The summertime celebration of all things Boca is well underway, filling each week of August with must-attend events. Boca Festival Days helps nonprofits raise awareness and funds by partnering with for-profit members of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce to host events throughout the city. More than 40 nonprofits and for-profit chamber members are taking part in this year's inaugural activities.
Boca Festival Days’ events are open to the public—some free, others with a nominal entry fee, which directly supports the nonprofit involved. Festivities began July 30 and continue through August 31, quickly making August the most anticipated and socially active month of the year.
Below is a run down of the festivities for Boca Festival Days, weeks three and four.
The fifth annual Boca’s Ballroom Battle "bring it" takes place from 6-10 p.m. at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. A local spin on Dancing with the Stars, Boca’s Ballroom Battle pairs eight prominent community leaders with professional dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studios and gives them four months to train and learn a dance routine. All comes to a head August 17, when the competitors take to the dance floor for the ballroom dancing contest of the season, each striving for the coveted first place Mirror Ball trophy.
From 2-3:30 p.m., the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum will lead Guided Tours of the Historic Boca Raton Resort & Club. Learn about the nearly 90-year-old Addison Mizner-designed resort that helped shape the city of Boca Raton. Tours cost $15 per person ($10 for BRHS members), plus an $11 valet fee from the resort. Reservations are required. Call 561-395-6766, ext. 101, for more information and to RSVP.
Sunday Funday will be on full display at the Pavilion Grille for Party with Promise: A Party Extravaganza from 1-4 p.m. This family-friendly event will have it all, with games, activity stations, DJs and more. Admission costs $5 for adults, and attendees 14 and younger get in free. Proceeds will benefit Family Promise of South Palm Beach, a nonprofit dedicated to helping homeless families. For more information, call 561-265-3370, ext. 103, or see familypromisespbc.org
Kick-start the workweek with some karaoke at the second annual “So you think you can sing?” karaoke contest. The Dubliner is teaming up with Hospice of Palm Beach County Foundation for one of the most entertaining events of Boca Festival Days as patrons muster up the courage to belt out a few, all for a good cause, and a chance at the $250 cash prize bestowed on the evening’s best singer.
The cost to attend is $20 per person (an additional $10 entry for contestants), which includes a complimentary cocktail and buffet. Proceeds benefit the Hospice of Palm Beach County Foundation’s music therapy program. For more information, call 561-265-6042 or click here.
Break the hump day routine and head to Tanzy Restaurant, the newest addition to Mizner Park’s dining repertoire, for Party with a Purpose. As the name suggests, this cocktail mixer is stirring it up with good intentions at its root, with proceeds benefiting Hospice by the Sea. The party runs from 5:30-9 p.m.; admission costs $25, which includes two drink tickets and hors d’oeuvres (for those planning on staying for dinner, dessert is on the house). For more information, call 561-416-5007.
Celebrating The Pap Corps and the Boca Raton Chamber’s diamond jubilee, Eat to Beat Cancer will take place at Royal Palm Place from 5-8 p.m. Select Royal Palm Place restaurants and eateries have stepped up to the plate for this real "foodie" event, donating 20 percent of dinner proceeds to The Pap Corps. Festivities include a concert from five-piece band the Wild Cats and a cake-cutting ceremony with The Pap Corps and the chamber at 8 p.m.
The Pap Corps is the largest all-volunteer organization in the nation dedicated to fundraising for all types of cancer. Participating restaurants for Eat to Beat Cancer include Caruso Ristorante, Casimir Bistro, Cypress Mediterranean Grill, Jake’s Stone Crab, Raffaele Ristorante, Ristorante Sapori, Saquella Café and Yakitori Sake House.
See if local celebrities have what it takes to man the bar at Blue Martini for Celebrity Shake-Up from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Partnering with Best Foot Forward Foundation (a nonprofit dedicated to improving educational outcomes of youths in foster care after they age out of the system), dueling celebrity mixologists will take to the bar in a competition aimed to shake things up and raise some money to support this deserving organization.
Preregistration costs $25, which includes two cocktails and appetizers. To register, click here.
It don’t mean a thing … if there isn’t song and swing! On August 25, the Boca Raton Children’s Museum will host an evening of fun, food, music and dance that’s heavy on jazz and swing. Though jazz and children go together like oil and water, jazz and the children’s museum are like two peas in a pod for this Boca Festival Days musical event. Jazz diva Joan Cartwright, accompanied by her trio, takes the stage, followed by saxophonist and swing aficionado Sid Quartet and the Swing Band Quartet. For those donning their flashiest zoot suit, swing dance demonstrations by Martin and Tracy-Ann and Bernie and Doris will get the crowd up and out on the dance floor.
Proceeds will benefit the Boca Raton’s Children’s Museum. The music and dancing begins at 6 p.m. and keeps bopping till 9 p.m. Tickets cost $35 in advance, $50 at the door. For more information, call 561-368-6875 or see cmboca.org.
From 2-5 p.m., Strikes @ Boca will team up with Boca Helping Hands for Bowling for Bread. More than just a day at the lanes, Bowling for Bread ups the ante, with local businesses and individuals sponsoring lanes, then pits lane against lane in an all-out bowlarama spectacular.
Now in its sixth year, Bowling for Bread has grown over the years, with bowlers returning year after year, all vying for top spot among the pins. This year, Boca Helping Hands hopes to expand on the successes of previous events by incorporating a food drive, too, encouraging bowlers and guests to bring nonperishable food items to help those in need.
Lane sponsorships are still available ($600 for corporate, $200 for individual sponsorship). Reservations are required and cost $50 per person ($200 for a lane). Click here to RSVP. For more information, see bocahelpinghands.org
Tuesday night is about to get a whole lot more fun as Pongfest & Unicorn Derby 2012 rolls into Bogart’s from 6-9 p.m. Part table-tennis tournament, part stick-horse race, this 21-and-up event is going to be a blast, whether you smash at pong or just want to observe. The Unicorn Children’s Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and young adults with neurodevelopment disorders and learning disorders, and funds raised from this event support the creation of Unicorn Village Academy, an innovative high school in Boca Raton for special needs students.
The evening's ping-pong competition will be divided into three categories (novice, moderate and expert) so everyone can have a chance to play. Entry costs $40 for single and $75 for a doubles team. The Unicorn Derby will also be a rollicking good time, as individuals and businesses take in a unicorn, dress it up and send it off to the races. Entry, which includes the unicorn and a guaranteed two races (wear some comfortable shoes, racers), cost $100. For those who just want to spectate, admission costs $25. All entries include two cocktail tickets and hors d’oeuvres. For more information and to sign up, see unicornchildrensfoundation.org
Oceans234 and the Boca Chamber Ambassadors have partnered with Women in Distress, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping "domestic violence abuse for everyone through intervention, education and advocacy,” for the third annual Clothes Off Our Backs happy hour fundraiser and clothing drive. Giving what you can while having a good time is what this event is all about, with an extensive buffet set up for patrons and great happy hour cocktail rates. From 5-8 p.m., Women in Distress will be accepting donations of new and gently used clothes, as well as cell phones and chargers. For more information, call 954-428-2539.
Ballroom dancing can be a wonderful tool in helping children and young adults bolster their self-esteem and break down social barriers. Dancing Classrooms takes this concept and uses ballroom dancing to build "social awareness, confidence and self-esteem in children through the practice of social dance.” With classes around the country, Dancing Classrooms teaches the art of ballroom dancing to students in fifth, eighth and twelfth grade—many of whom have never had dance experience.
In partnership with Red: The Steakhouse and Trine Andersen of Ameriprise, Dancing Classrooms is bringing the moves to “Mad Hot Ballroom Fame Comes to Boca” at the Boca Raton Wyndham Hotel from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy a ballroom dance performance by students from FAU’s Hendersen School and can join in the fun when Dancing Classrooms teaching artists lead group dance lessons. Admission costs $20, which includes appetizers and a cocktail ticket. For more information, call Deborah Briggs at 561-247-0017.
Boca Festival Days winds down August 31, closing out 25 wonderful events that partnered area nonprofits and for-profit organizations and businesses with the burial of a time capsule. The Shops at Boca Center and Uncle Tai’s will host the “Message in a Bottle Event” luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. to help raise funds for the Boca Chamber of Commerce’s Golden Bell Education Foundation as they “March to $1 Million More.” The event has raised more than $1 million for the Boca Raton Public School System since its inception in 1991.
The “Message in a Bottle” luncheon kick-starts the organization’s mission to donate another $1 million to area schools. To celebrate, the group will bury a time capsule at Boca Center’s new courtyard at 1:30 p.m. The luncheon coasts $15 per guest, which includes lunch at Uncle Tai’s and an automatic raffle entry to add an item to the time capsule. To RSVP for the luncheon, call 561-368-8806.