Friday Fest marks decade downtown

Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 02:44 PM.

PANAMA CITY — Friday Fest is dawning on a decade downtown this weekend, and with any anniversary year, the celebration is always bigger.

“It is the start of our 10th year. We have DiVine coming back and some incredible bands,” said Dutch Sanger, executive director of the Downtown Improvement Board, who founded Friday Fest in 2004.

Danielle Renfrow, who has spent three days a week donning a foliage-covered suit at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the past 13 years, will return for a breath of fresh air on March 1.

“These are my absolute favorite types to perform,” said Renfrow, a DiVine performance artist from Living World Entertainment. “You have kids, older folks, people out eating, listening to music. … It’s so nice to be in an environment where it’s a true surprise. I love doing things in the evening, while it’s the twilight hour.”

Last year’s performance featured Renfrow moving gracefully and slowly up and down four blocks of Harrison Avenue after being transformed into a living vine. Getting into make-up, costume and stilts takes her about 20 minutes.

On Friday, she will perform 6-6:30 p.m. and 7-7:30 p.m., when you might find her wrapping around a lamp post or growing on a brick wall. With the stilts on her arms outstretched to the sky, she can reach more than 20 feet high.

“Lamp posts are my absolute favorite,” Renfrow said. “I have five vines at home; they grow on anything and everything. I have a trellis and pergola in my back yard and use it as inspiration. Vines go well on a brick wall. The small garden park area in downtown had two brick pillars I remember that I could hang on and were good photo opportunities for people.”

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