By Wesley Martin
It was no DeLuna Fest. Rock groups like Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters did not make a special appearance. But, the 2012 Equinox Festival, held in Pensacola’s Long Hollow Neighborhood was still an event worth attending.
The festival, held last Saturday from noon until 10 p.m. in a vacant lot adjacent to Open Books Bookstore, seemed to be a quirky mix of former hippies and current hipsters. To some, it was refreshing to be in an environment free of the Bible-Belt mentality that often plagues local citizens.
The event featured art vendors, alternative cuisine and music from many genres (Jazz, Americana, new age, etc.) The Equinox Festival was sponsored by the City of Pensacola in conjunction with the Long Hollow Neighborhood (located between Palafox and Tarragona Streets.)
Helen Hudson, a volunteer with Open Books Bookstore, a volunteer-ran bookstore that benefits the prison books project, says she enjoyed Saturday’s event.
“There was a variety of music, good food and an art show within the bookstore,” she said. “There was something for everyone.”
Carla Milam, a local artist and vendor at Saturday’s festival, said she got involved to help out and to promote the Long Hollow neighborhood. Milam, who uses acrylic paint on canvas, was amongst kindred unorthodox souls last Saturday.
“I paint my art with 1 ½ inch and five-inch paint scrapers,” she said proudly. “I never use a brush until I find them.”
Still, if one saw her art, the relaxing scenes would more than likely brighten their day.
“I paint a lot of happy places,” Milam said. “There’s a lot of empty chairs in my paintings; nice little beach houses waiting for ya. Lots of sunsets and moon rises – things that make you happy.”
Helen Hudson of Open Books said Saturday’s event was also great because “it didn’t cost several hundred dollars.”
“And, to me, this event was about building community,” Hudson said.
For more information on the Long Hollow Neighborhood, please visit: facebook.com/longhollowneighborhood