By Kelly Baughman

As the holiday season gets into full swing, entertain your family with the holiday best the Gulf Coast has to offer with Winterfest!

This year, Winterfest is bigger and better than ever with a premier tour that features 16 performances along a 60-minute trolley trip through Downtown Pensacola.  Singing guides accompany you into a world of wonder with scenes from your favorite holiday memories. 

It all kicked off on Friday November 23rd as the streets lit up with the Elf Parade.  The lighted parade will took to the streets of downtown Pensacola under the wonder of falling snow as the Grand Master led the floats, “elves”, a second line, and all of the revelers in tow to the courthouse where the tree was lit for the season, followed by a fireworks display kicking off all of the Winterfest Festivities for the season.

Along the way, Elvis, The Polar Express, and even the Grinch were on board to share the spirit of Christmas.  With new performances on Palafox and more attractions with some special never seen before surprises, the 2018 Winterfest Tour is the perfect way to kick off your holiday season!  Stop in for a snack at the Gingerbread House, or visit Santa in his sleigh starting at 6pm.

So what can your friends and family expect at the Winterfest Performance Tour Preview?  Well, Winterfest and the Red Trolley Repertory Theatre project have pioneered the trolley theatre concept, in which the audience moves to meet the actors of each scene.  The vehicle becomes a stage while the downtown neighborhood and our set pieces provide a dramatic backdrop.  Once you’re underway there’s no need to get on or off the trolley to see performances.

All performances will take place between Palafox and Government Street downtown, and tickets for the various events like the Performance Tour, the Polar Express Mini-Tour, Puppet Magic Mini-Tour, the Scrooge Mini-Tour, and the Grinch Mini-Tour can be purchased by visiting  Prices vary, but a visit with Santa is always free.

Tours and events will take place nightly now through December 24th.

Proceeds from Winterfest Tours will help benefit local charities during the winter months, which is the hardest for many down on their luck.  Waterfront Rescue Mission, local Manna Food Banks, and Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen are among those that will benefit from you joining in on the holiday cheer.

For a full list of events and schedules, please visit or call 850-583-1365.