This is a very big weekend for Fort Lauderdale. Centennial birthday celebrations usually are. Yes it's true, the city of Fort Lauderdale is about to turn 100 years-old. That's an interesting number if you think about it, an age that is both young and old. For people, of course, it's very old. But for places and things, sometimes not so much. I had friends in Vermont who lived in houses that were almost 150 years-old. Here in South Florida, life as we know it today took root much later than in other parts of the country. Which means 100 years for a city in our region is a mature age, for sure. This celebration of maturity seems especially appropriate for Fort Lauderdale, a community that's really just now coming into its own - finally being recognized as a world-class vacation destination.
And that brings us back to this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, two major events will rock Fort Lauderdale into its second 100 years. It begins Saturday night with Centennial Beachfest, a party that runs from 8 pm - midnight along A1A from Las Olas up to the Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale. Then on Sunday, Centennial Riverfest kicks it from noon - 8 pm on the Riverwalk area downtown. Both events are totally free.
Centennial Beachfest will offer outdoor musical performances, prizes and giveaways and basically lots of stuff that should be fun for every member of the family. It really is a big ol' party on the beach. And everyone's invited, including the kids. The Beachfest finale will be a huge fireworks display, always something special when viewed by the ocean. As for the Centennial Riverfest, this daylong event will take place in several areas around Riverwalk, each themed as either Present, Past, Future or International to highlight various aspects of our community. The "Present" area is at Huizenga Plaza, where there will be tons of live music and a birthday procession as well as a ceremonial cutting of a four-foot by eight-foot birthday cake. At the Historical Society, the "Past" features Seminole performers, old-fashioned crafts and games, folk music and much more. The "Future" at the Esplanade is mostly for the children, including kids' dance groups and a Radio Disney DJ. The "International" part of this event happens on the Las Olas Riverfront with performances from Fort Lauderdale's Sister Cities in Italy, Argentina, Colombia and other nations. For more info click here.
What better way for Fort Lauderdale to head into its next century? A huge party for the whole family, right? Because for a city, 100 isn't too old to have a good time. And for Fort Lauderdale at 100, well, we're just getting warmed up.