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Published on January 1st, 2014 | by Nicol Jenkins

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Dazzling Boat Parade, Black Tie Ball, Official Cocktail… Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest celebrates 42 years

 

Known as the biggest parade on water, the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade truly lived up to its name in its 42nd year.

From dazzling lighted and decorative holiday boats and breathtaking yachts to lavish and enchanting balls, and fun drink contests for the hospitality industry, Winterfest was surrounded by events that you’ll never forget.

An enchanting ball

The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Black Tie Ball, presented by Moët & Chandon, was a first class event from start to finish. The enchanted evening has been named the largest holiday gala in Fort Lauderdale. That title was fitting as attendees were decked to the nines in flowing gowns, sparkling jewels and tuxedos and ties when they arrived and strutted the red carpet. Once inside the Hard Rock Live, ice sculptures, a life size martini glass, entertainers on stilts and burlesque performers, buffets of delicious appetizers and champagne, and over 250 silent auction prizes wowed guests. The main attraction was a surrealistic grand ballroom complete with a burlesque show, talented musicians, a lavish dinner and dancing the night away. And the night would not be complete without the crowing of the 2013 Belle of the Ball- Stacy Copeland, Director of International Convention Sales at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Everyone in attendance had a time to remember.

“I feel at home here. I get to see a lot of the same people each year and they are like family. And it gets better and better every year,” said Annette Watkins.

Lisa Scott-Founds, Winterfest Founder, thanked the Committee, staff and volunteers for all their dedication.

“I have been with Winterfest for over 20 years and it has really grown to an incredible event. We have made a $48 million dollar impact to our local economy,” added Ken Ortner, Chairman of the Board for Winterfest.

Stacy Copeland was ecstatic to be crowned at the Winterfest Black Tie Ball, “It takes a village to put together Winterfest. If you are going to be the Belle of the Ball, this is the ball you want to be the belle of.”

And the winner of the Official Winterfest Cocktail is…

The Winterfest Absolut Drink Contest, hosted by Winterfest and In The Biz Magazine, was held for the second annual year to name the best cocktail for Winterfest. Three South Florida bartenders- Angela Vieux-Dugan of Kapow! Noodle Bar in Boca Raton, Will Moscaritolo of the Melting Pot in Coral Springs, and Lisa LaFay of the Downtowner Saloon in Fort Lauderdale- competed for bragging rights and for their drink being named the signature cocktail for the 2013 Winterfest Boat Parade. All three bartenders mixed up their drinks at the Dubliner in downtown Fort Lauderdale to be judged by Laine Doss, Lead Food & Spirits Reporter for the Broward New Times. The competitors’ drinks were being judged on ingredients, taste, and uniqueness of name. Angela Vieux-Dugan won for her concoction, the Winterfest Anchor Clanker, with the unique ingredients of Absolut Vodka, Thai basil, Fresno pepper, lime, agave, and smoked black pepper.

“I’m so excited to win!” exclaimed Angela. Her inspiration for the holiday drink was, “I wanted to use Absolut Vodka and to showcase our organic signature garden at Kapow!”

The runner ups were Lisa LaFay for Absolut Paradise, and Will Moscaritolo for Winterfest Blue Ice.

About his unique blue drink, “I wanted to make something new and I know what mixes well together,” said Will.

Lisa was inspired to make her tropical drink based on the Winterfest Boat Parade’s theme, ‘A Passport to Paradise’, “The theme is tropical, and I wanted to make something you would want to drink in paradise.”

Boat Parade sets sail

Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade was once again a visually dazzling event. Over 100 brilliantly illuminated boats sailed down the New River and up the Intracoastal Waterway during this signature annual event. 2013 Grand Marshals “30 Rock” star Tracy Morgan and race car driver and South Florida local Ryan Hunter-Reay kicked off the parade in style; many decorative boats followed and illuminated the waterways and spread cheer and holiday spirits for all ages. The boats of all sizes are judged on best lights, sound and originality.

The Winterfest Celebration embraces the dual goals of providing a means for the community to come together and enjoy spectacular and unique events as well as attract positive national attention to the Greater Fort Lauderdale area as a tourist destination and as a great place to live and work.Winterfest is best known for its one-of-a-kind Boat Parade celebrating 42 years. Spurred by the continued popularity of that event, a not-for-profit organization, WINTERFEST, Inc., was formed in 1988 to administer the Boat Parade and to build a festival around it. The rest, as they say, “is history.”

Special thanks to the wonderful Committee, sponsors and volunteers of Winterfest, including Kathy Keleher, Marketing and Parade Director for the signature holiday event.

To see the winners of this year’s Winterfest Boat Parade and for more information on the event, visit http://www.winterfestparade.com.

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