For a quarter of a century, Irish Fest has brought musicians, food vendors, and the general public together for a celebration of Ireland's culture. The outdoor festival's atmosphere echoes the old country with an arts and crafts marketplace and a pub tent, where attendees devour Irish cuisine such as bangers and mash, or if they're feeling rebellious, mash and bangers. Everyone from fiddlers to Celtic rock bands to accordion players keep the crowds dancing to live music throughout the weekend. The Keltic Kids’ Korner ensures little ones also stay entertained with bounce castles and kid-friendly shows.
Jazz at the Zoo was founded in 2012 by Coconut Palm Events to support Wheels for Kids, a nonprofit that provides custom wheelchairs to children and young adults in need. During the annual charity event, patrons are invited to the Palm Beach Zoo for a night of live jazz, silent auctions, and exotic-animal sightings. The event will help fund one custom wheelchair for two children in need, and a portion of each ticket sale sends one child and caregiver to the Palm Beach Zoo.
Though Christopher Columbus is best known for discovering America, he also inadvertently spawned West Palm Beach’s Tropical Rum Festival. Columbus introduced sugar cane to the Caribbean region on his famous voyages, and sugar’s byproduct, molasses, is what gets distilled into rum. The festival celebrates the now-popular spirit’s diverse styles. And as rum flows freely, revelers can dance to reggae, dubstep and hip-hop tunes, rather than the strange music of the late 1400s, which was created by tickling ducks.
The two-day Lake Worth Reggae Fest imports island cuisine, authentic reggae tunes, and tariff-free Caribbean vibes to Bryant Park one weekend a year. Freshly prepared Jamaican fare provides on-the-go sustenance through the day, and reggae-centric merchandise brims over with comfy apparel and stacks of music. Live music satisfies souls throughout both days of the festival, with British reggae/R&B singer Maxi Priest taking the stage at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31. The singer, best known for the hits “Close to You” and “Set the Night to Music,” headlines an eclectic lineup that also includes Inner Circle, Jahfe, Mixed Culture, and The Resolvers.
For two weekends every October, the sounds of laughter and German folk music echo across a field in Lake Worth. The American German Club's traditional Oktoberfest celebration, which sprawls across 10 acres under an open-air pavilion and a tent, has been going on for 40 years now and doesn't show any signs of stopping. Each day kicks off with the parade of flags and, sometimes, a ceremonial keg-tapping. Afterward, indoor and outdoor kitchens perpetually sizzle up authentic German bratwurst, leberkäse, and pastries. Meanwhile, bartenders pour four styles of Hofbräu Bier, as well as imported liquors and domestic brews. While vendors display traditional German crafts, the festival's stages erupt with folk-dancing, choral singing, and Bavarian tunes from two German groups, Heldensteiner Band and Die Lustigen Bayern.
The Delray Beach Garlic Fest promotes the culinary, creative, and health possibilities of garlic. In Garlic Chef Stadium, seasoned experts vie for the chance to become the Garlic Chef winner. The competition requires chefs to prepare a unique three-course gourmet meal in one hour, complete with pre-selected ingredients including garlic and one mystery ingredient in each course. After watching chefs transform garlic cloves into tantalizing meals that are too far away to snatch and devour, patrons can sate any residual cravings with a trip to Gourmet Alley. The Gourmet Alley features samples of more than two dozen garlic-themed items, such as blackened garlic mahi mahi, garlic gator, and garlic marinated vegetable paninis.
A group of locals founded the Garlic Fest to help raise money for local organizations dedicated to promoting youth arts and education and helping people with a natural garlic odor feel less alone. Through the nonprofit organization Delray Beach Arts, Inc., the festival has raised more than $390,000 in charitable donations.