Holiday HappeningsThe Parks and Recreation Department produces a variety of large special events that provide unique year-round experiences for residents and tourists.
Big Toy and Truck Extravaganza
Calling kids of all ages! The Big Toy and Truck Extravaganza is held each fall in Holiday Park. Children, teens and adults will have an opportunity to view, climb and operate a fire engine, fire-rescue and ladder trucks, a front loader, SWAT and bomb squad vehicles, bucket trucks, a school bus, marine patrol boat, electric cart and more.
David Deal Playday
Playday was introduced in 1953 by Joseph C. Carter, the first director of Sunland Park (renamed Carter Park in 1994), as an opportunity for Fort Lauderdale youth to participate in track and field events. In 1954, the event was renamed David Deal Playday in honor of a Broward County educator and dedicated community activist. Today, David Deal Playday has grown into a week-long celebration with multiple events including a golf tournament, a teen concert, basketball tournaments, a jazz concert, a boxing tournament, a championship swim meet, and of course, the legendary David Deal Playday Kids Day.
Touted as one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in Florida, the Fort Lauderdale Orange Bowl Downtown Countdown is a free street festival full of fun and excitement for children and adults. Each year revelers pack downtown to ring in the New Year and see the magnificent lighted ball drop at midnight. Festivities for kids include bounce houses, inflatables, face painting, games, contests, dancing with the DJ, and a special kids countdown and ball lighting. When night falls, the party begins for adults with live music on two stages! This free event in the heart of downtown is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for sponsors to maximize exposure and visibility.
Great American Beach Party
Kick off the summer on Memorial Day weekend at the Great American Beach Party, a tradition in the City of Fort Lauderdale. Celebrate with family and friends as a portion of Fort Lauderdale’s world famous beach transforms into an entertainment mecca. Highlights from this free, family event include live bands, family beach games, a military tribute, a sand sculpting contest, DJ, classic car show, an art show, vendors and exhibitors, and an induction into Fort Lauderdale’s very own Walk of Fame.
The City of Fort Lauderdale will transform into a world of folklore as princesses, superheroes, pirates, ghosts, goblins and more fill the streets celebrating Halloween at one of our several events suitable for the entire family!
Celebrate the holiday season with these free, exciting family-friendly events including the Candy Cane Hunt, Joy in the Park Tree Lighting, Santa on the Beach, Kwanzaa Kuumba, and more!
The downtown Riverwalk comes alive the first Sunday of each month as the Sunday Jazz Brunch creates a dynamic atmosphere unsurpassed in the City. Four stages showcase the talented local jazz ensembles. Area restaurants and food vendors tempt patrons with tasteful fare at reasonable prices. Beach blankets are spread, picnic baskets emptied, and lawn chairs gathered as friends and families settle in for a glorious, relaxing afternoon. Surrounding cultural venues and attractions include the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Museum of Discovery & Science, Riverwalk, Inc., and the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.
July 4th Spectacular
The 4th of July Spectacular features a patriotic extravaganza with a kids zone, live music, and a dazzling fireworks display. The kids zone provides nonstop energy and excitement with plenty of music, bounce houses, face painting, old-fashioned hot dog and watermelon eating contests, and a variety of other amusing beach games. As the sun goes down, the celebration heats up with live music and entertainment. After the sun sets all eyes will turn toward the sky for the City’s spectacular 30-minute fireworks show at 9 p.m. This dazzling pyrotechnic display is an annual favorite of children and adults of all ages!
St. Patrick's Parade and Festival
Get ready to paint the town green! The Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick’s Parade & Festival draws thousands of spectators to the streets of downtown for a one-of-a-kind celebration of all things Irish. The event features decorative floats, live music and entertainment. Highlights also include a kids zone, exhibitors, games and contests, and Irish food and beverages. The Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick’s Parade & Festival is a prime opportunity to connect with consumers, build relationships, and increase awareness for your company or business.
Starlight Musicals is a free concert series presented each summer. For 35 years, Starlight Musicals has provided a great way to enjoy the summer with family and friends. Residents and visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, picnic baskets, and their family and friends to the park for live entertainment under the stars. The shows take place on the football field in Holiday Park and free parking is available on site. Starlight Musicals features an exciting lineup of bands covering pop, country, rhythm and blues, tropical rock, and more.
For more information, please call our Special Events Hotline at 954-828-5363.