Memorial Day Weekend: Where to Eat, Drink, and Remember in South Florida

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It's Memorial Day weekend, the official kick off to summer and a practice grilling session for the Fourth of July. It's also a day to remember our fallen soldiers, the men and women in uniform who fought and died for our right to be free. We're not trying to bring you down. After all, that freedom includes our right to barbecue, drink beer, and party 'til we pass out sunburned in the lawn chair. It's just something to keep in mind as we celebrate this weekend. 

Happy Memorial Day. Have fun, be safe, and eat up.


Naughty & Nice: Memorial Day Cook Out (Boca Raton)
Whole Foods Boca Raton (1400 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 561-447-0000) team members Abby Nagorski, the healthy eating and green mission specialist, and Jimmy Gennaro, lifestyle culinary instructor, are at it once again. This time they’ll be preparing their take on picnic fare. Abby will make a healthy version and Jimmy, a decadent version. This is a fun class you won’t want to miss. The menu includes potato salad, hamburgers, and strawberry shortcake with their signature naughty and nice takes on each. The event begins at 7:30 p.m., and costs $5 per person.


Great American Beach Party
Memorial Day is, after all, about celebrating our country. So at least this party has the word "American" in its title. Live music will be provided by The Castaways, Six Foot Swell Surfband, Weedline, Tom Jackson, and headliner The Fabulous Thunderbirds. There will also be a tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces, a sand castle contest, classic car show, art show, life-size beach games and more. Just don’t get so drunk you pass out face down in the sand – there will be kids here, and no dad wants to answer the question: "Papa, why is that man with a tribal tattoo sleeping on my sand castle?" The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Fort Lauderdale Beach. There is no cover.

Memorial Day BBQ Weekend Extravaganza (Boca Raton)
Join Whole Foods Market Boca Raton (1400 Glades Road, Boca Raton; 561-447-0000) as they fire up the grill for some great causes this weekend. On Saturday they’ll be cooking for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and on Sunday they’ll be cooking for Forgotten Soldiers Outreach. 100% of proceeds from each BBQ go back to those organizations, so come cook out with Whole Foods Market for a cause. The event runs from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The cost to attend is $5 per person.

Memorial Day Favorites with a Healthy Twist Cooking Demonstration
Join Whole Foods Market Palm Beach Gardens (11701 Lake Victoria Gardens, Palm Beach Gardens) healthy eating specialist Lacey to ensure you enjoy a scrumptious, patriotic Memorial Day while not throwing out the healthy eating you've been keeping up throughout the year. The store will offer several healthy alternatives to their favorite grilling holiday recipes. Space is limited; reservations required. Register at the Customer Service Desk, or by calling 561-630-3400. The event is free and takes place Saturday from noon to 1 p.m.

Memorial Day Weekend Party at Revolution Live
If drinking and dancing to DJs is more of your holiday theme, head to Revolution. The downtown Fort Lauderdale club is hosting a soiree with Oscar G, DJ Icey, BabyAnne, Roland, Merlyn, Supernaut, Shade, Drop Zone, and DJ Hans. The event features two venues, three rooms, and one big holiday weekend party. It begins Saturday at 10 p.m. Tickets start at $10. Revolution Live is located at 100 SW Third Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-449-1025, or visit jointherevolution.net


Forgotten Soldiers Memorial Day BBQ
Join Whole Foods Market Palm Beach Gardens (11701 Lake Victoria Gardens, Palm Beach Gardens) under their tent in front of the store to kick off summer grilling fun. Enjoy a burger, veggie burger or hot dog with drink and chips for just $5 for a fundraiser benefiting Forgotten Soldiers Outreach. Burgers and hot dogs will be sold, with all proceeds going to the organization. There will be a letter writing table, where you can write an inspiring letter to a solider overseas. The store will also be hosting a donation drive for needed items (i.e. toothpaste, shampoo, lip balm, socks, insect repellent, snack bars, trail mix, puzzle books, and snack storage bags). Forgotten Soldiers Outreach's goal is to continually encourage the men and women who are abroad fighting for our great nation. Their hope is to inspire hope, strength and courage while they are separated from loved ones, families and friends. Their mission is to reach those who don't receive anything from the home front, by sending them that "little bit of home" to ensure they are not forgotten. The event takes place from noon to 3 p.m.


KidzFest Flamingo Gardens is marking the occasion with a day of family fun. It includes free pony rides from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a butterfly encounter, animal presentations, games and activities for the little ones, arts and crafts, bounce houses, entertainment, and surprise attractions. The cost to attend is $18 for ages 12 and up, half-price for kids ages 3 to 11. Members and kids 2 and under get in free. A narrated tram tour is extra. This event takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Flamingo Gardens is located at 3750 S. Flamingo Road in Davie. Call 954-473-2955.

Memorial Day 5K Classic at Weston Town Center
Where running season is about to commence throughout the rest of the country, it’s winding down in soon-to-be-hotter-than-hell South Florida. In the final race of the season, athletes from all over Broward and Palm Beach are honoring America’s fallen soldiers for this special tribute and salute to the troops in Weston. The 5K starts at 7:17 a.m. The registration fee is $35 until Sunday. On race day Monday, it’s $40. The race takes place at Weston Town Center, located at 1675 Market St. in Weston. Visit memorialday5kclassic.com.

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.

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