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Introducing the 2017 Citizens Recognition Awards Honorees  
Front row, left to right: Commissioner Dean J. Trantalis, Ronald J. Centamore, Mary C. Fertig, Debbie Dempsey, Zak Dempsey, Ken Stiles, and Vice Mayor Bruce G. Roberts. Back row: Commissioner Romney Rogers, Mayor John P. "Jack" Seiler, and Commissioner Robert L. McKinzie.
This past November, the City of Fort Lauderdale had the honor of recognizing four outstanding citizens for their contributions to building our community at the 43rd Annual Citizens Recognition Awards.  Following a recommendation by the Citizens Recognition Committee, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission named the following individuals as the 2017 Citizens Recognition Awards honorees:

  • Mary C. Fertig - Citizen of the Year
  • The Late Terry W. Stiles - Honored Founder
  • The Late Freddie "Gene" Dempsey - Exemplary Former City Employee
  • Ronald J. Centamore - Distinguished Citizen
Whether advocating for our school system and smart growth, advancing the City's status through excellence in innovative and sustainable building and design, championing the City's forestry efforts and expanding our tree canopy, or serving as a leader for civic engagement and building community, each of these individuals has contributed to transforming Fort Lauderdale into the "City You Never Want to Leave."
To watch the Citizens Recognition Awards presentation videos, see the event photos, read the honorees' proclamations, or learn more about the Citizens Recognition Awards, please visit
Stay tuned for news about the 2018 Citizens Recognition Awards application cycle. 
Sign up for the Neighbor Leadership Academy 
Want to learn about our City and gain leadership skills to transform your community? If so, the Neighbor Leadership Academy (NLA) is right for you. The Office of Neighbor Support will be hosting the third Academy beginning March 7, 2018. The NLA will run for five consecutive Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Participants will be taught by extraordinary speakers who will share their expertise on topics such as city structure, leadership assessment, community engagement, team building, and more. The application period opens January 3, 2018 and will close February 5, 2018. There is no fee to participate. For more information, visit the Neighbor Leadership Academy webpage , email , or call 954-828-6139.

New app Takes Guesswork out of Construction  
If you've ever passed a construction site and wondered what was in the works, we now have an app for that! Introducing the City of Fort Lauderdale's new Development Project Viewer.  See the location of all private development projects approved and under review throughout the City in one comprehensive view.  Click on numbered sites, or search the database for project address, name, number, applicant, square footage, and more.  While you're visiting the City website, explore the GIS application library to see what other useful tools are available to help you track the status of a permit, find a park, see Commission District maps, look up your flood zone, and more!  
Panthers in the Park Ice Rink Returns

The Florida Panthers and the City of Fort Lauderdale have collaborated for the second consecutive year to create "Panthers in the Park," an outdoor ice skating rink at Huizenga Plaza located at the intersection of Las Olas Boulevard and Andrews Avenue along Fort Lauderdale's Riverwalk. 
Panthers in the Park is open now through January 7, 2018. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 3 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. The rink will have an early closure on Christmas Eve at 6 p.m. and will be closed on Christmas Day. 

For complete details, visit Panthers in the Park Ice Skating Rinks.
 Advance Fort Lauderdale Launched      

On October 24, 2017, the City of Fort Lauderdale held a Public Workshop Kickoff Meeting to discuss "Advance Fort Lauderdale," the Comprehensive Plan Update project. The project will build upon the City's Vision Plan (Fast Forward) and Strategic Plan (Press Play) and will incorporate policies that will address elements such as climate change, infrastructure, transportation, economic development, and planned future growth in the City. More than 70 people attended this initial workshop.  Neighbors who attended the workshop were able to participate in an interactive community discussion where they voiced their input about the Comprehensive Plan update. Some of the main topics voiced at the meeting included discussion about infrastructure, neighborhood compatibility, traffic impacts, promoting different modes of transportation and pedestrian safety. These are a sampling of topics that will be addressed throughout the update process. As the Comprehensive Plan update process moves forward, there will be various opportunities for neighbors to participate. Please be sure to check out our project website at for regular updates and to participate in our forum as we build upon the various elements of the Plan and incorporate potential insights from best practices found in other communities locally in Florida and nationally!

Relax at JM Lexus Sunday Jazz Brunch January 7     

Join us the first Sunday of every month on the scenic Riverwalk for the JM Lexus Sunday Jazz Brunch. This free outdoor concert series takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features the best local jazz artists on three stages from Esplanade Park to Riverfront.
One of Fort Lauderdale's most popular community events, the JM Lexus Sunday Jazz Brunch invites everyone to bring their blankets, chairs and picnic baskets along with well-behaved, leashed pets to the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District for the best in local jazz.
Parking for the JM Lexus Sunday Jazz Brunch is available at the county garage located on S.W. 2nd Street between S.W. 2nd Avenue and Brickell Avenue or at the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District parking garage at S.W. 2nd Street and S.W. Fifth Avenue.

For details, visit   
Santa on the Beach - December 20

Don't miss Santa Claus' traditional candy giveaway along Fort Lauderdale Beach on Wednesday, December 20.

With twinkling eyes and smiling faces, Santa and his elves will spread holiday cheer along the beach starting at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park and continuing north distributing candy canes, posing for selfies, and gleefully engaging with neighbors and visitors. Santa will arrive at Fort Lauderdale Beach, 1100 Seabreeze Boulevard, at approximately 12:45 p.m.

For complete details, including a map of Santa's route along Broward and Las Olas Boulevards, visit   
Kwanzaa Ujamaa Celebration - December 29
Pay homage to the fourth day of Kwanzaa Ujamaa, which means cooperative economics. Join us on Friday, December 29 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Bass Park, 2750 NW 19th Street. Enjoy Afrocentric entertainment and festivities celebrated through a variety of cultural activities.
For details, visit
New Year's Eve Downtown Countdown - December 31 
Touted as one of the best New Year's Eve celebrations in Florida, this year's free street festival is full of fun and excitement for both children and adults!

From 3:30 to 8:30 pm, the event features family activities including inflatables, slides, face painting, games, contests, and line dancing with DJ William Pennhouse.  From 8:00 pm to 1:00 am, Downtown Countdown features live performances by "Orquesta Calle Sol" and the "Shane Duncan Band," plus outstanding entertainment.
Then, as the final seconds of 2017 tick away, our larger-than-life illuminated anchor with 12,000 color-changing LED lights will descend from 100 feet in the air creating a spectacular visual display as we ring in 2018.

  For details, visit www.
  2018 King Holiday Celebration
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee and the City of Fort Lauderdale are proud to present the 2018 King Holiday Celebration, an extraordinary line-up of events with programs for the entire family.
2018 King Holiday Event Line-up:
Dr. King Children's Birthday Celebration
10:00 a.m., African American Research Library and Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard
"Time for Prayer" Vigil
7:00 p.m., Lincoln Park, 600 NW 19th Avenue
King Holiday Parade and Unity March
8:00 a.m., Parade Lineup at Lincoln Park, 600 N.W. 19 Avenue
9:30 a.m., Parade departs from Lincoln Park (600 NW 19 Avenue) proceeds east on Sistrunk Boulevard and south on NW 7 Avenue to Esplanade Park (400 SW 2 Street)
King Holiday Celebration of Unity and Multicultural Festival
10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Esplanade Park, 400 SW 2nd Street  

 For more information, please call 954-828-5323 or visit
Honor Dr. King's Legacy at Fort Lauderdale United Day
On Monday, January 15, help honor Dr. King's legacy of civic engagement by joining with the City of Fort Lauderdale and the L.A. Lee YMCA Family Center for Fort Lauderdale United Day!
Volunteers both young and old will kick off the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service by participating in a variety of volunteer projects to assist neighbors in need, beautify our City, promote interaction, foster engagement, build community and enhance quality of life.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the L.A. Lee YMCA Family Center, located at 408 NW 14th Terrace.  Volunteer projects begin at 9:00 a.m. Qualified homeowners associations can earn volunteer points which can be used toward future NCIP grants and students can earn community service hours.
For details or to volunteer, contact Jorg Hruschka, Chief Service Officer, at or 954-828-5568.

Sistrunk Parade & Festival set for Saturday, February 24 
Get ready for a high energy event showcasing our community's rich heritage, highlighting cultural diversity, promoting unity, and celebrating ethnicities.  The Sistrunk Parade and Festival returns to Fort Lauderdale's historic Sistrunk Boulevard on Saturday, February 24 featuring fun and excitement for the entire family!
The event kicks off bright and early at 7:00 a.m. with the 3rd Annual Chris Smith All-Star Classic Sistrunk 5K Run/Walk at Reverend Samuel Delevoe Memorial Park, located at 2520 Sistrunk Boulevard.  At 9:00 a.m., Sistrunk Boulevard comes alive with the pageantry and excitement of the Sistrunk Parade featuring decorative floats, marching bands, step teams, classic cars, drum lines, sororities, fraternities, business owners, community leaders and elected officials.
Following the parade, join us for the Sistrunk Festival, a community celebration of our rich cultural heritage and diversity.  The festival takes place from 10:30 am - 7:00 pm and features live bands and outstanding entertainment along Sistrunk Boulevard between NW 9 and NW 12 Streets. For more information visit  

Holiday Solid Waste Collection Schedule   

* Christmas 2017: No yard waste, recycling, trash or bulk pick-up collection services provided. No make-up day for residential cart services.
Make-up day scheduled for bulk pick-up on December 29.

* New Year's Day 2018: Regular collection schedule for all solid waste and recycling services.


State of the City Event Set for January 30
Join Mayor John P. "Jack" Seiler and the Fort Lauderdale City Commission for the State of the City Address, Advisory
Board Reception, and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the completion of the South Side Cultural Arts Center. The event will take place on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at South Side Cultural Arts Center, located at 701 S. Andrews Avenue.
The event will begin with a networking reception at 5:30 p.m. to thank Advisory Board and Committee members for their volunteer service to the City.  A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate the completion of the restoration of historic South Side School which has been transformed into the new South Side Cultural Arts Center. At 7:00 p.m. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler will deliver his final State of the City Address, which will review many of Fort Lauderdale's accomplishments and highlight opportunities that lie ahead.  To RSVP, please email
or call (954) 828-4741.
Sign Up for the Jan. 13 5K 4 Kids 

The Saint Anthony Knights of Columbus is hosting the 6th Annual 5K 4 Kids  on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018.  Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. and the race at 7:30 a.m.
More than 350 runners and walkers are expected to participate in the family-friendly race, which begins at the Saint Anthony Catholic Church and School at 901 NE 2nd Street in Fort Lauderdale and winds through Fort Lauderdale's historic Victoria Park neighborhood . The pre-registration fee for adults is $35 and $40 day-of; students ages 17 and under, pre-registration at $30 and $35 day-of. To sign up visit 
The 2018 5K 4 Kids Race Captain is 9-year-old, CDTC patient Ketsia Jean. Ketsia is an inspiration to all and has participated in the race for the past three years, not letting her prosthetic leg slow her down.
Funds raised from the 5K 4 Kids will benefit children with special needs from Children's Diagnostic & Treatment Center (CDTC) and provides scholarship opportunities for the Saint Anthony Foundation for Education (SAFE). The Saint Anthony Knights of Columbus began the 5K 4 Kids Race as a way to help support the needy children of Broward County.   Sponsors of the event include: Beehive Kitchen, Resolve Marine, Conrad & Scherer, Broward Health and Wells Fargo Advisors.
The Children's Diagnostic & Treatment Center (CDTC) is a not-for-profit that serves more than 12,000 clients with special healthcare needs in Broward County annually. As a facility of Broward Health, CDTC's mission is to promote the optimal health and well-being of children with special healthcare needs by providing comprehensive prevention, intervention and treatment services. CDTC was awarded Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and is a nationally recognized "Center of Excellence" offering a unique system of care for infants, children, youth and women with chronic illnesses, disabilities and developmental delays. For more information, visit

Photo caption: Ketsia Jean, Dr. Calderon-Randazzo and Brian Douglas
St. Patrick's Parade and Festival Returns on March 10
Get ready to paint the town green!  The Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick's Parade and Festival returns on Saturday, March 10. The fun begins at 7:30 am with the Shamrock 4-Mile Run down Las Olas Boulevard. The St. Patrick's Parade begins at noon and travels west along Las Olas Boulevard from S.E. 5th Avenue to Las Olas Riverfront featuring more than 100 floats, pipe and drum corps, classic automobiles, bagpipers, marching bands, Veterans groups, and more.  Following the parade, stick around for the best Irish celebration in town at the St. Patrick's Festival, which runs until 7:00 pm at Huizenga Plaza and along the Riverwalk.  Highlights will include live bands, Irish dancers, interactive entertainment, an expanded Kids Zone, cultural attractions, and plenty of Irish food and beverages. For details, visit