Pensacon is here! The pop culture convention begins Friday and will continue through Sunday. It returns to its February slot – after being forced to push back to summer last year due to the coronavirus pandemic – with three-day passes at $85 and one-day passes ranging from $35 to $45. But if you want to get into the spirit of pop culture without having to attend the convention, Pensacon has partnered with a number of places in downtown Pensacola that will offer free (or cheap) experiences for satiate your inevitable FOMO.
“We are officially partners of Gallery Night here. They’re doing a Pensacon theme for the entirety of Gallery Night. But we also ensure the animation of the main stage. Which, of course, is free for everyone who comes to Gallery Night,” said Julio Diaz, Pensacon’s Director of Marketing and Media.
Gallery Night will run from 5-9 p.m. on Friday.
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Diaz declared the evening’s main stage with gothic punk house band Vision Video, local band Tyler Livingston and the Absolutes and dance group Noise Complaint.
Diaz said there will also be a traveling street performer to entertain guests.
“We support Pensacola. It’s called Pensacon because we all live here. We all love Pensacola. And we want to represent Pensacola as best we can. We want to introduce people from outside the area to our community,” Diaz said.
Some of your favorite downtown spots will also have their own specials and events just for Pensacon.
Atlas will be decorated in a “Star Trek” theme with photo opportunities and drink specials. Drink specials include The James Tea Kirk, Mind Meld and Warp Core Breach.
Cabaret will feature drag shows with pop culture themes like Marvel, DC and Disney. Friday and Saturday shows are at 10:30 p.m. and midnight, cost $5, and are for those 21 and older. There will be a show on Sunday at 3 p.m. which is free and welcomes all ages.
The fish house
The Fish House will be transformed into Hogwarts ‘Harry Potter’ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Drink specials include The Goblet of Fire, Veritaserum and Butterbeer.
The 5 Barrel
5 Barrel will host the Pensacon Dungeon Crawl – a social media scavenger hunt. Tasks are scattered across a number of sponsorship locations around the city.
They will also be decorated like a medieval fantasy tavern and feature a fire-breathing dragon at the door to welcome visitors. On Saturday evening, several Victrolas members will perform.
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- Wednesday: Trivia “The Lord of the Rings” from 7 p.m.
- Saturday: Bilbo’s birthday party, which will include festive decor and costumes, as well as a special birthday cake.
- Sunday: A second brunch breakfast. MI SU Street Food will be open there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Irish Pub O’Riley
O’Riley’s will offer several themed cocktails: The Green Lantern, Thor’s Hammered, Spidey Senses and Heart of Wakanda.
On Saturday there will be a Marvel costume party with a live DJ. O’Riley’s is only open to people 21 and older after 8 p.m.
Brunch will be available Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m. Bottomless mimosas will be available on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Perfect Plain will be “Star Wars” themed and feature specialty drinks from the franchise.
- Thursday: Star Wars Trivia from 7 p.m. And a “drink and draw” with guest artists from Pensacon.
- Saturday: A Lego “Star Wars” building contest starting at 1 p.m. for ages 18 and up. Tickets available on Eventbrite.
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- Wednesday: “Matrix” themed drag bingo with themed cocktails. Starts at 9 p.m. and the grand prize is Pensacon tickets.
- Friday: DJs and decoration that will create an atmosphere as if you were in the ancient city of Sion. There will be signature cups and staff in full costumes.
- Saturday: Pensacon “Matrix” afterparty with leather outfits, full movie set, specialty drinks and spinning DJs.
- Sunday: EDM musical showcase from 1 p.m.
Bodacious will be offering limited time beverages including: Dole Whip Tea Latte, CinnaMickey Latte, Sleeping BeauTea and Hakuna Matcha Chiller
On Saturday, Bodacious will host a “Princess Brunch” featuring a combination of adult mimosas and kid-friendly drink specials. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.
Bodacious bookstore and café
Bodacious Bookstore will be offering drink specials including:
- Queen of Hearts – a mocha or white mocha latte topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with brown sugar
- Very Merry Unbirthday – a cupcake flavored cooler or Latte
- Down the Rabbit Hole – a cooler or latte topped with whipped cream, cookie crumbs, and gummy worms
- Drink Me Potion – a Rooibos tea latte with rose flavor
You can also purchase tickets to Mad Hatter’s Totally Totable Tea Party, which is a tea party for two that includes: two 12-ounce teas, assorted baked goods, and two chocolate covered strawberries. Tickets are $25.
Bubba’s sweet spot
Bubba’s will be offering a special candy menu including: Dalmatian Caramel Apple, Mickey Mouse Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie, Green Chocolate Dipped Oreo Aliens, Frozen Caramel Apple and Olaf Marshmallows.
On Saturday, there will be a children’s costume parade at 10:45 a.m. from Bubba’s at Bodacious Brew Thru. All children in the parade will receive a free topping with the purchase of a scoop of ice cream.
The Innisfree Hotel properties on Pensacola Beach will be running several promotions throughout the weekend of February 18-20.
Hilton Pensacola Beach:
- Chewbacca Burger – 8 oz Black Angus burger with bacon, bacon onion jam, melted Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles.
- Tatooine Chicken Wings – whole chicken wings brined and fried to perfection. Choice of sauce – Buffalo, Thai chili or BBQ.
- Yoda Club Sandwich – Triple decker club sandwich with turkey, avocado, bacon, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and ailoi pesto.
- Space Cake – hemp seed infused chocolate cake with matcha infused sugar.
- Tatooine Blue Milk – Mixed cocktail with Malibu rum, blue curaçao, vanilla ice cream, coconut puree
- Yoda Soda – Crystal Head Vodka, Ginger Liqueur, Lime, Cucumber, Club Soda
- The Dark Side – Myers Dark Rum, Lime, Ginger Beer, Black Sea Salt
Hampton Inn Pensacola Beach:
- “Mighty Morphin Margarita” in honor of everyone’s favorite Pink Ranger. It’s a watermelon margarita that’s delicious and will have the perfect color.
- Tequila, lime juice, agave nectar and watermelon liqueur
- “Hulk Smash” This will be a classic smash recipe with whiskey, simple syrup, lemon juice and garnished with mint leaves to add that green color.
- “You’re going to need a bigger boat.” This cocktail contains coconut, passion fruit, mango and pineapple rums blended with orange juice, pineapple juice, grenadine and sprite.
- 20% off ticket total (excluding alcohol) and $1 OPP Pensacola Bay Brewery 16-ounce draft beer, for customers in costume or with a Pensacon ticket.