Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Boardwalk Debris Sinks Bushwacker?


The annual Bushwacker Festival on Pensacola Beach is likely to be canceled or moved to a mainland location, Tom Carmichael of Jubilee is telling the Pensacola News Journal.

Carmichael says hurricane damage to the boardwalk is too extensive to conduct the festival. Speaking of the Santa Rosa Island Authority, he says, "They're not allowing us to do it, and rightfully so. The wiring, the power, the lighting -- none of it works."

Just last month, the Pensacola Business Journal was reporting that Jubilee -- once the main site for the festival -- would be open by August. However, other boardwalk businesses might not be able to open until "sometime in the Fall" because of "extensive damage to the wood floors on the boardwalk."

The Bushwacker Festival is named for an alcoholic beverage suspiciously similar to a frozen brandy alexander. Legend claims the drink was invented at Pensacola Beach. The festival usually is held the first week of August, just before schools re-open for the fall semester.

In Deadwood, S.D. the very same chair Wild Bill Hickock supposedly was sitting in when he was shot by Jack McCall hangs above the entrance door of a dozen different bars on main street. On Pensacola Beach, signs in a dozen bars proclaim you are standing on the spot where the Bushwacker was invented.

In recent years, the festival has become surprisingly popular with families as well as young singles. But Carmichael and his wife, June Guerra, more and more have been noticeably steering festival attendees toward their downtown Pensacola "Cap't Fun" venue, in preference to the beach.

Ms. Guerra, in particular, has been outspoken about what she contends is insufficient SRIA financial and promotional support for a festival which her business organizes largely on its own.

Amplification Dept.

Bushwacker Festival '06
"Jubilee Restaurant is still closed, but the Pensacola Beach Bushwacker Festival will go on this weekend (Aug. 4-6) as usual." more...

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