Smoke on the Water Bar-B-Que Feast: Free Event in Downtown Fort Lauderdale
As is the case with so many other things in Florida, grilling season is kind of backward. Who the heck wants to stand around hot coals when it's 100 degrees and muggy as hell? Only the diehard barbecue fanatics, that's who.
Fortunately, for our overall piece of mind -- and, more important, our appetites -- the weather is finally starting to cool down. While everyone else is in the process of pulling out the sweaters and jackets, we're finally able to walk out our doors without melting.
We can now partake in the barbecue festivities without instantly breaking into meat sweats -- they'll come later on. To take advantage of the change of season and raise money for the organization, Riverwalk is hosting it inaugural Smoke on the Water Bar-B-Que Feast this weekend.
See Also: Ten Best Barbecue Spots in South Florida
Taking place in downtown Fort Lauderdale's Esplanade Park, right next to the New River, from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, the feast includes a variety of food, beer, live music, and entertainment.
"We're seeing a lot more focus on barbecue these days," said event organizer Cristina Hudson. "There's nothing else like [Smoke on the Water], so we figured it was time to try something different."
Barbecue and grillcentric restaurants such as Voodoo Barbecue & Grill, America's Backyard, the Historic Downtowner, Hickory Stix BBQ, Paradaro Original, Key West Seafood & Spice Company, and others will be onsite cooking up a lot of meat as well as some vegetarian options.
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Obviously, you need some beer to wash all that meat down. Abita Beer, Brooklyn Brewery, Florida Beer Company, New Belgium Brewing, Sierra Nevada, and Sweet Water Brewing Company will have reps on the premises pouring out as much brew as you can handle.
Eye on South Florida, Big 105.9, and a number of live bands will provide entertainment.
"This is a fundraising event for Riverwalk," said Hudson. "It's family-friendly, and it's completely open to the public. Whether you want to walk by and grab a bite to eat and a beer and keep on walking or make a day out of it, you could do either."
Barbecue bites, smoked dishes, and grilled items will be offered from participating restaurants for five bucks apiece.
Esplanade Park is located at 400 SW Second St. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-468-1541, or visit goriverwalk.com.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.