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If you are looking for symbols of sacrifice and dedication on 9/11, consider the first-responders running in uniform during the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Fort Lauderdale 5K on Saturday morning.
For a decade now the run/walk event has drawn thousands of participants from all walks of life, including hundreds of firefighters, police and military personnel from three counties, to memorialize those lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and it is likely to be an especially emotional morning on the 20th anniversary of the attack.
The run, which begins at 7:30 a.m. in Huizenga Plaza (32 E. Las Olas Blvd.), is a fundraiser for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which builds homes for injured military veterans. There are more than two dozen Siller runs in cities across the country this weekend.
COVID claimed the 2020 event in Fort Lauderdale — and was a factor in a change in the route of the 10th edition of the run this year, according to race director Maxine Gomez.
Missing will be the distinctive emotional atmosphere created by runners passing through the Henry E. Kinney Tunnel, where ongoing construction includes lane closures that make a confined space even more risky for the elbow-to-elbow activity of a run. Instead the course will loop west along Las Olas Boulevard and back.
“I am heartbroken,” Gomez says.
The run gets its name from the story of Stephen Siller, an off-duty NYFD firefighter who was on his way home to his wife and five children on Staten Island after a night shift when his scanner alerted him to the terrorist attacks. Siller turned his vehicle around and was seen running nearly two miles through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel with 75 pounds of gear strapped to his back. Firefighters picked him up on the other side and headed to West and Liberty streets, near Ground Zero. He was never seen again.
The annual Tunnel to Towers run honors Siller’s selfless sense of duty, with many firefighters running the course in full turnout gear. It didn’t get any more poignant than their passage through the tunnel in Fort Lauderdale.
With its concentration of transplanted first responders from the New York City area, the Fort Lauderdale event has typically been among the most popular in the country. Local organizers set a fundraising goal of $25,000 and have more than doubled it.
There are awards for teams of firefighters, police and military, including the Stephen G. Siller Steel Award, for firefighters running in turnout gear, made of steel from the Twin Towers.
While online registration has ended, Gomez says there will be onsite sign-up beginning at 6:30 a.m. For information about the event and how to donate, visit Facebook.com/t2tftlauderdale.
Greater Fort Lauderdale Beer Week set for Sept. 12-19 will celebrate the growing local craft-beer scene at nearly three dozen breweries, brewpubs, pubs, restaurants and bottle shops from Coral Springs and Pompano Beach to Dania Beach and Hollywood. This may sound like just another week of carousing for you, but it’s better than that. Technically beginning on Sunday, the first associated event is Saturday’s SFL Hops Patriot Crawl in Oakland Park, a 1-6 p.m. walking tour beginning at Funky Buddha Brewery, with other stops at Chain Bridge Distillery, Black Flamingo Brewery and Fat Tap Beer Bar. For information on this and other events, visit GFLBeerWeek.com.
An exclamation point on Greater Fort Lauderdale Beer Week can be found at FemAle Brew Fest, an appreciation for the role of women in the brewing industry, 1-5 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Kimpton Goodland Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach. Organized by Fem Collective and UniteUs Group, the festival will include national and local breweries and bottle shops (locals include Yeasty Brews, NOBO Brewing, Barrel of Monks, Funky Buddha, Islamorada Beer Co., Tarpon River Brewing and Craft Beer Cellar) and a range of workshops, vendors and entertainment. Tickets start at $45 at FemAleBrewfest.com, with a portion of the proceeds going to the no-kill shelter Abandoned Pet Rescue. The pet-friendly Kimpton Goodland Hotel is offering “Beercation” room packages that include tickets to the festival. Visit GoodlandHotelFtLauderdale.com.
Veteran South Florida favorites the Livesays, led by Fort Lauderdale songwriter Billy Livesay (longtime singer and guitarist for the late Clarence Clemons’ band Temple of Soul) will play an album-release show on Friday at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton for their fifth album, “Not What I Bargained For.” The band, with a sound firmly in that Springsteen-Petty-Mellencamp heartland, goes on at 9 p.m. Tickets start at $20. Visit FunkyBiscuit.com. For more on the album, visit TheLivesaysMusic.com.
In downtown Fort Lauderdale, the Riverside Hotel’s new rooftop entertainment space called the Veranda will host the Shane Duncan Band for an evening of country and party rock from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday. Located at 788 E. Las Olas Blvd., above Tommy Bahama, the 13,000-square-foot open-air venue opened in July with a screening of a concert live stream by Florida Georgie Line. Tickets for the show cost $65 for VIP, which includes seats, two beers and light bites; or $25 general-admission (BYO chair). There will be a cash bar for the 21-and-older event. Visit Facebook.com/RiversideHotelFL.
NFL games start this weekend, as you may have heard, and the South Florida fan club for the Minnesota Vikings (with 600 members) will open the season 1 p.m. Sunday with Skolastica Fest 2021 at the Downtowner on Fort Lauderdale’s New River. During the telecast of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals, there will be Minnesota-themed menu items, “Vikings cosplay” and purple beer. Visit Skolastica.com.
The Sean Penn film “Flag Day,” based on journalist Jennifer Vogel’s memoir “Flim-Flam Man,” opens in a handful of South Florida theaters this weekend. The drama features Penn’s daughter Dylan and son Hopper and a soundtrack by Eddie Vedder, Glen Hansard and Cat Power. The first single, “My Father’s Daughter,” is the setting for the sublime voice of Vedder’s then-17-year-old daughter Olivia. Vedder also offers a taut and reverent cover of R.E.M.’s “Drive.” Among theaters showing “Flag Day” are the Gateway Cinema in Fort Lauderdale, Silverspot Cinema in Coconut Creek, Regal Sawgrass and Cinemark Boynton Beach 14.
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard will kick off its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) with a Tuesday happy hour meet-and-greet with artist Erni Vales, who will begin painting a 1,500-square-foot mural on the restaurant the next day. The work, titled “Esperanza” (”Hope) should be finished in two weeks. The monthlong celebration also will include a $39 three-course, prix-fixe “Esperanza” menu, featuring the classic Vaca Frita entrée, and a specialty Esperanza Sparkling Mojito cocktail. Coming up on Sept. 24, Cuba Libre will introduce nightlife programming similar to that in its other restaurants, with DJs spinning Latin dance tracks, a light show and special effects until 3 a.m. Visit CubaLibreRestaurant.com.
Miami-based rock icon Juanes in May released his 10th album, “Origen,” an homage to music of his broad influences, including Juan Gabriel (“No Tengo Dinero”), Carlos Gardel (“Volver”), Bob Marley (“Could You Be Loved”) and Bruce Springsteen (“Dancing In the Dark”). Rolling Stone called it a “masterpiece.” Tickets remain for both of Juanes’ tour-opening concerts Sept. 16-17 at the Fillmore Miami Beach, many for $45, but some a mere $20. Incredible. Visit Ticketmaster.com.
Miami-based funk-soul brothers Electric Piquete will play their first show since pandemic closures on Friday at Casa Tiki on Calle Ocho in Little Havana (only in Miami). The cocktail-forward bar itself opened last fall at the height of COVID. Worth checking out. Visit ElectricPiquete.com.
The Weekender – South Florida Events Newsletter
Get a roundup of the best events and things to do in South Florida so you can make it an epic weekend.
The band Kids, led by Joshua Diaz, audio manager at C&I Studios in Flagler Village, will resurface Sept. 17 at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, sharing some of the new music they’ve made on Tooth & Nail Records (visit ThisIsKids.com). Dead at 22 and Carson open the 7:30 p.m. show. Tickets cost $10. Visit Cultureroom.net.
Also on Sept. 17, Bumblefest 2021 brings 18 or so bands to the 500 block of Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach, including headliners Surfer Blood and Unwed Sailor, along with Hypoluxo, Cog Nomen, the Dewars, Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser, DirtBike and others. Tickets cost $20 at Bumblefest.com.
The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach will revive its popular Science on Tap series on Thursday, Sept. 16, at Due South Brewing in Boynton Beach. The 7 p.m. evening of beer, bites and brain nourishment will include a 30-minute presentation from Anita Závodská, associate professor at Barry University and a trained garbologist, titled “Talking Trash: Waste Reduction Within the Human Ecosystem.” Admission is free, though seats may be limited. Visit SFScienceCenter.org.