After a few years practicing in cities around the country, and a couple of last-minute test runs in St. Petersburg in November and in Orlando at Christmastime, the Tap ‘N’ Run is ready for the fit and fashionable athletes of Fort Liquordale.
The combination running event, beer-chugging contest and costume competition, which really should have been invented here, will have its first race in downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Jessica Thiem, a spokeswoman for Louisville-based race coordinator JAM Active, says response has been strong, with nearly 1,000 entrants signed up by the middle of this week. Thiem, who monitors social media for the Tap ‘N’ Run, says locals seem to be training hard for the race.
“A lot of it in bars,” says a laughing Thiem, a 20-something Louisville grad who claims to have never heard the term “Fort Liquordale.”
The Tap ‘N’ Run is a 4K through the Himmarshee District, a distance organizers hope will feel more friendly to the social "runner," she says. There’s also the costume to slow you down (pictured are ladies in nice party dresses, but pretty much anything goes, Thiem warns) and, of course, the beer, a selection of Shipyard products served in 4-ounce cups at the starting line and at two “chug stations” along the way. You’ll be greeted by a 12-ouncer at the finish line, which happens to be steps away from America’s Backyard, scene of the afterparty.
There are finisher’s medals — a bottle opener, of course — and serious runners can get a timing chip, with prizes handed out for first-, second- and third-place in various demographics. But more important are the awards for, among other things, best costume, best team name, best mustache, best belch, hottest mess and shortest shorts.
“In Atlanta recently, a girl won. But every other race, a guy has won shortest shorts,” Thiem says.
So you have that to look forward to.
Tap ‘N’ Run registration costs $52, with proceeds going to the Little Warrior Project’s efforts to help children of South Florida military. You can still sign up online until midnight Thursday, from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at Runners Depot (1489-1E SE 17th St. Causeway, Fort Lauderdale) and 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at America’s Backyard (100 SW Third Ave.). Info: TapNRun.com.
MORE BEER, NO RUNNING
Unlike your New York Football Giants, Belgium’s Palm Amber Beer will be back on Super Bowl weekend to defend its Whole Foods’ Beer-Off title in Coral Springs. The store is looking for 50 fans (of beer) to act as judges for the sixth annual taste competition that will pit eight beers against each other at 2 p.m. Feb. 2. To be a judge, applicants (21 and older) should register at customer service at the store, 810 University Drive. Judges will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. Along with Palm Amber, the competition includes: Samuel Adams Imperial White, Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier, Hofbrau, Boddingtons Pub Ale, Murphy’s Stout, Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale, and Innis & Gunn Rum Cask. Info: 954-753-8000.
CRY ME A WHISKEY RIVER
How often do you get to check off two performers from your bucket list in one night, at one venue, even? Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard will perform Feb. 7 at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood. Tickets, on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, cost $104, $84, $64 and $49 at MyHRL.com, Ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000. More info: HardRockLiveHollywoodFL.com, 954-797-5531.
We are just far enough removed from the election season to provide a little rational reflection, but close enough that the wounds are still being dressed. A perfect time for Whoopi Goldberg to offer her view on how we’re doing. Catch her at 8 p.m. Friday at the Kravis Center (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach). Tickets: $25-$143.25. Info: Kravis.org, 561-832-7469.
HELP WANTED: LORDS, LADIES, OGRES
You and that underappreciated and misunderstood talent of yours may finally have a home. Casting calls for the Florida Renaissance Festivals in Deerfield Beach and Miami will be held 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday at Studio 1, 800 NW 57th Place, in Fort Lauderdale. You’ll need to prepare a one-minute comic monologue and an up-tempo Broadway song to sing a cappella. The Deerfield festival is Feb. 9-March 17, and the Miami festival is March 30-April 14. To reserve an audition spot, email jl@BobbyRodriguezProductions.com or call 954-776-1642. Festival info: Ren-Fest.com.
GREAT LINEUP, GREAT CAUSE
Hollywood Healing Haiti is a free live-music fundraiser at the ArtsPark in Hollywood’s Young Circle at 1 p.m. Sunday that features the sweat-inducing Latin mashups of Locos por Juana, funk-n-hip-hop from ArtOfficial and Hollywood garage-rock heroes the 33 1/3s. The event includes food, raffles and kids’ events, and will raise money for the Project Papillon orphanage and youth center in Port au Prince. The concerts are sponsored by the city and two nonprofits: Hollywood CARES for Haiti, a partnership between Temple Beth El and First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, and Love Hope Prosper, founded by Miami-Dade County firefighter Gerald Little and wife Kelly. Info: HollywoodCares.net.
JACK IS ALMOST BACK
Jack Mancini says his new place in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Mancini, is a couple of weeks away from serving its “modern Italian” fare at 401 E. Las Olas, on the west side of the Bank of America building. If you’re looking for a place a few doors off the din of Las Olas, this refreshed version of the spot he ran with some success up the street may be your spot. Sweet-looking outdoor bar area, too. Info: email@example.com.
BUS LOOP REMINDER
Get your ticket by the end of Saturday for the Jan. 19 edition of the Fort Lauderdale Bus Loop and it's $20. After that it’ll be $30 advance, $35 at check-in. Proceeds benefit Covenant House Florida, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Jessica June Childrens Cancer Foundation, Jack & Jill Childrens Center, Riverwalk Trust, and the Broward County Gator Club Scholarship Fund. Info: BusLoop.org.
As you know from your reading, the Darkness performs at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, a night of preening British glam rock that comes with an unsubtle wink at the excesses of the genre. If only they could stick around until Friday night for the glam-rock dance party at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood. The evening is, in part, a farewell event for "Lummox,” the extraordinary send-up of glittery ’70s rock ridiculousness by Millree Hughes and Peter Boyd McLean, who share a "Spinal Tap" vibe with the Darkness. If you think you can’t dance to that kind of thing, DJ Yard will turn it up to 11. And the donation bar will help. The 7-10 p.m. party also celebrates the exhibits “The Seven Seas” by Elisabeth Condon, “Love on an Escalator” by Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares (see mesmerizing video below), and “Obstruction” by Rosemarie Chiarlone and Susan Weiner, all closing on Sunday. Admission: $10, members free. The ACCH is at 1650 Harrison St. Info: ArtandCultureCenter.org, 954- 921-3274.
This is your last weekend to feed your inner nerd with “The Art of Video Games,” up at the Boca Raton Museum of Art (501 Plaza Real in Mizner Park) through Sunday. The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s touring exhibition makes an argument for a more-serious appreciation for the visual creativity at work in Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers and Myst, but more importantly includes 80 games with playable consoles. Admission: $4-$8, 12 and younger free. Info: 561-392-2500, BocaMuseum.org.
YOU DOWN WITH JJB?
The Jacob Jeffries Band, the spawn of Plantation and Davie, but now operating out of New York, does a free 7 p.m. Friday performance (with Allen Stone) on the DWNTWN Miami Concert Series at Bayfront Park. The fifth season of the series includes a farmer's market, arts and craft vendors and the Heineken Beer Garden. Info: DwntwnConcerts.com.
NIGHT IN WHITE'S ASSASSIN
Best-selling Fort Lauderdale mystery writer and host of History Channel's "Decoded," Brad Meltzer will read and sign copies of his new Beecher White novel, “The Fifth Assassin” (Grand Central Publishing, $27.99), at 8 p.m. Friday at Books and Books (265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables). Info: BooksandBooks.com, 305-442-4408.
MUSIC OF YOUR SOUL
The Gregorian chant, with its surging echoes of medieval monastary ritual, continues to connect with the soul of the contemporary listener, whether in a religious setting or something less so, like the current Madonna tour. South Florida’s Grammy-nominated Seraphic Fire will tap into that spirit with “Gregorian Chant: Ave Maria,” performed Wednesday at St. Jude Melkite Church in Miami, Thursday at St. Gregory's Episcopal Church in Boca Raton, Jan. 18 at First United Methodist Church in Coral Gables, Jan. 19 at All Saints Episcopal Church in Fort Lauderdale and Jan. 20 at Miami Beach Community Church. Tickets, which go fast, are $35-$50. Info: SeraphicFire.org, 888-544-3473.
Photo: Courtesy JAM Active