This is the weekend to reintroduce yourself to Fort Lauderdale beach, where the gracefully remodeled Las Olas Oceanside Park and environs, known as “the LOOP,” are ready to be appreciated for the popular destination it will be in the post-pandemic era.
On Friday, the turfed and terraced park at the famed corner of Las Olas Boulevard and A1A will come alive with the inaugural 2021 concert in the long-running free weekly music series Friday Night Sound Waves, hosting high-energy locals the ReaXtion Band at 6:30 p.m. Picnic baskets and blankets encouraged.
You’ll also find the new Music & Makers series, a 5-10 p.m. pop-up market of about 30 vendors, with items created by innovative locals, ranging from vintage and upcycled clothing, homeware, handmade jewelry and accessories, and craft-batched foods.
This is not just another market — it is curated by Carley Sumner, whose energy and unerring taste has made the Flamingo Flea a buzzed-about thing at Tarpon River Brewing and Small Wine Shop in Fort Lauderdale.
Sumner says that locals who rarely consider the beach for nighttime outings (she admits to being in that category) need to reassess.
“It’s a really great concept. The tourists will be there, but we’re encouraging our locals to come. You don’t have to be a tourist to do touristy things. It’s just a nice night right on the beach,” says Sumner, a 33-year-old Fort Lauderdale resident.
The remodel of the LOOP intersection came with a new parking garage, with parking $4 per hour or $1.50 for registered residents. The garage is serviced by the free Seabreeze Shuttle.
By BEN CRANDELL
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL | OCT 07, 2021