Best Festival 2008 | Scottish Festival & Highland Games | People & Places | South Florida

Sure, the concept might not seem all-inclusive at first blush. These annual gatherings are organized by a bunch of folks celebrating their Scottish ancestry, and to some extent their families' early arrivals in the U.S. of A. (Case in point: The Daughters of the American Revolution sponsor a booth and hand out lengthy questionnaires to women who might be eligible to join because their great-great-whatevers fought the British.) But, really, this festival is about a bunch of folks, many with Scottish surnames, donning funny outfits and playing ridiculous games. Ever see a 6-foot-tall Japanese man wearing a kilt and hurling bales of hay over what looks like a high jump bar? Yeah, didn't think so. Most clans will be happy to take on honorary members, so pick out your favorite tartan and march in the clan parade. (Word is Clan Campbell is always looking for recruits.) There is also, of course, lots of beer, whiskey, scones, and haggis to be consumed. And bagpipe players! The festival takes place over an entire weekend each January, and advance tickets can be bought for $10 at just about any Irish or British pub in Broward County.

Jim Leljedal has weathered a lot in his 25 years with the Broward Sheriff's Office. Working for Nick Navarro, the egomaniacal former sheriff who battled 2 Live Crew and teamed up with the Cops TV show, could never have been dull. Then came the tragedy of Ron Cochran's death, followed by the highly political tenure of Ken Jenne that ended in disgrace and a prison term for Jenne after a federal corruption conviction. Through all that turmoil, BSO has had one calm and steady voice in Leljedal. He's an understated pro who came from the TV news ranks, became a bona fide deputy sheriff, and actually gives a little respect to the ink-stained wretches who come to him for information. His fundamental decency stands in sharp contrast to a few of his peers over the years, some of whom seemed to have gone mad with the power they held over newspaper and TV stations (Elliot Cohen, we're looking in your direction, wherever you are). Leljedal is one of the good guys. Here's to another 25, Jim.

You'd think it would be hard sitting in Khaled's shadow. The loveable and highly lauded DJ Khaled is the biggest name in South Florida radio. He's been at it for numerous years, and with his albums, connections, and new record label taking off, it's hard to think of anyone that's doing it bigger in the radio game. But if there's one thing that history will teach, it's that beside every great man is an even stronger woman who's probably not getting nearly enough credit. That's definitely the case when you break down the weekly show The Take Over, where Khaled's bark is the loudest but K. Foxx's alluring personality carries the most bite. She's always on cue, she's got the sexiest voice in radio, and she has a persona that can counterbalance Khaled's sometimes overbearing ego. She's also easily the best urban radio reporter/DJ in South Florida.

Call Wooley the thinking man's activist. The native Miamian has a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago, an MBA from Harvard, and a doctorate from the University of Chicago. He spent a career as an executive in the freight industry before retiring in 1997. "I didn't like what I saw," he says. "I didn't like the deep interests of the developers and real estate interests. Looked to me like the town was in the iron grip of those people." He's a fixture at city hall meetings, where he's lent an intelligent and decidedly dissident voice to the proceedings. He ran for mayor of Cooper City last year and lost in a three-way race. But he's far from done. "I'm going to keep going," says the 66-year-old Wooley. "And I think we keep gaining converts."

If the photos on her ad are any measure, Broward-based Destiny belongs in that elite milieu of strumpet with the chick who shtupped Spitzer. She makes a credible claim to "incomparable beauty," favors lacy black lingerie, and describes herself as "Columbian," a misspelling that gives her true ethnicity an air of intrigue, as does her claim to being both 21 and 25 years old. But check your age prejudices at the hotel door, gents — Destiny rejects the "preconceived idea that I am 'young and dumb.' " While she concedes that she has a "hot body," her true beauty lies in a "thought process that is simply more advanced than the typical young woman." So bring a rubber, boys, and brace yourself for a post-coital dissertation on nuclear physics.

The new Fort Lauderdale has no shortage of luxury resorts. Determining the best hotel is akin to choosing the hottest Playboy centerfold. The Atlantic is like the busty blond twins who'd be willing to show you a thing or two after everyone else leaves Hefner's grotto. Located on the beach and just a stroll from Las Olas, this is old-school Florida class with new-school amenities, offering sundecks, outdoor dining, and rooms that look out on the ocean. From the 24-hour concierge and room service to the European spa and fitness center to its fine restaurants, the Atlantic is lavish and majestic, but never too elite to be comfortable. Get a martini at Trina, the hotel bar, and a massage from some of the finest masseuses in town. Then sit on your balcony, stare at the beautiful water, and ponder how grand life can be.

The mosaics and marshmallow curves on this 8-story circular building lift many a commuter's spirits at the busy intersection of Oakland Park and Federal Highway. How can you not smile at geometric renditions of herons, sea horses, and marlins? Fort Lauderdale architect Louis F. Wolff designed this piece of fabulosity in 1964 for Ken Burnstine, a local drug smuggler and pilot. Burnstine disappeared 12 years later during an air show in the Mojave Desert. A single thumb was recovered from the wreckage, prompting some to speculate that he faked his death (Burnstine was scheduled to testify for the prosecution in a number of drug cases). The Kenann building's billowy white circles were inspired by — no joke — The Jetsons. Inside, the design wonders continue, with blue granite circles and mirrors cutting Art Deco shapes across the lobby and weighing down the elevators. Architect Dan Duckham updated the building in 1992. Today, Kenann tenants include doctors, lawyers, Citibank, and Muvico Theaters.

That's right. We're going with Bogenschutz, the shrewd advocate for damn near every lousy public official in Broward County (Ken "Jailbird" Jenne, Al "Urinal Man" Capellini, and "Weepy" Larry Seidlin are three recent clients). Sure, you can condemn him for representing high-rolling sleazebags. Many have. But whatever you think about his defense of officialdom's scum, it's hard to argue that he doesn't perform his odious duties with shrewdness and stealth. He doesn't grandstand and make outrageous claims. Bogenschutz just works doggedly to either try to keep his clients out of trouble or hammer out a deal to get them as little of it as possible. The lack of excess has been a key to his success. He's a damn good man to have walk through your door when you're in a jam.

Every town needs a resident freak to make life interesting and keep the gossips in business. Unfortunately, Britney Spears lives in California and former sheriff Ken Jenne is incarcerated. So it was our luck when the Iceman himself moved his digs to Wellington. Every fan of The Surreal Life knows that Rob Van Winkle once resented being known as the world's first solo white rapper and serving a brief stint as the laughingstock of the music industry. But with the help of TV legend Ponch Poncherello and porn star Ron Jeremy, Ice learned to count his blessings ("Ice, Ice Baby" will remain an awesomely catchy song until the end of time). These days, he's mellowed considerably. (The domestic violence charges were dropped, people!) If you see him out — say, hanging with pal/Aventura resident Dennis Rodman, or racing one his 50 cars at Moroso Motorsports Park — he will most likely be happy to indulge you with a picture and a smile. In fact, the last time we bumped into him, he asked good-naturedly, "Remember when my pet wallaroo escaped?" (The wallaroo, Bucky, was eventually found wandering with Ice's pet goat, Pancho.) Ice has managed to extend his proverbial 15 minutes of fame. This coming year, his itinerary includes filming a reality show with racecar driver Emerson Fittipaldi and playing a Kappa Sigma frat house with the Ying Yang Twins. Last December, when he held the Vanilla Ice House Party at the local Polish Club, he was sure to include human bowling, pudding wrestling, and a real live giraffe — all while collecting toys for tots. Long live Ice!

Yeah, she's made lots of porn movies. Yeah, she has several times made a mockery of the democratic process in California, running for governor of the golden state on her "Porn for Pistols" campaign. And yes, she showed up for the first day of her celebrity rehab reality show on VH1 so shitfaced she could barely talk to counselors. But now Fort Lauderdale's own Mary Carey — a product of Pine Crest School — has turned over a new leaf. Kind of. Since her mother attempted suicide, Carey (whose given name is Mary Ellen Cook) has aimed to set her life straight: No more porn. No more drugs. No more of the generally self-destructive behavior out of which she has made a career. And while she hasn't exactly reverted back to the pleasant ballerina princess she was as a child (rehab didn't take and she still dances at strip clubs), simply showing the American public some of the horrors of addiction from a young, white, wealthy woman's perspective may have saved innumerable lives.

Best Of Broward-Palm Beach®

Best Of