Pensacola will celebrate the new year with a pelican drop after all, but it will take place at a new location — Blue Wahoos Stadium — and a new time.
The future of the Pelican Drop has been in doubt since the Downtown Improvement Board said in 2016 that it would no longer organize the popular event. Last year, a group led by Buck Mitchell of Seville Quarter stepped in to raise the money to put on the event, but Mitchell said last month that he wasn’t able to do so this year.
Officials with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos minor league baseball team — owned by Pensacola developers Quint and Rishy Studer — announced Thursday that the Pelican Drop and fireworks would move to Blue Wahoos Stadium as part of “Kazoo’s New Year’s Celebration.”
The family-friendly event, which is free to the public, will take place from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on December 31 and will feature the Pelican Drop, fireworks, inflatables, face painting and live music on the field. Local bands Rewired and The Unicorn Wranglers will provide live music on the field, with a special performance by the Antioch Youth and Adult Choir. Food and drinks will be available from the park’s concession stands.
The festivities will culminate at 8:00 p.m., however, rather than the traditional midnight. That’s when the Pelican Drop and fireworks are set to take place.
“It’s our mission to improve the quality of life of the community and after seeing the need for the community to have a safe and fun place to celebrate New Year’s Eve, we knew this was the right move,” said team president Jonathan Griffith. “After such a successful Wahooloween, we’re excited to see the community come out for another great holiday.”
The park’s Hancock Bank Club deck will also host “New Years on the Bay,” a private party featuring an all-you-can-eat buffet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and bottomless champagne from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tickets for the event are on sale for $75 per person and $20 per child; adult tickets are available online at bluewahoos.com, at the stadium’s box office, or by calling 850-934-8444. Children’s tickets are not available online.