Fort Lauderdale strives to create a beach destination beyond just sand, surf, dining and bars
By Nile Fortner | New Pelican
November 03, 2021
Fort Lauderdale – Sun, sand and surf are what draws visitors and locals to this city’s beach.
But since October of 2019, city officials have invested in a transformation of the Las Olas lifestyle with the launch of The Loop.
“Our goal with The LOOP was to give it a place and purpose,” said Arianne Glassman, the city’s contracted consultant overseeing marketing and program development.
A cornerstone of activity, The LOOP [Las Olas Oceanside Park] is the central hub of a new $78 million, four park system at the heart of Fort Lauderdale Beach. The project is located in the Central Beach area and encompasses Las Olas Oceanside Park, Las Olas Intracoastal Promenade Park, and The Sunset Terrace at the Las Olas Beach Garage.
The public greenspaces, including the Intracoastal Promenade, Sunset Terrace, and DC Alexander Park aim to provide year-round activity in Fort Lauderdale’s oceanfront backyard.
The LOOP is a destination in and of itself for experiences within the urban oasis of Fort Lauderdale Beach. Whether it’s food or fitness, art or adventure, live music or environmental causes, The LOOP offers a variety of special events, activities, and uniquely local experiences through its four FAME pillars:
F – Families, Fitness, Food, Friendly, Fun
A – Active Adults, Art, Adventure, Approachable, Authentic
M – Millennials, Music, Mix & Mingle, Memorable, Mindful
E – Everyone, Educational, Environmental, Entertaining, Easy Going
Activities include pop-up shopping, the Las Olas Oceanside Park Market and yoga on the lawn.
Music & Makers Market provides an opportunity to engage with local artists and innovators. It’s curated by Carley Sumner, producer of The Flamingo Flea, a weekly pop-up showcase which
features a rotation of jewelry, skincare, upcycled clothing, homewares, craft-batched foods, and handmade accessories.
Acoustic music, live art, children’s activities, and street performers provide entertainment from 5 to 6:30 p.m. before the free Friday Night Sound Waves concerts, a music series which features Jazz, Country, Top 40, Indie, and Classic Rock.
The project’s final phase is the build-out of DC Alexander Park, estimated to be completed in late winter 2022, which will feature a multi-level signature play area surrounded by a 25-foot sweeping observation deck with a 42-foot-tall shade canopy and restroom facility.
The Movies by Moonlight summer series, which has shown such films as “La La Land,” will continue through the fall and winter. Visitors can bring their lawn chairs and blankets. The event is in a partnership with the 62nd Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.
The LOOP will also debut new and seasonal events, the Pumpkins & Palm Trees Fall Festival, and the winter holiday series Wonderland.
The LOOP’s major funding partner is the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Beach Business Improvement District [BID]. The BID’s primary focus is to market the beach as a premier destination by creating innovative brand awareness and working with organizations such as Visit Lauderale and the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.
Annual events include the Fort Lauderdale Air Show, Tortuga Music Festival, Friday Night Sound Waves, the Las Olas Oceanside Park Farmers Market, Pride Fort Lauderdale, and the spectacular holiday lighting display and iconic Olas the Sandman.
The project’s final phase is the build-out of DC Alexander Park. The small plot of open space situated off 5th Avenue South and A1A, estimated to be completed in late winter 2022, will feature a multi-level signature play area surrounded by a 25-foot sweeping observation deck with a 42-foot-tall shade canopy and restroom facility.
“I spent a lot of time before assuming this role in February 2021, learning about the needs, wants, and desires of this community,” said Glassman. “with the goal of providing locals and visitors a variety of experiences that spoke to who we are as a destination and what would help create a vibrant community in the city’s backyard.”
Visit theloopflb.com for more information on The LOOP and other Fort Lauderdale beach events and activities.