July Fourth Weekend things to do: A toast to Pac-Man, Florida Supercon and bourbon-Dr Pepper slushies in West Palm Beach

Beginning at happy hour on Thursday, this is a six-day weekend in the state of Florida, no matter what your boss tells you on Monday.

Originalists know that this “Monday-before-July 4” holiday was sanctioned by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence with an obscure footnote requested, of course, by a representative from the wilds of what would become Florida. For proof, search the digital version of the document for “lost shaker of salt.”

Beyond the fireworks and patriotic pomp, there are plenty of opportunities through Tuesday to celebrate what makes America great: the bewigged pageantry of Supercon, Pac-Man and pinball, Miami Marlins baseball, the Warped Tour, Hawaiian-shirt beer drinking and bourbon-infused Dr Pepper slushies.


New dinner series: La Fuga, the restaurant inside the Kimpton Shorebreak Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort — in Fort Lauderdale’s off-the-grid North Beach Village and exactly the kind of out-of-the-way spot that independent thinkers should seek out — is having its monthly Chef’s Table dinner series on Thursday. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., executive chef Michael Mayer will offer a five-course pairing menu of dishes inspired by coastal Italian cuisine. Price: $135+ per person. The series continues July 20, Aug. 17 and Sept. 28. Make a reservation at OpenTable.com/r/la-fuga-fort-lauderdale.

Drinking Texas: The annual BBQ, Bourbon & Boots dinner returns at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the iconic Okeechobee Steakhouse in West Palm Beach, a collaboration co-hosted by Dan and Charles Garrison of acclaimed Texas whiskey maker Garrison Brothers Distillery. The Garrisons will have two of their newest and most-sought bourbons: Lady Bird and Guadalupe 2023. Rumor is there also will be bourbon-infused Dr Pepper slushies. Per usual, tickets for the dinner ($125+) are sold out, but you’ll find a waitlist at Facebook.com/beststeakhouse

Weekend laughs: On his nationwide No Hate No Fear tour, comedian Carlos Mencia has six performances from Thursday through Sunday at the Dania Improv in Dania Beach. Tickets cost $30+, $55+ for VIP (reserved seats, meet-and-greet). Visit DaniaImprov.com.

Game on:Token Taverns,” a new documentary about the resurgence of arcade bars that includes appearances by restaurateur/Pac-Man guru Billy Mitchell and pop-culture trivia answer Stormy Daniels, will screen at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Gateway Cinema in Fort Lauderdale. The after-party will be held, of course, at Flagler Village arcade bar Glitch, where you can play against some of the cast and crew, and support the film with raffles, T-shirts and posters for sale. Tickets to the movie cost $10 and will be sold only in advance at TokenTaverns.ticketleap.com.


Whiskey boss: If you miss him in West Palm Beach, know that Dan Garrison will be at Delray Beach whiskey mecca Warren Delray at 5 p.m. Friday to host a happy-hour gathering that will feature specialty cocktails, free samples and bottles of Garrison whiskey at exclusive prices. Visit Facebook.com/warrendelray.

To boldly go: TV icon William Shatner is coming to the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 9 to host a screening of the classic film “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” followed by behind-the-scenes stories and an audience-led Q&A. Tickets (starting at $44.50+) go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at BrowardCenter.org

Cosplay time: Speaking of Capt. Kirk, Florida Supercon will inspire a gathering of the tribes to celebrate pop culture inspired by anime, comics, cosplay, TV and film celebrities, creators and illustrators this Friday to Sunday at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Charisma Carpenter (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”) will lead a long lineup of celebrity names whose significance I will not pretend to understand. But everyone seems very excited. The festivities also include late-night (1 a.m.) gaming and DJs on Friday and Saturday nights. Single-day admission costs $55+ Friday, $65+ Saturday and $60+ Sunday. A three-day pass is $110+. For kids age 6 to 12, admission costs $20+ for a three-day pass, $12+ for Sunday only. VIP tickets also are available. Visit FloridaSupercon.com.

Weekend burger: Nothing against the fine beer at Tarpon River Brewing in downtown Fort Lauderdale (looking at you Deflated), but I typically walk in thinking about the Tarpon Craft Burger ($15+). The beauty is in its simplicity — a harmonious layering of melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato, a plank of red onion, pickle and Tarpon sauce on a thick patty that the grillmaster has given a dark, crispy veneer (a medium burger remains pink on the inside) that feels thoughtful, vaguely nostalgic and comforting.  Visit TarponRiverBrewing.com.

The Tarpon Craft Burger at Tarpon River Brewing in Fort Lauderdale.
Highly recommended: The simple pleasures of the Tarpon Craft Burger at Tarpon River Brewing in Fort Lauderdale. (Ben Crandell/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Dinner and a movie: Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Oceanside Park (the LOOP) will kick off its free monthly Movies by Moonlight “Dog Days of Summer” series on Friday with an 8:15 p.m. screening of the PG-rated “Hotel for Dogs” (starring Emma Roberts and Jake T. Austin). Take a blanket and a picnic spread, or survey the menu of movie snacks and drinks available for purchase. Limited chairs and blankets will be available to borrow. Visit TheLOOPFLB.com.

Friday night live: Bringing a perfectly chill vibe to define the weekend, reggae-rocker Stick Figure’s headlining show at 6 p.m. Friday at Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton is down to resale tickets at Ticketmaster.com. Pepper and The Elovaters open. … Southern Blood uncrates its Dixie rock at 7 p.m. Friday for the free Starlight Musicals series at Fort Lauderdale’s Holiday Park. Visit Parks.FortLauderdale.gov/special-events. … Groove Merchant Band (led by the engaging Noelle Kujala) returns to the Northwood Art & Music Warehouse in West Palm Beach for a free show at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Visit NorthwoodArtAndMusic.com.


Robert Smith of The Cure performs at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Wednesday, May 10, 2023. (Brett Duke /The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)
Robert Smith of The Cure, shown performing in New Orleans in May, brings the band to the Kaseya Center in Miami on Saturday. (Brett Duke/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)

Saturday night live: Robert Smith and the current iteration of The Cure play the Kaseya Center in Miami at 7 p.m. Saturday and, like in the olden days, it’s a sellout. For updates, visit Ticketmaster.com. … Rising Mexican rapper Santa Fe Klan will share music from his latest album, “Mundo” (and the song “Soy” from the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” soundtrack), at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $29.75+ at Ticketmaster.com. … Platinum-selling, Grammy-winning, country-music trio Lady A bring the Request Line Tour to the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale at 8 p.m. Saturday. Singer-songwriter Dave Barnes opens. Tickets start at $70.50+ at BrowardCenter.org

(Don) Ho, Ho, Ho: Mathews Brewing Co. in Lake Worth Beach is requesting your finest Hawaiian garb for its annual Luau Party on Saturday from 2 p.m. to midnight. The highlighted beer of the day will be Toasted Coconut Cream Ale, Pineapple Express Piña Colada and Strawberry IPA Milkshake, which you can balance with the savory output from the Krazy Cuban food truck. Music will be by Girlfriend Material (2:30-5:30 p.m.), The Shake (6-7 p.m.) and Spred the Dub 8-11:30 p.m.). Visit Facebook.com/mathewsbrewing

Summer chill: The relatively new spot to put on your to-do list, Garden District Taproom, a cheerful self-pour bar with a variety of craft beer, wine and seltzers near the Brightline station in downtown West Palm Beach, will throw its first Summer Bash at 2 p.m. Saturday. Expect music, food from Big Ray’s BBQ, beer pong, cornhole and an all-around laidback vibe. Instagram.com/gardendistrictwpb.

The Garden District Taproom opened in downtown West Palm Beach in March, 2023.- Original Credit: Garden District Taproom - Original Source:
The Garden District Taproom opened in downtown West Palm Beach in March. (Garden District Taproom/Courtesy)

Feeling Warped? If you miss the summertime mayhem that was the Warped Tour, the independents at Respectable Street feel you. The West Palm Beach nightclub will bring it back, sort of, at 8 p.m. Saturday with locals Take This to Your Grave playing covers of Warped Tour staples Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance; Live From 05 doing Paramore hits; and Royal Hearts handling songs by Silverstein. Admission to the 21-and-older show is $10+ in advance, $15+ at the door. Visit RespectableStreet.com

Haiti celebration: The 10th annual Haitian American Music & Food Festival takes place 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach, featuring Boukman Eksperyans from Port-au-Prince and a variety of other performers from the island, South Florida and across the United States. Tickets start at $60+ at PalmBeachHaitianFestival.com.

Boy, oh boy: Opening events continue this weekend at Miami’s reimagined Dolphin Mall, which now prefers to go by Vivo!. One highlight is a free 6 p.m. concert on Saturday by 2000s boy-band favorites Ryan Cabrera, O-Town and LFO, all hosted by Chris Kirkpatrick of ‘NSYNC. You may want to start with the patriotic Red, White & BOOM bar crawl from 2 to 6 p.m. Open bar costs $40, or $20 for 100 drink tickets. Visit Facebook.com/vivomiamifl.


Feeling brave? The standard for an effortlessly stylish chill vibe in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village, Rhythm + Vine will center its Sunday with Land of the Free Refills, a $25 bottomless cocktail party from 6 to 9 p.m. The offer is good on select cocktails: Ketel One Botanicals Spritzers, Ketel One Citroen Lemonades and Orange Creamsicles, and Don Julio Spicy Coconut Margaritas. If that’s not your jam, there will be buckets of five Coors Lights for $25 and two-for-$4 Jell-O shots. Visit Rhythm-Vine.com.

Rhythm + Vine is a perfect long-weekend hang in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village. (Rhythm + Vine/Courtesy)


Frampton comes again: Nearly four years after an ailing Peter Frampton (suffering from a degenerative muscle disease) played his final South Florida concert in West Palm Beach (displaying a warm, self-deprecating personality and dynamic musicianship), the resilient guitar great is back on Monday with his Never Say Never Tour at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. Tickets (starting at $85+) are available at MyHRL.com

Monday rocks: British rockers The Struts, led by glammy frontman Luke Spiller, bring their Remember the Name Tour to Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale at 7 p.m. Monday. Detroit-based rock quintet Mac Saturn opens. Tickets cost $27.50+ at JoinTheRevolution.net.

Cheap Fish: Your surprising Miami Marlins return from a road trip to face the St. Louis Cardinals at loanDepot Park at 6:40 p.m. Monday, which includes Bark at the Park, $1 kids tickets and postgame fireworks. The $1 kids’ tickets, for seats in the Home Run Porch, are available at the ballpark ticket window. An adult can purchase tickets for up to six children  younger than 14. Visit Marlins.com. In related news, Brightline will extend its Home Runner fares — $10, $5 for kids, plus free shuttle service to and from the ballpark — to all weekday home games in July. Visit Gobrightline.com.


Flo Rida performs during Y100's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2022 at FLA Live Arena on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022 in Sunrise.

John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel

Flo Rida will perform on Fort Lauderdale beach on July 4. (John McCall/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Flo Fourth: South Florida rapper and entrepreneur Flo Rida will perform traditional songs of American fortitude and exceptionalism such as “Club Can’t Handle Me” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday as part of the free July 4 celebration on Fort Lauderdale beach. Visit parks.fortlauderdale.gov/july4. The region is overflowing with parades and fireworks-fueled Independence Day festivities, all thoughtfully gathered at SunSentinel.com.  

Happy independence: Lionfish in Delray Beach will offer its new happy hour menu from 5 to 10 p.m. July 4, including specialty cocktails for $10, half-off wine by the glass, beer for $4 and select spirits for $5. Appetizers start at $8. Visit Facebook.com/lionfishdelray.

Staff writer Ben Crandell can be reached at bcrandell@sunsentinel.com. Follow on Instagram @BenCrandell and Twitter @BenCrandell.

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