Dear Fort Liquordale,

Happy birthday.

Wow, has it been 100 years already? It seems just yesterday you were a pioneering young settlement for traders looking to make it on the New River. And who could forget your heyday as the nation’s premier destination for raucous spring breakers? Despite your predisposition toward wet T-shirts and alcohol-influenced lapses of judgment, you stayed classy. And now look at you. You truly are the Venice of America — a waterside wonderland, prime for soaking in the pristine vistas of South Florida while unhampered by the bustle and thrum of Miami or Palm Beach.

Oh, and you’re still a good place to get a damned fine cocktail.

So this Sunday, on the 100th anniversary of your incorporation, let’s party like you oughta, Fort Liquordale. What say we start at noon at the place it all began: Huizenga Plaza and Las Olas Riverfront, along the banks of the New River. There will be bands like Big City Dogs and Baker Act and historical odes to your salad days courtesy of the Stranahan House and Old Dillard Museum. Meanwhile, the youngsters will stay occupied at Esplanade Park, where Radio Disney and the Florida Panthers will host interactive games and activities. Finally, a classic automobile display from the ’20s and beyond will help transport us back to better days, with the whole shebang culminating in a speech by Mayor Jack Seiler, an eight-foot-long cake, and a fireworks extravaganza that will blow your (decidedly vintage) knickers clean off. Now how’s that for a birthday blowout?

> Toast to 100 years of Fort Lauderdale at noon Sunday in and around Las Olas Riverfront. This party is free and includes a Centennial Beachfest on Saturday at 8 p.m. at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard. Visit fortlauderdale.gov/centennial.
Sun., March 27, noon, 2011

 
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