Thousands gathered on the streets of Coral Gables on January 2, to watch the best youth parade anywhere, the 61st Annual Junior Orange Bowl Parade. Festivities that night began with a preparade show sponsored once again by Miami Children’s Hospital and featuring The Our Lady of Lourdes Dancers.
Among the many enjoying the pre parade in the bleacher seating in front of Coral Gables City Hall were JOBC past presidents, politicians and sponsors; as well as the guests of the JOBC’s biggest ticket buyer, Lynn Bauer. Bauer, who used to throw big holiday parties for children, has opted the last few years to buy a section or two of the bleacher seating to support the JOBC and to entertain her guests. Lynn employed the services of Burger Bob’s Rita who prepared great dinner packages for all to enjoy while watching a parade.
The parade this year was dedicated to the memory of JOBC Past President Bob Self, who worked hard for decades ensuring a quality parade for our young people. He is certainly missed. In keeping with what Self strived for as a dedicated JOBC member, this year’s parade had something for everyone, showcasing much local talent as well as the participation of visiting bands including one huge marching band that came all the way from Minnesota.
On another nostalgic note, this year’s event included two cars from Carroll’s Jewelers, a parade staple for 61 years.
Sadly, Carroll’s is now going out of business and will be closing their doors in the near future. Of course, for those looking for special gifts, Steve Moorman is liquidating and offering some great buys, with plenty of time for Valentine’s Day.
While some businesses are closing, others are opening. In fact, a new restaurant, Smoke’t, featuring a southern kitchen menu, kicked off the New Year with its launch party on January 4. Smoke’t owners Chef Michael Altman, Brandon Lurie, and John Janette held a soft opening earlier that brought rave reviews. Preview guests enjoyed their exciting new menu, a taste of the South and tap, with everything from great barbecued ribs and pulled pork to creative appetizers and desserts that will delight any pallet. With big screen televisions all over the place, a beautiful bar, and lots of open spaces, this promises to be another “happening place” to enjoy good food, watch sports or congregate with friends. It is located on S. Dixie Highway across from the University of Miami, just south of Gables Waterway.
Finally, while many Florida schools had a disappointing bowl appearances, hats off to the University of Florida’s Gator football team for winning the Sugar Bowl in one of their best performances this season breaking all BCS records in the process.
What a way to send off the awesome senior class and welcome a new recruiting class of highly ranked players.
Until next week, keep making each day count.
Gloria Burns is Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Pinecrest, a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization, as well as a columnist for Community Newspapers. Keeping abreast of community activities is a challenge. If you would like to submit information for this column, send your news via email to < firstname.lastname@example.org >.