Recognized as a one of South Florida's most anticipated wine and culinary events of the year, the 20th-annual Las Olas Wine and Food Festival returns May 1 to Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.
Held Friday from 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Las Olas Boulevard (between SE Sixth Avenue and SE 11th Avenue), the Las Olas Wine and Food Festival wends its way through four downtown city blocks offering food, wine, and entertainment to festivalgoers. This year, the street festival will feature more than 70 of South Florida’s finest restaurants and more than 45 wine tables.
Hosted by the American Lung Association, presenting sponsors include Bombay Sapphire gin, New Amsterdam vodka, Dark Horse Wine, and Premier Beverage, and each will be on-hand during the festival's opening VIP party at the Riverside Hotel with wine and light bites from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Next, the Secret Stache Sponsor pavilion will open on the street featuring specialty cocktails, bites from Publix Aprons Cooking School & Catering, and custom rum cake bites from 2014 Las Olas Wine and Food Festival dessert winner Crave Rum Cake.
“Through the years, this signature event has made its mark in Fort Lauderdale as a destination for both locals and visitors," said Bob Drinon, president and CEO of Premier Beverage. "Its success can be attributed to the wonderful restaurants in the area that participate as well as our portfolio of fine wine and spirits suppliers. The festival would not be complete without a way for attendees to take home their favorite new wine discoveries, and we are excited to partner with the Discount Liquor Group this year, who will be taking orders of wines that can be purchased at the festival.”
This year's events include the Couture Fashion Show by the Fashion Honors Group of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, the Bombay Sapphire Gin lounge, and the signature Mule cocktail party at the New Amsterdam’s Lounge, located on Eighth and Las Olas Boulevard.
The event will begin with a grand opening at the festival's main stage with a ceremonial bottle sabering. Music will be provided by Easy 93.1 and HITS 97.3.
New this year is Beer Garden, sponsored by Fort Lauderdale restaurant American Social and featuring more than ten styles of beers by five brands, including Samuel Adams, Concrete Beach, Lagunitas, Harpoon, and Sierra Nevada.
“The Las Olas Wine & Food Festival has become one of the most high-profile and eagerly anticipated charity events in South Florida and has helped raise hundreds of thousands for critical local and national lung health programs,” said Cariann Moore, area director of the American Lung Association in Florida. “Proceeds raised help save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through our education, advocacy, and research efforts.”
Tickets to the 2015 Las Olas Wine & Food Street Festival cost $100 per person, and VIP tickets cost $225. All proceeds from the festival benefit the American Lung Association in Florida. Call 954-727-0907, or visit lasolaswff.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.