Jim Miller were having.

“We come to Vinyl all the time for different types of music,” said Connie Miller. “This is our first time attending the Headphone Disco.”

The pair said they would definitely come again.

DJs David Taylor (left) and Graham Ferguson (right) drop the beats at the Headphone Disco

DJs David Taylor (left) and Graham Ferguson (right) drop the beats at the Headphone Disco.

Saturday was the fourth time that The Silent Party People brought their internationally played headphone disco to Vinyl. The shows have been doing so well that the founder and owner Graham Ferguson flew in to Pensacola and made a guest appearance as a DJ.

UK-based Ferguson is in the US for three months and said he “heard this was really kicking off in Pensacola and wanted to come and see for myself.”

Ferguson said the idea for the headphone disco was “born out of necessity.”

“We were asked to DJ a festival in the UK, and we weren’t allowed to play any amplified music beyond a certain point,” Ferguson said. “We thought about this idea for headphones. We did it, it worked really well and we thought ‘let’s try this in other venues,’ and it just grew legs from there.”

The Silent Party People host headphone discos all around the world with 20,000 pairs of headphones in 9 different global locations.

“Headphone disco is definitely something cool for our college and college aged demographic,” Vinyl Music Hall’s talent buyer and box office manager Chris Wilkes said in an email.

Campus Activities Magazine labeled Headphone Disco as the 2013 Best Novelty Attraction.

Next headphone disco is a Halloween special on Saturday, Oct. 27.

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University students gather to rock out The Red Zone

By Morganne Lenning

“We are excited to be a part of something that will have a positive impact on people’s lives.” – Isidro Yaptinshay, Manager of Lions Ambition

Students, faculty and staff gathered in the Commons Friday night to hang with friends, eat free food, enjoy live music but, most importantly, to Rock Out the RedZone.

The RedZone is the first three months of fall semester when students on college campuses are at a higher risk of sexual assault. The Campus Activity Board partners with organizations across campus to put on the event to educate UWF students about the dangers of over-intoxication and what Robin Thicke calls “blurred lines.”

The beginning of the semester and a new school year means students are forming new relationships and often living in unfamiliar areas. The rush of freedom also means that some students will experiment more with alcohol. These factors create an environment that has an increased risk for sexual assault involving students.

“We want to introduce students to the department, get them some resources and really just give students a sense of community here at UWF,” Junior Adam Smith said. Smith is a peer educator with Counseling and Wellness Services.

More than an educational event, the concert brought students together with each other and various organizations around campus as part of the Argo Arrival goal.

Students threw their hands in the air to catch the freebies that volunteers threw from the second floor in the Commons while other students swayed with the live music from Lion’s Ambition, the band CAB hired to play for the Rock Out the RedZone concert.

Members of the Seattle-based rock band Lion’s Ambition, were excited to travel to Florida to spread their message to connect with different people and share aspirations.

“At first we did not know about the event’s cause,” said band manager Isidro Yaptinshay in an e-mail interview.  “However, we were happy to find out about the event’s purpose. We are excited to be a part of something that will have a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Laughter and good vibes radiated from live music and the audience as senior Naomi Eustache said, “I think it was a good turnout. I like the band a lot.”

The Rock Out the RedZone event was aimed at educating students about protecting themselves and each other from sexual assault, and students walked away with great memories and a new perspective on the RedZone.

Sophomore Trent Durham was not sure what the RedZone was before coming.

“Someone just told me there is an event going on in the Commons,” Durham said. “I think it’s important to raise awareness because if students are aware of what things can happen, then less incidents of sexual assault will occur.”

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Local spots provide fun, romance for Valentine’s

Pensacola Beach’s water tower with the Blue Angels flying above was a recent pre-selected scene at Painting with a Twist. (Photo special to The Voyager)

Valentine’s Day comes to shine its love light on Tuesday, and with a little help, even those on a budget can enjoy a pleasant evening with their special someone.

For those with an artistic soul or even those just looking to get a bit messy, a date at Painting with a Twist, where you can bring your own wine, will be sure to be a good date for anyone. Since Painting with a Twist is not a serious art lesson, anyone can be creative and have fun even without artistic ability.

“We have two events,” said Jenny Muller, owner of the establishment. “We have one on Friday the 10th and one on actual Valentine’s Day. Both are couples paintings, where you come in and do two separate paintings that go together.”

The cost is $45 per person. The cost includes brushes, canvas, paint, instructors, corkscrews and more. There are often landmark Pensacola scenes that are chosen as the theme, such as the Graffiti Bridge. Guests are invited to bring their own drinks and snacks and, of course, their significant other. Spots for Valentine’s Day are filling up quickly.

To reserve a seat, go to paintingwithatwist.com/Pensacola or call 850-471-1450. The establishment is located at 4771 Bayou Blvd. and is open Tuesday to Saturday 12 a.m. to 5 p.m. and during class hours.

If painting isn’t really your idea of a good time, a trip with your Valentine to the top of the Naval Air Station’s Lighthouse and Museum may be more for you. The view 150-feet in the air of the brilliant green-blue shades of Pensacola Bay provide quite the romantic scene, especially if the sun comes out. The light will shine through the lighthouse’s Fresnel lens and cast prisms of rainbows that dance over the black and otherwise colorless inner walls.

The cost to climb the 177 steps of the lighthouse is only $5 per adult, making this an inexpensive but fun option for a Valentine’s Day date. The lighthouse is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For those who aren’t in the mood to make the arduous climb to the top of the tower, or if it just so happens to be raining, maybe a movie date would better fit the mood.

“This Means War,” starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy and Chelsea Handler, premieres on Feb. 14 and supposedly offers something for everyone—comedy, action and romance—while showing the preposterous outcomes of two CIA agents attempting to date the same woman.

“The movie is actually pretty funny and can be enjoyed by both sexes,” Matthew Fong wrote in a review on earlyscreenings.com. “It’s a chick flick guys don’t have to be ashamed to admit they saw.”

Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to spend the day with those you love, whether on a date or not, and to rediscover all the positive qualities about the people in your life.

 Hayley Benton
Staff Writer 

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Students can expect royal homecoming

The University of West Florida is gearing up for another Homecoming filled with great live music and fun events.

Homecoming at UWF begins  Oct. 3 and ends Oct. 8.

“The first two days there aren’t any official events, but the spirit competition begins,” Brittney Lewis, program advisor for Campus Activity Board and the Homecoming committee, said. “Wednesday is the official day that kicks off the event, with Argo Splash.”

Lewis said Argo Splash is a pep rally at the UWF Aquatic Center.  Free food, prizes, entertainment, a cardboard boat race and a dive competition will take place at the rally.

Thursday will begin with an alumni picnic in the Athletic Club, followed by a pep rally called “The Riot.”

“During the pep rally, there will be a skit competition, and student organizations are encouraged to participate,” Lewis said.

A tailgate party will kick off the events on Oct. 7.

“The tailgate party is going to be held in a new location by the softball field,” Lewis said. “It is normally held in the baseball field parking lot.”

“The new location is neat. It allows for everyone to watch the women’s soccer game while at the tailgate party.”

Lewis said she encouraged student organizations to set up tailgating booths with food and decorations. Mr. and Ms. UWF will be presented at halftime of the women’s soccer game, and the crowning will be at the conclusion of the game.

Closing out Friday will be Club U’ Dub.

“Club U’Dub is our Homecoming dance,” Lewis said. “It will have more of a club atmosphere and club feel, and will take place in Conference Center A and C. There will be a black light room and a V.I.P room. Students are encouraged to wear club attire.”

Saturday will be the final day of Homecoming, closing the week with concerts from local artists and We The Kings.

“Tribe Zion and New Earth Army are the two main local bands,” Lewis said. “This year the Homecoming committee is hosting a mid-sized artist, so then next year they will be able to host a really big artist. We had about $20,000 to use to book an artist, and we choose We The Kings. They are going to be our big concert for the week.”

The New Earth Army is looking forward to the event.

“We really like the region of Northwest Florida, and we are stoked to be a part of this event, which is all about the community,” Michael Flatau, bassist of the New Earth Army, said.

The bands will be performing on Oct. 8 on the Camellia Greens in front of the psychology building. The local bands will be performing at noon  and We The Kings will play at 8:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the website at www.uwf.edu/homecoming.

Garett Spencer
Staff Writer

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