Grand Fiesta Parade rolls Friday night in Pensacola

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Hundreds of Pensacola residents will come together Friday night for a celebration of Pensacola’s rich history. 

The Grand Fiesta Fiesta parade will roll at 7 p.m. in downtown Pensacola. The parade will take the usual route seen in year’s past, heading down Palafox Street. 

This map from the Pensacola Police Department shows the parade’s route in red.

The parade was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“For us, this is a fiesta two years in the making,” said Bridget Middleton, executive director of Fiesta Pensacola. 

The celebration is back and ready to remind residents of Pensacola’s history. 

“The first colonization was in 1559 by Tristan de Luna, who was sent by Spain to colonize this area,” Middleton said. “They had the intention of staying here. It wasn’t here very long before a hurricane wiped out their settlement. We like to stay we were the first — not the longest — but we were the first (settlement).”

This year’s Grand Fiesta Parade will feature about 50 floats, beads, music and more.

“We’re really excited to welcome the ceremonial Army band from Fort Benning, Georgia, who will be leading our parade,” Middleton said. “We also have our grand marshal who is the commanding officer at NAS Pensacola, Captain Lucky Kinsella.” 

On Saturday, the fiesta celebration will continue with the Fiesta Boat Parade from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. The best places to watch include Sanders Beach, Community Maritime Park and Plaza de Luna. 

Beyond the history, organizers hope it’s a fun event for families to enjoy. 

“Things seem to be getting back to normal. Not just for Pensacola but our whole country,” Middleton said. “Fingers crossed. We know people are ready to have fun.” 

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