Foo Foo Festival: A 12-Day Celebration

Foo Foo Festival: A 12-Day Celebration
Words by Emma Harchanko
Photo provided by
Foo Foo Festival

Pensacola, Florida is a city that has historically supported arts and culture. So, it should come as no surprise that Pensacola hosts a two-week festival with a roster of events that celebrates art, music, dance, theatre, and cuisine with programming from grant recipients, throughout the city of Pensacola for nearly two weeks.

The highly-anticipated arts and culture festival, Foo Foo Festival, is one of the largest in the southeast, and it’s the perfect excuse to add one last beach trip into your fall travel plans. This year, it takes place from October 31-November 11.  

A “Foo Foo” is, by definition: An impromptu musical band known to come together on late 19th-century sailing vessels, consisting of members from the ship’s crew. So, quite literally, the gathering of Pensacola’s arts and entertainment organizations during this period of time is their very own “Foo Foo.”

The ambitious vision for Foo Foo Festival was officially set in motion when the non-profit organization, Arts, Culture and Entertainment, Inc. (ACE) distributed secured grant money among various arts/cultural organizations in the Pensacola, Florida area. Foo Foo Fest offers a unique slate of events during the first two weeks of November, or the middle of said off-season.

This year, the team of visionaries behind Foo Foo Festival are excited to wow guests with a 9,500 square feet abstract art sculpture with a suspended sea of billowing holographic strands that will ripple high over historic Intendencia Street like a quilt of sparkling diamonds. The shape-shifting, high-in-the-air sculpture, Fire and Rain, rises and falls like a shimmering ocean in the sky, controlled by the breeze.  

Another high-profile exhibit is the collaboration between The Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) and the First City Arts Center (FCAC) employs innovative techniques to create 3D printed skateable concrete “skulptures” which are designed by David Fries, FCAC’s creative scientist in residence, and Rodney Mullen, “The Godfather of Modern Street Skating” from Redondo Beach, Calif. Rodney Mullen will be skating on the “skulptures” at 3D Printsacola, which are embedded with augmented reality (AR), an interactive experience where the skateable objects translate human engagement in real-time. 3D Printsacola will feature these completed 3D printed skulptures with an amazing skating demonstration on Friday, November 1.  

For the musically inclined, StompFest 2019 and Choir! Choir! Choir! are two must-see shows. The mission of StompFest is to immerse the Gulf Coast in contemporary African-American art, dancing, and stepping blended with a mix of spoken word, live music, and visual artistry while showcasing the influence this rich culture has on Black Greek-Letter Organizations (BGLO). Choir! Choir! Choir! is equal parts singing, comedy, and community-building and promises to be the ultimate group production. Read more about these events and view the entire lineup on Foo Foo Festival’s website.

Festival goers can also enjoy celebrity guest appearances by rapper and DJ Mannie Fresh, the world-famous Boston Brass, Journalist and Author Eleanor Randolph, and Blues drummer Jimmi Mayes.

The Foo Foo Fest presents a stellar and diverse experience that attracts both regional and national visitors alike. Strategically positioned around and during some of Pensacola’s most popular events, the 12-day Foo Foo Fest straddles some of the area’s longstanding and favorite happenings including the 47th Annual Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival, the Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show, Pensacola Eggfest and the 35th Annual Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival.

If you’re looking for a vacation with just a bit more, the Foo Foo Festival is the perfect opportunity to “Vacation Artfully.” Book your trip to Pensacola today by visiting Use code "FOO" to get discounts when booking your hotel with one of our festival hotel partners.