By Denny Patterson
Thousands of people made their way downtown to Sebastian Beach on Fort Lauderdale Beach July 6 for the fifth annual FlockFest.
FlockFest Events is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating events that are fun and benefit the local community’s charitable organizations.
“It is basically a day of celebrating South Florida’s sun, sand, and surf while raising money for charity,” founder Steven Crawford says. “FlockFest started five years ago with a group of friends. It just seemed like something fun to do. There were about 30 people at the first FlockFest, and by the third year, people started approaching me with the idea of turning it into a charity event. FlockFest 4 was the first charity event, and we partnered with the Renand Foundation to raise money to fund the event.”
Crawford estimated around 3,000 people to be in attendance, and they experienced all that Fort Lauderdale Beach has to offer, and then some.
“This is a free event, and we provide a cash bar, food, and DJs for the general attendee,” he says. “For our VIPs, well, they get food and drinks provided as well as some FlockFest beach gear like sunglasses, an event tank top, and a few other gifts. Oh, and let’s not forget a giant flamingo float!”
Proceeds went to the Renand Foundation, Julian’s Fountain of Youth, and United Dog Rescue.
“FlockFest is a fun way to hang out with your friends and help raise money for charity at the same time,” Crawford says. “We provide people with a way of giving that seems more like a day at the beach.”
Although Flockfest has several perks, like any event, there are some challenges.
“The biggest challenge was making sure we all respect the beach and the turtles that nest there,” Crawford says. “And getting all the floats blown up on the beach is no easy task either.
Luckily there are more than enough volunteers to help us make this happen. I am always surprised at how many people offer to volunteer instead of partying with their friends on the beach. I am indebted to them all.”
Miami resident Marcus Christi and his husband Jakob decided to check out FlockFest after hearing about it from some friends.
“Jakob and I are always in Fort Lauderdale,” Christi says. “When we heard about FlockFest, we were like sure, let’s go. I am so glad we did. This was such a fun event, and the fact that proceeds benefit local non-profits makes it even better. We will for sure be attending next year’s event.”
In the past, FlockFest has been held either at the end of June or beginning of July, but Crawford is undecided if it will always be in conjunction around the Fourth of July weekend. However, his goal for next year is simple. He will continue to make FlockFest bigger and better.