It’s time to blow out the candles on Saturday, Aug. 15, the 450th anniversary of the founding of Pensacola, at a birthday bash, which is free and open to the public.
The day begins with a landing ceremony and a Catholic Mass with Bishop Ricard on Pensacola Beach. That evening, everyone is invited to join the fun at a street party on Palafox Place in Downtown Pensacola including live entertainment by such artists as Will Hedgecock, Gary Fields and the polished perfection of FAMU, the Marching 100. Attendees can enjoy birthday cake, contribute personal items to a time capsule, and sign the world’s largest birthday card. The Pensacola Celebrity Chefs, are preparing Spanish small plates for $4.50. Plus, children can buy tickets for a chance to dunk their favorite chef in a dunking booth.
The evening will end with a huge fireworks display over Downtown Pensacola.
Pensacola – Celebrating 450 Years
In 1559, Spanish explorer, Don Tristan de Luna de Arellano landed on the shores of what is now Pensacola, Florida. De Luna’s expedition left from Mexico and found its way to the naturally protected waters of what is now Pensacola Bay. What happened shortly thereafter played a vital role in American history; thus, the Pensacola Bay Area is celebrating 450 years of history in 2009.
Many do not know, however, Pensacola predates St. Augustine (1565) and Jamestown, VA (1607). Several months after the settlement was established in 1559, a hurricane destroyed the supplies, and the group struggled to survive. De Luna returned to his native Spain and the Spanish did not return to the area until the seventeenth century.