Nearly two decades ago, the first Las Olas Wine & Food Festival took place to benefit the American Lung Association. Originally the event was held in November to commemorate Beaujolais Nouveau. After a few years it was moved to March and for the last several years was held in the Spring as it will be this year on April 19th. When the festival began, the street was not closed and tastings took place in merchant locations and on the sidewalks. As the event grew and more vendors were involved, we began to flow over into the street and the decision was made to have a street closing.
In the early years the event spanned several days. On Thursday and Friday evenings there were tastings along the boulevard both inside and out. When the tastings ended at nine o’clock a number of restaurants held wine dinners with guest vineyards hosting. On Saturday afternoon a grand tasting was held under a tent and on occasion in the Riverside Hotel dining area and patio. Saturday evening was a grand wine dinner culminating the event with exquisite wine and gourmet food held in the dining room of the hotel.
Over the years, many changes took place. The wine dinners were discontinued, and now they are back, the tastings moved onto the street and both wine and food were now offered. Everyone who has attended knows that we attempt to make this event better every year.
Although it has grown we try to control the numbers so that everyone has a pleasant experience. Great food, fine wine and musical entertainment all contribute to a spectacular evening under the stars along Las Olas Boulevard, one of the most picturesque venues in town.
As we celebrate our 18th year the American Lung Association in Florida – South Area thanks those who have been loyal to us for all these years and look forward to making new friends through this vital fund raising event for our organization! Proceeds from the festival benefit the American Lung Association’s local lung health programs, education, patients and research at the local and national level on diseases such as lung cancer, asthma, COPD, and others. This event enables us to accomplish our mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. To learn more about the American Lung Association click here!