FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – From its swamp beginnings, to spring break days, to becoming home to one of the most important economic ports in the country, Broward County has lived a full life turning 100 years old this year.READ MORE: Drew Barrymore Discusses New Show & Her Passion To Help Others
Tourists from the around the world come to visit Broward’s beautiful beaches, Venice like-waterways, and bars and restaurants. In fact, last year 14.3 million people visited Broward County contributing 11.4 Billion dollars to the local economy. But for the nearly 2 million people who call this county home, they are the reason Broward county visionaries created and unveiled Broward 100, a yearlong program celebrating the past and the present.
Earl Bosworth, Director of Broward’s Cultural Division says, “We developed Broward 100 celebrating the art of community to pay tribute to our past and to show how important that is, but more importantly to look to the future. And again while we are doing that, to show the world what we have here, as far as our art, business, government and leaders.
In the beginning, Broward county’s original residents were Native American tribes, the Tequesta and Seminoles that used the river for trade. In the 1890’s, Frank Stranahan established a ferry to cross the river to the southern part of the state expanding trade which played a role in Florida becoming a leader in agriculture and transportation. He then built a house on the river which stands today as Broward’s oldest building.
In 1904 Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward launched a campaign to drain the Everglades and by 1915 Broward was founded and named after him. In the years that followed Broward became a top destination for national and international visitors eventually making Port Everglades what it is today, one of the busiest cruise ports in the world.
In 1938, the Elbo Room opened. It’s a bar that is still standing on the corner of A1A and Los Olas, the oldest bar in Broward with its past on the walls and the present sipping on a cold brew. Owner Michelle Penrod says she lives the history every day. “So many stories! So many people come here and say, I met my wife here and my parents met here.”
The Elbo Room became a favorite among a generation of spring breakers in the 1960 after the filming of “Where the Boys Are” on Fort Lauderdale beach. For decades to come the stretch of sun and sand was the nation’s hotspot for college kids from around the country.
In the next thirty years, the county, residents and investors began focusing more into the arts, culture and business. Millions of dollars were spent building the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and Museum of Art; developing Fort Lauderdale beach; renovating the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and the completing Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
This year, Broward is 100 years old and it is celebrating its progress and its people.
In honor of the centennial celebrations, county visionaries created Broward 100 celebrating the arts of community. They developed bold, innovative art and performance projects that aim at bringing residents together using the art and diversity in the community. Broward 100 is framed by four distinct cornerstones of engagement: VisualEYES, Inside Out Broward, Calendar 100 and Denude.
Visual EYES is a series of new public artworks in the form of murals, performances and more. The first of 10 mural completed is at port everglades. Earl Bosworth, Director of Broward’s Cultural Division says,
“The murals aren’t just great works of art. They are part of the community engagement models and programs that tried to get as much of that community where that mural is located involved. And, to examine social issues and neighborhood issues and community issues and have the artwork reflect that.”READ MORE: Madeline Pumariega, At The Helm Of Miami-Dade College, Calls 2021 'The Year Of The Woman'
Inside out is a black and white photography art project that gives a face and a voice to communities all around the world. It now features photos of Broward county residents displayed on building around the county. Their photos and stories are also housed on a website dedicated to the project.
Calendar 100 is the official yearlong listing of Broward 100 sanctioned events. There have been more than 2000 events and programs that have showcased the talent in Broward County
Duende weekend is the grand finale celebration event showcasing Broward County’s diverse creative talent on 2nd and 3rd of October.
For everyone involved, organizers and residents alike, Broward 100 the centennial celebration is just the beginning of the next 100 years, they say, it’s a news birth.
To continue the celebration, Duende weekend is scheduled to be an annual event in the years to come.
If you are interested in learning more about Broward 100, click here.
Below is the Duende weekend agenda:
The grand opening takeover will be on SW 2nd St. From 8pm – 3pm
It will include street performers, drum battle, live bands, and flash mobs as well as light shows and projections.
6:30am – 9 am
Saturday Sunrise Spectacle
Sunrise ceremony and morning concert
10am – 6pm
Party of the Century
Interactive and cross cultural music, dance and performance, top musical acts and an international blend of dance, hip-hop, salsa, reggae, pop and house.
10am – 5pm
The Big One Hundred! Fun, Free and Fabulous
Family-friendly experience and performance events, duende story, hip hop dancers, children’s ballet theater, interactive art booth, art bus, bounce house, egg time capsule, musical instrument petting zoo and much more
8pm – 10:30pm
“We…” The Passion and Rhythm of the People
Created by Broadway director and cirque dreams founder, Neil Goldberg – a Broadway-style extravaganza featuring 100 south Florida musicians, dancers, poets and big name celebrity talents including John Secada and Linda Eder.