Weekend Best Bets: Garlic Fest, Golf and Good Causes

Mr. Garlic, the one, the only Tom Johnston.

Mr. Garlic, the one, the only Tom Johnston.

Well, you have a few significant choices for fun and entertainment this weekend.


So, rather than make a choice you might as well attend both and then plan to crash on the couch Sunday night.


Here goes…..

Garlic Fest


Delray Beach is hosting the 15th Annual “Best Stinkin’ Party in Town” at the Garlic Festival. No question, this is one of the best festivals in South Florida….as long as you go with other people who’ll be experiencing halitosis.  It features all that is good about garlic with cooking classes, a Garlic Chef cooking competition, and such culinary delights as Garlic Ice Cream, Argentinean Garlic BBQ, and Garlic Fest Crab Cakes.


Just don’t breathe on anyone. You’ll see why it’s the “Best Stinkin’ Party in Town.”


What’s even better is that the event is a fund raising source for local non-profits that serve education and arts for youths.


The event runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all along Atlantic Avenue. For more info, visit https://dbgarlicfest.com/

We plan to be there to hear the B Street Band, a tribute to our favorite artist Bruce Springsteen and to hear a great U2 cover band,

“Cover your eyes and you’ll swear it’s Bono,” says Garlic Fest co-organizer Bern Ryan. We trust Bern. We really do.


Allianz in Boca

 For your golf enthusiasts (moi!), The Allianz Championship, sponsored by Insperity, tees off Friday morning at the Broken Sound Old Course. It features some senior and PGA legends, including Nick Price, Rocco Mediate, Tom Lehman, Bernhard Langer, Fuzzy Zoeller, and many more.


Boca Raton Regional Hospital is the primary charity of the tournament. A total  of 18 other organizations will also receive support.

For more information visit: www.allianzchampionship.com.


So…..what’s your choice? A “stinkin’” party or a golf tournament. We’re saying go to both. But if you attend the Garlic Festival first, stay with your friends and don’t breathe on anyone on the golf course.

Here’s a few more best bets.


Gift of Life’s 4th Annual 5K Walk for Life

Sunday, February 9, 2014, Palm Beach Plaza, Florida Atlantic University. Be there for a wonderful cause.

Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, Gift of Life is an internationally recognized bone marrow and blood stem cell registry. Through its life-saving work, Gift of Life is a world leader helping children and adults find the matches they need when they need them.

Gift of Life will hold its 4th Annual Walk for Life on Sunday, February 9, 2014. The Certified 5k walk/run is the only event in South Florida that is solely dedicated to raising awareness for bone marrow and blood stem cell transplants. Gift of Life uses funds raised at the Walk for Life to add new donors to the worldwide bone marrow registry. Registering one volunteer donor costs $60. It is the generosity of others that allows us to continue our lifesaving work.

Every donation brings us one step closer to our vision — a match, anytime, anywhere, for anyone.

To register visit: https://support.giftoflife.org/

Arts Garage show benefits Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

You don’t want to miss this benefit show Sunday night at 7 p.m.

This  All star event to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society features 2013 winner for Best Tropical Latin Album Marlow Rosado, Vibraphone Virtuoso Drew Tucker and Saxophone All Star Jesse Jones Jr. Filling in the band is members of Marlows Band La Riquena and Nat Stolkes on Drums fresh off of his tour with Jon Secada.

Trust us, these musicians are top notch and so is the cause.

For tickets visit www.artsgarage.org




Water Cooler Wednesday: An Interview With Garlic Fest Founder Nancy Stewart-Franczak

Nancy Stewart-Franczak has helped make Delray America's Most Fun City

Nancy Stewart-Franczak has helped make Delray America’s Most Fun City

Editor’s Note:

About 10 years ago, Nancy Stewart-Franczak called me up and said she wanted to take me to the “stinkiest” city in America, Gilroy, California. She was organizing a trip to Gilroy to visit their Garlic Festival and she felt the mayor (me at the time) needed to see what the possibilities of the festival were. I was blown away. The entire Gilroy community turned out for the Garlic Fest which was both a financial boom for the town and a great bonding experience for residents. That trip gave me insight into Nancy and how she thinks and works. She’s all about Delray and she believes in the power of events to make money and to bring a community together. We sat down with Nancy on the eve of The Garlic Festival (feb. 7-9) to discuss the event, her philosophy and some surprising impacts that events bring to our community.

Garlic Fest is coming up fast, tell us how the festival has evolved over the years and what to expect this year?
Garlic Fest has grown from:
– an attendance of 2,000 and an opening budget of $10,000 to an attendance of 40,000 and an opening budget of over $400,000.
– from featuring local musical acts to national recording acts
– from a locally recognized event to nationwide recognition! 
– Garlic Fest also brought home five International Awards and 11 state of Florida awards to the City of Delray Beach last year.

What keeps you motivated after so many years and special events?
That’s easy – passion.  I always say that running events is not for the faint at heart.  For me personally, I discovered it’s in my blood.  My favorite part of producing events is opening night, watching all the people arrive and wondering which of our guerilla marketing efforts touched these people. I am also motivated by the fact that we are a fund-raiser for 11 other non-profit organizations in our city.

Why are special events important for Delray Beach?
I feel strongly that special events are one of the main reasons Delray Beach is on the map! 
Beginning with Art and Jazz on the Avenue, street events were initiated to attract visitors into our downtown over 15 years ago.  In the early days, many of us sat on committees to outline goals and visions for Delray.  It is so rewarding to still be a resident and business owner in town and to look around and realize that what we envisioned has come to fruition,  Events attract visitors to Delray Beach and while here, they discover all the treasures in our beautiful seaside town – the restaurants, the shops, the beach, etc.
We know, some folks complain, but is there a reason to keep innovating in Delray, or should the city just stop doing events?
Someone will always complain.  Each event produced benefits business in different ways.  There is no exact fit for all.  Take them away, however, and I am certain that we will realize very quickly the importance of special events in our community.  Other cities that we work with marvel at the success Delray Beach has seen and would love to see successful events produced in their towns.

This festival is interesting in that it raises money for local non-profits. How much has Garlic Fest raised over the years?
As of last year, Delray Beach Garlic Fest has contributed over $430,000 back to the non-profit organizations that staff the event.  This year we are confident to hit the $500,000 mark.
YourDelrayBoca will have full coverage of the Garlic Festival next week. Thanks, Nancy for sharing your thoughts! Visit https://dbgarlicfest.com/ for more info.