Fiesta of Five Flags History

Fiesta of Five Flags History

In the late 1940's, a group of community leaders began to develop the idea of an annual summer festival to promote tourism in the Pensacola area. That idea developed into the Fiesta of Five Flags Celebration, and it may have been the first community attempt to recognize and develop tourism as an industry.

Calvin Todd, President of the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce in 1949, proposed the concept of combining a historical theme with tourism promotion. Thus, the focus of Fiesta was based upon the founding of Pensacola, America's oldest city, by Don Tristan de Luna in 1559. It would also be a salute to our history under the flags of five governments that have flown over our city: Spain, France, England, the Confederacy and the United States.

The scope of Fiesta was expanded in the late 1980's to include fund-raising events. The Pensacola Crawfish Festival in the spring and the Pensacola Seafood Festival in the fall are both three-day events held in the historic district of downtown Pensacola. The success of these weekend events has enabled Fiesta to invest in local organizations that research and promote Pensacola's history. Throughout the 68 years of the Fiesta’s history, the mission has remained the same: "To celebrate our heritage, promote tourism and build pride in Pensacola through festive activities which enhance the quality of life in our Community." Today Fiesta mobilizes community support for its year-round events, contributes funds to the promotion of Pensacola's history, while providing exciting entertainment and events for the entire community to enjoy.