Numerous events, parties help kick off new year

The new year began with numerous exciting outdoor events. Many started the year with home parties, including Richard and Luba DeWitt who hosted Gables Rotary Club’s Annual Moose Milk Party on Jan 1.

For those unfamiliar with Moose Milk, suffice to know that this concoction of vanilla ice cream and gin is not for everyone including this writer. Of course, with guests bringing their favorite dishes, food was yummy and plentiful.

On Jan. 2, thousands gathered on the streets of Coral Gables to watch the 61st annual Junior Orange Bowl Parade.

Festivities that night began with a preparade show, once again sponsored by Miami Children’s Hospital, featuring the Our Lady of Lourdes Dancers.

Among the many enjoying the preparade in the bleacher seating in front of 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 past few years to buy a section or two of the bleacher seating to support the JOBC and to entertain her guests.

Employing the services of Burger Bob’s Rita, guests enjoyed crescent sandwiches and goodies while watching the parade. Among Lynn’s guests was Hank Langston, who chaired the very first JOBC nighttime parade many years ago, and her new fiancé, UM professor Hal Wanless.

The parade this year was dedicated to the memory of JOBC past president Bob Self, who worked for decades ensuring a quality parade for our young people. He certainly is 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 going out of business and will be closing its doors this month. On a positive note, a new Gables restaurant, Smoke’t, has opened featuring a Southern kitchen menu. It kicked off the new year with a launch party on Jan. 4.

Restaurant owners Chef Michael Altman, Brandon Lurie and John Janette received rave reviews from guests at the soft opening as the crowd enjoyed exciting menu selections that included everything from great Kansas City baby back spare ribs, Texas style beef brisket, country fried steak, pulled pork, to creative appetizers such as Smoke’t-Red-Neck Rolls and desserts that are sure to 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 (US1) across from the University of Miami, just south of Gables Waterway.

Finally, weather hampered an otherwise great Beaux Art Festival at the University of Miami campus on Jan. 9 and 10. Rain, wind and cold weather forced almost all the artists to close up shop early on Saturday but, despite the cold, Sunday turned into a beautiful day. Gables Rotarians were there for the fist time selling Bruce Kerestes’ amazing chicken wings while braving weather both days to raise money for their charitable fund. Until next time, keep making each day count.

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About the Author

Gloria Burns
A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Spanish, Burns has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and reciprocal trade, travel as well as non profit consulting and management. Burns' volunteer activities led her to become a columnist writing Gloria’s Gab, a column that focuses on the non-profit activity. Burns was Executive Director of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee for 6 years and then served as the first Executive Director of Coral Gables Community Foundation for 14 years after which she helped the emerging Community Foundation of Pinecrest. Active in many non profits, she received the 2015-16 President's Best Member Award from the GFWC Coral Gables Woman's Club, 2012-13 CGWC Leadership Award, 2012-2013 Rotarian of the Year Award as RCCG Public Relations Chair and Fund raising Co-Chair, 2011 Florida Federation of Women’s Club Volunteer of the Year for the District 11 and honored by the City of Doral as one of their first recipients for the Doralian Women's Award. Among her list of current responsibilities, Burns co-chairs two annual student recognition breakfasts for the Coral Gables Friends of Education; helps coordinate charity partners for the Westin Colonnade's Annual Give Kids the World Breakfast; serves on the board of directors of Doral Business Council; is Parliamentarian and serves on the board of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club; serves the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables and is Publicity Chair; and is a member of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee. Gloria is also an active member of the Music Ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church where sings sings in the choir. She can be reached at

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