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Weekend Best Bets: Delray Affair Edition

The official 2014 Poster by Ora Sorensen.

The official 2014 Poster by Ora Sorensen.

The Delray Affair is Here

The Delray Affair is the city’s signature event and with 250,000 people expected this weekend in Delray, it’s hard to argue.

Here are the facts:

DATES/TIMES:

 Friday, April 25, 2014 (10:00 am to 6:00 pm)

 Saturday, April 26, 2014 (10:00 am to 6:00 pm)

 Sunday, April 27, 2014 (10:00 am to 5:00 pm)

 

PARKING:           

 $5 County Parking Garage – West Atlantic Avenue; next to Courthouse/behind library

 $5 Parking Garage – Old School Square

 $5 at City Hall – City Attorney’s office & grass lot

 

STREET CLOSURES:

 4:00 am Friday, April 25th through 10:00 pm Sunday, April 27th

 (NW 2nd Avenue from Tennis Center east to Intracoastal)

 

FESTIVAL FEATURES:           

 - Over 700+ vendors featuring hand-crafted arts and crafts, fine arts, great food!

- Live music at two beer gardens all week-end long (4th & Atlantic and front lawn of Delray Beach Center for the Arts)

 - Commemorative Poster design by Ora Sorenson

 - Commemorative T-Shirt design by Chamber Staff Member, Teri Brant

 - NEW Enhanced mobile application, with year-long functionality, that integrates the community with vendors, sponsors, and advertisers

•iPhone & Android compatible

•Capability to search by category, exhibitor name or category

•View event schedule and add to personal schedule

•Color coded maps with GPS directional from your location

•Survey

•Launched April 18th – download AFTER 18th or you’ll get old one (delrayaffair)

 

-NEW Mobile “Art of the Automobile at Delray Affair”

•Featuring a different collection each day, located under the big tent at OSS park

•Dream Ride

•American Classics

•European Classics

•Future Classics

•Featured Attraction Using Special Olympics as their cause, Dream Ride raises the awareness and much-needed funds for people living with intellectual disabilities while inspiring our communities to overcome diversity, with all the achievements and accomplishments of Special Olympics athletes’ serving as an example.

•Founded in 2001, “Dream Ride” started as just that––a dream from Michael A. Bozzuto, CEO of Bozzuto’s Inc. It began as an optimistic vision to help people with intellectual disabilities living in our communities. Thirteen years later––thanks to the passion, hope and dedication of his entire company and the community––“The Dream Ride Experience” has evolved into the largest philanthropic endeavor sponsored by Bozzuto’s Inc. and The Hometown Foundation, Inc.

•The Dream Ride Experience is a culmination of years’ worth of fundraising events, activities and outreach. It is an event to celebrate the achievements of Special Olympics athletes and to honor these outstanding men, women and children living with intellectual disabilities in our communities.

•Spanning thirteen states along the Eastern Seaboard and three countries, “The Dream Ride Experience” has become one of the most exciting and highly anticipated events for engine enthusiasts, Special Olympians and passionate participants. Currently, over $2,245,000 has been raised for Special Olympics programs in multiple states, with over 100% of the proceeds directly benefiting the charity.

 

- NEW “Rendezvous at the Affair Media – Entertainment Lounge & Broadcast Center Sponsored by PeterMark Salon Foundation, an exclusive VIP area featuring food tastings by local restaurants, hair & fashion show, chair massages, tanning salon, give-a-ways, music dancing and an after party at Delux Nightclub

•Located at PeterMark VIP Block on NE 4th Avenue and Atlantic

•$20 Friday & Saturday, $10 Sunday

Enjoy! If you need more information visit http://delrayaffair.com/

  

 

Arts Garage Hosts Jazz Professors

If you’re looking for something to do Saturday night after wandering the Delray Affair, consider some jazz at The Arts Garage.

Grammy winning Jeff Rupert is a Yamaha performing artist, a record producer, recording artist, freelance tenor saxophonist, full time professor, and Director of Jazz Studies at UCF.

The Jazz Professors, a sextet had top JazzWeek charting hit albums in 2012 and 2013. “The Jazz Professors: Live at the UCF-Orlando Jazz Festival” (Flying Horse, 2011) peaked at #19 during its 17 weeks on the JazzWeek charts.

The Professors will be at the Arts Garage, Saturday, April 26 at 8 a.m.

For tickets visit www.artsgarage.org

 

Lynn Students Make The Pitch: Budding Entrepreneurs Seek Investment

 

Delray entrepreneur and Lynn alum Jeremy Office is investing in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Delray entrepreneur and Lynn alum Jeremy Office is investing in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

 

Could the next Uber, Coin or Tesla Motors be incubating in South Florida?

Local business leaders will find out when Lynn University students pitch their best new product or business ideas during the finals of the second annual Howard Isaacson Innovation Challenge tomorrow, April 24. The winner of the contest, which was founded by Delray Beach entrepreneur Jeremy S. Office, will receive seed capital to further develop their concept.

“When you’re starting a business, knowing how to effectively present and sell your concept is often just as important a factor in your success as having a detailed business plan and financial projections,” said Office, the founder and Principal of Maclendon Wealth Management and managing partner at SJO Worldwide, a venture capital company that specializes in investing in small to medium-sized businesses like the ones students will be pitching. “Students who participate in the Howard Isaacson Innovation Challenge will learn by doing, as they develop, research and pitch a unique business or product to a group of successful area entrepreneurs.”

During the pitch session, teams of up to five graduate and undergraduate students will have 30 minutes to present their business plan to a panel of judges. The judging panel will consist of entrepreneurially minded members of the local business community who will evaluate each pitch based on its creativity and innovation, financial viability, market research and verification, and other factors.

“The Howard Isaacson Innovation Challenge is an important learning opportunity for our students, helping to prepare them for the next step in their lives and their careers,” said Thomas Kruczek, Dean of the College of Business and Management at Lynn University. “This partnership between the university and one of our successful alumni also allows us to build bridges between the academic world and local business leaders, which further helps position our graduates for success.”

Participants in the April 24 event, which is open to the public, had to clear several hurdles, including submitting a written synopsis of their business idea and making a 20-minute oral presentation of their business plan, before being selected to advance to the final round of the competition. All students participating in the competition will learn to identify new and feasible business ideas, research how those ideas can be brought to the marketplace, evaluate an idea’s financial viability, and develop a workable business model.

“The U.S. was built by innovators who weren’t afraid to take risks. This contest offers students an opportunity to develop challenging ideas and take their own risks,” said Office. “One of our country’s great competitive advantages is our entrepreneurial spirit, and my hope is that this competition will nurture that spirit and help it thrive.”

Office, who earned his Ph.D. in global leadership from Lynn University’s College of Business and Management, established the Howard Isaacson Innovation Challenge in 2013 in honor of his late grandfather and their mutual love of entrepreneurship

Real Estate Monday: Westard Ho, Villagio Continues Trend

Elevations at Villagio Reserve are Spanish-Italian influenced.

Elevations at Villagio Reserve are Spanish-Italian influenced.

Grand openings are a sign of good times at Villaggio Reserve as the local real estate market continues to impress.

While coastal neighborhoods remain hot, western communities are also racking up sales as the Boca-Delray real estate market continues its strong run.

The western  trend continues to be 55+ communities with prices ranging from the mid $200s to over $1 million. Developers are touting proximity to downtown Delray Beach and local cultural amenities such as the Morikami Museum and shopping at the Delray Marketplace.

Villagio Reserve, built by Ansca Homes, celebrated the grand opening last weekend of its third neighborhood since construction on the 55+ community began in January. Ansca has positioned the neighborhood as an elegant community in “America’s Most Fun Small Town”, a testament to the continuing value created by Delray’s downtown entertainment and cultural district.

Villagio Reserve is located on Hagen Ranch Road and Atlantic Avenue, west of Delray Beach.

Each ”grand opening” event has marked a milestone. A soft grand opening gave an insider’s first glance at plans for the new community of 598 homes. A formal grand opening was held in December and last weekend’s event marked the opening of a new enclave of 83 homes.  Residences are priced from $270,000 to $400,000.

“We’ve had tremendous sales and unbelievable construction starts,” said Ron Yuter, senior vice president with Ansca Homes. “Six months ago, we had nothing but streets and an entrance. By our grand opening weekend (April 19-20), visitors will see 60 homes under construction. That is a true testament to how excited the Delray Beach community has been about Villaggio Reserve.”

Already Villaggio Reserve has hit the “Century Mark,” selling more than 100 residences since sales began in January.

Every residence will deliver  architectural designs and amenities that elevate “standard” to new heights, says Yuter. Homes feature spacious rooms designed with elegance and style in mind. Design touches and amenities include coffered ceilings, granite counter tops and Kitchen Craft Cabinetry® in kitchens and baths.

Outside, Spanish-Italian designed exteriors, decorative stone driveways and walkways and lush landscaping highlight each home’s place in a development that exudes European styling. Impact-resistant windows and doors provide a measure of safety and peace of mind,

The new neighborhood also will be the closest yet to the Cabana Club – putting residents a short walk to Villaggio Reserve’s lifestyle destination and fitness facility. This 38,000-square-foot town square will serve up a multitude of activities designed to enrich daily life. Residents will enjoy dining indoors or on the covered patio. There will be activities like cards and games, to community or private events in the Grand Ballroom, to surfing free wi-fi on personal tablets or laptop computers.

For the fitness minded, a fully equipped and staffed Fitness Center will come complete with men’s and women’s locker rooms, massage tables, showers and sauna. Yoga, Zumba and other classes will be offered by on-site trainers skilled at customizing work-out routines. Outside, lighted tennis and “pickle ball” courts will be available for day or night play. Nearby, enjoy a game of Bocce ball, or take a dip in one of four pools – all surrounded by an expansive, resort-style pool deck.

For more information please visit  http://villaggioreserve.com/  The Sales Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

 

 

Weekend Best Bets: Easter Edition

The Easter Bonnet Dog Parade is a Delray tradition

The Easter Bonnet Dog Parade is a Delray tradition

The Trouble with Doug @ Arts Garage

  A contemporary re-imagining of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, “The Trouble With Doug” is a hilarious and moving new musical about a healthy young man who transforms inexplicably into a giant talking slug.

The play opens April 18. Tickets are $30 and $45. Visit www.artsgarage,org for more information.

 

Jimmy Webb in Delray

We love Jimmy Webb.

His rendition of Glenn Campbell’s Galveston, Wichita Lineman and By The Time I Get to Phoenix  are simply sublime. His Friday show has sold out but our friends at the Arts Garage have added a Sunday evening show at 7:30.

Visit www.artsgarage.org and grab those tickets.

 A true living legend of songwriting, Webb: is the only artist ever to have received Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration. This is a can’t miss event.

Easter Pet Parade

Come to the Delray Beach Green Market Saturday for the 13th annual Easter Bonnet Pet Parade.

You never know what you may see, one year there was even a goat that attended in Easter finery.

The best dressed animals in Delray strut their stuff at 10:00 am in a parade up NE 1st Avenue and west on Atlantic Avenue to the front lawn of the Cornell Museum for judging and prizes.  Stick around to see who wins! I am one of the veteran judges and it is a tremendous honor…thanks Lori Nolan!

Categories: Most Traditional, Most Original, Funniest, Most Frou-Frou, Most Tropical, and Owner-Pet Look-Alike, and Best of Show

  • Entry Fee: $3 with all proceeds going to Dezzy’s Second Chance Rescue.  Registration is from 9:00 to 9:45 am under the “Big Top” directly behind the Green Market and in front of the amphitheater.  Parade starts at 10am

 

Easter Sunrise Service

 

 A long standing tradition in Delray Beach, residents and tourists alike, bring beach chairs and celebrate Easter as the sun rises.

This year’s event will take place at 6:30 a.m. Easter Sunday at the beach pavilion.

 The Delray Beach Interfaith Clergy Association hosts the beautiful service.

  The service will include hymns of the season, readings, and prayers.    An offering will be taken and proceeds contributed to The Delray Beach Interfaith Clergy Association’s outreach in our community.

 Bring beach chairs and sit on the beach or in front of the new pavilion.

 The Delray Beach Interfaith Clergy Association is a local association which welcomes clergy and congregations of all faiths in the Delray Beach area. 

  

 

 

Water Cooler Wednesday: Digital Main Streets

Rethinking Economic Development

Rethinking Economic Development

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has vision.

He’s a strong mayor on a mission to diversify Orlando beyond tourism, time shares and t-shirts.

So far, his plan is working. Downtown Orlando has come alive in recent years and is far, far more than Church Street Station these days. Lake Nona is a 7,000 acre hot bed for the medical industry with a school, research institutions and nearby start-ups taking root within the city limits.

Orlando hasn’t and will never abandon tourism, nor should it, but Orlando  also understands that it is never wise to rest on your laurels and it’s almost always smart to diversify.

In addition to medicine and urbanism, a nascent urban food industry is thriving with farm to table restaurants, organic growers, food manufacturers and the growth of “foodie” events and media celebrated by the likes of Edible Orlando magazine.

Add technology to the mix as well.

Mayor Dyer recently announced the creation of a “Digital Main Street” program which will seek to promote, support and grow Orlando’s tech community. The Digital Main Street is modeled on the long standing neighborhood revitalization known as Main Street .

Pineapple Grove in Delray used the Main Street program and philosophy to help redevelop Pineapple Grove in the 90s and early 2000s.

Main Street programs coordinate events, handle marketing and promotion, and work on the economic development of select areas. In the case of a Digital Main Street, the city will partner with the private sector on events, marketing and other activities needed to seed and fuel tech entrepreneurship in Orlando.

A basic rule of thumb is that government should get out of the way of entrepreneurs and that makes lots of sense. But while government can’t act as angel, seed or VC investor, there is a role for it to play.

Among the items that can be addressed by government are: removing unnecessary regulations that may hinder companies from locating, growing or even forming in your city, creating urban environments that attract entrepreneurs and working with the private sector to brand, promote and create events that are attractive to “start-up communities.”

The Main Street program in Delray’s Pineapple Grove did much to brand the area, which was the brainchild of Norman Radin, a visionary businessman who saw potential where others saw blight.

The Grove started with meetings, activities, events, and committees, all designed  to build excitement and momentum. It worked. Spectacularly.

When we think of economic development for Boca-Delray we should think beyond the “old school” efforts. Keep your incentives, add new ones (if they make sense), streamline approval processes but start to think creatively—like Mayor Dyer.

Here are some thoughts:

  • Create an event: Spark has worked for Jacksonville, PopTech for Maine, SXSW for Austin, Business Innovation Factory for Providence. Boca Delray has the weather, the airports, the hotels and the amenities to make it happen. There are also some terrific venues, including Lynn University, the Crest Theater, Arts Garage and Living Room Theater at FAU.
  • Support Programs that work: The Boca Chamber’s YEA program, which encourages youth entrepreneurship, is an example. All local high schools should teach entrepreneurship. And we should strive to bring new programs that have worked elsewhere here—such as “Girls Who Code.”
  • Invest in Human Capital: FAU held a business plan competition last week but will those who competed stay and grow here? We need to encourage local investing (locavesting). The capital is here but are we investing locally?   We should develop a strategy to bring our best and brightest back home after college. It’s the flip side of “Field of Dreams”—if they come back, they will build it.
  • Invest in MedUTech: Boca has a great branding mechanism to grow its health care, education and technology sectors.
  • Sports and Food 2.0: Delray has a unique opportunity to grow its food economy and build on its reputation to become a sports mecca. So does Boca Raton.

    The question is and has always been do we have the leadership– public and private –to make it happen?

     

Boca Rude? Yes, According to Foursquare

Never seen in Boca...just saying

Never seen in Boca…just saying

Just came across an interesting little study that solidly placed good old Boca Raton in the Top 20.

Hold on. It’s not for the best beaches, finest restaurants, or even for some of the top-notch golf courses.

Drum roll please….Boca Raton is ranked #12 in the world for being the “rudest.” Yup, that’s right. This is according to social media firm Foursquare. The list was based on the number of curse words used in random situations and recorded by people charged with infiltrating English speaking cities throughout the world.

Let’s have a big shout-out for Boca! Obviously, can’t say Jeff and I agree since we’ve had great experiences in the area we call home. Right Jeff? (Yes, Dave).

Here’s  the full list. Please note some of the cities that aren’t on the list (i.e. New York). As a New York native, I never really understood that perception. New Yorkers are actually extremely friendly, as evidenced by your’s truly.
1. Manchester, U.K.
2. El Paso, Texas
3. Pittsburgh, Pa.
4. Bloomington, Ind.
5. Riverside, Ca.
6. Tempe, Ariz.
7. Scottsdale, Ariz.
8. Portland, Oregon
9. Venice, Ca.
10. Orange, Ca.

11. San Jose, Ca.
12. Boca Raton, Fla.
13. Culver City, Ca.
14. Fullerton, Ca.
15. Los Angeles, Ca.
16. Melbourne, Australia
17. Staten Island, N.Y.
18. Miami, Fla.
19. Boston, Ma.
20. Jacksonville, Fla.

Discuss?

Weekend Best Bets: Legends, Buffalo and The Blues

One word: Oriente

One word: Oriente

Buffalo Bash Food Festival

 On April 13th, the Mizner Amphitheatre will be the site for the Buffalo Bash Food Festival. Local restaurants will be showcasing their best wings. So, stop by. You’ll probably see Jeff with some Tabanero hot sauce.

 This event benefits Autism Speaks and is one of many events during Autism Awareness Month.

 RENÉ MARIE @ Arts Garage

 Award-winning singer and legend René Marie is unmistakably honest and unpretentious while transforming audiences worldwide with her impassioned vocals and powerful interpretations of jazz, soul, blues and gospel.

In other words, she’s all that and a bag of chips. Catch her Friday night at 8 p.m.

Visit www.artsgarage.org for tickets and more info.

  

ORIENTE Rocks

 Oriente’s signature sound features funky, guitar , blazing harmonic brass, and explosive Afro-Latin percussion – fusing Cuban roots with Blues, Jazz, Caribbean and Brazilian influences.

You will be blown away and energized. They play the Arts Garage, Saturday night at 8 p.m.

Visit www.artsgarage.org for tickets and more info.

 

 Blues: Trampled Under Foot

Enjoy this award-winning Kansas City blues/rock band (soon to be touring with George Thorogood & The Destroyers), at the Delray Center For The Arts, Friday, April 11. (Speaking of George Thorogood, Dave says he’s Bad to the Bone).

 Proceeds benefit the Delray Beach Public Library.

The show starts at 8 p.m. with tickets costing $30 and $55.

Visit www.delraycenterforthearts.org for tickets.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Searching For The Next Big Thing: FAU Hosts Business Plan Competition

Outback founder Tim Gannon will speak at FAU's business plan competition. He was Inc. magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994

Outback founder Tim Gannon will speak at FAU’s business plan competition. He was Inc. magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994

We live in the age of entrepreneurship and FAU will showcase hundreds of aspiring minds this week.

Florida Atlantic University’s 2014 Business Plan Competition will take place from Wednesday, April 9 through Friday, April 11 at the College of Business, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.  The competition provides participants the opportunity to vet their business idea before a panel of successful entrepreneurs, early stage investors and venture capital principals.  More than 250 teams have registered to compete with 16 teams advancing to the final round. 

Final round teams in the FAU student track and entrepreneur track will compete for a share of more than $225,000 in cash and prizes to launch their business.  The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University is the event’s presenting sponsor.

The event commences with the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Investor Panel on Wednesday, April 9, from 4 to 8 p.m. in FAU’s Student Union, Live Oak Pavilion.  The Investor Panel is the culmination of a 30-week program where students’ grades seven to 12 develop legitimate businesses and pitch to investors for seed-funding.

The Kick Off Reception and Elevator Pitch Event takes place on Thursday, April 10 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in FAU Stadium.  The 16 final round teams each will present their 90-second elevator pitch.  Reception guests have the opportunity to cast their vote for their favorite pitch.  The winner will receive the $5,000 People’s Choice award sponsored by Office Depot.

Day three of the competition is Friday, April 11, and features business plan presentations from the FAU student and entrepreneur tracks from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room BU 120 in the College of Business and room OD 101 in FAU’s Office Depot Center for Executive Education.

The three-day event culminates with keynote speaker Tim Gannon, co-founder of Outback Steakhouse, Inc. and chief executive officer of Palm Beach PDQ, on April 11 from 2 to 3 p.m. in room BU 120 in FAU’s College of Business.  Gannon is the creator of the popular Bloomin’ Onion and owner of the Outback Polo team, the only team to win three consecutive U.S. Open championships and five championships overall.  The competition awards ceremony will immediately follow Gannon’s keynote address.  All events are open to FAU students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community.

Newly Rebranded Delray Beach Open an International Tennis Destination Promoting Local Business Growth

From the ticket to the posters, the Delray Open was completely rebranded this year.

From the ticket to the posters, the Delray Open was completely rebranded this year.

 

Editor’s note: Before it fades into history, we wanted to revisit the rebranding of the Delray Beach Open to give readers insight into the thinking behind the effort and what the future holds for Delray’s ATP event. Guest blogger Natalie Mikolich gives us some insight.

 

By: Natalie Mikolich, Sports Publicist for NPM | PR (@npmikolich)

 

Now known as one of the top tennis towns in the U.S., Delray Beach and the

Delray Beach Tennis Center have been the hometown courts to many local tennis players along with hosting some of the most prestigious tennis events in the world such as the U.S. Davis and Fed Cup ties. Also showcasing the future generation of American tennis stars during the national junior tournaments put on every summer at their public facility, the most well-known event of all to take place at the Delray Beach Tennis Center is the annually held ATP World Tour event – the Delray Beach Open.

 

Going on its 15th year of bringing out some of the hottest ATP World Tour tennis superstars and serving-up full court entertainment for local tennis fans, 2014 turned out to be one of the best years yet for the newly re-branded Delray Beach Open. Undergoing a complete marketing and branding overhaul in 2013, it was local WOO Creative (www.woo-creative.com) of Delray Beach that the event turned to in order to guide them through the process.

 

“In 2013, we started working with WOO Creative in Delray Beach on re-developing our brand identity and ad campaign,” said John Butler, Executive Director of the Delray Beach Open.  “We are very into working with local talent for public relations and marketing of the event.”

 

One of the biggest changes to take place this year was renaming the ATP World Tour Event to the Delray Beach Open from the International Tennis Championships of Delray Beach.

 

“We wanted to be careful about using the word ‘open’ which means anyone can enter to play, but we truly are ‘open’ to anyone,” added Butler.  “We had two pre-qualifying events this year with more than 200 players including juniors, college players and pros.  We even have one player in his 70s who gives it a go every year.”

 

“Last year, after our first year handling the marketing materials for, at the time, the ‘International Tennis Championship of Delray Beach,’ my business partner and I were sitting in the stands asking ourselves ‘Why isn’t this tournament called the Delray Beach Open?’,” said Ryan Boylston, President and Founder of WOO Creative. “From there, we pitched the new name and a proper logo to the event’s Executive Director, John Butler, because we wanted to help put them on the same level as any other ATP tournament.”

 

 

Along with the new name for this year’s event, WOO Creative also worked closely with the Delray Beach Open team to refocus their brand messaging so that they were targeting true tennis fans with their marketing materials this year – which even included some special edition Dunkin Donuts just for the event.
cakes

 

“The main initiative was to launch the new name and logo,” Boylston added. “Although the marketing materials grew evolutionary from last year’s, we ensured to keep a lot of elements so that the consumer could still make the connection. We wanted people to know that this wasn’t a new event, just a better one.”

 

“Working with WOO, we took the ATP World Tour’s campaign graphics for the players and logos and toned them down for the tournament so that the players (the product) were even more easily recognizable in the marketing materials, especially because they had to work with both the ATP Champions Tour and the ATP World Tour logos and other mandatory inclusions,” Butler elaborated on.  “We went through several revisions with the ATP before there was a consensus on our final campaign, including tweaking the player photos so they had less flourishes and using a darkened version of the ATP logos so they supported the ads rather than being a focal point.”

 

And with that, there also came a mock-up design of a tennis ball in the shape of a heart along with the tagline “I Heart Tennis” by WOO Creative.  Once approved by the event, the local Dunkin Donuts next door to the Delray Beach Tennis Center on Atlantic Avenue began serving-up specialty yellow tennis ball, heart-shaped designed donuts in the week leading up to the start of the Delray Beach Open.

 

“As soon as we mocked up our first heart-shaped tennis ball, we knew we had something,” Boylston mentioned. “The donuts were just a nice little coincidence. It helps when your tournament kicks-off on Valentine’s Day and Dunkin Donuts is already serving heart-shaped donuts.”

 

On-site at the event this year, it was local Delray Beach Polaroid Fotobar (www.polaroidfotobar.com/) who did all of the images of the players that filled the backdrops on stadium court.

 

“We wanted to have to have a ‘wall of family photos’ featuring the players in the tournament as a backdrop to the stadium action, and partnering with Polaroid Fotobar on the project, it enabled us to use the tournament’s tv visibility to expose a homegrown brand,” said Butler.

 

But, of all the new changes to take place this year for the Delray Beach Open, perhaps the one that “wooed” spectators the most was the new WOO Lounge skybox setup on the East side of the stadium in the middle of the stands. While some of today’s hottest tennis stars like John Isner were popping big serves on the court, in the WOO Lounge they were popping bottles of bubbly for their VIP guests who got some much needed reprieve from the sun at times during the day, or a place to lounge and socialize at night after work.

 

“We want tennis people to be proud of the way the event is promoted and want to make it just as exciting for fans who attend NBA Heat Games.  We want the Delray Beach Open to be more than tennis with its entertainment, so you will see things out of the norm like the Volley Girls dancing on changeovers, in-stadium hosts engaging fans with contests and games, and the new WOO Lounge skybox area in the middle of the east stands,” Butler explained.  “We try to take the event to the next level and want fans to appreciate the great spectator sport that tennis is, but also enjoy everything that is here so they walk away saying ‘that was not what they were expecting’.”

 

And to that extent, the Delray Beach Open and WOO Creative covered every inch of the court and town when it came to this year’s event so that not only were billboards and large cutouts of the top players seen throughout Delray Beach and neighboring cities, but they even reached residents in their homes by partnering with local businesses who also benefited from this year’s event.

 

“This year, we partnered with Delivery Dudes who included our brochures with all of their food deliveries in the weeks leading up to the event, and then during the tournament at the end of every session, we would do a cool promo on stadium court encouraging everyone to call Delivery Dudes on their way home so dinner was ready and waiting when they got home,” said Butler.

 

Delivering from most of the local area’s favorite restaurant locations, the

Delivery Dudes (www.deliverydudes.com) pride themselves on their “hilarious and friendly staff” racing around town (including in other near-by locations like Boca Raton and Boynton Beach) to pick-up and deliver food orders faster than most deliveries are even possible.

 

“When I got the voicemail John Butler left me about wanting to work with us, I told everyone I knew how incredible it was that an event like the Delray Beach Open wanted to partner with us,” said Jayson Koss, Founder of Delivery Dudes created in Delray Beach about two years ago.  “I was taken back to be on the event’s radar with the others like WOO Creative and Polaroid Fotobar who are doing really great things, but it was really fun to be apart of the event and we are very appreciative to have partnered with them.”

But, even with all the new branding, cross promotion and enhancements done for this year’s Delray Beach Open, there is still work to be done for next year’s event.

 

“My favorite aspects were the little ideas that infiltrated our downtown,” said Bolyston. “From the beginning, we have always felt that during the nine days of the tournament downtown Delray Beach should drip tennis. This year, we had cutouts of Andy Roddick around town as well as over 10,000 tennis ball coasters at all the bars. Next year, we hope to take that to another level.”

Weekend Best Bets: Happy Anniversary Arts Garage

Arts Garage Executive Director Alyona Ushe has made lots happen in the past three years.

Arts Garage Executive Director Alyona Ushe has made lots happen in the past three years.

Gala Gig III Night of the Gypsies
It’s hard to believe but the Delray Arts Garage is still a toddler.
Despite awards, tons of press, unforgettable performances and a tad of controversy–the organization is only three years old.
Three years running and just getting warmed up!

The  Arts Garage celebrates Gala Gig III, their third anniversary in true Gypsy style this Saturday.
Come drink and dine with the lights, colors, sounds and entertainment that only gypsies can deliver.
The anniversary party takes place April 5 and will include delectable food,  vivacious entertainment and enthralling works of art.
Oh and there will be music too–the exciting sounds of Washington, D.C.-based Trio Caliente which has vocals in Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, and English set to a wide array of Latin grooves.
Trio Caliente’s sound is reminiscent of The Gypsy Kings, Buena Vista Social Club, Strunz & Farah, and Jobim— but with a flavor all their own.
“…be seduced by the blend of fiery guitar work…rumba beats, bossa nova rhythms, flamenco-tinted guitar flourishes and romantic ballads…evocative vocals…shimmering guitars…” – The Washington Post

Single ticket: $100 per person | Table for 6: $550
Visit www.artsgarage.org for tickets and information

Real Men Bake
On Sunday, April 6 at 6 p.m. head on over to the Arts Garage for some tasty treats.

Presented by GFWC Woman’s Club of Delray Beach, Real Men Bake is an all-you-can eat feast of baked goods (sweet or savory) prepared by about 30 “bakers” — men who come from all walks of life. There may be one or two actual chefs, but most of the men are just real good cooks.
The best “bakers” will receive prizes, and the public selects the best.
While you are there, for another dollar or two, you can take a chance on a 50/50 raffle.
GFWC Woman’s Club of Delray Beach is a diverse group of women dedicated to volunteering in the greater Delray Beach community. The Club actively supports the Caring Kitchen, the Achievement Center for Children, scholarships for HS graduates, and the Veterans Administration to name but a few.
Admission is $20.
Film Series
At yourdelrayboca we like to extend the weekend until at least Tuesday.
That’s why we are telling you about a film series you won’t want to be miss.
Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library – Film Series

When: Tue, April 8, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: Downtown Boca Raton Library
Description:Film Series “A Separation” 2nd Tuesday of each month @ 6:30pm
Have a safe and fun weekend! Go Gators!