If the return of culinary goliath South Beach Wine and Food Festival is any indication, we’ve hit peak tourism season, when an embarrassment of art and culinary riches fills the streets from Lake Worth to Miami Beach.
What that also means: Parking woes everywhere, as cars converge on South Beach Wine and Food Festival’s Grand Tasting Village, the street parade in Fort Lauderdale’s growing Sistrunk neighborhood and the chalk-art bonanza in Lake Worth. Here’s everything you should know to navigate these three big festivals.
Sistrunk Historical Festival
The 39th annual salute to Broward’s diverse cultural flavors will kick off with a Sistrunk 5K Run (7 a.m.), a race that begins and ends on Sistrunk, winding through the nearby Dorsey Riverbend and FAT Village neighborhoods. The massive Sistrunk Parade (9-10:30 a.m.) follows at Lincoln Park (Northwest 19th and Northwest Ninth avenues), featuring colorful floats, high-school marching bands and drill teams, police and fire trucks. The Street Festival (9 a.m.-7 p.m.), confined between Ninth and 12th avenues on Sistrunk, will feature more than 60 arts and food vendors. Because Sistrunk is closed to road traffic, consider parking at Provident Park (1412 NW Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale).
Lake Worth Street Painting Festival
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 23-24 between Federal and Dixie highways and between First Avenue South and Second Avenue North, in downtown Lake Worth; StreetPaintingFestivalInc.org
One of the guaranteed good times for South Florida families, the 25th anniversary of this downtown Lake Worth staple transforms the city’s main drags, Lake and Lucerne avenues, into an eye-popping, head-turning chalk-art museum. All told, 600 artists will be rubbing chalk against asphalt in styles that range from Renaissance classicism to 3D optical illusions to “Star Wars” tributes. Don’t expect to find these chalky masterpieces next week: the first rainstorm will wash them away. Seven live bands and a fleet of food and craft vendors round out the diversions. Street parking is especially tricky downtown – about 100,000 visitors attend on both days – so park at Palm Beach State College (4200 S. Congress Ave.) and take the free shuttle loop to downtown. The Lake Worth Tri-Rail station also will offer a free shuttle loop 10 a.m.-6 p.m. to Lake Worth City Hall and back.
South Beach Wine and Food Festival
Although the celebrity chef-studded South Beach Wine and Food Festival starts tomorrow, tickets remain for brunches, dinners and wine tastings in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. But the heartbeat of this annual smorgasbord is still the Grand Tasting Village (noon-5 p.m. Feb. 23 at 13th Street and Ocean Drive), a beachside tango of cooking demos under white tents, live music from Nu Deco Ensemble and appearances from big-league chefs Anne Burrell, Bobby Flay, Ingrid Hoffmann and others. Parking options abound, including free shuttle rides for ticketholders who park at the festival lot at 127 NE 11 St., Miami, and the free Miami Beach trolley loop.