Like many of history’s greatest ideas, SpankyFest Pub Crawl was brewed up after a night of drinking. In 2009, three friends attended a birthday party. After the party ended, though, the trio came to a conclusion: the night was a bit of a waste. They had spent a lot of money but had nothing to show for it.
So in 2010, they decided to try something different. Inspired by their love of animals, the friends organized a pub crawl to raise money for the Humane Society of Greater Miami. Named after their American bulldog, Spanky, the event led droves of fellow animal supporters out for a night on the town, swinging by numerous bars to take advantage of drink specials. Events such as SpankyFest are especially important because the Humane Society is supported solely by donations, not by government funds or the inherited fortune of a pirate parrot.
Leading an eco-friendly lifestyle and enjoying an occasional shopping spree aren't mutually exclusive. Go Green Fashionista proves just that, with events and pop-up shops that highlight green shopping options. Beyond making hats out of fallen leaves, there's also shopping vintage and patronizing designers who work with recycled materials. The organization's team donates to green foundations as they work, too, with missions from planting trees around the world to housing the underserved.
Tucked between Biscayne Bay and Highway U.S. 1 sits Coconut Grove, which locals refer to as a village within a city. Though enveloped by Miami's sprawl, the neighborhood retains the air of a quaint seaside town, with waterfront parks, fun local eateries, and a yearly seafood festival that combines those two amenities.
The Coconut Grove Seafood Festival takes place in Peacock Park on October 20th, a mere five days after official Florida Stone Crab season opens. Vendors serve up the signature, buttery crab in local dishes, but they also bring together some of the most famous seafood flavors from around the world, using fresh caught fish. They grill fillets in Jamaican jerk seasoning, stir fry shellfish in paellas, and slice raw tuna to stuff sushi. They also boil clams and oysters in traditional New England chowders, or spice crawfish to match the hearty flavors of Cajun Jambalaya.
While the chefs ply their trade and provide cooking demonstrations for interested visitors and ambitious seagulls, musicians perform on stages and kids frolic in the family fun zone. In between food vendors' stalls, artisans peddle nautically themed arts and crafts. The festival also houses a fish market called Grove Wharf, where expert fishmongers help visitors pick out the perfect fillets for dinner.
Within its first year of production, Samuel Adams' beer was being distributed to Germany, so it's no surprise the notable brewery has since expanded to host its own Oktoberfest. The fifth-annual Sam Adams Octoberfest?held on September 19 and 20?packs 16 days of merrymaking into one weekend in the spirit of Bavarian tradition, with authentic food and music. High-voltage polka group Terry Cavanagh and the Alpine Express provide the event's soundtrack. Of course, Bavarian cuisine and seasonal brews are the focus of the fall festival, but they aren't its only authentic elements. The weekend also includes a Miss Octoberfest contest, whose winner is awarded a crown of artfully woven pretzels.
It used to be that while the northern regions of the country enjoyed hayrides through patches of plump, orange gourds, south Floridians had to be content with only their gorgeous, tropical weather, but that all changed in 2012. At the 3rd annual Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival, 5,000 pumpkins will assemble just off the coast of Biscayne Bay for Peacock Park?s pumpkin patch. But the pumpkins are just the centerpiece of a weekend-long celebration filled with classic autumn traditions. ?We deserve to have that magical fall feeling too,? says organizer Vanessa Goodis, working to bring autumnal splendor to the Miami waterfront.
Along with pumpkins harvested for their slow-flickering internal flames, the fest also entertains guests with a diverse set of attractions. Kids navigate straw-strewn tunnels in the giant hay maze and tread eerie, eary paths in the corn-stalk labyrinth. The dress-your-own scarecrow village stocks the latest field-hand fashion wear, and the orange orbs that star in the festival can be decorated with paint, glitter, glue, and googly eyes for an additional fee. The Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival lets Florida children enjoy everything fall has to offer.
The most recent addition to Paragon Theaters’ repertoire of upscale movie venues, Paragon Deerfield 8 Movie Theater cushions customers in the plush luxury of its newly renovated theaters. Stadium-style seats pad posteriors as their owners gaze upon the silver screens from clear vantage points. An expanded concessions menu sates the palates of moviegoers by presenting a range of hearty fare and, for those of age, beer and wine.
Sony HD digital projectors bathe the towering screens in crystal clearness, granting films a visual crispness so pronounced it has enabled sponsors to advertise their logos in actors' pores. The company plans additional upgrades and outdoor seating to bring all the amenities found in its locations in Miami, Florida, and Burnsville and Rochester, Minnesota, to the new Deerfield Beach location.