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Gallery Night Cancelled In August

People dancing in the street during Gallery Night in July
Bob Barrett
WUWF Public Media
People dancing in the street during Gallery Night in July

Gallery Night is cancelled in August, but the event may return later this year if COVID conditions stabilize

After returning for one night in July, Gallery Night in downtown Pensacola is back on hold.

“Right now, it is not safe to host our event in downtown Pensacola,” said Sydney Robinson is the executive director of Gallery Night Pensacola.

“(The Gallery Night board) just stepped back are realized that this area of Florida, especially our county and city, are at a crisis point regarding the COVID pandemic, especially with the Delta Variant. Particularly with the numbers that came out (on Monday) from the county saying that our hospitalization rate had reached an all-time high.”

Robinson says the decision to cancel this month’s event came after multiple meetings of the Gallery Night Board as well as consulting with Pensacola city leaders and reviewing data from the CDC.

But all is not lost, there will be a virtual Gallery Night in August.

“It’s going to be hosted in partnership with Pensacola Artists Live, who (has) put on several high quality virtual events. We are anticipating a live music performance as well as a live auction with local artists’ art that will be available for bid for participants. And that is all going to be available streaming live on Facebook on August 20, (which) was originally the Gallery Night date.”

The reactions from artists and downtown businesses have ranged from acceptance to “here we go again”, but most are looking to be involved in the virtual event.

Robinson says they are also planning on hosting a vaccination clinic on August 20, but the time and location of that is still in the works.

“And that will be in partnership with downtown merchants that want to participate. The goal is to have as many vaccinations (administered) that day and having coupons and other incentives to try and get folks out and get protected (from the virus)”.

The cancellation is only for the August event. Robinson says Gallery Night is still scheduled to take place on September 17, but the board will continue to evaluate the situation and make any changes they feel would be safe moving forward.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.