Toadlick Music Festival.

It’s that time of year again where we load up the car with the hole dang caboodle and head to Dothan, Alabama for the annual Toadlick Music Festival. But we’ve got tickets for you this year! Want a pair of tickets to the festival, visit our new Facebook page, Southern Sparkplug and see how to enter to win!

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A change in the wind.

I’m changing directions, but only a little. I know that I often write about concerts, festivals, events, local reviews, etc. But I haven’t been providing enough consistent content and I want to change that. I often travel for concerts and festivals or just because I’m purely a road trip junkie. Seriously. One night some friends and I couldn’t decide what we wanted to do for the night and we knew that we wanted to grab dinner somewhere. After a few minutes of discussion, we decided to road trip it to Biloxi for an all you can eat buffet. Yes, Biloxi. Yes, purely for food. Biloxi is a few hours from Pensacola, Florida and two states over. But we went, we had a blast on the way there, found the best buffet in town, tried our hand at gambling (we’re all horrible) and then drove back home. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we could have stayed the night but what’s the fun in that. Complete road trip! I’ll be transitioning this blog (eventually the design as well) to tell more of those stories, help you find the perfect hidden places to get local eats and treats and share my adventurous ways. Sound fun? It should! Because I want you to share with me your adventurous ways as well. Oh, and we’ll definitely start out sticking to the South! I’m headed to Nashville just next month! So, come travel with me and start your wanderlust obsession.

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Pensacola Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The Greater Pensacola Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) had their investor presentations on Tuesday, March 24 at the University of West Florida’s Center for Fine & Performing Arts. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a national program that takes students through the process of starting and running real businesses over the course of a full academic year. Greater Pensacola’s YEA! is a 30 week program from November to April that Escambia and Santa Rosa county students participate in by developing a business plan, a presentation and pitch to local investors in a Shark Tank like environment. Throughout their class time, students participated in business visits with The Bodacious Olive, Chick-Fil-A Nine Mile Road and the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. They had guest speakers present about accounting, insurance and risk management, niche marketing, government resources, social entrepreneurship, banking, and a roundtable discussion with local CEOs. For seven weeks, students had a business mentor that participated in weekly classes to assist them in thinking through all aspects of the business plan. They worked with graphic designers and web developers and had plenty of support from instructor Randy Ramos and program managers Terri Ramos and Erin Luttrell, and Kelly Reeser.

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The 10 students pitched eight business plans to area business leaders and investors. Each business had six minutes to present a PowerPoint presentation, speech and showcase their product or service. Investors were limited to three questions per student. The winner was Ceirra Moore, CEO of Coterie Beads will be representing Great Pensacola YEA! at the regional competition in Boca Raton in May. Thomas Booker, CEO with Your Just Desserts was named runner up and was awarded  with an additional $500 gift card from Sam’s Club to help launch his business.

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Business Profiles
Spark of Creativity (SOCA) – Fun STEM learning at home!
Ian Robertson, CEO
6th Grade, Home School
Took home $510 from investors.

Coterie Beads – Fun, Fashionable Jewelry for YOU!
Ceirra Moore, CEO
5th Grade, Blue Angels Elementary
Took home $985 from investors.

Customized by You – Customized for you, By you.
Rylee Ballard, CEO
6th Grade, Sims Middle School
Catherine Lambert, COO
9th Grade, Pace High SchoolTook home $515 from investors.

Missing Petals – Awareness Promotes Safety.
Grace Stanley, CEO6th Grade, Brown Barge Middle School
Took home $950 from investors.

Flag Masters – Customizable electronic mailbox flag covers.
Chance VanOverberghe, CEO
7th Grade, Sims Middle SchoolChandler VanOverberghe, COO
7th Grade, Sims Middle School
Took home $650 from investors.

Carey Creations – origami-style photo album
Michael Carey, CEO
6th Grade, Workman Middle School
Took home $410 from investors.

ChargerGuard – Protect your Investment
Evan Naquin, CEO
10th Grade, Gulf Breeze High SchoolTook home $780 from investors.

Your Just Desserts – Home of the Happy Cupcake
Thomas Booker, CEO
9th Grade, Pensacola High School
Took home $1,200 from investors.

Investors:
Robert Barnes, Owner/Operator of Chick-fil-A Nine Mile Road
Greg Beck, Founder of Beck Property Company, Inc.
Maggie Conaghan, VP of Compliance at Central Credit Union
Chad Henderson, Founder of THG Investments
Gary Sammons, Western District GM for Gulf Power Company
Mike Myhre, State Director of Florida Small Business Development Center Network
Peter Nowak, Owner/Operator of Nowak Enterprises, Inc.
Pam Hatt, Director of Marketing at Pen Air Federal Credit Union
Andrew Rothfeder, partner with Studer Community Development Group
Cyndi Warren, CPA and managing member for the Pensacola office of Warren Averett, LLC

Business Mentors:
Whitney Fike, Sparkplug Social
John Gormley, BBVA Compass
Mort O’Sullivan, Warren Averett O’Sullivan Creel
Chris Thom, ToEmploy
Kelly Massey, Small Business Development Center
Bri Snellgrove, Social Icon
Carol Ann Thomas, Retired Pensacola News Journal
Dorian Zwiereqicz, Small Business Development Center
Tyler Tiwari, Global Business Solutions, Inc.

The Southern Sisters Sale.

I can’t believe it’s been a while since I wrote on the blog. Ugh, I hate that I’ve been MIA.

However, I went to go see Krystal with Barefoot Gypsy Boutique to learn about her mobile shop and now brick and mortar storefront and she told me about a sale happening this weekend. (My blog about Barefoot Gypsy Boutique will be up next week).

It’s called the Southern Sisters Sale and it happens right in East Hill in Pensacola, Fla. Here is the event page on Facebook. The sale will have creative decor, jewelry and gifts.

The Southern Sisters explain their event by telling you to, “bring your friends and enjoy an evening of shopping for home décor, boutique clothing, and gifts for yourself or those on your Christmas list.

Featuring multiple vendors offering a wide variety of goods, including antiques, fashion, jewelry, home décor, shabby chic, vintage and re-purposed items, and much more.”

It’s a three day event on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The address is 1326 Blount Street, Pensacola, FL 32503.

Visit the Southern Sisters Sale Facebook page here.

3rd annual Pensacola Craft Beer Festival | Nov. 15

I’ll be at the Pensacola Craft Beer Festival this weekend. Here is the press release that went out about the festival.

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The 3rd annual Pensacola Craft Beer Festival is returning to the  Community Maritime Park on Saturday, November 15. Attendees will be able to sample craft beers from nearly 200 craft breweries while enjoying the view of Pensacola Bay. This is an opportunity to sample all styles of beer and determine your preferences. Beers from microbreweries and specialty-bottled beers will be available for tasting. Live entertainment will pour over the festival grounds from the amphitheater. Food vendors will be strategically placed for pairings with crafts beers. More than 75 arts and crafts vendors will be scattered through the festival grounds.

Festival Hours
Saturday, November 15       2 – 6 p.m.

Admission
General Admission (advance) $30
Day of Festival $35
VIP Saturday (advance ticket sales only) $70
Whiskey Corner $10

Whiskey Corner
The Whiskey Corner is a new addition, sponsored by Old Hickory Whiskey Bar. Access to this area is an extra $10 and Old Hickory Whiskey Bar will be providing whiskey samples and education from different whiskey suppliers.

VIP area
The VIP area, sponsored by Pensacola Bay Brewery, will feature special brews from brew master, Mark Robertson, paired with culinary creations from local specialty chefs. VIP ticket holders will be able to enter the festival at 1 p.m.

Entertainment Schedule
1 – 2:15 p.m. Chain Smoking Hags
2:30 – 3:45 p.m. Scream Out Loud
4 – 5 p.m. Jess Meuse
5:15 – 6 p.m. Tyler Mac Band

Live bands will perform from the amphitheater throughout the festival. Local bands include Chain Smoking Hags, Scream Out Loud and the Tyler Mac Band. Special musical guest, Jess Meuse, who performed on Season 13 of American Idol and finished in fourth place, will be the highlight of the festival. During her elimination, Jess performed her original song Blue-Eyed Lie.Guests are welcome to being chairs and blankets.

Panhandle Mopars’ “3rd annual Past Meets Present” Mopar Car Show, sponsored by Hill-Kelly Dodge, will be located at the entrance to the festival. The car show will feature Mopar and AMC vehicles that are Mopar and/or AMC-powered along with trophies, door prizes and raffles provided by our generous sponsors. This is the only and fastest growing all Mopar show in the Florida panhandle.

The Pensacola Craft Beer Festival has teamed up with two local non-profit organizations, Kasie Helpz Kids and the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida. These non-profits will be providing volunteers, selling bottled water and helping attendees put together pretzel necklaces for a donation.

Kaboom Sports and Social Club will be providing a double elimination cornhole tournament at the festival. Teams of two will compete in the Masters or Rookies divisions for prizes. Registration includes two tickets to the festival. Tournament costs $60 team (online by November 14) or $70 team (day of). Register at www.kaboomssc.com.

The new Pensacola Pedal Trolley will be giving exclusive tours on the day of the festival from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to the first 90 people who purchase tickets with the promo code: PEDALPUB.

All patrons must be over 21 to enter. Be sure to bring your ID. A designated driver ticket will be sold the day of the festival for $10. For additional information about the Pensacola Craft Beer Festival visit, pcbeerfest.com, or follow us on social media at www.facebook.com/pcbeerfest or www.twitter.com/pcbeerfest.

** Disclosure: My company, Sparkplug Social, is handling a portion of marketing and logistics for the Pensacola Craft Beer Festival.