Pensacola's New Year's Eve Pelican Drop in jeopardy

Pensacola's Pelican Drop on New Year's Eve in jeopardy

Every year downtown Pensacola celebrates the holidays in style. The holiday spirit has already taken over the downtown core.

However, this year the New Year's Eve festivities will look a little different.

After nine years, the Pelican Drop will most likely not take place.

Buck Mitchell, marketing director for Seville Quarter, joined other concerned citizens in 2016 to take over the event after the Downtown Improvement Board decided not to do the Pelican Drop anymore.

"We pulled it off in two months, raised almost $100,000 and pretty much took over all of our lives for two hard months of work to pull off the biggest party in downtown Pensacola with over 50,000 people," Mitchell exclaimed.

They don't plan to do it again.

This year, it looks like the plan is not coming together.

Mitchell said, "I personally do not have the resources or the energy really to be able to go do that again on a gratis basis."

No organization or person has stepped up to make the Pelican Drop happen.

Mitchell said it's a shame and it'll be missed.

Some people in the community agree.

Darryel Kelley, a Pensacola resident, was looking forward to his first Pelican Drop.

"If anybody don't want to take that on for once a year. C'mon, it should be thrown out there to other people and see what they think about it and I guarantee you you'll get a lot of feedback on it. They'll want to continue it," he said.

Also, Krista Clark, who has attended the New Year's Eve tradition in the past said, "It would be disappointing. I think to a lot of people, especially families with kids. I think it could be mitigated if they still just closed off the streets like they do for Gallery Night and have a huge party. Regardless if the pelican dropped or not."

Mitchell encourages people not to stay away from downtown.

He said New Year's Eve celebrations will continue with or without the pelican.

"Downtown is going to be hot," Mitchell said. "Just because the pelican won't be there doesn't mean New Year's Eve is going away. New Year's Eve in downtown Pensacola is going to be big."

Mitchell hopes this is only a hiatus and the Pelican Drop isn't gone forever.

There had been talks to move the event to Community Maritime Park, but nothing official has developed with less than six weeks to New Year's Eve.

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