If the Great American Beach Party on Memorial Day weekend feels more patriotic than usual this year, you can thank the sandy jamboree’s headliner, Lee Greenwood.
The Grammy-winning Greenwood’s thoroughly patriotic 1984 anthem “God Bless the U.S.A.” will offer a distinct brand of red-white-and-blue fervor Saturday, May 28, on Fort Lauderdale beach.
Greenwood (4:45-6 p.m.) will share a bill on the beach with Swahili Band (noon-1:20 p.m.), Pitbull of Blues (12:30-2:30 p.m.), Rogue Theory (3-5 p.m.), Shane Duncan (3-4 p.m.), Stall 4 (5:30-8 p.m.) and Pocket Change (6:45-8:30 p.m.).
Music will be paired with a wealth of family-oriented activities at the eighth annual beach bash, including a sand-castle contest hosted by sculptor John May (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) between Poinsettia and Cortez streets. Another jolt of patriotism will come from the SOCOM Para-Commandos, a volunteer team of U.S. armed forces members (2:30 p.m.), who will skydive from 12,500 feet over the Atlantic and parachute onto targets on the sand.
Other diversions include a classic car show with 70 customs, ragtops and hot rods, which will line both sides of A1A between Cortez and Castillo streets; life-size beach games; and an art exhibit featuring works from local artists. At 1:30 p.m., Fort Lauderdale officials will induct late business leader Robert Lochrie Jr., late philanthropist Evelyn Fortune Bartlett, late humanitarian Elliott Miley Hendricks and civic leader Beauregard Cummings into the city’s Walk of Fame.
During the Beach Party, A1A will be closed from Las Olas Boulevard north to Castillo Street, and motorists should expect heavy traffic south of the festival. Downtown parking ($5-$7) is plentiful at City Park Garage (150 SE Second St.), County Garage (151 SW Second St.) and One River Plaza (305 S. Andrews Ave.).
From there, beachgoers can hop a water shuttle (10 a.m.-11 p.m., $2-$5; departs every 15 minutes) at Briny Riverfront Pub (305 S. Andrews Ave.) or take the Sun Trolley at City Park Garage (9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., $1 each way, $3 for all-day pass). The Sun Trolley drops passengers off at Las Olas Marina.
The Great American Beach Party will take place 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26, on Fort Lauderdale Beach between A1A and Las Olas Boulevard. Admission is free. Call 954-828-5363 or go to FortLauderdale.gov.