By Angela Caraway-Carlton
No matter the time of year, Greater Fort Lauderdale always has something going on. From eyes to the sky for a thrilling air show to our sparkling waterways for an epic holiday boat parade and internationally known boat show to world-renowned music, fashion, and film festivals, we have something for everyone.
A 4-day curated art fair that transports attendees on a journey along the famed Intracoastal Waterway via water taxi and private yacht with stops at vacant multi-million dollar waterfront properties that feature emerging artists exhibiting various styles and methods of art that reflect the past, the present and the future. This destination art fair seeks to highlight the uniqueness of the city and put Fort Lauderdale on the art world map as a premier location to view, interact with and purchase art along with giving art aficionados, residents and visitors a cultural experience that is memorable, interactive and engaging.
With swimsuits as a daily uniform and stylish beach-to-bar attire on the ready, Greater Fort Lauderdale knows how to do beachy sophistication. Fashionistas will want a front-row seat to this premier event, packed with four days of runway shows at Greater Fort Lauderdale’s chic hotels featuring established and up-and-coming fashion designers, brands, and models. The environment of FLL Fashion Week is electric, and even better, it focuses on body positivity and inclusivity. Like any good fashion event, expect pop-ups and after-parties full of model behavior.
Music on the beach? Yes, please. Grab your cowboy hat and stick your boots into the sand for the 8th annual Tortuga Music Festival starring some of country music’s hottest performers. At this three-day concert in Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, you’ll sing along with popular headliners like Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, and Tim McGraw, as well as other fan favorites such as Billy Currington, Pitbull, and many more. In addition to the music, there will be a focus on ocean conservation and research.
In our community, pride is a daily way of life, and in 2020, Greater Fort Lauderdale will be the home base for the first Pride of the Americas Festival. Pride Fort Lauderdale, the oldest Pride celebration in the state of Florida, will host the inaugural five-day celebration that’s expected to draw more than 350,000 visitors from around the world. The festival is jam-packed with concerts, a fashion show, international arts festival, and a parade, along with conferences and symposiums highlighting business, travel, health, and conservation programs.
Look up! Nothing gets your adrenaline pumping like watching this spectacular air show from the beach or in the sparkling ocean. This year, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will take to the skies for a thrilling show, along with other high-flying performances. You can buy tickets to watch the show from a VIP penthouse where you are eye-level with the show, or the Drop Zone Beach where you’re treated to concert-quality sound and professional narration.
Red, white, and blue—we have it all at this annual patriotic extravaganza on Fort Lauderdale Beach at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard. The 4th of July Spectacular is the ultimate beach celebration with live music, a kid’s zone with face painting, bounce houses and water slides, beach games, apple pie and hot dog eating contests, and loads of other family activities. Find your spot in the sand by 9 p.m. when the booming fireworks light up the night sky.
At the end of October, the largest in-water boat show in the world, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), will drop anchor in Greater Fort Lauderdale with more than 1,500 boats and 1,200 exhibitors. Expect to see larger-than-life yachts tricked out with everything from huge pools to hot tubs, worldwide yacht debuts, luxury and culinary experiences, and plenty of yacht toys for the nautical lifestyle.
Film buffs should mark the calendar for this long-running film festival that’s celebrating a big 35th anniversary. During the 17-day festival, you’ll peep a lineup of more than 150 films that fit every genre, including features, documentaries, and shorts from more than 30 countries. Guests will mingle with celebrities and filmmakers, along with aspiring film talent at over-the-top parties and talks. Showings take place at Savor Cinema in Fort Lauderdale and Cinema Paradiso in Hollywood.
We know how to rock, and every November, concert-goers converge on Fort Lauderdale beach for a two-day concert series boasting some of the biggest names in alternative rock. More than 30 bands will perform on three stages from day to night, with past headliners including artists like The Killers, Jimmy Eat World, and many other big acts from the past and present. And, thanks to Underground Lauderdale, it’s not just music—at the Underground Village, guests will also experience fashion shows, culinary demos, and art exhibitions.
Known for our nautical style, Greater Fort Lauderdale kicks off every holiday season with an epic boat parade. In its 49th year, the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade is a cherished holiday tradition, and family and friends line up along the 12-mile parade route to watch a procession of mega-yachts, barges, and boats adorned with thousands of lights, decorations, and on-board entertainment. The parade kicks off with a fun pre-show of kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders. When the fireworks sound, the boat show lurches forward featuring floating bands, smiles, and waves from celebrities and beauty queens; meaningful moments from a salute to the military to a live nativity scene; and a visit from Santa on his sleigh.
There’s so much to look forward to every year in Greater Fort Lauderdale!