PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The new Pensacola Beach Sailfish Sign is now fully operational. The sign sustained damage during Hurricane Sally in 2020. 

Work to replace the sign, built by Plastic Arts Sign Company of Pensacola, began on Dec. 6, 2022.

“I am extremely pleased to have a new iconic Pensacola Beach sign showing everyone how to get to the beach up and running,” Escambia County District 4 Commissioner Robert Bender said. “It has been a long process to replace the sign, but the finished product is worth it. John Shipman from Plastic Arts Sign understands the importance of this sign to the community. The quality displayed shows the pride he took with the project. Based on the comments I have seen about the new sign already, I believe the community is excited for the sign’s return and sees the quality of his work. I also want to recognize Escambia County staff, specifically Facilities Director Rob Hogan and his staff, Risk Manager Mark Bartlett, and Purchasing Director Jeffrey Lovingood for managing the project.”

Pastic Arts Sign owner John Shipman said the sign project is a legacy for him.

“I was born in Escambia County, grew up here and started my business here,” Shipman said. “I understand the importance of the sign for our community and was honored to work on this project with Commissioner Bender, Mr. Hogan and county staff. Without Al, my general manager, and the rest of the shop, this never could have happened. I think everyone will be very happy with the sign.”

Bender said he and county staff are working with the City of Gulf Breeze to obtain a permit to add an osprey perch for the upcoming nesting season. 

The county said the sign’s lights will remain switched on for the next few days before being switched to its scheduled operation during evening and nighttime hours.