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.
- Money raised funds the American Lung Association’s efforts to end all lung diseases, including lung cancer and COVID-19, through research, education, and advocacy.
- The Lung Association has long been the trusted champion for lung health.
- Over 115 years ago, the organization pioneered the model of using education, advocacy, and research to virtually eradicate tuberculosis in the U.S.
- Using these same principles, the Lung Association works to end all lung diseases, including COVID-19.
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?
- Fight for Air Climb – celebrates all athletic levels working toward a common goal: a world free of lung disease. Held annually each spring, this year the Climb was held at loanDepot park – Home of the Miami Marlins. Participants climbed over 1,700 steps.
- LUNG FORCE Soiree – Scheduled for June 4th at 6:30 p.m. at the W Fort Lauderdale. Sunset Soiree, brought to you by Title Sponsor, Memorial Cancer Institute, is a premier luxury lifestyle event of the season designed to raise awareness, education, and critical funding to end lung cancer. This event recognizes several of our LUNG FORCE heroes and includes several guest DJ performances, a one-of-a-kind style lounge, beauty bar, craft cocktails, wine pull, chance drawing, silent auction, and more. For tickets and more information visit https://one.bidpal.net/sunsetsoiree2022/welcome
Any upcoming news on the American Lung Association that you would like to share?
- The American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative unites America to raise critical awareness of lung cancer, the nation’s leading cancer killer, during Turquoise Takeover Week (May 8 – 14, 2022). Each May, we work with landmarks and buildings across the U.S. to turn turquoise, our signature color, to honor those living with and impacted by lung cancer. To get involved locally visit www.turquoisetakeoverchallenge.org.
- While the survival rate of lung cancer has increased by a dramatic 33% over the past 10 years, there is still work to be done. It is estimated that in 2022 alone, there will be over 19,560 Florida residents diagnosed with lung cancer.
- Turquoise Takeover provides the opportunity to raise more awareness about lung cancer, educate on lifesaving screening and raise more research funds to fuel lifesaving breakthroughs. Each year, we turn the nation turquoise and tell the stories of those impacted by lung cancer to change the public’s perception of the disease and help save more lives. Anyone can get lung cancer. In fact, 2/3 of lung cancer diagnoses impact non-smokers. Regardless, no one deserves this devastating disease.
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:
- American Social
- Bahia Mar
- Beehive Kitchen
- Big Buns/Matchbox
- Bo’s Pub Las Olas / The Balcony
- Boatyard Restaurant
- Casa Sensei
- Cornish BBQ INC
- Estiatorio Ornos
- Eve On The Water
- Even Keel Fish & Oyster
- Gelato Petrini
- Gran Forno/ Gran Forno Pronto
- Lona Cocina Tequileria
- Louie Bossi’s Ristorante
- Nikki’s Foods LLC
- Nothing Bundt Cakes
- Radiant 166
- Sushi Garage
- The Alchemist Cafe
- The Patio at Le Marché
- The Wilder
- Vale Food Co
- Wild Sea
- YOLO Restaurant
- Aspect Fine Wine
- August Wine Imports
- Bogle Vineyards
- Clos du Bois
- Daylight Wine & Spirits
- Faux Pas
- Guarachi Wine
- Hiro Sake
- Indigenous Selections
- O’Neill Vintners
- Piattelli Vineyards
- Precept Wine
- Prosecco Zero
- Q Mixers
- Treasury Wine Estates
- Blue Point
- Goose Island
- Veza Sur
- Wicked Weed
- VOSS Sparkling Water