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One of the special things about staying with us is that we have some great activities that take place near our building. You may want to keep these in mind when you plan your vacation.
All though the year there are smaller events that take place around our building and in the neighboring parks. The City of Fort Lauderdale actively promotes the Downtown riverfront area and we have a front row seat. One wacky event recently revived is the "New River Raft Race" where home made rafts bump down the river to cheering crowds. They all have to be completely man-powered and water cannons and super-soakers are encouraged to attack the competing "pirates" and bystanders. They start and finish directly below our balcony and after the race they have a party across in Esplanade Park . The event is held in mid-November. It is free and a lot of fun.
Every first Sunday of the month the City of Fort Lauderdale sponsors a "Jazz Brunch" in the little park directly across the River from us. On four different stages they bring in the area's best local jazz artists to perform from 11 AM to 2 PM. You can sit on the balcony and listen or walk across with chairs or a blanket and join in the festivities. Venders come and sell food and goods. It is all free and a great way to relax on a Sunday. Remember it is the first Sunday of every month.
Three times a year, late in October, early in January and March, for 2 days the heart of Las Olas Blvd. is shut down and turned into a street art fair. It is ranked as one of the top 100 art festivals in the nation and brings out over 150 artists displaying their work. The artists are hand-selected from hundreds of applicants and are required to be at the festival the entire weekend. This gives you the unique opportunity to meet the creators of the art and purchase the art directly from them. Judy and I try to go every year and it is a fun way to spend the day. We usually end up eating at one of the local restaurants. The start of Las Olas is a little over a half mile away so either walk or take our bikes to avoid driving.
A very special event for us. The annual Winterfest Boat Parade is held each year a couple weekends before Christmas and the great part is that it starts right below our balcony. It is a visually dazzling event, named one of the "Top 20 Parades in the World". 100 brilliantly illuminated boats sail down the New River and up the Intracoastal Waterway during this signature annual event. More than 1,000,000 cheering spectators will line up along the 12 mile route making it not only the largest, one-day, live audience event in Florida, but also the seventh largest one-day spectator event in the country! A truly special event and we have front row seats. For details: www.winterfestparade.com
Another special event for us is the New Year's Eve celebration that the City of Ft. Lauderdale holds right across the river from us in Esplanade Park. Prior to Midnight they have family-friendly celebrations includes inflatables, face painting, a DJ, music, games, contests and line dancing. For the grown-ups, there are live local bands, a car exhibition, outdoor lounge, biergarten, a food court and vendors. At midnight the 8 foot ball drops and fireworks are fired off from the roof of the Performing Arts Center next to us. You can read in our Guest Book the nice comments from the couple that saw it last year.
The Christmas season is a particular delightful time to visit us. Besides the religious activities and concerts around town, we have a couple events in our neighborhood you might especially like. The Christmas on Las Olas event around the start of December has been going on for over 40 years. They close the street down and Christmas carolers and performers from all corners of South Florida fill the boulevard with the music and melodies that feed the holiday spirit.
They even bring in snow for the kids - of course Santa is there. The other thing that happens is the houses and condos along the New River and Intercoastal do extensive decorating and compete for prizes. (We won for best condo 3 years in a row.) There are special narrated river tours to view all the homes - something well worth doing.