Bacchus Beckons Kicks Off Boca Bacchanal 2023

Posted on 26 March 2023 by JLusk

Photos & Story by Rachel Galvin

Food and wine lovers mark their calendar yearly for one of their favorite events — Boca Bacchanal. This year, it will be held April 29-30. Before Boca Bacchanal even begins, they had a special event to announce the occasion and provide more detail as to what to expect. It was called Bacchus Beckons.

Bacchus Beckons

This year, Bacchus Beckons was held on March 8 in a private aviation hangar in Boca Raton called Privaira. Among the planes, people mingled, enjoyed charcuterie and music from a DJ, and tried samples of some of the wines they will probably be enjoying during the main events. There also was a raffle with several prizes given out. But the real reason everyone gathered was to find out which chef was being paired with which vintner and at which home for the upcoming Vintner Dinners.

Everyone listened when the members of the Boca Raton Historical Society picked up the microphone, including chairman Olivia Hollaus, who talked a little about the upcoming events and the fact that Boca Bacchanal is celebrating its 20th year. She said the committee is planning a “Boca Bacchanal for the books” and thanked other committee members, as well as the founding sponsor Republic National Distributing company, who provides an “amazing array of vintners and spirits [year after year].” She also thanked the many other sponsors, which include The Boca Raton, Boca Magazine, The Addison, Publix, Crown Wine and Spirits, The Berman Group, BRiC and CP Partners, JM Family and others.

“We have so many wonderful sponsors who support this event. Thank you to each one of you for being a part of Boca Bacchanal and in support of our mission, which is to preserve our history, educate our children and residents, and to build a sense of place in our beloved Boca Raton,” said Hollaus. Boca Bacchanal supports the historical society as well as the Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum.

Hollaus then welcomed historical society board members Joyce DeVita and Lauri Saunders.

DeVita, who is also a chairperson, spoke first and said the Grand Tasting will feature wine seminars this year and “three very exclusive VIP sections.” She introduced Saunders, who co-chairs the event as well, and Roxanna Garcia, from Republic National Distribution company, who proceeded to introduce who would be included in the vintner dinners.

Vintner Dinners

The festivities always begin with the vintner dinners held at people’s homes or other locations with a chef cooking up a fantastic menu of five courses with his masterpieces paired with different wines usually chosen by vintners. Tickets are $350 each. This year, the dinners will be held on April 29.

Dinner #1 will be hosted by Thom & Joyce DeVita and Joni & Al Goldberg with Chef Eric Baker, who owns Rebel House, AlleyCat and Big in Japan, and vintner Anna Pepgjonaj, from Silver Oak and Twoney Cellars in Napa Valley, CA.

Dinner #2 will be hosted by David & Holly Meehan and Zoe Lanham & The Addison. Patrick Duffy, executive chef from The Addison, welcomes to his kitchen Jeff Tunks, the executive chef of Corvina Seafood Grill in Boca Raton, and Chris Clime, executive chef of PassionFish in Reston, VA, as well as Jose Hernandez, the executive sous chef from The Addison. TJ Evans, the winemaker from Domaine Carneros in Napa Valley, CA will be there as well.

Dinner #3 will be hosted by The Seagate Resort & Spa with Elizabeth Kelly Grace & Olivia Hollaus. Chef Gordon Maybury, director of culinary of Seagate Resort & Spa will be working with Chef Ivan Acevedo, executive chef of Seagate Beach Club, and Chef Mitzu Nozaki, pastry chef, also from Seagate. Teresa D’ Aurizio, national sales manager for ZD Wines in Napa Valley, CA will be choosing the pairings.

Dinner #4 will be hosted by The Boca Raton and will include Andrew Roenceck, the director of culinary operations and Resort Executive Chef of The Boca Raton, as well as Peter Annewanter, executive chef of MB Supper Club and Flybridge, The Boca Raton. Katie Nahat, brand ambassador for The Macallan Craigellachie, from Scotland, will be there as well.

Grand Tasting

The Vintner dinners will be followed by the Grand Tasting, which this year is a more intimate occasion, with it taking place during the day on April 30, from 1 to 4 p.m. at a beautiful venue known as The Addison. This annual event presents a wide array of samples from local restaurants and plenty of pours from well-known companies. There also is a silent auction, music and more. In addition, this year, there will be wine and whiskey seminars. Tickets are $125 each, $160 with seminars. VIP is $250.

“Boca Bacchanal is a festive weekend that celebrates and enhances the appreciation of wine and food, while bringing together world class chefs and vintners, offering their finest specialties, while providing the entire community with a delightful and tasty opportunity to support the heritage education programs of The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum and the Boca Raton Historical Society,” says Mary Csar, Executive Director.

This event really is the place to be! Don’t miss out as tickets are going fast. For more information, visit

Comments Off on Bacchus Beckons Kicks Off Boca Bacchanal 2023

Election results–Deerfield Beach

Posted on 14 March 2023 by JLusk

Let’s keep this simple and to the point… The election results are in in Deerfield Beach:

Michael Hudak won over Maria LoRicco for District 1.

Ben Preston won over Terry Scott and Darlene Cerezo Swaffar in District 2.

The referendum, which was written about here in The Observer, also got a Yes vote, which means the land at 3.75-acre property located at 1045 SW 11th Way will be developed.




Comments Off on Election results–Deerfield Beach

Election on Tuesday in Deerfield includes an important referendum

Posted on 12 March 2023 by JLusk

Did you know there is an election on Tuesday, March 14 in Deerfield Beach? Not only are candidates up for election in District 1 and 2, including the incumbents, but there is an important referendum as well.

Right now, there is an empty 3.75-acre of land on 1045 SW 11th Way that has been sitting vacant and just maintained for many years. Now, there is a company that wants to purchase the land and develop on it. Many people have urged voters to vote YES for this as they contest that this development will be great for the local economy and lessen crime as well, rather than having a blighted area continue to be there. Others, have been concerned about issues like traffic… which is something the company is aware of and will be rectifying, according to a city representative on the matter.

Here is the question:

Shall the City of Deerfield Beach sell the approximately 3.75-acre property located at 1045 SW 11th Way to MBA Development Partners of Florida, LLC for $6.5 million for the purpose of creating a multi-use development with workforce housing, retail and restaurant space, a hotel, green-space, and other public amenities?

Yes — for the sale of the property
No — against the sale of the property 

You can do your own research. Here is more info. on the history of the parcel: Election Referendum Info – March 14, 2023 | Deerfield Beach, FL – Official Website (

Get out and vote!


Comments Off on Election on Tuesday in Deerfield includes an important referendum

Festival of the Arts BOCA kicks off with “Fantastia”

Posted on 06 March 2023 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

The 17th annual Festival of the Arts BOCA kicked off on Friday, March 3 with a performance of the Festival Orchestra Boca playing the soundtrack of the Disney movie “Fantastia,” which played on the large screen behind them.

Festival Executive Director Joanna Marie Kaye introduced the orchestra, conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, festival music director. Before the orchestra began, there was also a showing of a short film called “Bella,” directed by FAU student Alfonso Gibson, who was able to get up with the film’s composer and say a few words. This was his first film.

Earlier, there were fun activities for the whole family, including a WLRN Instrument Petting Zoo, interactive art wall and face painting. There was also popcorn and cotton candy available.

This is just the beginning of the fest, which runs through March 12. From lectures to musical performances, to ballet, there is something for everyone. Some of the big names who will be in the mix include Grammy Award-winning Sergio Mendes, author, actor and social commentator Fran Lebowitz, prolific Jazz singer Nicole Henry and many more.

To see the whole schedule, visit





Comments Off on Festival of the Arts BOCA kicks off with “Fantastia”

New Fire Station Dedicated in Pompano

Posted on 03 March 2023 by JLusk

“Ribbon cutting”– which was really a hose uncoupling. Photos provided by Sandra King.

On February 22, Fire Station 114 has a Dedication and Ribbon Cutting ceremony. It wasn’t really a ribbon. It was a fire hose that was “uncopuled.” The fire station was named after former Fire Chief John Jurgle. Jurgle attended the event.

The new fire station includes a 13,990 square foot two-story building with CBS construction to withstand category V hurricane-force winds. The station has a standing seam metal roof, exterior impact windows and doors and concrete block and stucco finishes. Sustainable design features include Xeriscape landscaping, low-flow plumbing fixtures, a full backup generator system and more.

The building spaces include three-bay drive-through apparatus bays, a training room, a physical fitness room, a full kitchen with commercial gas appliances and stainless-steel counters, six individual bunk rooms and three individual officer’s rooms.

Former Fire Chief John Jurgle

Jurgle was the Pompano Beach Fire Chief from 2013-2020. He served 39 years in the Pompano Beach Fire Department in positions including firefighter, paramedic, driver engineer, Lieutenant, EMS Supervisor, Assistant Chief and Chief.

The new station is located at 1499 SW 36 Avenue and will expand services to the Palm Aire community. It will also insure reduced travel times in the southwest area of the city.


Comments Off on New Fire Station Dedicated in Pompano

Pioneer Days Parade

Posted on 19 February 2023 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

On Saturday, Feb. 18, Pioneer Days began with the annual parade. This year, instead of starting at Pioneer Park, it started from St. Ambrose and then headed to the beach. This year’s Grand Marshal was the Junkanoo band. The mayor and commissioners waved at people from cars, several people rode on floats and local and other bands performed. 

At the beach, the award winners were announced. The Best Overall award was named after The Observer’s own Jim Lusk, who passed away. Jim used to pay for characters to show up at the parade and help build floats every year, including The Observer’s float on which he hosted the Deerfield Beach Little League.


Jim Lusk Best Overall Award: City of Deerfield Beach Management

Best Youth Group: Deerfield Park Elementary School

Best Business: Island Water Sports

Judge’s Choice: South Florida Iguana Removal

Best School Group: Stranahan High

Best Marching Band: Deerfield Beach High School

Best Church Group: Cathedral Church of God

Best Historical Group: Deerfield Beach Historical Society




Comments Off on Pioneer Days Parade

Boca West Children’s Foundation Asks for Community Help with 8th Annual Diaper Drive

Posted on 15 February 2023 by JLusk

The Boca West Children’s Foundation (BWCF) is out to break its record of collecting 180,000 diapers for The Diaper Bank, Covering South Florida, during its 8th Annual Diaper Drive. Diapers can be donated by visiting or dropped off at Boca West Country Club on February 21 from 8-noon in the tennis loop. Diapers in size 4, 5 and 6 are particularly needed. 

Studies show that more than one in three American families experience diaper need. The Foundation has served as a major supporter of the Diaper Bank since 2016 as it falls within the organization’s mission to help programs that aid local children.  

“Clean diapers are as essential as food to eat and a place to live for a baby. Whether or not a child has enough clean diapers impacts not only the health of a child, but their parents’ ability to work,” said Pamela Weinroth, executive director/COO of Boca West Children’s Foundation.  “Last year the Foundation collected 180,000 diapers and we hope to shatter that record this year.”

Infants and toddlers who remain in soiled diapers for too long are at risk of urinary tract infections and skin infections.  Most child-care centers, even free and subsidized facilities, require parents to provide a daily supply of disposable diapers to care for a baby. Without child-care, parents cannot go to work or school.

Throughout the year, BWCF also accepts monetary donations for the Diaper Bank. A donation of $100 will purchase 400 diapers. 

A few facts about the need for diapers, according to the National Diaper Bank Network.
• Infants require up to 12 diapers per day, toddlers about 8.
• No state or federal child safety-net program allocates dollars specifically for the purchase of diapers.
• Without transportation, buying diapers at a convenience store rather than a large “big box” store can significantly increase the monthly cost of diapers.
• Most childcare centers, even free and subsidized facilities require parents to provide a day’s supply of disposable diapers.
• The Supplemental Nutrition Supplement Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, does not cover diapers.  

About Boca West Children’s Foundation

The Boca West Foundation was launched in 2010 and came about as a desire by the thousands of volunteers from the Boca West Country Club to give back to children in Palm Beach County. The Foundation’s mission is to identify and fund projects to assist children and their families in need in the area.  Since its inception, the Foundation has granted more than $18 million for specific programs for more than 30 charities.

For more information, visit, call 561-488-6980 or email


Comments Off on Boca West Children’s Foundation Asks for Community Help with 8th Annual Diaper Drive

#LoveDelray Fashion Experience — March 2-3

Posted on 10 February 2023 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

Fashion lovers mark their calendars yearly for the Delray Beach Fashion Week. This year, fashion is back in the form of the #LoveDelray Fashion Experience. Held March 2-3, the event is presented by Old School Square and powered by the Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority. As usual, it benefits the Achievement Centers for Children and Families.

The fun begins on March 2 at the Cornell Art Museum and Pavilion at Old School Square with a “Bikinis to Ball Gowns” Runway Show. At 6:30, there will be light bites and cocktails followed by the fashion show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 for general admission.

It is followed on March 3 with the “Love Your Way Thru Delray” Sip and Shop beginning at the museum again. This will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests will enjoy a light breakfast with champagne and mimosas at the museum, then shop at the downtown Delray Beach boutiques. Each will receive raffle tickets for each purchase to win prizes during the conclusion of the event. Tickets are $25.

There also will be the First Friday Art Walk #LoveDelray Artist Fashion Pop-Ups there from 6 to 9 p.m. This free event will feature the art of William DeBilzan, Amanda Johnson  and James Knill. Meet the artists, view their artwork featured,  including fashion on mannequins and live models, and enjoy the sounds of classical guitarist Dorian Avila from 6 to 8 p.m.

Old School Square, the Delray Beach DDA and downtown merchants are proud to present #LoveDelray Fashion Experience benefiting the Achievement Centers for Children and Families,” said Laura Simon, executive director, Delray Beach DDA. “This year the event is a spinoff of Delray Beach Fashion Week, and incorporates art, culture and fashion. Join us for this unique, fun, and all-encompassing opportunity to share with our local residents and visitors the fashion, beauty and culture that is found right here in downtown Delray Beach.”

For more information and tickets, visit


Comments Off on #LoveDelray Fashion Experience — March 2-3

Festival of the Arts BOCA — MARCH 3 – 12

Posted on 06 February 2023 by JLusk

The 17th Annual Festival of the Arts Boca, presented by the Schmidt Family Centre for the Arts,  returns to the Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real in Boca Raton, with a celebration of the arts through performances, lectures, and conversations from March 3-12.

From the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and Young Singers of the Palm Beaches to the winner of our Young Artist Competition, flutist Kara Ravaschieri, this year’s program highlights our mission of promoting the spirit and talent of our youth,” said Joanna Marie Kaye, executive director of the Festival of the Arts Boca. She adds that everyone can attend worry-free: “The audience will continue to enjoy our open-air tented venue with ample, well-spaced seat placement.”

The Festival opens on Friday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. with Disney’s classic film Fantasia, remastered and projected on a giant screen and accompanied by Festival Orchestra Boca playing the soundtrack, conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, Festival Music Director.

Returning to the Festival is the legendary three-time Grammy award-winning musician Sergio Mendes and Brasil 2023, in an exclusive South Florida performance, and the very popular A Night at the Ballet: From Tchaikovsky to the Rolling Stones, with an all-star cast performing the most beloved classical ballets and new works set to contemporary music. Nicole Henry: Time to Love Again, will showcase one of our most acclaimed jazz singers in a new concert featuring her newly released CD, accompanied by a seven-piece band.

The spotlight on young performers includes Voices Rise: The Young People’s Chorus of New York City in a joint performance with the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches and Broadway star Christina Maxwell; Scheherazade and Solos, an enchanted evening centered around Rimsky-Korsakov’s romantic favorite Scheherazade and two inspiring young soloists, flutist Kara Ravaschieri (winner of the Festival’s Young Artist Competition) and violinist Hina Khuong-Huu, with Festival Orchestra Boca conducted by Music Director Constantine Kitsopoulos; and the Rotary Club Future Stars Competition featuring South Florida’s top high school singers and dancers.

The Authors & Ideas program features Lynne Olson, our era’s foremost chronicler of World War II politics and diplomacy, presenting WWII: Women in the Resistance, discussing one of the most crucial and effective spy networks during that time; 90 minutes with the inimitable Fran Lebowitz, author, actress and social commentator; and Charles Fishman, one of our most respected and engaging journalists discussing The Big Splash, how water is the foremost global challenge and an exploration of possible solutions.

Established in 2007, Festival of the Arts BOCA was designed to promote the cultural arts and to enrich the quality of life of the residents of Boca Raton, North Broward and Palm Beach County through an extraordinary series of performing arts events and lectures every March. The Festival has received numerous awards, most recently being named the No. 1 cultural event in the “Top 10 Florida Events for 2022” by Social Magazine.

Tickets for the 17th Annual Festival of the Arts Boca range from $15 to $150 per person and are available at or by calling 561-757-4762 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Virtual tickets to the Authors & Ideas events are available for $10. Admission to the Rotary Club Future Stars Competition is free.


Comments Off on Festival of the Arts BOCA — MARCH 3 – 12

Pioneer Days is coming…

Posted on 01 February 2023 by JLusk

By Rachel Galvin

If you have lived in Deerfield Beach for awhile, you cannot wait for February because it means Pioneer Days is coming. It means a parade down Hillsboro Boulevard and plenty of arts and crafts vendors and entertainment on the beach.

This year, the event will take place February 18 and 19 and they are bringing back the bonfire on Sunday night from 6 to 9 p.m. The Festival of the Arts, held on the beach, will host over 100 vendors, live music, food trucks & more.

The poster for the Festival of the Arts (on left) was created by Barbara Allen. There was a contest and she was the lucky winner. Allen is a photographer and digital artist living in Pompano.

Are you ready for the parade? The floats and bands, and other participants.  will line up at St. Ambrose Catholic School. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and will go East on Hillsboro Boulevard, North on AIA, past the pier then South along the beach. Please be aware of road closures. The theme is Parading Through the Decades. They have yet to announce their Grand Marshal for the parade.

Following the parade, there will be an awards ceremony at the beach. 

The fun on the beach starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 10 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday. 


Saturday, Feb. 18

The Clean Slate Band, noon to 2 p.m.

Play It Again- The Luke Bryan Tribute Band, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The Real Deal, 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Nostalijah, 6 to 7 p.m.

TBA, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 19

Big City Dogs Band, noon to 2 p.m.

The Foreigner Experience – The Ultimate Tribute to Foreigner, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The Chili Poppers – The ultimate Red Hot Chili Peppers Tribute experience, 4 to 5:45 p.m.


A personal note:

Yes, Pioneer Days holds a special place in this reporter’s heart. When we had Observer TV, I was out there interviewing people on the parade route. Jim Lusk from our office, who passed away last year, was always making sure to secure entertainers to help out the parade yearly. He brought in the Star Wars characters, Back to the Future actor impersonators, as well as a police car with a fake dog in the back that he loved. He also hosted the little league team, putting them on our Observer float, which he built every year, and serving them breakfast in the morning before the parade. The paper was a frequent sponsor of the team and also went out and took pictures of the games. Jim also helped build other floats or get trucks for people to use.

The Observer, when it was still in print, used to create a special section every year for Pioneer Days (and before that, it was Founders Days and, of course, before that, it was Cracker Days). The section wrapped around the regular newspaper and had information on bands, a message from the mayor, info. on the grand marshal, road closures and more. Many of us collaborated on that, although near the end, I was doing the bulk of it. It was quite an undertaking. The section was as long as the paper itself. 

Our graphic designers, when we had two of them — Leslie and Patrick — had a contest to design different ideas for the cover and then we all would vote on the winner. We had some great designs through the years.

I hope to be able to someday put all of those issues up online. In the meantime, here is one I had easy access to. It is the 2013 version:


Comments Off on Pioneer Days is coming…

Advertise Here
Advertise Here