SAINT in the East Village is officially open.
Las Olas was the place to be Friday, April 22nd for the Las Olas Food and Wine Festival. The night was filled with eating delicious bites and sippin’ on wine, beer, and mouth-watering cocktails all while helping to fund lung disease research, education, advocacy, and support for individuals living with lung disease in South Florida.
“Every year this event brings together the best of the best of South Florida. The Festival attracts a diversity of industries and demographics, representing various corporations, hospitality partners, entertainment vendors, and attendees from all over Florida and beyond,” remarks LaJuane Mack, Las Olas Wine and Food Festival Committee Member, South Florida American Lung Association Leadership Board Member, and Region Multicultural Manager – Central with Brown-Forman Beverages.
The three-hour event shut down a nice portion of Las Olas with tents lining both sides of the road filled with food and drinks from many local restaurants, breweries, and bars. Faux Pas had my favorite drink of the night, a canned pear Moscow Mule, I typically do not love Moscow Mules, but the canned cocktail was bursting with flavors from the pear notes. I highly enjoyed trying all the different wines, beers, cocktails, prosecco, and champagnes, and can not say there was one beverage I did not enjoy.
The unlimited small plates of food had to be the highlight of this event for me, there were 28 food vendors and I made sure to try delicious bites from each of them in a three-hour window, a new food record for myself! I loved all the flavorful ceviches- there were quite a few I tried that night. I also can not stop dreaming about the spicy meatballs from Nikki’s Foods LLC. There was a true variety of restaurants at this event for all taste pallets, from seafood, sweets, pasta dishes, poultry, bruschetta, and so many more tasteful bites.
When you think the night can not get any better there is more- not only did this event feature wine and food but it also featured a 360 photo booth, a silent dance party, some outdoor games, and loads of free giveaways from shirts to seltzer koozies. The silent dance party has to be one of the most innovative ways to party and dance off all the food that was consumed that night. For the silent dance party, each person was given a headset and they could choose between three different stations to dance the night away under the stars. It was hilarious to see everyone dancing to their own beat (literally).
“The American Lung Association is proud to share this memorable experience with our community. Proceeds from the Festival allow us to fund life-saving research, provide community-based support programs for those living with lung disease, and advances much-needed advocacy efforts to ensure clean air for all,” shares Cynthia Peterson, South Florida American Lung Association Board Member and Executive Director of Broward County Medical Association.
If you missed this event this year be sure to check it out next time, you will not regret it!
American Lung Association Interview On The 26th Annual Las Olas Wine and Food Festival:
Tell us about the event?
The 26th Annual Las Olas Wine and Food Festival annually celebrates the incredible restaurant community of Greater Fort Lauderdale with a one-night event on the iconic Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, FL. There are five blocks of sampling stations featuring the participating restaurants paired with international wine stations so guests can sip, sample, and enjoy, thanks to presenting sponsor, Breakthru Beverage. The evening brings together the best of the area and is hosted by and benefits the American Lung Association.
Tell us about the American Lung Association and it works?
The American Lung Association is a non-profit organization whose mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.
What were the highlights of the evening?
Prior to the event’s official start, VIP guests enjoyed a spectacular pre-event reception hosted by FPL at the Riverside Hotel Rooftop Terrace. The reception included bites from Wild Sea Las Olas and Sky Thai Sushi, sweets courtesy of Hoffman’s Chocolates, and a champagne toast, courtesy of Korbel Champagne.
Some of the highlights of the night were the incredible samples the restaurant partners served, the entertainment sponsor lounges featuring Celebrity Cruises Silent Disco, Woodford Reserve’s Ode to the Derby, High Noon Dance Party, and Stella Artois’ Frites & Artois Experience. The all-new Demesmin & Dover 8th Ave. Street Party was a huge hit. Each pavilion had DJs or live music and provided everyone with constant entertainment and so much fun! As guests flowed throughout the event, they popped in and out of the dance party with free giveaways and merchandise.
How do you determine what restaurants, breweries, and wineries are showcased at the event?
The restaurants participating apply each year for one of the exclusive spots on the boulevard. Our goal is to include a wide representation of Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area restaurants to ensure guests get a diversity of offerings and discover new favorite places to dine in the future. The beverages are selected exclusively by partners of the Festival. We are so fortunate to continue to receive tremendous support from our Presenting Sponsor Breakthru Beverage and its amazing suppliers on the wine and spirits side and Stephens Distributing on the beer side.
What other big events do you do throughout the year?
Any upcoming news on the American Lung Association that you would like to share?
Who are some key partners of the event?
The festival is presented by Breakthru Beverage with their 30+ wine suppliers along with High Noon Sun Sips and Woodford Reserve. Hosting sponsors include Celebrity Cruises, Cadillac, Las Olas Association, Las Olas Company, and Demesmin and Dover. Additional sponsors include Broward Health, Stella Artois, VIP Pre-Festival Reception host FPL, Truist, Kindred, Crown Wine and Spirits, Memorial Healthcare, Stephen’s Distributing, RRCA Roofing, and the host hotel is Riverside Hotel.
Featured Culinary Partners included: