Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival

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Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival logo

The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival is a juried art show and festival held annually in Seville Square on the first full weekend in November. It is organized by the non-profit Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, Inc.

In recent years, around 150,000 people have attended the festival, which features the work of more than 200 artists, along with music and dance entertainment by local and regional groups and a variety of food vendors.

The 2008 festival will take place on November 8, 9 & 10.


The Arts Festival was conceived in 1972 by a group of art patrons, led by Linda Lewis, who wanted to expand the gatherings of local artists displaying their work in the downtown area. The "Great Gulfcoast" moniker was suggested by News Journal editor J. Earle Bowden as a regional identity.[1] The first festival was held in September 1973, in the parking lot of the Municipal Auditorium.[2] It later moved to Plaza Ferdinand VII before settling in its current home, Seville Square, which had been used for the Evening in Old Seville Square festival in previous years.

The festival has only been canceled once, in 2004, due to the destruction wreaked by Hurricane Ivan .

Art competition[edit]

Every year more than 200 artists, selected from over 600 applicants, display their wares at the festival and compete for a total of $25,000 in prizes:

  • Best of Show: $3,000
  • 5 Awards of Distinction: $1,400 each
  • 5 Awards of Excellence: $1,200 each
  • 5 Awards of Honor: $800 each
  • 5 Awards of Merit: $600 each
  • 5 Judges Awards: $400 each


Children's festival[edit]

The Children's Arts Festival is held concurrently with the main festival across Main Street/Bayfront Parkway at Bartram Park.

There is also a juried art show for students of the area's elementary, middle and high schools.


Every year GGAF holds a contest to select the festival's poster. The winner is awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

Please fill in missing images and artist info.

External links & references[edit]

  1. J. Earle Bowden. "Arts fest still brings shine to November." Pensacola News Journal, November 5, 2005.
  2. "Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival a visual feast." Pensacola News Journal, November 1, 2002.