Fort Lauderdale – Get ready to kick off the summer with live music, vintage cars, unique art, outstanding entertainment, and fun in the sun for everyone! It’s all happening on Fort Lauderdale Beach at the City’s Great American Beach Party on Saturday, May 23 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard.
Now in its sixth year, the Great American Beach Party has grown into one of Fort Lauderdale’s most anticipated events, attracting tens of thousands of families, residents and visitors for a full day of exciting activities and entertainment. The free event showcases world famous Fort Lauderdale beach, provides local businesses with an added economic boost, and strengthens Fort Lauderdale’s reputation as a “must see” destination.
This year, seven bands will perform on two stages throughout the day treating crowds to a variety of surf rock, classic oldies, rock n’ roll hits, country favorites, blues rock and more. Featured artists will include: Six Foot Swell Surfband, The Castaways, Cutback Surf Band, the dba band, Tom Jackson, Weedline, and headliner The Fabulous Thunderbirds!
The Fabulous Thunderbirds is an American, Grammy-nominated blues rock band, formed in 1974. For more than 30 years, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been the quintessential American band. The group’s distinctive and powerful sound, influenced by a diversity of musical styles, manifested itself into a unique musical hybrid via such barnburners as “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap It Up”. Co-founder Kim Wilson, the sole original member, still spearheads the group as it evolves into its newest incarnation.
Award‐winning LivingSand artist and sculptor John May returns to present the Great American Sand Sculpting Contest from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the beach from Poinsettia Street to Cortez Street. No experience is necessary to participate in this spirited, friendly competition that has become an annual favorite among families, children, neighborhoods, and businesses. Prizes will be awarded for best sand sculptures in a variety of categories.
Automobile enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Great American Classic Car Show, presented by Keith’s Rods and Customs from 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. More than 70 custom classics will line both sides of A1A from Cortez Street to Castillo Street giving beach‐goers an up close look at a unique collection of vintage hot rods, rag tops, roadsters and muscle cars.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., celebrity DJ William Pennhouse will bring his one‐of‐a‐kind interactive entertainment to the expanded Family Fun Zone, located on the beach at Poinsettia Street. Activities for children and adults will include music; face painting; hula-hoop, limbo and Twister contests along with a water balloon toss; beach water slides and bounce houses; a cornhole tournament and life-size board games; Florida wildlife exhibits, and much more.
Highlights of the Great American Beach Party will also include displays and exhibits from more than 20 well‐known and up‐and‐coming local artists, community booths, collectibles, and plenty of food and beverages.
In commemoration of Memorial Day Weekend, a military tribute will take place at 2:30 p.m. to honor the men and women who serve our country in the United States Armed Forces. The tribute will be highlighted by a precision freefall parachute drill performed by the U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team. This team of skilled Para‐Commandoes will skydive from 12,500 feet over the Atlantic Ocean and land on a target positioned in the sand at Las Olas Boulevard and A1A.
Walk of Fame Induction
Each year, individuals who have made significant contributions to the progress and advancement of the City are honored at the Great American Beach Party with induction into the Fort Lauderdale Walk of Fame, which is located along the east side of A1A at Las Olas Boulevard. The official Walk of Fame induction ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. on the south stage, located at Las Olas Boulevard and A1A.
This year’s Walk of Fame honorees are the late Hugh Taylor Birch who donated the land for Birch State Park and world famous Fort Lauderdale Beach; tourism icon Ina Lee who raised the profile of Fort Lauderdale Beach through TravelHost Magazine, marketing and major events; 8-time Olympic Diving Coach Ron O’Brien who made Fort Lauderdale a center for world-class diving; and world famous Parrot Lounge owner Tim Schiavone who has welcomed millions to our beach. Each honoree will each receive a commemorative marble paver placed in the Walk of Fame to memorialize their outstanding accomplishments.
Eventgoers are encouraged to get to the Great American Beach Party stress free by parking in downtown Fort Lauderdale and hopping aboard designated event shuttles. Downtown parking is available for a $5 flat rate at:
– City Park Garage, 150 S.E. 2nd Street
– County Garage, 151 S.W. 2nd Street
– One River Plaza, 305 S. Andrews Avenue
– AutoNation Building, 200 S.W. 1st Avenue
To get there by sea, water shuttle stations will be located downtown at Las Olas Riverfront, 300 S.W. 1st Avenue, and on the beach at Las Olas Marina, 240 E. Las Olas Circle. Round trip fares are only $5. Active military, seniors 65 and over, and kids under 3 are free. Water shuttles will operate from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the day of the event, with the Anticipation Yacht departing on the hour and Water Taxis departing every 30 minutes.
To get there by land, the Sun Trolley will be picking up eventgoers at the City Park Garage, located at 150 S.E. 2nd Street. Drop-off will be at the Las Olas Marina, 240 E. Las Olas Circle. Fares are $1 each way or $3 for an all-day pass. The Sun Trolley will operate from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Track Sun Trolley in real time by downloading the app at SunTrolley.com.
Ride your bike to the event and valet park it in a safe location. A free bike valet will be available from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the on the south side of Las Olas Boulevard between Las OIas Circle and southbound A1A.
Residents, visitors and businesses should be aware of the following traffic advisory that will be in effect for the Great American Beach Party.
– A1A will be closed from Las Olas Boulevard north to Castillo Street from 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 23 to 1 a.m. on Sunday, May 24.
– Northbound traffic on A1A will be detoured west onto Las Olas Boulevard, north on Birch Road, east on Bayshore Drive, and back north onto A1A.
– Alhambra Street, Seville Street, and Granada Street will be open to local traffic only.
– Heavy traffic and delays are expected from S.E. 17th Street north to Bayshore Drive. Motorists should avoid the area and seek alternate travel routes where possible.
The Great American Beach Party is sponsored by the Broward County Cultural Division,
City of Fort Lauderdale Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, Greater Fort
Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Budweiser, Florida Restaurant Purchasing Group, Magic 102.7, and Sun Sentinel.
For more information, visit www.fortlauderdale.gov/gabp.