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2023 Grant Recipient Feature: Party in Pensacola and 309 Punk Project

Date Posted: Aug 23, 2023

309 Punk Project plans an epic block party for a memorable night at Foo Foo Fest

Since 309 Punk Project got its start just a few years ago, the organization has shown the city of Pensacola it can throw quite the party, and this year the collective is bringing its party to Foo Foo Fest with its very first event for the annual celebration: Night on the Tracks.

Night on the Tracks will be one massive block party that takes place on Saturday, November 11 and features a variety of community-oriented, immersive experiences. “We started hosting these multi-venue nightly events last year, and they have been a lot of fun,” said Lauren Anzaldo, Night on the Tracks organizer for 309 Punk Project. “Specifically for Foo Foo, we’re going to be hosting the same type of event again, but this time it’s going to be bigger than ever because it’s going to be a true block party.”

As part of its grant-receiving Foo Foo Fest event, 309 Punk Project will be closing down the street along the railroad tracks in eclectic Old East Hill for a night focused on all things arts, music, and culture. “The plan is for it to be the type of experience that gets people out, moving around the neighborhood, and interacting with one another and all of the individual events that will be going on.”

Those individual events are as diverse as the city of Pensacola. It all starts with a neighborhood street parade through Old East Hill to From the Ground Up Community Garden—complete with drum line and puppet troupe—before transitioning into other unique opportunities that will be featured at staggered times so that attendees will have plenty of time to experience them all. One of those is a highly anticipated streetside art exhibition by renowned folk artist Panhandle Slim. “His work is iconic,” Lauren says. “People can enjoy the outdoor atmosphere and check out his artwork at the same time.”

Also included in the evening is live music taking place just steps away in From the Ground Up Community Garden. The musical event will be taking place as part of the Songwriter Rounds being hosted in conjunction with the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival.

The focus then shifts to cinematography with an open-air film festival that will also be taking place that night at Rails on Wright Street. “This is a new and exciting addition to Night on the Tracks,” Lauren shares. “The screening will feature short films and projected art by Calliope Films, and attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the filmmakers and artists.”

The block party culminates with a live concert just down the road at The Handlebar. The headliner event features three singer/songwriters, including Rymodee (from former band This Bike is a Pipe Bomb), Austin Lucas, and David Dondero, who has been named as one of the best living American songwriters by NPR. “We put a lot of thought into what we could bring to the table for Foo Foo, and we feel that this block party truly illustrates the diversity of Pensacola,” Lauren says. “The diversity of the arts and culture is what makes our community what it is. Foo Foo Fest brings it all together in a cohesive and collaborative way, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

Night on the Tracks is free and open to the public except for the concert at The Handlebar. Tickets for The Handlebar concert go on sale September 1 at https://thehandlebar850.com.

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