The South Florida Fair, N'awlins Style...

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Events

Once a year something very special happens along the stretch of Southern Blvd. just before it crosses over SR7, and it is happening now.  

You guessed it, The South Florida Fair is up and running and off to a great start.  The bright lights, the rides, the livestock and petting zoo, the indoor shopping area, and of course the mixed aromas of all the goodies wafting everywhere combined with the terrific people watching make this an event you don’t want to miss.

Walking around for hours the other evening, up and down the different areas, around this and that, I got a real sense of the flavor of this year’s theme.  I don’t know if I’m getting older or the fair is getting bigger, but I have to say that I didn’t get a chance to see everything; not even close, which is good because now I have to return…and I am so looking forward to it.  I didn’t just walk by the way, I also ‘flew’ over the entire place on the overhead gondola which not only allows for great viewing, it also allowed for this video.

In case you’re wondering, I opted for the Cinnamon Roll on that visit.  It was huge but so delish that it didn’t have a chance as I finished it before I got back to my car.  Next time there’s a Funnel Cake with my name on it.

This year’s theme is New Orleans, or as they like to say, N'awlins.  As such, the weather forecast is mostly sunny with a good chance of beads everywhere; if you be likin’ Mardi Gras, this is the place for you.

There is something for everyone and as one moves about, there are some must see items; I would suggest you get a map and plan out your visit so that you don’t miss a show or event.  The railroad just to the south of the main hall is worth the price of admission just by itself.  The much improved Yesteryear, which is now open year round Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10:00 – 4:00 is like stepping into a time machine and winding up at a pre-WWII town at a time when things where much simpler and laid back.  

There are competitions, parades, food, school tours, and just hours of fun for the whole family.  To see more about everything going on, simply visit the website here  

If you’ve never been to the Fair or go every year, make sure you set some time aside to stop by and just enjoy this taste of Americana right here in our backyard.

The Fair is open daily until January 29, 2017, don’t miss it.  

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A Saturday Afternoon, A Good Cigar, A Great Golf Course

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Events

As most of my readers know, I like to enjoy a good cigar now and then; what many don’t know is that I also like to play a round of golf once in a while as well. On Saturday afternoon I needed a little space and some peace and quiet away from the news cycle, so I indulged both at Lone Pine Golf Course in West Palm Beach.

You might wonder why I’d play golf in the middle of the afternoon on a blistering hot day. Pretty simple actually; for the most part, I had the course to myself.  And what a course it is.

Okay, you’ve probably driven by it a thousand times on Military Trail, directly across the street from Rapids Water Park, and you may even have scoffed because it isn’t in a Country Club setting.  I’m here to tell you that Lone Pine Golf Course offers a great value whether you choose to walk or rent a cart.  It’s a relatively easy course to play which is great for an old duffer like me, and it winds itself around a very nice neighborhood with mostly very nicely kept homes, and you won’t need a small business loan to play.

I especially appreciate that there aren’t a lot of hazards; in fact, there is only one water hazard and there are no sand traps.  Don’t worry though; if you insist on getting into some tough spots, there are a few areas with not really thick trees that apparently dine on any golf balls that dare to visit.  I lost two on the back nine in an area that should have been easy to navigate; I’m convinced that the trees must have devoured them because there were no other golfers in the area.

Anyway, driving around, smoking a really good stick, and playing a half way decent round, (I don’t keep score, I go by how many balls I lose…only two on this trip) I couldn’t help but notice how well maintained the course is.  The greens were all in great shape; fairways and edges neatly trimmed, and meticulously clean.  The only member of the crew I met was Nick at the Pro Shop, however my hat is off to the entire staff for keeping this course such a fun place to play.  I might add, there is a BBQ truck located in the parking lot in case you get a little hungry between the front and back nine.

You’ll find Lone Pine Golf Course at 6251 N. Military Trail in West Palm Beach and you can contact them on the phone at (561) 285-3854, or visit their website here.   You can also visit them on Facebook by clicking here.   

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Bacon everyone?!

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Events

What can I say?  I love me some bacon; alone, served as a side dish, added to something else…it doesn’t matter.  Bacon has the distinction among foods wherein it is great by itself, and it simply improves virtually everything it comes into contact with.  Poultry, beef, fish, seafood, cheese, fruits and vegetables, plutonium cakes…everything is better with bacon.  Okay, not really plutonium cakes, I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention.

Anyway, keeping this in mind, when I heard about Bacon Fest coming to the Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek, Florida, I knew this was an event I had to attend.  I arrived at about 5:45 pm and was stunned when I saw the line, which started at the main valet entrance, wound its way to the far south end of the building, and then turned around again heading to the entrance of the cordoned off section of the parking lot where the event was being held.  

The event was attended by no less than 5,000 people who had the opportunity to enjoy some amazing complimentary treats via the ‘Passport to Bacon’ coupon booklet which everyone got upon entering.  The booklets were chock full of coupons, the vast majority of which were generic in that all one had to do was hand one to a vendor, and a delicious free sample was received.  

And sample we did.  There were samples of appetizers, main courses, desserts, and lots of stuff in between, all with the central theme of Bacon.  My very favorite, (I had three samples I think) was the offering by ‘Gimme a Burger,’ who by the way won first prize for the best main course.  They cooked up samples of their ‘Bacon Coffee Burger’ which is infused with coffee, bacon, and brown sugar; and I have to say, I cannot wait to visit their store in Deerfield Beach for a complete meal.  Check them out at www.gimmeaburger.com.

I also have to say that I really enjoyed the yummy simplicity of the ‘Ms. Cheezious’ offering which was a Grilled Blue Cheese and Bacon sandwich.  You can find out more about them by visiting www.mscheezious.com.

Walking around, we chatted with lots of people and ran across Tommy Hemphill and Rochele Helmly who were a great couple and as can be seen from the photo, aptly dressed for the occasion.  I dubbed him ‘Bacon King.’

One of the stops involved a special coupon from the Jack Daniels booth, and upon presentation of said coupon, one had a choice of No. 7 or the ‘new’ Honey Jack Daniels.  Since both of us know what No. 7 tastes like, my photographer and I opted for the Honey Jack.  I’d heard lots of different tales about this libation, and frankly, given that I don’t generally like sweetened alcohol, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked it.  Definitely sweet, but not so much as to be over-powering, and, served over ice, certainly a nice sipper on a late winter evening in Florida with a good cigar.

One of the most fun things going on was the ‘keg’ bowling; get a strike and win a T-Shirt.  Photographer Boris Balaban showed his bowling prowess and brought home the prize.

Stuffed with bacon treats, having smoked a good cigar, and enjoyed a fun time, it was time to call it a day; but not before  visiting the casino just to check out the action for a few minutes.

If you missed Bacon Fest this year, plan on catching it next time it comes around.  You won’t regret it; however, bear in mind that due to some of the language and antics of the entertainment, it wasn’t ‘family friendly’ and I would not suggest bringing minor children.

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Guns Across America...Florida Style

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Events

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

U.S. Constitution, 2nd Amendment

They came out, slowly at first, but as the noon hour neared, the reports of long lines of traffic jamming the entrance to the Hernando County Fair started coming in.  By the time Audrey Southard took the stage to belt out an amazing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, the numbers of attendees gathered for the ‘Guns Across America Florida 2nd Amendment Support Rally’ had easily exceeded the 2000 mark, and according to co-hosts Deb Howard and Damon Locke, the official counters had given up trying to count the still growing crowd.

Looking around at the signs, Gadsden Flags, and posters, one might simply think this rally was only about gun rights and speaking out against the recent tide of anti-gun sentiment and legislation.  However, it was very apparent from the beginning talk that this was about so much more; it was Patriotic, Constitution and Freedom loving Americans from all walks of life and ages, coming together to peacefully demonstrate and learn about the meat of the issues and what can be done.

Men and women who get it and understand the very real threats posed to our freedoms and future, and who understand that they are today’s Minutemen/women; fighting anew that which our Founding Fathers risked their lives, families, and fortunes for.  They know that without maintaining, unabridged, this critical glue that holds the rest of the Constitution together, the United States of America will quickly fall under certain tyranny; which is why our very wise founders made it the center piece of the Bill of Rights in the first place.  

The array of speakers was remarkable and inspiring, starting with the impassioned ‘Patrick Henry,’ (aka Harry McKay) whose re-enactment of the famous ‘Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death’ speech had as much fire behind it as I imagine the original must have had, to the uplifting words of Pastors Jack Martin, Rodney Howard-Browne and prayers of Daniel McGehee.  In between all of them, we heard the stories of former Florida Senator and gun shop owner Carey Baker, Florida Rep. Jimmie T. Smith, and U.S. Army Colonel, (Ret.), former candidate Mike McCalister.  There were many more, all offering their part of the story which is restoring this great nation and stopping those that seek to destroy her.

Near the end of the talks, several in the gathering posed questions of the speaking platform, the most important of which was on everyone’s mind; and that is, loosely paraphrased, “….all the speeches and prayers are all well and good, but what’s next?!  We’re all on the same page, but where do we go from here and what do we do now?!”  

The answer from the stage, also loosely paraphrased, “….the next step is on February 8th, 2013, when they will converge, en mass, across America, to draw a line in the sand and have their voices heard as never before by the politicians in the capitals of each state and Washington D.C.; to reiterate what the Spartans of long ago said when they were told to lay down their arms and be spared; “Molon Labe,” (pronounced “mow lawn la vay,” and translates to “come and get them”).”

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