Night Sky Lights Up

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The Night Sky Lights Up In Celebration All Over the Coast This 4th of July

By: Kelly Woodard

This week, we celebrate America and her independence with fireworks displays all across the Gulf Coast. With so many great options to choose from, you can’t go wrong. Here are some of the most popular and most highly anticipated shows around the area.

The 26
th Annual Sertoma’s Fourth of July Celebration in Old Seville, hosted by area Sertoma organizations, boasts the largest Fireworks display in the city over Pensacola Bay on Saturday, July 4th, 2015, at 9 pm. There will be activities throughout the day from at 11 am to 6:30 pm, in Seville Square including a children’s area with inflatables and pony rides, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, and live entertainment on the gazebo stage.

Think you’ve got what it takes to be a competitive eater? Join in on the 4
th of July tradition with a Hot Dog Eating Contest at noon sponsored by ATI Napa and Iron Plan Solutions Group. At 4:00 pm, live entertainment will take to the stage beginning with the Triple Lindies, followed by Banana Republic at 6:30 pm.

The festivities will peak with the fireworks show over Pensacola Bay, synchronized with music broadcast on
Cat Country 98.7. The Pensacola Sertoma July 4th show will be the most sophisticated fireworks production available today. The show is computer choreographed to a digitally recorded soundtrack, and then it is computer fired using the Pyro-Digital firing system. The best views of the show can be seen along Bayfront Parkway.

Admission is free. For more information about this event, call 850-434-1234.

The 4
th of July kicks off the Red, White, & Blues week on Pensacola Beach with a Fireworks Extravaganza beginning at 8:30 PM over the Santa Rosa Sound. Patrons can bring lawn chairs, blankets, and coolers to this free show, and can see the beautiful fireworks from both the gulf and sound sides. This week long celebration is a family friendly, action packed beach event usually wraps up with the beloved annual Pensacola Beach Blue Angel’s Air Show, which will be bigger and better than ever this year.

For a complete schedule of Red, White & Blues Week activities, contact the Pensacola Beach Visitors Information Center at (850) 932-1500 or (800) 635-4803 or go to All events are subject to weather conditions and can change without prior notice.

Just a hop, skip and a jump to the west, Orange Beach will also feature tributes to America on her birthday.

Celebrate Independence Day with an All-American family outing to The Wharf in Orange Beach. This 4th of July, The Wharf will have a number of plans designed to provide a safe fun environment for the whole family, including live music, street performances, the SPECTRA Sound and Light Spectacular with shows starting at 8:30p.m., 9:00p.m., 9:30p.m., and 10:00p.m., and fireworks over Main Street starting promptly at 8:45p.m.

For more information, please visit

Then, head over to the Perdido Beach Resort, located at 27200 Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach, Alabama on Saturday, July 4
th for their annual 4th of July Weekend Celebration. Come celebrate the biggest outdoor event of the year at the hotel with this family friendly 4th of July celebration that promises to be the best and biggest ever!

The Tip Tops will be celebrating our nation's independence with all of our guests on the main beach deck July 4
th before the big Fireworks show.
In addition to the fantastic entertainment, Executive Chef John Hamme will be preparing a southern barbeque buffet to be held Saturday, July 4th. Menu items will include Grilled BBQ Spareribs, Bourbon BBQ Glazed Beef Brisket, Tender Pulled Pork, Char-Grilled Hamburgers, All-American Hot Dogs, Southern Fried Chicken and all the fixing’s.
The fireworks show will take to the beach at 9 PM, courtesy of the Perdido Beach Resort.

Advanced tickets are on sale now for $26.95 per adult $12.50 per child (5-12). Tax and gratuity is included, however, alcoholic beverages are not included. Day of the event tickets will be available for $30.00 per adult $15.00 per child (5-12).

Reservations are required. To purchase your tickets in advance, please contact our Guest Services department at 251-981-9811 extension 103.

Where ever you decide to celebrate, do so safely. Happy 4
th of July from Escambia Sun Press!

Community Outraged After Commissioner

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Community Outraged After Commissioner May’s Behavior During Traffic Stop
By: Kelly Woodard

Escambia County Commissioner Lumon May was caught in a swirl of backlash after his involvement in a controversial traffic stop by the Pensacola Police Department last Friday. The stop occurred around 7:30 am on Gregory Street when May was pulled over by a female officer for tag and tint violations.
The incident which was caught on the officer’s dash camera, quickly turned heated when, before the officer could reach the vehicle, May stepped out to confront the officer. When instructed to get back into his car, May did so, but proceeded to argue with the officer.
The officer informed May several times why she pulled him over, but May refused to give any information, including his license, registration, or insurance card, to the officer. May then asked for a supervisor to be called to the scene. Two more officers arrived on the scene, and May then began to cooperate with the male officers.
May claims that he was the victim of racial profiling, and said that he had been pulled over a hundred times in his vehicle. The female officer claimed that one of the reasons she pulled May over was the dark tint on his windows that didn’t allow her to see the driver inside, causing many to call the allegations of racial profiling ridiculous.
“The officer couldn’t even see in the truck, so how would she have known May was African American,” said Jimmy Jessops of Pensacola. “This is just another example of someone using the sensitive issue of race as a ‘get out of jail free’ card. It’s disgusting.”
Jessops went on to say, “It’s funny to me that the second the male officers arrived on the scene, he decided to comply. He thought he could intimidate the female officer. Don’t racism and sexism go hand in hand? Discrimination is discrimination, any way you slice it Mr. May.”
Kassandra Fowler of Pensacola said, “You can take race out of the equation altogether. I don’t care what ethnicity you are; if you behave like that to an officer of the law, you should be arrested. Period. The fact that he wasn’t, raises some red flags to me as to how PPD handles things in general.”
Pensacola resident, Amy Davidson, agreed saying, “For a person to react that way to law enforcement is shocking and despicable, especially when that person is in a position of leadership within our community. Commissioner May is supposed to be leading by example. He should be ashamed of himself.”
May said he didn’t realize that the traffic stop was going to gain such media attention, and claimed that although he agrees that he overreacted, he had moved on from the situation.
The video has reached the popular website, Law Enforcement Today, and has now been shared via social media nearly 1000 times. Within hours of the release of the PPD video, a Facebook page was created to petition for the removal of Commissioner May from office, and currently has 1,200 followers.
But County attorney Alison Rogers said in a press release Monday, that although the public may be outraged, Escambia is a non-charter county which means “the only methods by which a commissioner would leave office before the end of his elected term would be resignation or action of the Governor of the State of Florida”. Governor Scott has not commented on the event.
May’s attorney Eric Stevenson said in a statement Monday that his client did not choose to comply with the officer because he believed that it was “an illegal stop”. Stevenson went on to say that although he did not give the officer his registration, he did have it in the vehicle at the time of the stop.
Stevenson went on to call the traffic stop “bogus” and completely unwarranted. “When someone feels they are being wronged by the authorities, it is totally appropriate to ask for a supervisor. At that time, the officer should stand down and wait for that supervisor to arrive rather than continue the traffic stop,” Stevenson added.
Jeff Brown, president of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, has asked that May be publicly censured at the next commission meeting, set to be held July 7
th. Brown said in a letter to commission Chairman Steven Barry, “May was extremely disrespectful toward law enforcement,” and added that he felt May was a bad example for the community as a whole.
Fowler said, “I hope at the very least that Commissioner May publicly apologizes for his out of control behavior, and vows to be a better role model for those in the community who look up to him.”

Pensacola M.E.S.S. Hall’s Summer Series

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Pensacola M.E.S.S. Hall’s Summer Series Keep Kids Eager To Learn With Big Time Fun
By: Kelly Woodard

The Pensacola M.E.S.S. Hall is the place for kids with a passion for learning to be this summer as the present their special summer learning series that’s sure to be fun for everyone.
The force will be with you as the M.E.S.S. Hall kicks things off with an interactive Star Wars adventure, the 501st Legion – Vader’s Fist, this Saturday, June 27
th from 12 pm-1:30 pm. Members of the all-volunteer, Star Wars Imperial costumed 501st Legion will join in on the fun right next to Darth Vader and other classic Star Wars characters, brought to life with detailed costume replicas.
From noon to 5 pm, visit Watto’s Workshop where you can harvest parts from discarded electronics, discovering how they work and looking for treasures. Explore the forces of gravity and magnetism, learn about traveling on a cushion of air, just like Luke’s Landspeeder, learn basic circuitry as you build your own light saber, or you might even find a hyperdrive generator.
This event is open to kids ages 8 and up. Admission is $4 for members and $5 for non-members. Space is limited. To reserve your spot now, visit
Then beginning on July 5
th, sign up for a week of exploration and fun with one of the Pensacola M.E.S.S. Hall’s Summer Camps. Summer camps at the MESS Hall are a great way for your child to explore a new science topic while getting hands on experience and special one on one instruction that will keep them interested and ready to learn all summer long.
Kicking off the Summer Camp Series is Boom Week, where kids will explore the science and physics of everyone’s 4
th of July favorite, fireworks! Camp begins this Sunday, June 28th and ends Saturday, July 4th. Special programs include the chemistry of fireworks and special guests will be Eglin AFB Air Force Explosive Ordnance Team who will help you explore the tools, including robots, and techniques that our military forces use to dispose of explosive ordnances.
Then, discover what makes the Blue Angels tick with Air Week, Sunday, July 5
th through Saturday, July 11th. Here, you’ll celebrate the Blue Angels air show and the magic of flight with investigations of air, physics, and each factor that makes flight possible. Special program includes a presentation of the MESS Hall’s Air Show.
Now that you know how flight works, put your knowledge into action with Flight Week, Sunday, July 12
th through Saturday, July 18th. Here, you’ll investigate the principles of flight with this week’s programs and mess kits including paper helicopters. There will be an exciting special presentation by Ken Blackburn, World Record Holder for paper airplane time aloft, on Saturday, July 18th.
Then, take your flight dreams a little further with Space Week, Sunday, July 19
th through Saturday, July 25th. Honor the anniversary of the first moon landing. Special programs include building your own rovers and straw rockets. It will be out of this world!
And finally, put your mystery solving skills to the test with CSI Week, July 26
th through August 1st. Here you’ll discover the hidden clues as you learn tools for analyzing crime scenes and solving the mystery of what really happened when no one was looking.
Pre-registration for each workshop is recommended, and space is extremely limited as instructors want to give each students the attention they need. To register now, visit Workshops are open to kids 8 years old and up. For more information, call 1-877-937-6377.
The Pensacola MESS Hall’s summer hours of operation are 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday and 1pm to 5pm Sunday. Admission is $8 per person, or free with a family membership.

Apple Market Hosts Gov. Scott

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Apple Market Hosts Gov. Scott To Discuss Tax Cuts and Small Businesses
By: Kelly Woodard

Governor Rick Scott made his seventh and final stop on his 12 hour tax cut victory tour for his “Keep Florida Working” campaign in Pensacola on Monday to discuss the importance of how lowering taxes helps small businesses survive.
Wanting to emphasize his point, Gov. Scott chose Apple Market, one of Pensacola’s premiere small businesses, for the site of his speech. The governor was presented with one of Apple Market’s signature Porterhouse steaks, cut just for his visit, upon his arrival. As he began his speech, two protesters attempted to interrupt the governor, but were quickly asked to leave the store.
Gov. Scott quickly resumed his speech and praised Apple Market owner, David Apple, for the strong presence he has created in the community over the years. “It’s small businesses just like this that keep our state unique and our economy afloat,” Gov. Scott said.
Gov. Scott went on to discuss how the tax cut package, which was signed into law last week, will benefit small local businesses over the coming years. The package (HB 33A), will cut taxes on things like school supplies, textbooks, cell phone and cable bills, as well as implementing a 10 day tax-free shopping period before the beginning of the school calendar year.
Gov. Scott said that by eliminating these taxes, it will allow nearly $400 million dollars to remain in the pockets of Florida tax payers this year alone. “When Floridians have more money to spend, our local businesses and economies thrive. That is the goal. To keep government size to a minimum and put the money back where it belongs; in the communities,” he said.
Last year, Gov. Scott’s tax cuts saved nearly $500 million, which brings the estimated two year tax cut total to an impressive $900 million. Gov. Scott had initially asked for $700 million in tax breaks, but was denied the other $300 million because state lawmakers felt it was better suited to “fill in budget gaps”.
The new tax breaks will begin when the new fiscal year begins next Wednesday, July 1, 2015.

Perdido Farmers Market

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Perdido Farmers Market Grand Opening Brings Fresh, Local, and Delicious to the Westside
By: Kelly Woodard

Coastal and country meet as the Escambia County Parks and Recreation Department along with the Perdido Key Chamber of Commerce present the Perdido Farmers Market Grand Opening, Saturday, June 20
th, from 8 am to 1 pm at Baars Field, located at 13001 Sorrento Road, Pensacola, Fl. 32507 just before the Theo Baars Bridge.
As Pensacola’s newest and only westside market, the Perdido Farmers Market will feature fresh fruits and vegetables grown locally as well as homemade goods and collectibles from local artists that have a knack for blending one of a kind southern style with a coastal flair. Food trucks with some of the best fresh local delicacies will be on hand to keep your tank full while you spend the day browsing this brand new event.
The Perdido Key Chamber of Commerce will host a Grand Opening celebration with live music and festivities and fun for the whole family. Come out and support your local farmers and businesses, and don’t miss your chance to grab some of the best local produce in the area.
The Market will be held every Saturday during the months of March through October from 8 am to 1 pm.
For more information about becoming a vendor or to volunteer, contact Market Coordinators, Amanda Castillo or Kathleen Leidner at