Summerfest 2013: Midtown’s Showcase of Arts, Music, and Culture
By Randy Corinthian
When thinking of the most effective ways to bring people together for a good time, you can be sure to find music and food at the top of the list and Midtown Summerfest has it all!
City of Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Bobby DuBose whose District houses the festival, was extremely overjoyed about its success.
“Midtown Summerfest reminds us all of the great things that have been in Northwest Fort Lauderdale and gives us a glimpse into a promising future full of economic viability, entertainment and excitement that transcends place, time and race. With over 1500 event-goers, braving the rain to enjoy food trucks, merchandise vendors and entertainment – Historic Sistrunk Boulevard is back and is claiming its rightful place in the City of Fort Lauderdale as a destination,” stated Dubose.
Despite a wayward reception from Tropical Storm Dorian, Midtown Summerfest 2013 was filled with exciting activities that provided numerous bright spots for residents of all ages to enjoy.
The downpour couldn’t drown out the enthusiasm of Sonya Burrows, owner of Burrows Electric Company located on the Sistrunk Corridor she felt it was a hit in spite of the rain.
Without any other interruption, other than mother nature no human element spoiled the flavor of sensation for Summerfest
“In spite of the rainy weather, I think the Midtown Summerfest has a bright future on Sistrunk Blvd. Prior to the rain, it was a beautiful site to see the crowd on the corridor out and about and having a great time. The event was well organized with vendors and food trucks bringing the business and residential community together for a fun night.”
To top it off, the entertainment was great and Howard Hewitt put Gene Kelly to shame singing in the rain!!!!
It was a perfect way to un-wind at the end of a busy week.”
The event showcased a variety of kid-friendly activities, music, and food from a variety of different cultures ranging from Caribbean and Latin to American and Mediterranean.
It even showcased an old school versus new school arcade, which helped to bridge the gap between children and adults, and their gaming preferences.
Ricky Lewis, CEO of Celebrate Paradise, was fascinated as he witnessed the community engaged in the gaming experience.
While observing from his vantage point, Lewis stated “I like my chances with Ms. Pac Man. It looks like I’ll need to dress for gym class to play any of the games on Nintendo Wii”.
The entertainment was fantastic! Summerfest 2013 featured some of South Florida’s best performers. Jazz vocalist Nikki Kidd captivated the audience with her sultry voice and electrifying stage presence singing songs from the American songbook, as well as popular tunes of the day.
The Old Skool Gang kept the audience singing and dancing from start to finish, performing hits from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and the 90’s. The singing, the energy, and the choreography were all a thrill to witness!
Howard Hewitt headlined the evening’s performance line-up, performing fan favorites from his repertoire. He truly crooned and sooth the audience palate from his collections of hits; Howard is still a ladies’ man and a fan favorite.
In addition to all of the festivities, Summerfest 2013 also highlighted the city’s commitment to the revitalization of The Midtown District.
The newly renovated Sistrunk Boulevard, so named in honor of the late Dr. James Franklin Sistrunk – Broward County’s first Black doctor, bolsters a multimillion dollar overhaul, which includes contemporary lighting and landscaping, freshly paved streets, and several new and refaced structures that have become the home of many new businesses.
Cheryl Kordish, local business person(advisor@ the flyer) and new comer to the area, has enjoyed this event for the second year. She said, “This, our second Summerfest it was great! The weather did not scatter all but who said dancing among the raindrops is a bad thing.. the food was great but best of all the neighborhood came out and even if not as crowded as last year the mood was full of fun and happiness. The “block” was alive, the music was fabulous, everyone was happy. The City did a wonderful job and the community appreciates it.”
Many business owners are pleased with the renovations, and they are excited about all of the positive attention that Summerfest generates throughout the community.
In only its second year, Summerfest presents a wonderful opportunity to showcase “what’s right” in a community.
Midtown Summerfest on Historic Sistrunk Boulevard shut Sistrunk Boulevard down on Aug. 2, 2013 with outstanding musical performances by The Woods Gospel Quartet, Jordan Grizzle, Nikki Kidd, the Old Skool Gang and national recording artist Howard Hewett.
The star power that Summerfest commanded speaks volumes to what is to come.
“Now that is what Six Street has evolved into, a diverse melting pot of seasoned cultural success accented with a special flavor called Blackness. We need more examples of this type of bringing the communities together. I’m proud to call Midtown Summerfest apart of Sistrunk history”, echoed Bobby R. Henry, Sr., publisher of the Westside Gazette.