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.
At Kavasutra, guests chat with friends over cups of kava, a traditional root extract from the South Pacific celebrated for its soothing, sedative effects. Rather than impairing mental function like alcohol, kava merely relaxes the mind, allowing patrons to leave the worries of everyday life behind for a spell. Surrounded by cozy couches and Polynesian-inspired decor, visitors can lounge in an oasis of calm as they make new friends.
At Maurici's Salon on the Ave, a team of eminently qualified stylists treats hair and nails as its canvas, beautifying clients with everything from custom keratin treatments to formal bridal-party updos. The beauty specialists also manicure brows and polish nails or brighten up strands with detailed highlights and balayage color.
The dance instructors at Studio Dance South Florida outfit students with fancy feet capable of gracefully stepping their way through myriad ballroom and Latin dances. During group and private lessons, dancers of all skill levels practice the foxtrot, Viennese waltz, tango, samba, cha cha, and more.
The Palm Beach Improv stage has played host to some of the biggest names in stand-up spectacle, hosting prominent jesters Tracy Morgan, Daniel Tosh, and Damon Wayans in the last year alone. A rising stand-up star, Amy Schumer has woven her quilt of yuks on such programs as Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and is fresh from her April 2010 Comedy Central Presents special which, unlike stage adaptations of C-SPAN hearings, premiered to high ratings. As an actress, Schumer has had her face televised on 30 Rock and will soon guest-star opposite Larry David in the upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Patrons at Palm Beach Improv must be 21 or older, and a two-drink minimum is enforced in the club.
The Fijian expression “Bula!,” a salute to health and happiness, can be heard reverberating within the earth-toned walls of Kavasutratu as visitors take shots of kava served in coconut shells. Before first tastes, the bartending owners of Kavasutratu edify sippers on the history of the refreshing drink, which derives from a root found in the Pacific and is known for its deeply calming qualities. The lounge’s breezy, beach-theme setting mimics kava’s tranquilizing effects with its bamboo bar, dim lighting, and plentiful decorative greenery to nap under. Ears lose themselves in the soothing music that emanates from Kavasutratu’s sound system, and large, flat-screen TVs flash a variety of abstract visuals.