By Kelly Gregorio

After moving its annual culinary festival several times over the past 15 years, the American Lung Association believes it finally has found a home for the event in Delray Beach.

Delray Bash—a festive evening of food, wine, beer and music—comes to Old School Square Park tonight. The event, which runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m. and is sponsored in part by Delray Beach magazine, promises culinary samplings from upward of 30 restaurants in and around Delray Beach.

Since its launch, the event has been known by different names and hosted by several cities in Palm Beach County. It started as "Food is Art" at Café Protégé at the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach. For a brief stint, the event moved to the National Croquet Center, also in West Palm Beach. For the past three years, it has been known as the Food and Wine event held in Lake Worth at the Cultural Plaza.

“We’ve taken our old [restaurant] friends from Lake Worth and are partnering with new friends at Delray,” says Gail Kleinert, regional director for the Southeast division of the American Lung Association.

Delray Beach approached the American Lung Association because it felt that a culinary event such as this one would thrive in the city’s culturally rich and community-minded atmosphere. Kleinert says that some people may miss the intimacy of the event’s Lake Worth location, but she expects that they will “welcome the arm room” in Delray. The gated area of Old School Square Park has more than quadrupled the capacity for an event that has sold out the past three years.

In addition to the culinary offerings, attendees will not want to miss Schmitt Sohne’s wein garden (featuring German wines and wine samplings sponsored by Premier Beverage) or the beer pavilion (hosted by Brown Distributing and sponsored by McGladrey). Live music always has been a staple of the event, but for the first time a modern-day rock band—the acoustic group Box of Rocks—will take the stage.

“[The American Lung Association] is looking to create an evening where people can enjoy themselves, kick off their shoes and feel as if they are in their own backyard,” Kleinert says. “The new Delray location will hopefully widen our scope of attendees, and our music will reflect that.”

So why the Delray Bash?

While the American Lung Association does host an annual black-tie affair, it realizes that formal events are not for everyone. An evening affair like Delray Bash holds more widespread promise—important, Kleinert says, for an organization that wants as many local residents as possible to better understand its cause.

“People know of us, they know our intentions are good, but they do not often get to interact with us as an association,” Kleinert says. “Our ultimate goal is to not only provide everyone with an evening that is a great bang for their buck, but for them to feel as if they have become friends with the American Lung Association.

“Hopefully, we are in Delray to stay.”

 

The Delray Bash

Date: Saturday, Oct. 15 7:00-9:30pm

Where: Old School Square Park

What: Food, beer, wine, spirits, and music benefiting the American Lung Association

Tickets: $50 for sale online and at the event

Contact: www.thedelraybash.com or 561/659-7644

Additional Info:  Rain or shine; with beer and wine as the main beverages, this is an adult appropriate event.