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A Touch of Europe: the Umbrella Sky Festival is Coming to Pensacola

Beginning Nov. 3, hundreds of colorful umbrellas will float high above historic Intendencia Street in Downtown Pensacola.

In 2012, the Umbrella Sky Project was born as a part of the city of Águeda, Portugal’s famous annual ÁgitAgueda Art Festival. Each year since, thousands of colorful umbrellas are suspended over a handful of the city’s narrow streets during July, August and September—a tantalizing urban art installation that draws people in and provides a canopy of shade for the pedestrians passing through. Since the project began, the colorful pop-up shade structures have gained a cult following around the world. Creators of the Umbrella Sky Project, Sextafeira, have also launched offshoots in other cities such as Lisbon, and beyond to France, the UK and Bahrain.

When the first umbrellas were suspended in Águeda, Portugal, photographer Patricia Almeida captured photos of the city shaded by vibrant umbrellas. Her photos immediately went viral.

On Nov. 3, Sextafeira will bring the Umbrella Sky Project to Pensacola, installing hundreds of umbrellas high above historic Intendencia Street between Jefferson and Palafox. The downtown exhibition, conceived by Lissa Dees of the Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board, is expected to last three months and was made possible by a Foo Foo Fest grant from Arts, Culture and Entertainment, Inc.

The Sextafeira design team will arrive at the end of October to begin constructing the structure and creating a lively canopy of umbrellas above the street to make it appear as if they are floating in mid-air. “Umbrella Sky Project has been recreated all over the world,” said Dees. “This will be an unforgettable experience for anyone who visits downtown Pensacola.” 

The vibrant exhibition is expected to bring thousands of people to the downtown Pensacola area. The Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board will launch a special Umbrella Sky Snapchat filter for those who want to post their #UmbrellaSkyPensacola selfie.

About the Umbrella Sky Project: The “Umbrella Sky Project” was born in Águeda, in the year of 2012, it’s composed by various colourful art installations spread by the city, the sky of umbrellas that seem to float in the air is the strong element of this project. The idea is colouring people’s lives, bringing colour to the grey places in the city, and making people smile! www.sextafeira.pt/projects/