(PRESS RELEASE)_MIAMI (June 25, 2019) — Jungle Island, South Florida’s popular eco-adventure attraction, reinvents an ancient Buddhist tradition with a Magic City twist through the debut of Luminosa, Festival of Lights. In partnership with Zigong Lantern Group and China Lantern International, which is the #1 industry leader in Chinese Lantern Festivals worldwide, the park will invite visitors from around the globe to marvel at a nighttime jungle filled with giant lanterns, beautifully hand-crafted out of colorful silk by Chinese artisans, from October 5, 2019 to January 8, 2020.
Luminosa will take guests on a memorable journey through light across 13 of the park’s 18 acres. The journey tells a magical story of the jungle, which begins with an exploration of wildlife, birds, bloom and the beautiful Biscayne Bay. It then writes a chapter into the future through a story of transformation, rooted in adventure and infused with Miami’s new vibrant urban art identity.
“Luminosa at Jungle Island is certain to be one of the most Instagram-worthy and talked about events of the season,” says Curtis Crider, Jungle Island’s general manager. “Between the rich history behind the festival and its beautiful pageantry set within a jungle-like setting, this must-see installation will be a celebration of two cultures coming together and the rebirth of an iconic South Florida attraction.”
A few of the visual delights will include oversized orchids and flowers, a demure cassowary and striking silk parrots in the Birds and Blooms exhibit; a sea of glowing jellyfish in the Biscayne Bay display; some of the world’s rarest animals down Jungle Trail; to 100-foot wide by 20-foot tall panoramic scenes of Miami’s most iconic destinations decked out in Chinese graffiti art in the Miami Style exhibit. All lanterns will be illuminated by environmentally-friendly LED lights and made out of water-proof and fire-resistant materials, supported by steel frames.
Elie Mimoun, Partner at ESJ Capital Partners, owners of Jungle Island, adds: “Our vision for the evolution of Jungle Island is to include regularly scheduled events and experiences that bring the spirit of the jungle to life. Luminosa reinforces this position and appeals to all audiences in search of discovery and adventure within the context of nature and wildlife.”
The Chinese Lantern Festival is believed to date back 2000 years ago to the Eastern Han Dynasty when Buddhist monks would light lanterns in the temples. Traditionally, the Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival. The lanterns are thought to symbolize people letting go of their pasts and celebrating a new future, much like Jungle Island.
“Our joint effort with Jungle Island has influenced our design team to create something truly extraordinary,” adds Justin Corsa, executive director USA, China Lantern International. “Local Miami flair combined with eastern craftsmanship will result in one of our most creative and innovative exhibits to date.''
For this regularly sold-out festival, tickets go on sale today. The cost is $35.95 per adult and $30.95 per child. To purchase tickets, visit www.jungleisland.com. Sponsorships are also available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
(BRIGHTLINE NEWS)_As Fourth of July weekend approaches, Brightline (soon to be Virgin Trains USA) offers a stress-free, car-free alternative to celebrate the holiday. South Floridians and visitors alike can enjoy a cold brew or glass of wine, kick back and ride in style to watch the fireworks and celebrate America’s Birthday. Designed with comfort in mind, Brightline provides top service and amenities to every passenger, creating an unforgettable experience.
From Friday, July 5 to Sunday, July 7, fares start at $10 for Smart service. Additionally, Kids under 12 Ride Free in Smart service through September 30th. All tickets can be purchased online.
With celebrations taking place in all three counties, Brightline is the most convenient way to see it all. Located just steps from Virgin Miami Central, guests can visit “Food, Fireworks, and Fun!” at Bayfront Park, “FIRE and ICE” 4th of July Fireworks viewing from the Waters of Biscayne Bay or the 4th of July Dinner Cruise at Bayside Marketplace. In Fort Lauderdale, Bahia Mar will host its Absolut 4th of July Pool Party and Concert and along Fort Lauderdale Beach A1A and Las Olas Blvd, families can enjoy the 4th of July Spectacular. Fort Lauderdale’s newest lifestyle hotel The Dalmar will also be celebrating the holiday with a Fireworks Viewing party at Sparrow, the hotel’s 25th floor rooftop bar and lounge. Locals and guests can take in some of the best views and enjoy special dishes like Negroni Watermelon Salad. More details can be found in the flyer here and reservations can be made through OpenTable.
West Palm Beach will be full of live music, a military honor ceremony and games for the entire family at Red, White, Brew and BBQ at Rosemary Square, The Fourth on Flagler Celebration West Palm Beach Waterfront, or the 3rd Annual Run for Freedom at Palm Beach County Convention Center.
From July 4th - 7th, Brightline stations are hosting one-of-a-kind, in-station activities in honor of Independence Day.
On July 4th at Virgin MiamiCentral, riders can arrive early to enjoy free popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy, and drink specials at Good to Go before boarding the train
On July 6th at Virgin MiamiCentral, riders can meet their favorite SuperHeroes and even ride with them on the train. Face painting and cotton candy are also available at select stations.
On July 7th at the Fort Lauderdale Station, it’s Sunday Funday. Miami Children’s Museum will travel north for a kid-friendly slime making and kids face painting throughout the day.
(PRESS RELEASE)_ Ladies and gentlemen...the Eagle has landed.
Seminole Casino Coconut Creek is pleased to announce it will host An Evening With Don Felder in The Pavilion on Friday, August 2, at 8 p.m.
Felder, formerly of the Eagles, is considered a true American rock and roll guitar hero. To that end, he finds himself most decidedly back in the driver’s seat with the recent release of his first solo album in seven years, American Rock ‘N’ Roll.
The new album features musical greats like Sammy Hagar, Slash, Richie Sambora, Orianthi, Peter Frampton, Joe Satriani, Mike Fleetwood, Chad Smith, Bob Weir, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, and Alex Lifeson.
A Gainesville, Florida native, Felder is a proud, longstanding member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, having been inducted with the Eagles back in 1998. He is also a member of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville and the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.
He spent 27 years with the Eagles, who have sold over 150 million albums worldwide to date and own the distinction of recording the top-selling album of all time – Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975).
Felder left the band in 2001 and has since forged an impressive career as a top-tier solo artist. Recently, he added “best-selling author” to his impressive résumé in 2008 with his memoir, Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001), which became an instant New York Times smash.
Nicknamed “Fingers” for his playing prowess, Felder once taught guitar to a young, sandy-haired fellow Gainesville rocker – the late Tom Petty.
In addition to his musical proficiency, Felder is most proud of his ongoing charity work with such organizations as the Starkey Hearing Foundation, the Ruck ‘N’ Roll Charity Ball in Hong Kong and Autism Speaks.
Tickets priced at $25-$45 per person are on sale now via Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com, or by calling (800) 653-8000. The Pavilion box office will also open at 1 p.m. on the day of the show for on-site ticket purchases and will-call pickup.
For more information, call (954) 977-6700 or visit CasinoCoco.com. Seminole Casino Coconut Creek is located at 5550 NW 40th St., Coconut Creek.
(PRESS RELEASE)_(Lake Worth Beach, FL – June 21, 2019) As part of its popular Summer Jazz Series, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County will be presenting a concert next month by Broadway and cabaret star Avery Sommers. The series is presented in collaboration with the Palm Beach International Jazz Festival.
July 20 at 7 pm (Saturday)
Avery Sommers is a South Florida treasure and Broadway veteran with a “powerhouse” voice (The New York Times) and charismatic stage presence. The evening will begin with “Getting to Know Avery” – a conversation between the singer and Yvette Norwood-Tiger about her career in music and on Broadway, accompanied by some music and questions from the audience. Then after a short intermission, the night continues with a performance by Avery and her full band: Music Director Phil Hinton, drummer Frank Derrick, and bassist Rances Colon.
A frequent headliner at the former Royal Room Cabaret at The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach, and a member of the Honorary Board of Advisors for The Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook, Sommers recently performed her new one-woman concert, For Sentimental Reasons, in the Helen K. Persson Hall at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in 2018, and also performed in another one-woman show, I Love Being Here with You, to two sold-out houses at the Kravis Center in 2016. She also starred as the title role in The Devil’s Music…The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith at Arts Garage in Delray Beach, for which she earned a Carbonell Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play/Musical. Avery is also the recipient of the Best Actress Award given by The Arts and Entertainment Magazine of South Florida and The Silver Palm Award for Outstanding Contributions to the South Florida Theater Season 2015-2016.
In the fall of 2017, Sommers performed the role of Addie in Palm Beach Dramaworks’ season opening production, The Little Foxes. She recently appeared as Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray at Actor’s Playhouse in Coral Gables and was nominated for a Carbonell Award again.
On Broadway, Sommers appeared with Ken Page in Ain’t Misbehavin’ as Nell Carter. Other Broadway credits include Broadway, Chicago, Showboat and Platinum. She was in the first national tour of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (starring Ann-Margret) and played Matron Mama Morton in the first national tour of the Broadway show, Chicago, winning a Los Angles Ovation Award.
Independent film credits include the immigration lawyer Ms. Ravencourt in Immigration Tango. Her performance earned her a Best Supporting Actress Award at the 2010 Monaco International Film Festival. She was also nominated for Best Actress for her role in the independent film Lost Everything.
Tickets to see Avery Sommers are $20, and are available for purchase online at https://www.palmbeachculture.com/music. Doors open at 6:30 pm, with the performance starting at 7 pm. The Summer Jazz Series is sponsored by Wells Fargo in collaboration with radio station Legends 100.3FM.
For more information about upcoming Summer Jazz Series performances, visit: https://www.palmbeachculture.com/music.
(PRESS RELEASE)_ORLANDO, Fla. (June 24, 2019) – Virgin Trains, formerly Brightline, broke ground today on the nation’s largest privately funded infrastructure project to expand passenger rail service to Orlando. Chairman of Virgin Trains and co-founder of Fortress Investment Group Wes Edens, along with Virgin Trains President Patrick Goddard gave remarks at the commemorative ceremony, addressing the reinvention of privately funded passenger rail service in America. Dignitaries in attendance included Congresswoman Val Demings, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, GOAA Board Chairman Domingo Sanchez and Deputy Administrator for the Federal Railroad Administration Quintin Kendall.
It has been 150 years since the ‘golden spike’ ceremony in 1869 that marked the joining of the Central Pacific Railroad from the West with the Union Pacific Railroad in the East and the completion of the United States’ first transcontinental, coast-to-coast railroad line. Today, Virgin Trains announced the introduction of the ‘red spike era’ and the company’s commitment to reinventing passenger rail service in America by providing fast, efficient, hospitality-driven transportation that connects dynamic, complementary cities and congested corridors that are too close to fly and too long to drive.
Virgin Trains is developing 170 miles of new track into the completed state-of-the-art intermodal facility located in the new South Terminal at the Orlando International Airport (MCO) as part of the company’s Phase 2 expansion into Central Florida. The massive infrastructure project has begun and encompasses four zones including the area of the Orlando International Airport and the Virgin Trains Maintenance Facility. This monumental endeavor, which will use 225 million pounds of American steel, will include the laying of 490,000 ties and transporting 2.35 million tons of granite and limestone by 20,000 railcars. Additionally, approximately two million spikes and bolts will be hammered and put in place over the next 36 months.
“This is a historic milestone on the path to reinvent passenger rail in America and clearly demonstrates the leadership role that the private sector can play in revitalizing our nation’s infrastructure,” said Virgin Trains Chairman and co-founder of Fortress Investment Group Wes Edens. “Virgin Trains service between Orlando and Miami will launch an American passenger rail renaissance. We expect that this will be the first of many passenger lines in the U.S. that follow this model for connecting city pairs that are too close to fly and too far to drive.”
Virgin Trains’ strategic expansion into Orlando, the nation’s most visited city, comes as travel to the Sunshine State is at an all-time high. Orlando International Airport welcomed a record-breaking 47 million passengers last year and according to Visit Florida, over 126 million out-of-state visitors traveled to Florida in 2018. With service to Orlando expected to begin in 2022, Virgin Trains projects over six million annual riders in Florida and $6.4 billion in direct economic impact to Florida. The project between South and Central Florida will generate more than 10,000 jobs and over $650 million in federal, state and local tax revenue over an eight year period.
“Officially launching construction to Orlando marks a huge milestone for Virgin Trains and the realization of our vision to reinvent passenger rail in America,” said Virgin Trains President Patrick Goddard. “Connecting Orlando and Miami, two of our nation’s greatest cities, will provide tremendous economic and environmental benefits that will be an asset to Florida for generations.”
Expansion between Orlando and South Florida represents a total private investment of $4 billion. In September 2018, Virgin Trains additionally announced that it will construct and operate a new service connecting Las Vegas and Southern California.
In November 2018, Brightline announced a strategic partnership and trademark licensing agreement with the Virgin Group, one of the world's most recognizable brands in travel and hospitality. Executing a phased approach to the rebrand to Virgin Trains in 2019, in April the company unveiled Virgin MiamiCentral as the first element to feature the new Virgin branding.
(PRESS RELEASE)_WEST PALM BEACH— Since opening on May 16, American Craft Aleworks has been attracting a disparate group of craft beer aficionados, Prohibition Era cocktail culturists, and upscale bar grub enthusiasts to its sun-dappled, 7,000-square-foot digs at the fore-eastern end of Clematis Street. Now the buzzy gastropub has something else on tap: Sunday brunch.
In addition to in-house brewed beers and Jazz Age-inspired drinks like “Bathtub Gin” and “The Name’s Buck,” a fizzy iteration of the buck, or mule, which incorporates Hefeweizen, lime juice, and ginger syrup. Guests can also imbibe breakfast shots ($6-7), along with $17 bottomless mimosas and Monkey In Paradise Bloodies shaken with the bar’s secret tomato base mixture.
Beyond the craft brews and bespoke libations, executive chef Samantha Kittay serves up a midday menu chockfull of perennial brunch favorites like steak and eggs ($22), beer-battered grouper and chips ($17), and a brunch burger ($16) crowned with smoked cheddar cheese, bacon, arugula, and a sunny-side-up egg.
The New York-born toque also riffs on traditional Southern and Northeastern staples like crispy chicken coupled with cinnamon-spiced stout waffles ($17) that borrow from the Snowbird stout brewed in-house, red pepper mostarda crab cakes ($16) suffused with blue crab, and barbecue boiled peanuts ($6) made with local peanuts boiled for seven hours and flavored with ham hocks, hot sauce, and house-made BBQ sauces.
On the greener side, the veggie burger ($14) with garlic aioli, red pepper relish, and arugula shines alongside a trio of salads with local farm-begotten ingredients, including the super green salad ($11) prepared with avocado, cucumber, peas, pickled red onion, diced eggs, arugula, farro, toasted pumpkin seeds, and chef-made green goddess dressing.
Brunch hours are Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are recommended but not required. For more information, visit americancraftaleworks.com or call (561) 425-5799. American Craft Aleworks is located at 200 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach.
Get busy living la vida loyal on Independence Day!
Join Cantina Laredo in Hallandale on July 4-7 when it will be mixing up the USA 'Rita ($5), a patriotic pour featuring its signature frozen margarita nestled between a frothy layer of Blue Curaça and strawberry purée. Being independent never tasted so delicious.
Cantina Laredo Modern Mexican is located in the Village of Gulfstream at 501 Silks Run, Hallandale. For more information, call (954) 457-7662 or visit cantinalaredo.com.
(PRESS RELEASE)_Coconut Creek, FL – Celebrate Independence Day on Wednesday, July 3 at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek! The casino will host a liberty-imbued celebration in homage to America’s 243rd birthday, complete with festive food trucks, live musical entertainment, and a spectacular fireworks display by the world-famous Grucci of New York.
For the fourth year, the six-generation, family-owned Grucci of New York returns to Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. Holding Guinness World Records’ for “Largest Fireworks Display” and “Largest Pyrotechnic Image,” the Grucci’s are renowned for their jaw-dropping, dedicatory productions that include the last eight U.S. presidential inaugurations and the Lake Placid, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and the Beijing Olympic Games.
Doors open at 7 p.m. and patriotic party-goers will be feted with alfresco dining options prepared by South Florida’s top food trucks, including Austin's Franks, BC Tacos, Best French Fries, Che Grill, CheeseZilla, Churrasco Grill, Fresh Flavor Fusion, Meatheads BBQ, Mobile Culinary Kitchen, Monster Cone, Needa Pita, Nuts About Sugar, Tacos Veracruz, The Greek 15, and Virgo Bomb.
Local bands 56 Ace Band and Riverdown will host live outdoor and indoor concerts from 7-11 p.m. and a DJ will spin at Nectar from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. The evening culminates at 9 p.m. with a three-part, 18-minute pyrotechnic performance set to a playlist of independence-inspired melodies.
This is a complimentary event. In case of inclement weather, the festivities will be postponed to Thursday, July 4 at 9 p.m. On July 4, from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., Journey tribute band Never Stop Believin’ will perform the band’s greatest hits in the Nectar Lounge.
For more information, call (954) 977-6700 or visit CasinoCoco.com. Seminole Casino Coconut Creek is located at 5550 NW 40th Street in Coconut Creek.
(PRESS RELEASE)_(West Palm Beach, FL – June 5, 2019) Rochelle Wolberg, Curator-Director of Mounts Botanical Garden, today announced a series of Special FREE Days this summer, June through September 2019.
FREE Thursdays for Palm Beach County Residents
As the oldest and largest botanical garden in Palm Beach County, Mounts is offering FREE admission for all Palm Beach County residents every Thursday, June 6 through September 26, 2019.
FREE for Children Every Second Sunday
Well known for its consistent outreach to and educational programs for children, Mounts is offering FREE admission for all children, 12 years of age and younger, every second Sunday this summer: June 9, July 14, August 11, and September 8. This is the perfect opportunity for youngsters experience the thrilling CUTTING CORNERS: A Stickwork Exhibition at Mounts.
FREE for Dads on Father’s Day
What better way is there for a dad to celebrate Father’s Day—Sunday, June 16—than to spend the day with his family touring all of the breathtakingly beautiful gardens at Mounts?
Other major attractions, programs and classes at Mounts Botanical Garden this summer:
+ Farm Your Backyard – June 15
+ Propagation: Increasing Your Numbers – June 19
+ Family Fun Day – June 22
+ Stories in the Garden – June 25
+ Orchid Trilogy – July 13, 20 & 27
+ Make Your Own Fairy Garden – August 10
+ Orchids Around the World – August 20
+ Exotic Plants & Orchids Sale – September 21
+ Fabulous Crotons on Florida – September 28
To register for any of the events and workshops at The Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County, go online at www.mounts.org/events/ call 561.233.1757. Program registration includes Garden admission. Events at Mounts are accessible to people with disabilities, All classes, workshops, and some special programs require pre-registration. Online registration closes at 4 pm on the day before the class begins.
Mounts educational programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
Also at Mounts Throughout Summer 2019
A Stickwork Exhibition
Daily – 10 am to 4 pm
Mounts The Great Lawn
FREE for members; $10 for nonmembers; $5 for children ages 5-12
This awe-inspiring new eco-exhibition is part of the Garden’s 40th Anniversary Ruby Jubilee celebration and runs through June. Located in the Great Lawn area of the Garden, this interactive, environmental exhibit features an original, massive, stickwork sculpture designed by internationally acclaimed artist Patrick Dougherty and created on site through a “community build” by 106 volunteers utilizing 30,000 pounds of willow. The exhibition invites visitors to wander through, admire, and become part of a living art experience.
Note: Tickets are available for purchase at www.mounts.org or at the Garden’s main gate. To schedule a group tour, call 561-233-1757.
Exploring what to see and do in North Palm Beach and the South Florida area. Your hosts are Pam and Gerry Barker.
GERRY PRONOUNCED GARY
Listen to Chapter One of "Panama Palmer"