The sounds of clinking glasses, laughter and music filled Optimist Park during the 5th Annual Miami Lakes Food and Wine Festival.
Event co-founder Lynn Matos was at a loss for words the night of Feb. 4, when clouds threatened to drench the charity event that attracts 1,000 neighbors.
Those ticket buyers fund the Miami Lakes Town Foundation and its community-oriented causes.
In 2022, 19 grants totaling $50,000 benefitted about 4,500 students in local educational and beautification projects, the foundation said.
“I’m so humbled by the outpouring of support from the community,” Matos said. “The gratitude, it defies words.”
Matos and Anacapri Pinecrest owner Giuseppe Zuozo launched the annual party that, for one night in the park, promotes a selection of local dishes and fine wines.
Tickets sell out quickly for what is arguably the town’s most popular event.
Those who miss out search for spare tickets on Facebook for a chance to attend the festival.
“[It’s] supporting acts of kindness and small businesses,” Matos said. “It’s everything that Miami Lakes stands for.”
Those small businesses included 26 restaurants and caterers who offered small plates and vintners who filled souvenir logo wine glasses.
“This why all of you are here, to support this community,” WTVJ-NBC 6 anchor Roxanne Vargas told the crowd. A lifelong Miami Laker, she encouraged the partiers from the stage.
Becky and Larry Brossett of Miami Lakes haven’t missed a festival, and she said it was “the perfect opportunity” to support a charity and for old friends to get together.
2023 sponsors included Amerant Bank; water n fire recovery LLC; Andy’s Range & Training Center; The Miami Lakes Bar Association; Light F/X Pros and Re/Max Unique Realty.
Also, Sierra Commercial Construction; Gastesi & Associates; SB Signs & Banners; Future Force Personnel Services; The Graham Companies; Specialty Smiles Orthodontics; Layer 8 Solutions; South Florida Laundry Solutions; JetStream Federal Credit Union; Headquarter Toyota; Uber and Maverick Marketing.