Party hard! 2017 Oktoberfest of The Palm Beaches is here

“Prost!” That’s “cheers!” in German, and the only German word you need to know at this year’s 44th annual Oktoberfest at the American-German Club in Lake Worth starting Friday,  Oct. 13. Submerge yourself in the German culture by enjoying two weekends of family fun, with authentic German meals, live music, entertainment, arts and crafts for the kids and of course, more beer! Oktoberfest of the Palm Beaches is held the second and third weekends in October every year, rain or shine.

Cutline info: 1. A bone-dry pup quenches his thirst at Tampa Convention Center s Sail Pavilion./Photo provided 2. Festival-goers take part in a costume contest at Oktoberfest on Perdido Key./photo provided 3. Trick-or-treating at SeaWorld in Orlando./Photo provided 4. Splash in the Hoyt House pool or venture inside for the 51 Shades of Gray special./Photo provided 5. The Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa hired Chef Cary Roy as sous chef./Photo provided
Festival-goers take part in a costume contest at Oktoberfest on Perdido Key. (the Palm Beach Post).

The celebration will kick off with several ceremonies such as a flag parade and a German beer keg tapping. The Heldensteiner band is back straight from Munich at Oktoberfest of the Palm Beaches. Get ready to drink, eat, and dance your butt off in your best German attire. Keep your eyes open and congratulate the winner of Miss Oktoberfest 2017. For event updates, click here.

Don’t believe the fun you’re missing? Check out this video from a previous celebration.

What: The 44th Annual Oktoberfest

When: October 13, 14, 15 and October 20, 21, 22.

Hours: Fridays, 5 to 11 p.m.; Saturdays, noon to 11 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 8 p.m.

Where: 5111 Lantana Road, Lake Worth, FL 33463

Cost:  Adults $10, Children under 13 with paying adult, admitted Free. Free admission on Sundays to active Military personnel, veterans and first responders with ID. Buy tickets here.

Contact: Phone: 561-967-6464

MLK Day 2017: Best events to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. in Palm Beach County

Monday, Jan. 16 is the day Americans celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. In Palm Beach County there are lots of MLK Day events to choose from, here are a few:

Spectators at a Martin Luther King Jr. Parade. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Spectators at a Martin Luther King Jr. Parade. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Riviera Beach:

  • On Saturday, the city’s MLK Gala Parade will start at 10 a.m. and will head east along Blue Heron Blvd., to Ave. H East. For more information, check the city of Riviera Beach’s website .

West Palm Beach:

Participants gathered at at Lake Worth's MLK Day parade. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)
Participants gathered at at Lake Worth’s MLK Day parade. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Lake Worth:

  • The city’s two-day celebration starts Sunday, Jan. 15 with a musical/theatrical tribute to Langston Hughes at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at 3 p.m.
  • Things kick into high gear the next day with a Unity Interfaith Breakfast at 9 a.m. at St. Andrew’s; a civil rights songfest on the steps of City Hall at 4:30 p.m.; a Candlelight March at 5:30 p.m.; an MLK commemorative program at the Cultural Plaza at 5:30 p.m. and a Fellowship Dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Andrew’s. All activities are free. For more information, check the city of Lake Worth’s website.

Boynton Beach:

  • On Sunday, the city and the Boynton Beach Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee will host a Celebration Gala at Benvenuto Restaurant in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. The event is from 6:3o to 9 p.m at 1730 N. Federal Highway. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
  • On Monday, the city will host an MLK Day of Service. Participants will restore the outside of seniors’ homes. The event begins at the Ezell Hester Community Center at 1901 N. Seacrest Blvd., at 7:30 a.m.

Delray Beach

  • On Monday, Arts Garage and Auroras Voice will host the the MLK Heroes of Delray, which honors local nonprofit volunteers, donors, and staff. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Arts Garage, 94 NE 2nd Ave., Delray Beach. Tickets are available at heroes-of-delray.eventbrite.com

 

 

Little brown ballerinas in Delray get life lessons, one turn at a time

As a young girl in the 90’s, if someone asked me if I liked the color of my skin, I’d say ‘yes’ without hesitation. There’s someone I can thank for that.

Ms. Perry, now Mrs. Dennis, was my fourth-grade teacher. She told me I was beautiful at random moments throughout our time together. I was nine then.

Now, at 25, I wonder if those short but memorable teachings on Christianity, self-love and beauty weren’t so random. Maybe she noticed me comparing myself to other girls, overheard me saying things that illustrated self-hate.

Maybe she took on the responsibility of being a source of light in the life of a little Black and Latina girl from a low-income neighborhood just a few blocks from the private Christian school where she taught and I studied.

Childhood photo of Corvaya Jeffries. Hoboken, New Jersey
Childhood photo of Corvaya Jeffries. Hoboken, New Jersey

Whatever the reason, her little lessons, casual conversations and clear affirmations stayed with me.

Unfortunately, not every little girl has a Mrs. Dennis or in Arianna’s case, a Ms. Maryann, to spend quality time with.

If you ask Arianna Louth what confidence means, she’d tell you (just as she told me) it means never worrying about who’s judging. It means dancing like no one’s watching.

She’s one of the girls who dances under the instruction of Maryann Payne at The Milagro Center in Delray Beach.

Maryann Payne, professional dancer

Payne, a professional dancer, is helping little brown girls recognize their beauty and build confidence by teaching them how to plié. Seeing them in a class would get anyone to envision a stage full of brown ballerinas in a venue of the highest prestige.

But in the real world, classical ballet hosts a sparse amount of Black women. Eighty years after American Ballet Theater opened, well-known Misty Copeland was accepted. She was only the third dancer-of-color to date.

Misty Copeland performs onstage at the 37th annual Kennedy Center Honors at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts on Dec. 7, 2014, in Washington. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Misty Copeland performs onstage at the 37th annual Kennedy Center Honors at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts on Dec. 7, 2014, in Washington. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Why? Culture writers, dance professionals and scholars have attempted to answer that question for years.

One thing’s for sure: It has something to do with appearance.

In her younger years, Payne remembers a choreographer asking her pas de deux partner ‘how was it dancing with Maryann? Is she too strong?’ He asked enough times for Maryann to notice. She was brown and muscular, two things she discovered were different in the world of ballet — especially ballet in South Florida.

“Our shades of melanin, they make us look stronger,” Payne said when asked what it means to be a brown woman and a ballerina.

Maybe brown ballerinas are stronger, though. Not because of their physique, but because of their resilience.

Historically, casting and judging an aspiring ballerina has been based on more than just the dancer’s technique. This is something Payne experienced while attending Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach.

While a fair-skinned dancer may focus on landing every turn correctly, a brown ballerina would not just focus on getting each move right. But she’d also worry about the strain in her leg that makes her thigh muscle poke out too much, the tone of her skin against her pale pink leotard and even the texture of her hair under the lights.

Payne questioned if looking ‘too strong’ would have a negative effect on her professional career. She had a healthy body weight but didn’t appear to be “slim” as she had “more curves.”

This didn’t stop her from dancing, though. As time went on, she created M.A.P. Dance Company (Mary Ann Payne). and took on synchronized swimming, another form of dance.

With that, she not only brings experience to The Milagro Center’s dance studio, but she serves as an example of diligence and an idea of the future.

Maryann Payne and her dance students at The Milagro Center in Delray Beach. (Corvaya Jeffries/The Palm Beach Post)
Maryann Payne and her dance students at The Milagro Center in Delray Beach. (Corvaya Jeffries/The Palm Beach Post)

Imagine 25 little brown girls watching a woman who looks like them float across a stage in satin pointes. They see her strong and thriving. The sight is illuminating. As a result, it’s easy for them to imagine themselves in her place, in her light.

The impact that Mrs. Dennis had on me is the impact that Maryann has on Arianna Louth, which is the impact that Misty Copeland has on girls all over the world.

And “Delray Beach’s very own Misty Copeland” is honored.

Maryann Payne, a professional dancer often known as Delray's own Misty Copeland, teaches ballet to at-risk youth at The Milargro Center in Delray Beach. (video screen grabs/The Palm Beach Post)
Maryann Payne, a professional dancer often known as Delray’s own Misty Copeland, teaches ballet to at-risk youth at The Milargro Center in Delray Beach. (video screen grabs/The Palm Beach Post)

“Hearing that is just confirmation that what I do at The Milagro Center is important,” Payne said before starting her dance class on Thursday afternoon. And so is “showing the girls that there’s a whole new world out there to experience.”

Most of Payne’s students are at-risk youth whose parents work two to three jobs. Through her class, the girls learn ballet techniques, yes. But they also learn what it means to be graceful, why practice is important and how to express emotions through art.

Maryann Payne and her dance students at The Milagro Center in Delray Beach. (Corvaya Jeffries/The Palm Beach Post)
Maryann Payne and her dance students at The Milagro Center in Delray Beach. (Corvaya Jeffries/The Palm Beach Post)

“I like to dance with Ms. Maryann because she pushes me hard. She pushes me to my limits. When I’m home, I practice at least ten times,” said Louth.

What kind of woman would I be without my Mrs. Dennis? What kind of women will girls like Louth grow up to be without their Ms. Maryann?

It’s the almost effortless exchange of words, energy and hugs that is responsible for helping transform impressionable youngsters into responsible, confident and self-aware adults.

Or for this story, it’s that exchange that helps transform little brown ballerinas into beautiful black women.

Bonfire in Lake Worth this Friday!

There’s something about sitting next to a fire that just sets a chillaxing mood. Ge ready to experience the beach’s breeze, the smell of burning wood and the scent of a special someone by attending the next Lake Worth Bon Fire, Friday, November 25th at 6 p.m.

Cool nights are just starting to sweep through South Florida, so start packing your s’mores and comfy blankets. It’s about to get hot in here.-literally. The bonfires are hosted by the city of Lake Worth right on the beach across from the Lake Worth Casino Building and Beach Complex.

As if the flames, the cuddling and the cool nights weren’t enough to set the vibe, you’ll also get to experience live music by ZBRA, a band of three guys who are confident to get you moving.

“We are three multi-instrumentalists who play stuff for you to shake your ass or other body parts to. Rocking your face off, then on, then back off again. It’s called the Caged Travolta,” says ZBRA.

Check them out. Can’t see the video? Click here: 

Save the Dates for the upcoming bonfires:

  • November 25th
  • December 9th
  • December 23rd
  • January 13th
  • January 27th
  • February 10th
  • February 24th

Details:

What: The first Lake Worth Beach Bonfires

When: Friday, November 25th, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Where: Across from 10 S Ocean Blvd, Lake Worth, FL 33460

Cost: Free. Parking is metered. 

Contact: 561.533.7395

Note: Bonfires may be cancelled due to weather.

 

Missed Diner En Blanc? Attend this lavish, pop-up feast instead

It’s time for another extravagant bash! Join Dreyfoos in White, a pop-up picnic-style festivity where hundreds of people dress in all-white and feast at a secret location in the city.

Among ritzy themed-centerpieces and tablecapes, everyone enjoys plenty of food and drinks with their peeps. Don’t be fooled by the magic and exclusivity of the night. This party gets turnt up! And unlike Diner En Blanc, it’s for a good cause, too.

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Here are 9 things to know about Dreyfoos in White.

All-white attire

This is not an option. Be as chic with your white garments as possible and host your own al-fresco get-together. Have fun with it. Hats, scarves, gowns and crowns totally expected. This is a made-for-Instagram event.

It’s exclusive

The secret location will be revealed just one hour before the event. Buy your ticket now and wait patiently for the invitation via e-mail.  This just adds more suspense to the event and keeps large crowds away from your spree.

Over the top!

Dreyfoos in White. (Margie Yansura/ Wordsmith Communications)
Dreyfoos in White. (Margie Yansura/ Wordsmith Communications)

Bring your most creative decorations to the table —literally. The event is based on showing off your most extravagant table-espace and creativity. Make an iconic table WITH A THEME and enter different decor competitions. You’ll also need them in order to eat and drink.

Stand out

Party-goers will be competing for “Most Fabulous,” “Most Humorous” and “Judges’ Choice” awards based on the dedication and great taste of their center pieces. The crowd and celebrity judges will be comparing the best of the best.

Bon Appétit

You have two options for your picnic:

  1. Order your food prior to the night through SandyJames Fine Food, pick it up at the event and take it to your table.
  2. Bring your own indulgences, and serve and pour on your finest China to enjoy.

Get lit!

Dreyfoos in White. (Margie Yansura/ Wordsmith Communications)
Dreyfoos in White. (Margie Yansura/ Wordsmith Communications)

The Dreyfoos string and jazz students will provide music throughout the night, and there will even be a flash mob by dance students. And make sure you don’t miss the sparklers. These will light up the night before everyone starts dancing to the music of DJ Brad Barfield.

What not to Bring

Don’t arrive in a U-haul with tables and chairs. The Dreyfoos School of the Arts Foundation will provide these along with sparklers and white cloth napkins for the traditional “napkin twirl,” which kicks off the celebration. Just worry about what goes on the top of your table: decorations, food and drinks.

The Purpose

Funds raised through Dreyfoos in White help support vital educational programs that would otherwise not be funded. Last year, the Dreyfoos School of the Arts Foundation provided $1.3 million in support to the School of the Arts.

Dreyfoos in White. (Margie Yansura/ Wordsmith Communications)
Dreyfoos in White. (Margie Yansura/ Wordsmith Communications)
Still not convinced that this event is can’t-miss? These photos from last year’s party should do the trick.

The Details:
What: Dreyfoos in White

When: Saturday, November 12, 2016, 5:00 p.m.10:00 p.m.
Where: *Secret Location will be revealed by e-mail after purchasing tickets
Tickets: Click here to purchase.

Election 2016: Inside Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

With the countdown to election day (Nov. 8) at just 6 days away, we take a look inside Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach.

photo donald trump maralago
Exterior of Trump’s bedroom suite. Photos of the interior and exterior of Donald Trump’s Palm Beach Island home “Mar-A-Lago.” This is the first time The Palm Beach Post has been given photo access to Mar-A-Lago since Trump took over. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)

Mar-a-Lago was originally built by Marjorie Merriweather Post and opened for the 1927 winter season with 58 bedrooms and 33 bathrooms. When Post died, Mar-a-Lago was willed to the U.S. government. However, Mar-a-Lago’s high maintenance costs prompted the government to decline.

The estate was empty until Trump purchased it in 1985 for $10 million.

Mar-a-Lago now serves as an exclusive club with a $100,000 initiation fee and part-time residence for Trump.

The old ballroom inside Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)
The old ballroom inside Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)

More on Mar-a-Lago:

A peek inside Donald Trump’s historic Palm Beach palace

Photo gallery: Inside Mar-a-Lago

 

 

Happy Halloween! Photos of Moonfest madness, Clematis by Fright

Happy Halloween you ghouls and goblins! Did you get out and party this weekend? Festivities around West Palm Beach started with Clematis by Fright on Thursday and ended with Moonfest on Saturday. And we’ve got proof there were freaks out at night!

Families and freaks flocked to Clematis by Fright

Families join in the fun at Clematis by Fright in downtown West Palm Beach Thursday.
Families join in the fun at Clematis by Fright in downtown West Palm Beach Thursday.

Pets gotta get dressed up too!

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One of the new haunted trails at Clematis by Fright!

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This family is representin’!

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Check out the rest of the fun from Clematis by Fright in our photo gallery!

Moonfest Madness!

Viviana Alvarez dressed as ‘queen of the souls’ from “The Book of Life” movie!

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Brian Green transforms into a ghost!

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Oh yes! A parade of ghouls!

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Check out the rest of Moonfest madness in our photo gallery!

Battle of the Sexes: Who won the Thrift Shop Challenge?

The Palm Beach Post introduces a new, monthly series: “Battle of the Sexes.”

Reporters Julio Poletti and Corvaya Jeffries of The Palm Beach Post will compete against each other in monthly challenges. The fun part? Community members like you will help decide the challenges.

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To get the ball rollin’, Julio and Corvaya have already finished their first battle, and it’s up to you to decide who won.


Fall in Love with Thrifting

Fall can be pretty much of a joke for most Floridians.

 

Beyond some lightweight sweaters and scarves, the beach is still in our backyard, the days are still sunny and #FallinFlorida remains a destination for most of the country.

Related: Best scenic drives in Palm Beach County

Still, the temps drop, wardrobes change and themed-festivities such as pumpkin carvings and Halloween parties go down.

For this reason, the first Battle of the Sexes challenge is to help you, and us, be ready for cool breezes and hot cocoa sippin’ on patios.

The Challenge

Build an entire fall outfit from a local thrift shop, which could be worn to any upcoming celebration.

Related: Best thrift shops in Palm Beach County

The Rules 

 

Yes they are, Regina!

Watch the Competition before voting

How to judge

  • Is this a fall outfit?
  • Does it fit?
  • Is it stylish?
  • Is it a complete look?

Vote for the winner!

 

Decide who followed the rules and write ONLY the name of your pick in the comment section of the Facebook Post or take the poll below.

Pitch a challenge

What do you think Julio and Corvaya should compete in next? Leave a comment on the story or on Facebook. Or, just vote for a battle that we’ve already brainstormed.

Now that the challenge is over, enjoy a Thrift Shop-inspired jam that topped the Billboard charts for four weeks in 2013. Can’t see the video? Click here.

What’s so special about that pumpkin?

Happy National Pumpkin Day! Need ideas on how to celebrate this national day? We have some for you!

First off, maybe you should eat some. Seriously. Pumpkin is super good for you. It’s full of fiber, and fiber is good for you heart. That’s a win. It’s also good for your eyes, thanks to all the Vitamin A. But there’s more: Pumpkin also promotes weight loss and can help you sleep better.

Related: Best Halloween festivals, parties in town

Oh, but before you go gettin’ all Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte crazy, know this: All that high-calorie, high sugar processed pumpkin is not where the good stuff is at. It’s best you roast, steam or even mash the veggie to reap the benefits.

Not into eating it? Try your hand at carving instead. Visit one of these fun pumpkin patches to pick out your favorite to carve or for fall decorating: Best Pumpkin Patches of Palm Beach County

Kylee Wells (left), age 3-1/2, gets some help from Tanner Luna, also 3-1/2, as she sizes up the pumpkins at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church on Military Trail in suburban West Palm Beach Monday, October 10, 2016. Good Shepherd's pumpkins came in Saturday from New Mexico, where they are grown by the Navajo Nation without pesticides or GMOs. The pumpkin patch is open 9am-9pm Monday through Saturday, 1pm-9pm Sundays, through October 30. The church has storytellers on site weekdays 9am-noon, as well as a photo booth and bean bag toss. Proceeds from the pumpkin sales will be used for Good Shepherd's youth mission trips; they hope to go to one of the areas affected by Hurricane Matthew next summer. Kylee and Tanner are in the church's Shepherd Care preschool. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)
Kylee Wells (left), age 3-1/2, gets some help from Tanner Luna, also 3-1/2, as she sizes up the pumpkins at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church on Military Trail in suburban West Palm Beach Monday, October 10, 2016. Good Shepherd’s pumpkins came in Saturday from New Mexico, where they are grown by the Navajo Nation without pesticides or GMOs. The pumpkin patch is open 9am-9pm Monday through Saturday, 1pm-9pm Sundays, through October 30. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Speaking of pumpkin decorating, have you seen any teal pumpkins around town? Wondering what’s the deal with that? It’s part of the Teal Pumpkin Project. Because food allergies shouldn’t keep a kid out of the trick-or-treating spirit.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Mark your house with a teal pumpkin this weekend and then go one step further: Put a pin in it on this rad interactive map so other local moms know that their kid won’t get a candy-let-down at your door. It’s simple. Just click on the plus sign in the right corner of the map to add deets about your non-food treats.

Or if teal isn’t really your color this Halloween season, maybe you prefer pumpkins of the underwater variety. Because, yes, underwater pumpkin carving is totally a thing that’s happening in Florida. So grab the kids and hit the road for a visit to the Sea Life Aquarium in Orlando this weekend.

And finally, we couldn’t celebrate National Pumpkin Day without a nod to Internet sensation, Trumpkins. That’s right. Perhaps you’d like to try your hand at carving a #Trumpkin instead?

Since the video pretty much says it alllet’s move on.

However you decide to spend this trending holiday, don’t forget to make like NASA and share the joy with #NationalPumpkinDay.

The 11 best volunteer opportunities for animal lovers in Palm Beach County

Having a pet for a couple of hours a week sure is a lovely idea. And it’s not too far-fetched. You can volunteer. It’s as simple as that. Do good for the community, get some good karmic energy and play with dogs and cats all day.

Okay, well, that’s oversimplifying the position; it’s not all fun and games. It is serious work in need of dedicated individuals.

 

First, where you can volunteer in Palm Beach County:

Central PBC

West PBC County

North PBC County

South PBC


Puppies waiting to meet their families at the Countdown to Zero event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center (Contributed).
Puppies waiting to meet their families at the Countdown to Zero event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center (Contributed).

Next, what you need to know

At most rescue agencies, there is a critical need for volunteers. Some rescues run almost 100% off of volunteers.

The hours you’re needed can vary depending on the organization, but at Peggy Adams, for example, volunteers must commitment to at least four hours a week.

Did someone say, “Puppy cuddler?” Yep. That’s kind of think in animal shelters, and volunteers can definitely do that, and then some. 

Animal rescues need help bottle-feeding cats, walking dogs, and yes, picking up poop and cleaning out cages. You can also help by being a shelter tour guide and by showing the pets off to potential adopters.

Another form of volunteering is fostering. As a foster parent, you can learn all about the dog, rehabilitate it if need and provide it with a loving home until the agency is able to find the dog a furever home.

But volunteer positions aren’t just about directly helping with the animals. You can help indirectly, too. These organizations are businesses, and it takes a lot of pieces to keep them afloat. If you have skills in marketing, graphic design, photography or customer service, there’s a place for the animal lover in you to really help. Without these tasks being filled, finding furever homes for some of these animals would be near impossible.

Remember, volunteering is a serious commitment — almost like getting the actually pet. Not only does the organization take the time to train and trust you, but the animals learn to trust you as well.

Can’t get enough? Did you know you that you can turn your pup into a therapy dog?