BackstagePass

5 Questions for X-Scream Halloween’s Creative Director

BackstagePass

This story comes from our September/October 2017 issue. For more content like this, subscribe to the magazine.

Written by John Thomason. Photo by Aaron Bristol.


There’s nothing frightening about George Colavecchio. In fact, he’s kind of a hippie. In a previous life as a professional singer/songwriter, he toured with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, and recorded with MCA under the name George St. John. Before that, he toiled the same coffeehouse circuit as Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger.

But these days, he strums scarier notes as creative director of G-Star School’s X-Scream Halloween, which bills itself as Florida’s third-largest haunted attraction. Built and performed by film students at the Palm Springs high school, this durable fundraiser has transformed G-Star’s benign soundstages into zombie apocalypses, Old West ghost towns, anarchic mental wards, demented circus shows and more, for intrepid visitors aged 8 to 80. It earned its haunt-industry bona fides in 2008, when the Travel Channel named it one of the 13 Scariest Haunted Attractions in America.

Colavecchio’s 200 X-Scream students, who comprise about a quarter of the school’s student body, have expanded well beyond the October event, staging FBI and first-responder disaster drills, writing murder-mystery dinner theater productions, and even decorating the Palm Beach Zoo for Christmas.

Colavecchio oversees it all, along with handling G-Star’s web and graphic design and most of its P.R. His job description is complicated. “If you ask the teachers what I do, they have no clue,” he says. “I found this niche for a very bizarre set of skills.”

With X-Scream’s lucky 13th anniversary this October, we asked Colavecchio to share insights from the spook trade.


Do you have a special affinity for horror films?

No. The funny thing is that I don’t watch horror films. The only horror films I’ve ever seen are going back to Lon Chaney—the original “Dracula” and “Werewolf.” Because you can scare people without all that [gore]. It’s more about the entertainment, and the fact that when doing a haunted event, you don’t have any boundaries. If you can think it, you can probably do it.

What’s the secret to a good scare?

There is a psychology to scaring people. You can try to rationalize it all you want, but when you take all of the sophisticated ideas about how haunting works, basically it’s just ‘boo.’ The key to it is getting you to look over there, and getting something to bump or scream over here. It’s like doing a magic trick—it’s all about misdirection.

How important is it to have a story?

There are two trains of thought in the haunt industry. There’s your standard, old-school vampire room, zombie room and clown room, that have no story—it’s just there to scare you. Then there’s a group of us who are referred to as themers, where you have a backstory.

I’m a big-time themer for a couple of reasons. No. 1, I’m a writer, and I’ve got all these stories in my head. No. 2, everything we do is somewhere in time. We’ve done haunts that took place in the 1400s. We’ve done them in the 1920s. In order to do it right, the kids have to research what we’re doing. They’re actually learning a lot of history. You have to learn the correct history before you can twist it.

Your website lists the 2017 X-Scream as the most ambitious one yet. Why?

We wanted to do something different with witches—not your stereotypical pointy hat and broomstick. The inside haunt is in the soundstage, and there are no walls: It’s a dark forest. A witch has cursed the forest and the creatures within it. It’s trolls and goblins and ogres and wood nymphs—all the stereotypical fantasy characters, with our twist on them.

The outside haunt is a medieval village during a witch burning. The village has been hit by the Black Plague—and Black Plague victims are basically zombies with slightly different skin tones. This year I’m also adding a hayride that goes around the property, and there are scare zones built in along the way.

Why do people enjoy being frightened?

It’s kind of like living on the edge. It’s safer than skydiving or bungee jumping. If your haunt is successful, when people come out that back door,  I want them sweating bullets and smiling.

You’ve scared them, but you’ve also made it fun.


Our interview with Colavecchio took place over the summer. Visit xscreamhalloween.com to see the haunts at this year’s event, which vary slightly from those described in the interview. 

X-Scream takes place Oct. 13-28 at 2030 S Congress Ave., Palm Springs. Tickets are $8 to $10. Call 561/967-2023 for more information.

As the A&E editor of bocamag.com, I offer reviews, previews, interviews, news reports and musings on all things arty and entertainment-y in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
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The Top 6 Halloween Haunts and Fall Festivals This Month

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If there’s one holiday South Floridians know how to celebrate it’s Halloween.

And we don’t just dress up the day of. Halloween is one of those holidays that we can get into all month long. There’s something about fall that gets us in the mood for pumpkin (everything), warm colors and gettin’ dressed up!

There is NOTHING the ladies of LLScene love more than dressing up for Halloween. We’re known for getting really into it… (See above photo!)

Today, we’re sharing all of the #SceneWorthy events you can look forward to this month to celebrate one of our favorite holidays.

Halloween at the Addison presents “A Horror Story”

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Date: Tuesday, Oct. 31st

Time: 7:30 p.m. to midnight

Location: The Addison, 2 E Camino Real, Boca Raton

This is probably our favorite event of season, let alone the entire year. If you know anything about The Addison, you know they are fully equipped to throw a killer party. This year, Halloween at The Addison is benefiting the Slow Burn Theatre Company at the Broward Center for Performing Arts. Last year’s party was a complete success, so this year they are going above and beyond with extravagant activities (a haunted walk-through and themed rooms), live music and entertainment, foodie-approved and themed fare, specialty craft cocktails. Plus, Boca Magazine is this year’s participating media sponsor!

Seriously gross! But delicious...

Seriously gross! But delicious… Photos provided by The Addison.

The ladies of LLScene are also giving away two tickets to the event. CLICK HERE to enter to win!

Tickets

$100 Early bird (offer ends Oct. 14)

$125 General admission

$2,400 VIP tables for up to 10 guests (limited availability) – includes complimentary valet parking, access to indoor VIP area, table side food and beverage service, and champagne bottle service—in addition to general admission benefits.

Tickets and VIP tables are available at http://addisonhalloween.com.

Boca Pumpkin Patch Festival

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Date: Saturday Oct. 14 – Sunday Oct. 15

Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton

This is a fun little event for families and people of all ages! The first Boca Pumpkin Patch Festival is bringing the season of fall to life in Boca Raton this year. Be prepared for pumpkin madness, because there will be a massive pumpkin patch (with 2,500 pumpkins!), a cornstalk maze, scarecrow dress-up activity, unlimited carnival rides for all ages, live entertainment, a pumpkin food court, pumpkin beer bars (for adults obvs) and more!

Enigma Haunt

Enigma

Date: Oct. 6-7, 13-15, 19-22, and 27-31

Time: Fridays and Saturdays: 7 p.m. to midnight

Thursdays and Sundays : 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 31: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Location: Enigma Haunt, 1751 N Military Trial, Boca Raton

Okay, we will be the first to admit that we have yet to try out Enigma Haunt in Boca Raton. We have purchased tickets to this event for the past three years and chicken out EVERY SINGLE TIME. Warning: this is not an event you want to attend if you scare easily. That being said, we have friends who go every year and always have the best time. If you’re really looking to get into the Halloween spirit, Enigma Haunt is for you. Enigma Haunt has grown to be top in the nation. This year, they were voted as one of the top 31 haunted houses in the U.S. It takes about an hour to get through all of the haunted houses, without the huge lines! Even if there is a line, you will still be entertained every step of the way.

Tickets:

Realms of Terror: $25

Pre-Sale Triple Terror Pack: $25 – Includes admission to all three haunts: Pandemic, Into Oblivion and Realms of Terror

RIP Triple Terror: $45 – Includes admission to all three haunts plus access to a VIP entrance for each haunted house.

Purchase tickets here.

Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market Fall Festival

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The Bedner’s pumpkin patch. Photo provided by Bedner’s.

Date: Weekends in October

Location: Bedners Farm Fresh Market, 10066 Lee Road, Boynton Beach

This is always an adorable time of year at Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market in Boynton Beach. Their family friendly fall festival started Oct. 1 and is filled with picturesque seasonal photo opportunities. Since the festival is only open on weekends, be sure to get there early before the crowds. What makes October at Bedners so noteworthy and fun?

  • Traditional pumpkin patch open every day but Tuesday
  • Hayrides around their beautiful 80 acres of working farm
  • A bigger and better corn maze
  • Petting zoo with pony rides
  • Bounce house, slides, rides and games
  • Award-winning BBQ
  • Local handmade craft vendors
  • Air cannons
  • And way more!

Tickets:

Free entry, fee for activities/food. Open to the public.

X-Scream Halloween 13

XScream

Date: Oct. 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28

Time: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m,

Location: G-Star School of the Arts, 2030 South Congress Ave., West Palm Beach

This year’s haunts are Tale of the Dragon Witch and The Void. The former is about dreams and a terrifyingly evil witch who plants nightmares about monsters and myths in the unsuspecting. But are they really just dreams, or are they a reality? Enter The Void if you dare. This maze has no rhym or reason, no light and no escape. We’re scared just writing about it! But there will be family friendly acitivities for the weak-hearted, so everyone can go and have a good time.

Tickets:

$10 for adults, $8 for children

Tickets are available here.

Fright Nights

FrightNight

Date: Oct. 6 – 28

Location: South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach

Fright Nights is the premier haunted house attraction in South Florida and is going to be loaded with scares this year with four haunted houses, carnival rides, food and entertainment. If you’re a true Halloween enthusiast, you won’t want to miss this event. It’s not for the squeemish.

Tickets:

FRIGHT TICKETS: $30 – Includes park admission and 30 Fright Tickets and can be used for:

Haunts: 7 tickets each

Rides: 1-3 tickets each

*Additional Fright Tickets can be purchased on the Midway: $1 per ticket.

R.I.P. TICKETS: $5 – R.I.P. tickets may be purchased on the midway. Limited tickets will be available each night.

The RIP Experience is the ultimate way to experience the terror of Fright Nights. Enjoy an evening of horror that includes:

  • Express front of line access
  • Private VIP horror lounge with cash bar
  • Scare actor photo ops

For more information about Fright Nights tickets, click here.

Lindsey Swing & Lilly Robbins are best friends and founders of LLScene, a fashion and lifestyle blog based in South Florida. Sharing the same enthusiasm for style and lifestyle trends, the ladies of LLScene bring an influential twist to “20-30 somethings” looking for a little more in life. Lindsey is a newlywed with a passion for innovative fashion movements and Florida State football. Lilly is a former Miami Dolphins Cheerleader with a desire to further her philanthropic work and brand lifestyle concepts. Until they’re fortunate enough to have children of their own, Lindsey & Lilly will continue to enjoy being “dog moms” to Bentley & Duke.
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Tim Finnegans Spread the Giving Spirit for Florida Keys Relief

 

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Last night took me back to the good old days when everyone pitched in to help people who needed it—the days before everything was couched in political terms and all of us were so divided.

I was at Tim Finnegans in Delray at a benefit for the Keys hurricane relief—hosted by owner Lisa Walsh and some of her friends and customers, Michele Bellisari, Steve Martel, Linda Somers, Paula Tolly, Greg Weiss, Bob Wieder. The Joe Cotton band played for free and radio fun boy Paul Castronovo (The Paul Castronovo Show, Big 105.7) opened up the night with a great pitch to help the Keys we all love so much—and toasted the crowd with a Pilar’s rum and coke.

He also mentioned that Crane’s Beach House donated 17 rooms of furniture to the effort and his pals from Greek Moving and Storage stepped right up to deliver that furniture (gratis) down to the Keys to the Habitat for Humanity warehouse.

It was a packed house before it even started—and the people kept coming, and coming. Business people, politicians, old hippies, random do-gooders. People parked a block away, and everyone donated their $20, bought raffle tickets, had a cold one (or four) and rallied for the cause.

“Hurricane Irma devastated the Keys, leaving tens of thousands of people without shelter, wood, fuel, food or even basic toiletries,” said Walsh. “More than a quarter of all homes are now uninhabitable, more than half have suffered damage, and hundreds of businesses were destroyed. Our friends in the Florida Keys are going to be without power, water and employment for an extended period of time.”

Organizers of the event were hoping to raise at least $25,000; no word yet on how they did but my bet is that they exceeded that goal. And it was a beautiful thing to see.

“As Floridians always do, we band together to help our own,” Walsh said.

I could not have said it better.


If you want to help rebuild the keys, please visit the GoFundMe campaign at gofundme.com/florida-keys-hurricane-relief-fund.

Marie Speed is group editor of all JES publications, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Worth Avenue, Mizner’s Dream and the annual publication for the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. She also oversees editorial operations of the company’s Salt Lake City magazines.

Her community involvement has ranged from work with the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce to a longtime board member position at Caridad Center. She is also on the George Snow Scholarship Fund review committee. She is a past officer of the Florida Magazine Association and a member of Class XVII of Leadership Florida. In her spare time, Marie enjoys South Florida’s natural world through hiking and kayaking, and she is an avid reader and an enthusiastic cook.

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The Best Fall Family Events in Boca and Beyond

It’s that time of year again, Boca moms. I can already smell the pumpkin spice in the air—despite the fact that it’s still a blazing 85 degrees outside. It’s Florida’s version of FALL! Bring on the ankle boots, bales of hay and pumpkin patches because autumn is on its way via fun family events and hopefully, cooler weather. These are my favorite fall activities to go to each year:

Oktoberfest at the American German Club

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Michelle at Oktoberfest, beer in hand, of course. Photo by Michelle Olson-Rogers.

Dust off your lederhosen and beer steins because on the second and third weekend of October, Oktoberfest is coming to the Palm Beaches. You and your kids will enjoy traditional Bavarian food, drinks, folk dancing and sing-alongs with two bands straight from Germany. There’s also a carnival for all ages and a kids’ zone! Having been to the real Oktoberfest in Munich, this is the most authentic experience your family will find—at least locally. We never miss it. Tickets are only $10 and kids under 12 are free.

5111 Lantana Road, Lake Worth; 561/967-6464

Lantern Festival at the Morikami

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“And at last you’ll see the light!”

That’s what I told my Rapunzel-obsessed daughter when I tried to explain the popular Lantern Festival at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. The Lantern Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21, and attendees will experience Japanese folk dancing, drumming, an Ennichi street fair and the iconic lantern floating ceremony. Hundreds of lanterns are lit and placed on the Morikami’s central lake in the spirit of Obon, Japan’s summer homage to ancestors who return for a brief visit to the living. It is absolutely beautiful. If you haven’t been, get your tickets sooner rather than later because this event always sells out!

4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach; 561/495-0233

Shriek Week at Sugar Sand Park

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Avery looking spooky at Shriek Week. Photo by Michelle Olson-Rogers.

When it comes to Halloween family fun, no one does it better than Boca Raton’s Sugar Sand Park. Shriek Week features an indoor haunted house (paid reservations required), outdoor haunted walkthrough, shows, games, train rides and family entertainment. There’s also a killer (free) indoor trick-or-treat trail featuring local businesses and organizations. The 13th Annual Shriek Week runs Oct. 20-21 and 26-28.

300 S. Military Trail, Boca Raton; 561/347-3900

NEW! Boca Pumpkin Patch Festival at Mizner Park Amphitheater

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I had to throw one new event in the mix. The Boca Pumpkin Patch Festival is taking over Mizner Park with thousands of pumpkins, a pumpkin food court and pumpkin beer bars! The event promises to be a fall wonderland for the whole family! Admission includes unlimited carnival rides, a kiddie cornstalk maze, scarecrow dress-up activity, beautiful photo ops, and live entertainment. The outdoor event runs for two days on Oct. 14 and 15.

590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton


Visit www.modernbocamom.com for even more fun Halloween and fall events! And be sure to subscribe to Modern Boca Mom’s weekly e-newsletter: http://bit.ly/mbmsubscribe

Michelle Olson-Rogers, a native to Boca, is the founder of ModernBocaMom.com, a lifestyle website for the stylish & modern South Florida Mommy. Modern Boca Mom features family events, activities, classes, fitness, dining, travel, home improvement and shopping options—as well as a weekly MOMpreneur spotlight! She and her husband Andrew have one daughter, Avery.
Oceans-234-Chef-William-Middleton

This Month: ‘Claws for a Cause’ at Oceans 234, Rhythm Cafe Wine Dinner

Time to dine at Oceans 234’s ‘Claws for a Cause’

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Oceans 234 Executive Chef William Middleton. Photo courtesy of Oceans 234.

Shake off the last of the fallen leaves from your beachside duds, and head over to Oceans 234 Sept. 24. By the ocean, you’ll be able to attend “Claws for a Cause,” which means enjoying a lobster bake created by Executive Chef William Middleton while supporting B The Difference. This nonprofit raises funds for research to find a cure for Neurofibromatosis (NF), as well as supporting individuals and their families who are battling NF. Part of the B Happy Program, the monies allow those with NF and their families to go on an all-inclusive vacation within the U.S. to a dream destination. Being happy!

The “Claws for a Cause” event is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person and include the lobster bake, Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktails, Attitude by Pascal Jolivet wines and music from DJ Charlie Cortes. Non-shellfish options will be available, too.

234 N. Ocean Blvd., Deerfield Beach; 954/428-2539

Rhythm Café wine dinner features Klinker Brick Winery

On Sept. 28, West Palm’s Rhythm Café will host a wine dinner featuring choices of Lodi albarino, rosé, syrah and zinfandels, as well as your choice of ravioli, chicken, short rib and more. The cost is $75 (includes tax/gratuity) and doors open at 6:30 p.m. You need to call for reservations.

Rhythm Café, 3800 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561/833-3406


Hungry for more food news? Visit our food page, and subscribe to the magazine for the most delicious coverage of Boca and beyond.

Lynn Kalber wasn’t born in Boca Raton, but she attended elementary through high school there, so she might as well have been. She’s a graduate of the University of Florida and has been in journalism most of her life, including 26 years at The Palm Beach Post. She’s written feature and food stories, and edited food copy among other jobs, including blogging about wine (The Swirl Girls). Her husband is writer and author Scott Eyman. They live in West Palm Beach with an assortment of cats and dogs.
The Boca Raton Tri-Rail station. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

The Facts About Midtown and Tri-Rail, Remembering Carol Hanson

Midtown in perspective

The Boca Raton Tri-Rail station. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

The Boca Raton Tri-Rail station. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

There are meetings today and Wednesday about a second Tri-Rail station for Boca Raton. Discussion of the station likely will lead to a discussion of Midtown. So let’s base the discussion on facts. Read more

Randy Schultz has lived in Boca Raton since 1985 and has worked as a journalist in South Florida since 1974. He spent 37 years at The Palm Beach Post, the last 23 as editorial page editor. He has written the City Watch blog for Boca Raton Magazine since February 2014. He also writes a weekly oped column for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The 2017 Woman Volunteer of the Year nominees. Photo by Munoz Photography.

Junior League Announces Fashion Designer, Nominees for 30th Annual WVOY Luncheon

The 2017 Woman Volunteer of the Year nominees. Photo by Munoz Photography.

The 2017 Woman Volunteer of the Year nominees. Photo by Munoz Photography.

You know that time, right after work but before dinner, when restaurants start lighting candles and the sun gives off that golden light? When you leave work just a little early on a Friday to catch happy hour?

We know you know it, and at this year’s Junior League of Boca Raton Woman Volunteer of the Year Luncheon, you’ll see looks inspired by those precious hours by designer Jane Siskin,Cinq à Sept Founder and CEO. Saks Fifth Avenue Boca Raton will join JLBR as the fashion sponsor of the 30th annual luncheon at the Boca Raton Resort & Club to produce a big-city, high-energy runway show. Here’s a bit of Cinq à Sept’s Fall 2017 collection:

Photo provided by Saks Fifth Avenue.

Photo provided by Saks Fifth Avenue.

Photo provided by Saks Fifth Avenue.

Photo provided by Saks Fifth Avenue.

Each year the Junior League honors community members and nominates outstanding women who are making a difference as volunteers for their nonprofits at the Woman Volunteer of the Year Luncheon. This year there are a whopping 42 nominees, all of whom were announced at a kick-off event at Saks at Town Center mall on Wednesday.

Carolyn Compton and Claudia Vidal Monteiro Fehribach, one of this year's WVOY nominees. Photo provided by Claudia Vidal Monteiro Fehribach.

Carolyn Compton and Claudia Vidal Monteiro Fehribach, one of this year’s WVOY nominees. Photo provided by Claudia Vidal Monteiro Fehribach.

The winner of the title will be awarded at this year’s luncheon, which takes place on Oct. 5. Last year’s Woman Volunteer of the Year was Susan Welchel, a member of the Junior League her entire adult life and former two-term mayor of Boca Raton. The JLBR is dedicated to improving the community by training volunteers, taking action and supporting women in the process.

Susan Welchel, winner of the Woman Volunteer of the Year award in 2016. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

Susan Welchel, winner of the Woman Volunteer of the Year award in 2016. Photo by Aaron Bristol.

As longtime media sponsors of the WVOY Luncheon, we’ve seen countless women get the recognition they deserve for their community work. Of course, we don’t know who will win this year, and really, they’re all winners.

Like those precious hours between 5 and 7 p.m., you never quite know what’s going to happen at the WVOY luncheon. But you know it’ll be a great time.


To purchase tickets to the Woman Volunteer of the Year Luncheon, visit jlbr.org/woman-volunteer-of-the-year-2, email [email protected] or call 561/620-2553.

Shayna is the Web Editor of Boca Magazine. She is a 20-something sorta-recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism. Most of her time is spent fawning over cats and kittens; cooking food at home for her family; and observing Florida’s greatest asset: nature.
shuzz

7th Annual Shuzz Art Fashion Show a Great Event For a Better Cause

Zach Posen presented his Fall 2014 collection at the Shuzz Art Fashion Show 2014. Photo provided by Shuzz Foundation.

Zach Posen presented his Fall 2014 collection at the Shuzz Art Fashion Show 2014. Photo provided by Shuzz Foundation.

It’s time for one of our favorite South Florida events out there, the Shuzz Art Fashion Show.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience this event, you can now! This year, the Shuzz Art Fashion Show will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, with a runway show by Miami-born designer Patricia Gomez Gracia of Gomez-Gracia that features Jimmy Choo. Bachelor nation fans (we know you’re out there), get excited because the night will be hosted by Ryan Beckett from ABC’s The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise.

Celebrities wearing Gomez-Garcia, the designer for this year's Shuzz Art Fashion Show. Photo provided by Shuzz Fund.

Celebrities wearing Gomez-Garcia, the designer for this year’s Shuzz Art Fashion Show. Photo provided by Shuzz Fund.

Shuzz Fund (pronounced “shoes”—if you haven’t already guessed) is a nonprofit organization that provides new shoes to children living in impoverished areas across America and in developing countries around the world. All donations and 100 percent of the event’s ticket sales go toward Shuzz’s programs and aid efforts centered around distributing shoes to kids in need regardless of race, religion or class.

Shuzz's mission is to distribute shoes to children in need. Photo provided by Shuzz Fund.

Shuzz’s mission is to distribute shoes to children in need. Photo provided by Shuzz Fund.

So, what can you expect this year at the Shuzz Art Fashion Show? In addition to the runway show, the event will feature a 40-foot-long red carpet for all guests, a cocktail party and VIP reception sponsored by Celebrity Cruises, and silent and live auctions.

“We are so grateful to have the support of our entire community who is purchasing tickets at a record rate. If you have yet to buy yours, make sure you do so quickly… you do not want to miss SHUZZ | ART | FASHION no7!” said Rita Lombardo, the founder and president of Shuzz Fund, in a press statement.

Lindsey Swing and Lilly Robbins at the 2015 show.

Lindsey Swing and Lilly Robbins at the 2015 show.

Not only does this event benefit an amazing cause, it’s also one of the events of the year—a see and be seen opportunity, if you will. You won’t want to miss it! Show and ticket information can be purchased here.

The Shuzz Fund aims to provide new shoes to 10 million children in impoverished areas internationally over the next 10 years. So far Shuzz has distributed 101,500 shoes, according to its website.

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To see what Lindsey and Lilly of LLScene are up to on the daily, visit ll-scene.com.

Lindsey Swing & Lilly Robbins are best friends and founders of LLScene, a fashion and lifestyle blog based in South Florida. Sharing the same enthusiasm for style and lifestyle trends, the ladies of LLScene bring an influential twist to “20-30 somethings” looking for a little more in life. Lindsey is a newlywed with a passion for innovative fashion movements and Florida State football. Lilly is a former Miami Dolphins Cheerleader with a desire to further her philanthropic work and brand lifestyle concepts. Until they’re fortunate enough to have children of their own, Lindsey & Lilly will continue to enjoy being “dog moms” to Bentley & Duke.
palm beach food & wine

Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival Announces 2017 Schedule and New Events

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A scene from the Chef Welcome Party at the 2016 PBFWF. Photo by LILA Photo.

With 14 different events, all your favorite local and celebrity chefs, and lots of food and wine, Dec. 14-17 will be jam-packed for the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival.

You’ll be able to choose among many food events each day (or just go to them all!). Tickets just went on sale, so your chances of feasting with your favorites is good IF you order tickets soon. Because you know those “wow” events sell out immediately. Buy your tickets at pbfoodwinefest.com.

Be sure to look for:

  • New chefs on hand for the 2017 shindig
    • Matthew Jennings (pictured below) – a four-time James Beard Foundation Award nominee, Jennings is a New England chef committed to local ingredients and showcasing northeastern food. His new brasserie Townsman in Boston has been named one of the best new restaurants by Esquire, USA Today and Food & Wine. 
    • Ben Ford – He got his start studying under Alice Waters, so you know his commitment to local, sustainable, whole food and utilizing all of it is no joke to Ford. The California-based chef has had success with his restaurant Chadwick and casual gastropubs.
    • Donald Link – The New Orleans-based chef has been honored with the Best Chef South James Beard Award, and his restaurants have earned him success as one of the preeminent chefs in Louisiana. He’s known for his Cajun cooking.
    • Tony Mantuano  – Mantuano is the chef-owner of Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Spiaggia and James Beard Award winner of Best Chef Midwest. He appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” and is co-author of two cookbooks.
    • Timothy Hollingsworth – His roots are steeped in French cuisine (he trained at the French Laundry and placed sixth at the global Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest. He now lives in LA and works at his restaurant, Barrel & Ashes, a take on BBQ inspired by his childhood in Texas.
Chef Tony Mantuano. Photo provided by Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival.

Chef Tony Mantuano. Photo provided by Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival.

Chef Matthew Jennings. Photo provided by Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival.

Chef Matthew Jennings. Photo provided by Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival.

  • Ticket packages
    • There are five packages where you can save between 10 and 25 percent, depending on the package. If you want to attend every event, you can buy a PBFWF Passport package and save 25 percent. These are great deals.
  • New events
    • There are now four opening dinner options on Dec. 17. There’s a “Brunch in Paradise” Dec. 17 at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, and a Saturday night “Daniel By Night” event at Café Boulud.

Here’s the lineup:

  • Thursday, Dec. 14 – There are four opening dinners, tickets for each are $185 per person:
    • NEW Gravy at Café Sapori: It’s a four-course dinner with wine pairings and an open bar, and the festival’s official Italian-themed dinner. It’s from 7 to 10 p.m. with Chefs Marc Murphy, Tony Mantuano and Frabrizio Giorgi.
    • Buccan, The First Bite: From 7 to 10 p.m., Chefs Timothy Hollingsworth, Matthew Jennings and Clay Conley will present amuse-bouches and a four-course family style dinner.
    • PB Catch, Sustain: 7 to 10 p.m. with Chefs Michelle Bernstein, Beau MacMillan, Dean Max, Aaron Black, Sustain will highlight sustainable seafood with five courses, wine pairings and featured cocktails.
    • Avocado Grill, A Rustic Root: This is PBFWF’s first veggie-based dinner. With five courses it takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. with Chefs Timon Balloo, Brad Kilgore, Anita Lo and Julien Gremaud.
  • Friday, Dec. 15 –
    • Meat Market, Lunch With Friends: Get ready for a five-course lunch from noon to 2 p.m. with Chefs Elizabeth Falkner, Robert Irvine, Ken Oringer and Sean Brasel. Tickets are $115 per person and include wine pairings.
    • The Regional, Southern Revival: Chef Lindsey Autry of The Regional will prepare a five-course southern hospitality meal from noon to 2 p.m. with Chefs Mike Lata, Donald Link, Jonathon Sawyer and Virginia Willis. Tickets are $115 per person and include wine pairings and cocktails.
    • The Breakers, “Fire” Chef Welcome Party: This is PBFWF’s official kick-off event by the water. Drinks will be flowing from 7 to 10 p.m. with Chef Jeff Simms and Master Sommelier Virginia Philip. Tickets are $165 per person.
Chef Jeff Mauro gets silly at last year's Grillin n' Chillin event. Photo provided by Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival.

Chef Jeff Mauro gets silly at last year’s Chillin’ n’ Grillin’ event. Photo by LILA Photo.

  • Saturday, Dec. 16:
    • Four Seasons Resort, Kids Kitchens: Kids become chefs with Robert Irvine and Virginia Willis. They’ll make healthy recipes and take home an apron and chef hat. The event is 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to noon, and tickets are $50 per child.
    • Four Seasons Resort, Chillin’ n’ Grillin’: This lively outdoor event takes place from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. with Chefs Ben Ford, Robert Irvine, Tony Mantuano, Jeff Mauro, Adam Richman, Jonathon Sawyer and Tony Martindale. Tickets are $140 per person, and you’re sure to spot chefs at the grill stations having a great time.
    • Four Seasons Resort, Street Food: Chefs will compete against each other from 7 to 10 p.m. to your delight. Featuring Chefs Julien Gremaud, Michael Hackman, Matthew Jennings, Brad Kilgore, Tim Lipman, Tory Martindale, Harold Moore, Giorgio Rapicavoli and Stephen Stryjewski. Tickets are $140 per person.
    • Café Boulud, Daniel By Night: Enjoy a walk-around tasting in the garden with tasty bites and drinks from 8 to 11 p.m. with namesake Chef Daniel Boulud, and Julie Franceschini and Rick Mace. Tickets are $140 per person.
    • Imoto, After Hours: Chill with the chefs and enjoy Asian street food, sushi, cocktails and music from 11 p.m. to “late” with Chefs Ken Oringer, Daniel Serfer and Clay Conley. Tickets are $115 per person.
Chef Clay Conley won $10,000 toward as the winner of the competition. Photo provided by Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival.

Chef Clayton Carnes won $10,000 toward Adacapia Autism Awareness as the winner of the Grand Chef Throwdown competition last year. Photo by LILA Photo.

  • Sunday, Dec. 17:
    • Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, Brunch in Paradise: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., dine at Temple Orange Bistro  with Chefs Anita Lo, Beau MacMillan, Dean Max, Daniel Serfer and David Viviano. Tickets are $115 per person and include wine pairings and an open bar.
    • The Gardens Mall, 11th Annual Grand Tasting: It all comes to a close from 5 to 9 p.m. at the grande finale event. As of now, there are 33 local restaurants and shops participating, and that number will grow in the next few months. There will be food, of course, a fashion show, book signings, and the Grand Chef Throwdown Finale, where three local chefs will compete for a $10,000 charity prize. Tickets are $85 per person.

Hungry for more food news? Visit our food page, and subscribe to the magazine for the most delicious coverage of Boca and beyond. 

Lynn Kalber wasn’t born in Boca Raton, but she attended elementary through high school there, so she might as well have been. She’s a graduate of the University of Florida and has been in journalism most of her life, including 26 years at The Palm Beach Post. She’s written feature and food stories, and edited food copy among other jobs, including blogging about wine (The Swirl Girls). Her husband is writer and author Scott Eyman. They live in West Palm Beach with an assortment of cats and dogs.
Ryan Owens, who was a Navy SEAL. He will be honored at The Ryan Owens Beach Run Memorial on

Deerfield Beach Run to Honor Fallen SEAL Ryan Owens

Ryan Owens, who was a Navy SEAL. He will be honored at The Ryan Owens Beach Run Memorial on

Ryan Owens, who was a Navy SEAL. He will be honored at The Ryan Owens Memorial Run on Nov. 4.

A 4-mile beach run (usually carrying gear and wearing combat boots) is typical of what Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens would have done with his brother, John Owens, of Deerfield Beach, when Ryan trained to become a Navy SEAL.

The brothers would indeed serve the U.S. as part of the elite Navy’s Sea, Air and Land Forces (SEALs) program. John, who is deployed now, was five years older than Ryan.

At age 36, on Jan. 29, 2017, Ryan was in Yemen with SEAL Team 6. He died of wounds he endured during a nighttime raid. It was Ryan’s 12th deployment as a SEAL, and his 18th year in the U.S. Navy.

To honor and celebrate his brother’s life, John started The Ryan Owens Memorial Run.

Money raised from the run will go to build a memorial for Ryan in Lauderdale by the Sea, said Holly Owens, John’s wife and Ryan’s sister-in-law. The cost to run or walk the 4-mile timed beach course is $40 for adults and $20 for kids 12 and younger who can participate in a 1-mile run. The run commences with opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. and the race starts at 9 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 4, at 149 SE 21st Ave. in Deerfield Beach.

This is the first year of The Ryan Owens Memorial Run. The City of Deerfield Beach has agreed to co-sponsor what will become an annual race. And while proceeds from the 2017 event will go to Ryan’s memorial, future races will help pay for other memorials and benefit families of fallen Navy SEALs, Holly says.

Ryan, who grew up in Coral Springs, was larger than life, she says.

“He was and is a superhero. Everything [he and John] did was extreme in life,” Holly says. “The family is very competitive and has always raced together. I think that is why John decided to do this and thought it was the best way to go about remembering Ryan and honoring and celebrating him every year.”

John and Ryan Owens.

John and Ryan Owens.

Along with his SEAL Trident and Basic Parachutist wings, Ryan qualified to wear many medals, including a Silver Star w/Combat “V” Navy.

The Owens family is planning more than just the run. All registered runners can enjoy a free after-party in the beach parking lot, complete with food trucks, a beer garden and live music.

Later that evening, there will be a dinner and silent auction at the Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club, 2425 Maya Palm Drive, Boca Raton. Tickets for the dinner and auction, which starts at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, are $140 until Sept. 1; then they increase in price to $150.

To sign up for the race or dinner or learn more about Ryan and his legacy, go to https://nakedwarriorproject.com/.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.