The Florida Renaissance Festival is a wholly different world??a world of jousts and costumes and turkey legs. Here be dragons, or so the armor-clad knights would have you believe. At the festival, live shows recreate the romance of the Renaissance with references to Shakespeare and swordplay on 12 different stages. Meanwhile, merchants share the secrets of their crafts, blowing unbreakable glass for spectators and selling hammered pewter goblets. Visitors, dressed in period garb or not, can wander on their own, exploring the shows and stalls, or trying their hands at games of chance while gnawing on scotch eggs and chocolate cheesecake.
A fund-raising event for The United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, Rocks for Education aims to draw audiences with a family-friendly mix of music, comedy, and more. Emmy winner and Local 10 News anchor Laurie Jennings will serve as the event's emcee, and stars David Henrie of Wizards of Waverly Place and Drake Bell of Drake & Josh will engage spectators with songs, comedy, and other unmimed entertainments. Performances by local dance teams and American Idol contestant Symphony Music Howlett will add to the rhythmic stew, making the event more melodic than a Broadway musical about Mozart and the pianos who loved him. The evening's beneficiary, The United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, bolsters learning for little ones with advocacy, parent/teacher training, and resources such as a demonstration school.
Some like theirs rare and some like theirs well-done. Some like theirs bare and others like them chock full of toppings from eggs to shredded pork. No matter your burger preference, the competitors at the third-annual Boca Burger Battle will surely suit your fancy as they vie for the Golden Burger trophy and the titles of Best Boca Burger and Best Alternative Burger. Nineteen burger makers from throughout southern Florida converge, grilling inventive and alternative burgers, all of which guests get to sample. Contenders include grill masters from Bite Gastrotruck, Morton's Steak House, and 4th Generation Organic Market, who will be judged by seasoned chefs, festival-goers, and their mothers. To wash down juicy bites, the folks from Cockspur Rum and Iceberg Vodka will mix rum punch and Electric lemonade, alongside a slew of craft beer and wine vendors serving their own boozy creations. And the tastings aren't just limited to burgers and drinks; vendors will also dish out fries, onion rings, salads, wings, and desserts.
After the judges have declared the winners, the festival kicks into after-party mode with live music from rock fiends Classic Rock Therapy, previews of Star Motorcycle's sweet new bikes, and, of course, more drinks and eats. A portion of the day's proceeds will benefit the nonprofit organization People Reaching Out to Provide Education and Leadership, so you can leave feeling good about more than just your expanded palate.
Like a flight to Athens without the jet lag or TSA tickle-fights, the Saint Mark's Opa in Boca festival brings international flair to Boca Raton for its 33rd consecutive year. "Ola kala" (all is good) at the scenic Saint Mark Greek Orthodox Church, where merrymakers gather to celebrate all things Greek. The smell of fresh lamb, olives, yogurt, and deep-fried loukoumades fills the air, ventilated by flames leaping off grills and ready to be washed down with beer, wine, or a cup of traditional Greek coffee. Meanwhile, the dance floor bustles with performers clad in snappy traditional garb. In addition to the dancing, drinking, feasting, and overall revelry, the festival features rides and games for the little ones, and an international marketplace where attendees can commemorate their figurative vacation abroad.
Groups of women gather at the South Florida Women's Expo for a night dedicated to them. Vendors showcase feminine-friendly wares, which women browse while sampling wine and food. Chefs are on-hand to whip up delectable recipes for galleries of onlookers, models strut the fashion show runway in the latest couture, and psychics predict which attendees will have trouble remembering where they parked their car. A select few will win prizes such as spa packages, jewelry, and exclusive trips.
In an effort to banish the long waiting lines and spread-out obstacles of other mud runs, the organizers of Armageddon Ambush, The Extreme Mud Run, have designed a fun and unique competition that is extreme and unpredictable with more than 15 professionally constructed obstacles built by licensed contractors, including climbing walls and tire pits. To keep things unpredictably colorful, they also set up powdered color ambushes throughout the course. An after-party with beer, food, and live music offers participants an opportunity to dance off the mixture of mud and paint, a much more fun alternative to showering and a much safer one than rolling around on a cop's freshly washed squad car. (However, washing off is also available.)