Feelin' the Love | Night & Day | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Feelin' the Love

Some might say Boynton Beach doesn't have a lot going for it. Like Lake Worth or Delray Beach, it's one of those stopover points between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, a small part of the great South Florida megalopolis. But Boynton Beachers (Beachites? Beachians?) would say otherwise. The city hosts its annual Great American Love Affair this weekend, its way of saying that Boynton Beach is a destination all its own.

The Great American Love Affair got its start back in 1981, when event founders finally found a way to acronymize gala. Before that, the city had hosted an annual art festival and a business fair; GALA is the combination of the two. Since its inception, the festival has grown by leaps and bounds, with last year's event pulling in 35,000 souls.

Live entertainment takes place nonstop on two stages. The community stage features primarily youth groups and young performers: dance troupes, singing prodigies, and so on. On the main stage are the professional folks, albeit professional locals. Bands set to perform on the main stage include Vesper Sparrow, Dela Crossing, American Pie, Aces Wild, and reggae artist Sister P. Also enthralling audiences throughout Sunday is Randy Orwig, alias the Human Statue. Even standing still is apparently entertaining if one can do it for a long, long time.

With two eight-hour days on the agenda, folks have to eat, unless they're immobile, of course. The "Taste of GALA" food court offers all the fare one expects from outdoor festivals: hamburgers, hot dogs, pretzels, and gyros, with much of it from nonprofit organizations, so you can chow down and help out local community groups as well. There's also a wine and beer garden so you can wash down all those hot pretzels with a cold one.

And in order for the 21-and-older crowd to sit around getting twisted in the garden, there's got to be some place to drop off the kids. Thank the Palm Beach Post for its Kids Corner, which features a children's train, a bounce house, and vendors who offer face-painting, sand art, a flower booth, and other hands-on crafts for the artistically minded child.

Speaking of which, the GALA youth art exhibit features artwork from more than 400 students representing 40 public and private schools from Boca Raton to Jupiter. Kids aren't the only ones who can paint a picture, though: The GALA visual arts area, situated along Ocean Avenue, features professional artwork in two-dimensional, three-dimensional, fine craft, craft, and wearable-art categories. Cash awards are given out in this juried competition for the top three pieces in each category.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dan Sweeney
Contact: Dan Sweeney

Latest Stories