This year’s Junior Orange Bowl Parade a time to look back

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.

Among her many guests were Hank Langston, who actually chaired the very first JOBC night time 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 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 < galburns@aol.com >.

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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 gloria@communitynewspapers.com

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