“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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.
Here are 9 things to know about Dreyfoos in White.
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.
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!
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.
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.
You have two options for your picnic:
Order your food prior to the night through SandyJames Fine Food, pick it up at the event and take it to your table.
Bring your own indulgences, and serve and pour on your finest China to enjoy.
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.
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.
Friday evening I arrived at a top secret location to experience the world’s largest dinner party — for only the second time in West Palm Beach. Where did Diner En Blanc take place this year? Currie Park.
As I walked from Flagler Drive to the grass field just a couple hundred feet from the inlet, I realized that the view was stunning but the atmosphere was empty. Guests hadn’t arrived and I wasn’t yet convinced that the evening would live up to its hype.
A mega event described as a flash mob meets white party? The vision wasn’t clear.
Then four commercial buses pulled up. And some of the most elegantly dressed people made their entrance. One woman wore an ensemble so beautiful it would have gotten her into Wimbledon London with royalty in the early 1900s. She carried a large white, woven basket likely filled with fine China, fresh fruits and cheeses.
Within 45 minutes, I witnessed more than 1500 ivory-cloaked guests mingling, eating and dancing at the elaborate, alfresco dinner tradition that was born in Paris and has since been replicated in more than 60 countries around the world.
1. There’s Haitian pride all over the secret picnic that will invade West Palm for years to come.
The concept of friends and family laughing together over a meal is one of the pillars upon which Diner En Blanc stands. It all began when a Frenchman asked a group of his closest friends to wear white and meet him at a public park with a dish.
That’s no different from the Haitian culture.
“Haiti may be going through a hard time, but the people of the Haitian culture love life, always finding time to embrace family and dine together,” said Nora David, one of the three business-savvy, fashion-inclined event planners behind Diner En Blanc West Palm Beach.
She smiled when I asked her how her culture graced the work that she does as a business woman in the city. “I’m just happy a positive side of the Haitian culture is being talked about,” she said.
2. Life Behind the scenes at Diner En Blanc is not a walk in the park.
While David explains that there is something to say about the simplicity of the event, she iterates that the work happening behind the scene is not a few hours of busy work. This year, thirty volunteers were trained in a series of meetings to keep the traditional elements of the event alive from secrecy to table rules to dress code.
3. There’s no event more turned up and peaceful at the same time.
Drinks started pouring when table legs hit the floor, and no one ate solo. Just like dinner at the wooden table in homes on the movie screen, everyone understood that they had to pick up their forks simultaneously.
After that, feet were two-stepping and bodies were grooving to salsa, reggae, hip-hop, house and EDM music. Every single person was having a good time… And with the 2016 Presidential election just days away, it was really refreshing to see people of all ages and races enjoying each other’s time.
“If we could bring peace in the world, it would be through Diner En Blanc because it is a multicultural event,” David told us as she smiled.
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.
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 Moonfeston Saturday. And we’ve got proof there were freaks out at night!
Families and freaks flocked to Clematis by Fright
Pets gotta get dressed up too!
One of the new haunted trails at Clematis by Fright!
Thousands of people will be at Moonfest on Clematis street, in downtown West Palm Beach, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday night. Maybe as many as 30,000 if we’re talking the number of bodies the organizers expect the event to attract.
Even though this is a grown folks night out (21+), every year there are costume fails—no matter the age. Here are the dos and don’ts of dressing up for Palm Beach County’s biggest Halloween extravaganza.