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Get your pumpkin on; see Friday.EXPAND
Get your pumpkin on; see Friday.
Adam Barhan via Flickr Creative Commons

Best Things to Do in Broward and Palm Beach This Week

Friday, September 9

It was inevitable that America’s obsession with pumpkin beverages would soon intersect with the craft beer world; thus, the pumpkin beer was born. Though memes ridiculing such brews are easy to find, you consider yourself an elite drinker who has an appreciation for exquisite flavors. Screw the naysayers! They don’t have the gourds to be like you. Whether the taste aims to resemble pumpkin or pumpkin pie, there are hundreds of these drinks to choose from nowadays. One of them is Pumpkinhead, a seasonal wheat ale that’s brewed by Maine’s Shipyard Brewing Company and described by one Beeradvocate.com user as “potent as hell” thanks to the nutmeg and cinnamon. This beer, and others like it, will be featured at the Shipyard Pumpkin Party at the Riverside Market (608 SW 12th Ave., Fort Lauderdale) this Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. Besides offering a vast collection of bottled pumpkin beers, the party will serve three Shipyard beers on tap — including Pumpkinhead, Smashed Pumpkin ale, and Blood Orange Belgian-style ale — for $3 to $5 each. Call 954-358-8333. David Minsky

Improv U doesn’t offer a four-year degree, but it indubitably provides more laughs during its classes and performances than any course at a university. The nonprofit improv collective is composed of some of the tri-county area’s best enactors of the fine art of making shit up on the spot and making it sound as shapely as (or better than) an SNL script fine-tuned over a week of rehearsals. Improv fans can matriculate at one of the group’s drop-in classes in Delray or spectate at its frequent performances in Boca, but Improv U is doing one better this weekend, launching the inaugural Palm Beach Improv Festival this Thursday through Sunday. It’s like a convention, class, and comedy show rolled into one, featuring more than 100 actors from across the nation participating in 16 performances and 12 workshops. Shows will be conceptualized as a mix of theater challenges and one-act improv scenes, relying as always on creative input from the audience. And — who knows? — when all is said, done, and acted, you might even feel you learned more than you would have after four years at DeVry. It all goes down at Actors’ Rep Theater (1009 N. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach). Tickets cost $10 for the Thursday and Friday shows and $15 for Saturday’s show, all of which begin at 7 p.m. Prices and times for the workshops vary. Visit improvu.org. John Thomason

Protest the prison system; see Saturday.
Protest the prison system; see Saturday.
Courtesy of Ryan Yousefi

People are organizing across the United States and hoping that their standing in the streets in solidarity with those imprisoned will bring some awareness to the prison slavery cause. On Friday, protestors will sing, conduct noise demonstrations outside jail walls, pass out pamphlets, drop banners, and picket in an attempt to expose what some feel is a corrupt system tainted with white supremacy that uses the judicial system as a form of social control and as an apparatus to create billions of dollars of profits through the incarceration of people who have committed nonviolent crimes. The National Prison Strike group hopes that there can be a closer look taken at how jails and detention facilities incarcerate young men and women and how we can change policies and procedures that have led us to the place we are today.

The demonstration will take place outside the Broward County Jail located at 555 SE First Avenue in Fort Lauderdale this Friday from 8 to 10 p.m. People of all colors, races, and genders are invited in the hopes that the demonstration will feature individuals who have previously never worked side by side for the greater good of a common cause. Visit the group's Facebook page. Ryan Yousefi

Dance to the Brazilian Beat; see Saturday.EXPAND
Dance to the Brazilian Beat; see Saturday.
Simon Law via Flickr Creative Commons

Saturday, September 10

Brazil declared its independence from Portugal September 7, 1822. Brazilian Beat, now in its fifth year, is an official celebration that brings together the art of music and dance in one cultural event. Visitors will be treated to a capoeira circle, zumba, street dancing, and a Rio-style parade with costumed dancers and samba drummers from Southern California’s SambaLa Samba School. Singer-songwriter and multiple Grammy nominee Bebel Gilberto will headline the event. One of the top-selling artists in Brazil since the 1960s, Gilberto is known for her bossa nova style of music — a style derived from samba that places less emphasis on percussion and more on melody. Batuke Samba Funk Unplugged will open for Gilberto. Brazilian cuisine and cocktails will be served. Presented by Downtown Boca and the City of Boca Raton with the Rhythm Foundation, Brazilian Beat will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Mizner Park Amphitheater (590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton). Admission is free. Call 561-367-7070, or visit myboca.us. David Minsky

There are kids today about to enter college who will never understand what this nation felt waking up on September 11, 2001. We're even a little hard-pressed to believe that they'll fully understand the courage and valor of the first responders on that day and how, for once, there was little to no partisan bickering and that — even if it was a very short-lived moment in time — we all felt the unifying meaning of being Americans. Those of us who were old enough to understand what occurred vowed to never forget, and part of the deal was that we never let subsequent generations forget either.

Stephen Siller was an NYC firefighter with Brooklyn's Squad 1 who, after completing his normal shift, geared up and ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers. Mr. Siller lost his life that day, and this 5K series was established in his honor as a way to keep his memory alive, celebrate the sacrifices of first responders and military personnel, and remind future generations of that day. This 5K run/walk will start at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday at Huizenga Plaza, 32 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. For registration, donation, and fundraising information, visit t2tfortlauderdale.eventbrite.com. Abel Folgar

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