Memorial Day

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the Memorial Day holiday weekend and the closing of a grant program established in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

From an economic standpoint, the Memorial Day holiday weekend is important in that it marks the unofficial start to the tourist season.

“Tourism is looking good across northwest Florida,” Harper said. “The beach metro areas are seeing strong visitation increases and that’s a good sign.”

wcmu.org

The parties are already underway for this weekend’s annual gathering of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender at Pensacola Beach’s Park East.

About 150,000 people have attended the LBGT-related events the past couple of Memorial Day weekends. Ted McCrary, the general manager of Emerald City – the downtown Pensacola bar that serves as party central -- is expecting about the same, if not a slightly higher number this year.

turbotodd.com

AAA is projecting the upcoming Memorial Day weekend as one of the most traveled – if not the most-traveled – in history.

Just over 37 million Americans are projected to travel 50 miles or more from home during the long weekend – from Thursday, May 21 to Monday, May 25.  That’s a 4.7% increase from last year, and is the highest travel volume for Memorial Day in a decade.

UWF

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses a report that shows the nation’s economy shrank in the first quarter of 2014, the first downturn since early 2011.

The government initially said first quarter GDP grew at a 0.1% annual rate. That figure was revised downward to -0.1%.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF News

Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Pensacola hosted its annual Memorial Day ceremony on Sunday. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody was there.

Veterans Park Foundation President Jack Brown served as Master of Ceremonies for the program, which was held under a cloudless sky and typical May temperatures around 90 degrees. In his opening remarks, Brown pointed to a couple of new projects under construction – the Revolutionary War monument, and new Wall South information kiosk.

Photo via Instagram// @wynnayscue

People are crowding onto Santa Rosa Island for the Memorial Day weekend. Many are looking forward to the beach parties that mark the annual mostly LGBT gathering at Park East.

About 150,000 people attended the LGBT-related events last Memorial Day. And organizer Johnny Chism is expecting higher numbers this time around. A number of events are on tap at Emerald City on Wright Street – the downtown Pensacola bar owned by Chism and considered the headquarters for the LGBT weekend.

Photo via Flickr//Taber Andrew Bain

Memorial Day, the so-called “unofficial start of summer,” is eight weeks away and counting. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody looks at the first of a series of AAA's suggestions on how to save money on that vacation. This installment deals with lodging.

Jessica Brady at AAA South in Tampa says the one rule of thumb the auto club wants everyone to remember is that historically, the closer Memorial Day looms, booking a hotel will become harder and more expensive.