Florida in Focus: Las Olas Wine & Food Festival a Cause Conscious Extravaganza

100% of event proceeds to fund the American Lung Association’s life-saving research, education and advocacy

Florida in Focus: Las Olas Wine & Food Festival a Cause Conscious ExtravaganzaWhile South Florida wrangles its way through record rainfall, it’s “all systems go” for the 27th Annual Las Olas Wine and Food Festival—a  one-night event to be held Friday April 21 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on the iconic Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. Known to celebrate the incredible restaurant community of Greater Fort Lauderdale, the evening will bring together the best of the area. With the hosted by, and benefitting, the American Lung Association, attendees can sip and savor their way across five blocks of sampling stations featuring 40 of South Florida’s finest restaurants and more than 150 domestic and international wineries.

Las Olas Wine & Food Festival: A Cause-Conscious Extravaganza

With industry power player sponsors like Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits paired with epicurean excellence, live music, DJs, dancing and incredible interactive experiences, the boulevard will be electrified with the best SoFlo has to offer its foodie community.

“Every year the Las Olas Wine & Food Festival brings together a diverse community, top culinary talent, and some of the best wine and spirit brands to help raise money for an important cause,” said Patrick Cassidy, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Florida. “Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is committed to supporting local communities through these types of exciting events where we can give back and make a difference, while also enabling more consumers to experience our great brands. We are proud to support this year’s festival and the mission of its host, the American Lung Association.”

Florida in Focus: Las Olas Wine & Food Festival a Cause Conscious Extravaganza“The American Lung Association is honored to share this memorable experience with our community. Proceeds from the Festival allow us to fund life-saving research, provide community-based support programs for those living with lung disease, and advances much-needed advocacy efforts to ensure clean air for all,” shared Hernan Milan, Immediate Past Chair of the Local Leadership Board for the American Lung Association and Vice President Business Banking Relationship Manager for Amerant Bank.

Always hungering for more, I connected with an event spokesperson for a deeper dive on details for the impending festivities. Here’s a bit of that conversation.

MK: Is there a way for attendees to arrive early and have more of a “premier” experience?

A: Yes, limited VIP tickets are available. The VIP Reception hosted by FPL and Amerant begins at 5:30 p.m., with those guests admitted to the Festival 30 minutes early at 7:00 p.m.

MK: Is there anything new at the fest this year?

Florida in Focus: Las Olas Wine & Food Festival a Cause Conscious ExtravaganzaA: Indeed there is. Amid an impressive full roster of participants, Southern Glazer shared this sneak peak of a few brands that will be featured on the boulevard this year:

High West – While enjoying an ‘old fashioned’ and live music, guests will be transported to Park City, Utah, hometown of High West Distillery, and experience a simulation ‘run’ down the mountain.

Casamigos – One of the fastest growing tequila brands in the U.S., Casamigos will bring on the flair with a DJ dance party and tequila cocktails celebrating the 27th year of Fort Lauderdale’s largest wine and food festival.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka – Tito’s Handmade Vodka invites guests to enjoy a taste of Texas, swag, and a ‘Make Your Own Seltzer’ bar.

Gray Whale Gin – Guests stopping by this tasting pavilion will be sampling Gray Whale Gin cocktails and experience six California botanicals including – juniper, mint, lime, fir tree, kombu, and almonds.

In addition, guests will be given traditional festival branded glassware, presented by Synovus, and the always popular festival wine lanyards, courtesy of Memorial Cancer Institute, so they can make their way down the boulevard to find the “Best of the Fest” moments in style.

MK: Other than Southern Glazer, who else partners with the festival?

A: There are numerous other impressive hosting sponsors, including Synovis, Demesmin & Dover Law Firm, Las Olas Association, The Las Olas Company, Memorial Cancer Institute, Blackstone Agency, Celebrity Cruises and Cadillac. As well, the Riverside Hotel right on Las Olas Boulevard our official hotel partner.

MK: Also a cause conscious event, what can you tell us about the American Lung Association’s engagement with the festival?

A: The American Lung Association (ALA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Fully 100% of the money raised from the festival funds the American Lung Association’s efforts to end all lung disease, including lung cancer and COVID-19, through life-saving research, education and advocacy. Over 115 years ago, the organization pioneered the model of using education, advocacy and research to virtually eradicate tuberculosis in the U.S.

MK: Why is it so important for Floridians to support the American Lung Association?

As many as 2.5 million residents of Florida have chronic lung disease which includes adults ever diagnosed with COPD or currently with asthma, plus children currently with asthma. And, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, yet awareness about lung cancer remains low and the lifesaving potential of lung cancer screening remains underutilized.  For its part, Florida ranks 40th among all states in lung cancer screening rates, with only 3.4 percent of those at high risk being screened. Of course, early screening is key to increasing the lung cancer survival rates. Here in Florida, it is estimated that 19,560 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2022 and 10,440 will die from the disease.

MK: Where can folks to purchase tickets and learn more about the Las Olas Wine & Food Festival and also the ALA?

A: There are additional details and an opportunity to buy tickets on the event web site at https://lasolaswff.com. And, to stay connected locally with the American Lung Association, please people can follow them on Facebook @LungSoFla and Instagram @lungsofla.

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***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate if this is review editorial, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***