Backyard Bash Welcomes FAT Village Residents to the Neighborhood

Categories: News, Nightlife
Photo by Mickie Centrone
Simply Puppets' David Goboff shows how puppetry can bite -- and still be worthwhile
New Times Broward-Palm Beach Calendar Editor Mickie Centrone has the enviable job of knowing about every event that happens within the boundaries of the two counties, and then some. When she attends some of the finest events from a given week, we'll post the details of her travels here. On Thursday, she attended FAT Village's Backyard Bash in Fort Lauderdale.

On the short walk over to the FAT (Flagler Arts & Technology) Village Backyard Bash at Peter Feldman Park from our office, two coworkers and I mused if New Times would be part of this new, hip area of town called Flagler Village, the 151 acres just north of downtown Fort Lauderdale. And there we are: as "#26" near the bottom of the map posted at the event's passport station.

"You can find me at the beer tent," says Chris Bellus, a trucker-capped New Times photographer, who was off duty this evening. Maguire's 16 Hill, the local neighborhood Irish bar, had set up a station across the way, so we take his lead and cross through the park, which sits on NE Sixth Street and Third Avenue. There is a good-sized crowd, a mix of lawyer/business and creative types.

We pass the stage, where Twilight Notes DJ Adam Foster spins, but I stop a little short, because a puppet tent catches my eye. A puppeteer, David Goboff of Simply Puppets, has two puppets going. The seats are empty, but I sit down anyways.

Goboff comes around to the front and does a can-can dance to draw a crowd. After a few fervent leg kicks into the air, he asks where my friends are at. I respond, "Getting drinks."

"Bring your beer!" Dave yells. "Beer makes every puppet show better." And this works: A few folks saunter over, beer in hand. "I think every beer needs a puppet show," Bellus says, as he sits down next to me.

For the puppet show, Dave requests an adult volunteer. I stand up. After a few quick glances around the stand, I notice there's no script. This puppet show's going to be impromptu. Not good. "You've never heard of Little Red Riding Hood?" Dave asks. Not enough. After the audience chanted "Eat her up" a few times, the hunter saves the day, granny and Hood live, and I head straight to get a Jack and Coke.

Photo by Mickie Centrone
FAT Village revelry at the Backyard Bash
The next tent is for the condominium Alexan Solmar (408 NE 6th Street). The staff sport T-shirts that read "FUN SEXY NOW," and I learn Solmar has a 24-hour fitness center with three personal trainers. We also hit up some artists from the FAT Village Arts District and local non-profits, such as Emerge Broward.

Soon, the Harry Belafonte/Beetlejuice gem "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" fills the air. On the stage, which is set up far away from the tents, the three-piece reggae band Steel and Ivory also cover Marley's "Jammin." A few songs later, the steel drums which had sat untouched are kicked into full gear.

In the middle of the park, three muscle men in red T-shirts stand next to an obstacle course. Erik, Julian, and David work at Fit4Life. The obstacle course is made of orange cones and small, yellow hurtles. The time to beat is 12.05 seconds. And it was set by a 51-year-old woman.

Photo by Mickie Centrone
Being treated like a doormat doesn't have to be so bad
We do a walk through. Zigzag through cones, jump over hurtles, then more cones, then more hurtles. Can't be that hard. I put down my Jack and Coke and run it. Julian is impressed by my time of 10.78 seconds. My prize? Four "Boot Camp Sessions" at Peter Feldman Park. They're at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays.

On the way out, we notice the welcome mat tent and stop. Four kids are spray-painting grey and black mats with hot pink and light blue letters, boldly declaring "Flagler Village." The white sheet behind them reads "Welcome to the Neighborhood."

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