An Exploration of Art Through Downtown Pensacola with the UWF Historic Trust

Date Posted: Sep 05, 2023

UWF Historic Trust is coordinating an artful tour of downtown Pensacola for Foo Foo Fest

Pensacola’s rich history can be explored well beyond the walls of its many museums and the UWF Historic Trust has planned an exciting Foo Foo Fest-worthy event that will get attendees outside and on the move to see it all with POP Odyssey Tour: An Interactive Experience.

Scheduled for Wednesday, November 8, POP Odyssey Tour: An Interactive Experience includes two trolley tours that will be taking curated stops at each of the Pensacola Outdoor Project (POP) murals scattered throughout downtown Pensacola. “Our goal has been to get more people to see the murals and understand that they are all connected,” explains Robin Zimmern, executive director of alumni relations and development for the University of West Florida. “People may drive by one and see it, but not realize it’s part of a larger mural trail. We thought this event would be a good way to show it, and what better time for something like this than Foo Foo Fest.”

The POP mural trail currently features eight murals, with an additional mural currently underway. Each and every one portrays some aspect of Pensacola’s unique and storied history, whether it be showcasing the city’s role as America’s first settlement, highlighting the fact it’s a port city, or sharing the beauty of the city’s old downtown train station. “All of the photos used for these murals come from the UWF Historic Trust archives,” Robin adds. “These murals are from photos that have been a part of our archives and authenticated and history is known about.”

In addition to sharing the beauty of each mural with attendees, the tour will also include an emcee that will narrate the history of the murals as the trolley rides through downtown. “The emcee will be a costumed actor who talks about the photos depicted,” Robin says. “The emcee will provide details on why those specific photos were chosen for the murals and share a feel for what it was like at the time of the photo. It’s a great way for people to learn more about Pensacola.”

Besides viewing each mural, trolley riders will be able to stop at three of them. At three chosen murals, the trolley will stop for riders to get out and enjoy a culinary experience, themed for that specific mural, as well as other actors that will be portraying the time period as well. “We’ve hired a chef, David Penniman, owner of Classic City Catering, who will recreate some items that would have been from that timeframe, and it will be enjoyed with a signature drink that goes with that theme as well.”

The grant-receiving event is a first for Foo Foo Fest—this will be the very first-time UWF Historic Trust has done a trolley tour of the POP mural trail—and the organization is excited that this first will take place during the 10th anniversary of Foo Foo Fest. “We’re very thankful to be a part of Foo Foo Fest, especially as it celebrates such a major milestone of 10 years,” Robin shares. “We’re excited about all of the different events taking place during the festival this year and being one piece of it.”

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