Jill is the Director of New Media Marketing at Innisfree Hotels.
Pensacola Beach Bushwacker Festival 2012
This weekend Pensacola Beach is hosting a three day nationally renowned festival celebrating a frozen cocktail called the Bushwhacker. Frivolous? Maybe. Fun. Absolutely.
Tom Carmichael co-owner of Capt. Fun’s Beach Club is the principal organizer and the festival’s founder. He describes this locally revered beverage as an “adult milkshake” spiked with rum, coffee liquor and chocolate liquor. Fifty-five thousand of these frozen, fattening, head spin and brain freeze inducing concoctions will be served in Tom’s bar this weekend. In fact, it’s likely that every local blender and slushy machine will be straining to keep up with demand as eighty-five thousand people flock to the island in search of blended beach heaven and good times.
The Bushwacker Festival is a long time in the making. Tom and his partner Ryan Covalt came up with the kooky idea a quarter of a century ago in an attempt to raise sales on what was traditionally a quiet weekend. They chose to celebrate the Bushwacker because of it’s distinctive regional fame. Tom says, “It’s impossible to visit Pensacola Beach without being urged into trying one.” Every bar on the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama sells Bushwackers but you won’t find them many other places. For Tom and Ryan this seemed like as good a reason as any to organize a festival.
Tom says, “The first year everyone thought we were crazy. The news media made fun of us and only one hundred people showed up. Now it’s the biggest beach party of the summer.” Every hotel and restaurant on the beach participates and the festival’s grown to include a wide variety of live music, great food and a 5km run. It even has a nationally coveted souvenir keepsake mug. Capt. Fun’s produces Bushwacker Festival mugs every year, each time in a different color. People who cannot make it to festival often request a mug in the mail to maintain the integrity of their collection. Often Tom Fedexes a hundred mugs to addresses as far flung as Hawaii and Japan.
The 2012 festival runs from Friday August 3rd through Sunday August 5th. There will be lots of live entertainment throughout the weekend day and night.
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