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Weekend things to do (updated): Snarky Puppy, a Gwen Stefani tribute, Pickleball Slam 2, new burger in Boca Raton

Go Guide highlights include Eeeeeatscon in Miami, South Florida Garlic Fest, Fort Lauderdale Greek Fest, GroundUp Music Festival, concerts by Lucinda Williams and Grace Potter, and more.

Sunday only, Cheffrey Eats will bring back his popular chicken-parm meatball sub at Barrel of Monks Brewing Co. in Boca Raton. It comes with an interesting commentary on South Florida. (Cheffrey Eats / Courtesy)
Sunday only, Cheffrey Eats will bring back his popular chicken-parm meatball sub at Barrel of Monks Brewing Co. in Boca Raton. It comes with an interesting commentary on South Florida. (Cheffrey Eats / Courtesy)
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If you recently resolved to not be so focused on food in 2024 — this may not be your weekend. Seems like everywhere you turn there will be evidence of a conspiracy against your noble intentions.

There’s the must-try garlic ice cream at the South Florida Garlic Fest in Wellington, fresh-made loukoumades and baklava at the Fort Lauderdale Greek Festival, Texas barbecue and Brooklyn babka at Eeeeeatscon in Miami, giant beers and turkey legs at the Florida Renaissance Festival, and a new burger and an old-favorite sub from Guy Fieri’s buddy Cheffrey Eats in Boca Raton.

Personally, I’m just going to throw on a baggy sweatshirt and give in. This kind of Venn diagram of victuals only comes around once. I’m digging in.

FRIDAY

What in the world: Now in its fifth year of confounding every cliche created about South Florida’s cultural acumen, the GroundUp Music Festival returns with another lineup of singularly adventurous music flowing over three days at the Miami Beach Bandshell. Spawned by Brooklyn-based jazz-funk rebels Snarky Puppy, the 2024 edition of GroundUp will include performances by a cornucopia of smartly curated artists from around the globe. A partial list includes separate sets by Louis Cole and his electronic duo Knower, Tarriona “Tank” Ball, Bassekou Kouyate, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Etienne Charles & Creole Soul, Elena Ayodele Pinderhughes, Nate Wood and, of course, multiple sets from festival founder Michael League and Snarky Puppy. Hours are 6-11 p.m. Friday, 2-11 p.m. Saturday and 1-10 p.m. Sunday, with separate after-hours shows each night. Single-day passes are sold out on Friday, and cost $109+ for admission Saturday and Sunday. Three-day passes, which include Friday admission, start at $289+. Visit .

Tarriona "Tank" Ball, songwriter, author, poet and the frontwoman of two-time Grammy-nominated group Tank and The Bangas. (Pompano Beach Arts / Courtesy)
Tarriona “Tank” Ball of two-time Grammy-nominated group Tank and The Bangas, will perform at GroundUp Music Festival. (Pompano Beach Arts / Courtesy)

Talk tzatziki to me: The popular Fort Lauderdale Greek Festivalreturns this weekend at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, just east of downtown’s Holiday Park, with carnival rides, live music and dancing, shopping vendors and a wide array of Greek food, wine and beer. Hours are noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5, or free for kids age 11 and younger, military and public safety personnel. Visit .

Dark stars: Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier is sharing music from her latest album, “Dark Enough to See the Stars” (she calls it “, moreover, a record about what it means to love”) on a world tour stopping at the Abdo New River Room in Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Friday at 8 p.m. She’ll be joined by her partner, acclaimed Americana artist Jaimee Harris. Tickets start at $37+ at .

Jazz after dark: The Art After Dark series, from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, will feature a tour of the venue’s collection of works by African-American artists and a performance by The Delta Trio, featuring Grammy-nominated tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, a preview of his Sunday set at GroundUp Music Festival. Art After Dark admission is $10, seniors and students $5. Visit .

Weekend laughs: Veteran comedian and actor Tom Papa (“Analyze That,” “The Informant!”) performs at The Parker in Fort Lauderdale at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets start at $35+ at . … Character actor and comedian Harland Williams performs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at PBKC at Palm Beach Kennel Club. Tickets start at $30+ at . … Comedian, writer and actor Affion Crockett is at the Dania Improv in Dania Beach for performances Friday through Sunday. Tickets cost $25+ at .

SATURDAY

Clove encounters: This weekend brings the 25th anniversary of the “best stinkin’ party in South Florida,” also known as the South Florida Garlic Fest, a two-day extravaganza dedicated to the many uses of the pungent bulbs. The festival makes headlines for inventive food such as the Garlic Bomb Burger and Garlic Ice Cream, but it’s also a good source of live music. Saturday’s headliner is Wellington-born Nashville singer Ryan Montgomery (7:30-9 p.m.), topping a bill that also includes Bon Jovi tribute Shot Thru the Heart (1:30-3 p.m.), The Fabulous Fleetwoods (3:30-5 p.m.) and The Dave Matthews Tribute Band (5:30-7 p.m.). The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Village of Wellington Town Center. Tickets cost $15 (free for age 9 and younger) and are available at the gate or at .

Lucinda is back: Lucinda Williams is one of alt-country music’s most evocative writers, captured last year in the critically lauded album “Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart” and a memoir, “Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You,” each a piece of her comeback from a 2020 stroke. Williams and her band will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, where tickets start at $45.48+. Visit .

Old school alt-country singer Lucinda Williams will play The Plaza Live in Orlando on Saturday. Across town, rising star Kane Brown will take the stage at the Amway Center on the same night.
Adam Scott / TNS
Singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams will bring new inspiration to the Coral Springs Center for the Arts on Saturday. (Adam Scott / TNS)

It’s always foodie in South Florida: Following stops in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles in 2023, food-and-music freakout Eeeeeatscon will hit Miami’s Bayfront Park on Saturday (sold out) and Sunday with top South Florida restaurants weaved with buzzy brands from all over. If you haven’t already, this is your chance to try locals B-Side By Itamae, Walrus Rodeo, Tâm Tâm, Lil’ Laos and Off Site, as well as out-of-towners such as KG BBQ (Austin), GERTIE (Brooklyn), Rowdy Rooster (New York’s East Village) and Bang Bang Noodles (L.A.), to name a few. Not incidentally, there will be an appearance on Saturday by writer-actors Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), touting their Four Walls whiskey. Hosted by restaurant website The Infatuation, the weekend also will feature a diverse lineup of music, including Paperwater, Afrobeta, Bop Shop Brass, Miamibloco’s Bateria Saideira, DJ Spinelli, DJ Hiltronix and others. Eeeeeatscon takes place from noon to 6 p.m. each day. Tickets cost $30+ (does not include food and drinks) at .

‘Road’ trip: The under-appreciated Grace Potter has been a consistent sellout since she began a tour in support of new album “Mother Road” a couple of weeks ago. She’ll be at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday night, accompanied by rising country singer-songwriter Brittney Spencer. Tickets cost $52+. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Visit .

More tributes: The ELO tribute band Ticket to the Moon performs at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25+ at . … Aerosmith tribute Jaded will be joined by opening act Shake It Up, playing music of The Cars, on Saturday from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at Galuppi’s in Pompano Beach. Admission is free, but table RSVPs (recommended) start at $30. Visit . …Subliminal Doubt will do a set of No Doubt/Gwen Stefani music and, in their alternative guise Heart of Glass, a set of Blondie/Deborah Harry songs on Saturday from 8:30 to 11 p.m. at Crazy Uncle Mike’s in Boca Raton. General-admission tickets start at $15+ at .

Fire and ice: Miami City Ballet will bring its Winter Mix to the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach for performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday. Along with George Balanchine’s dazzling “Firebird,” the program will include world premiere works by up-and-coming, Miami-born choreographer Margarita Armas and Miami City Ballet School resident choreographer Durante Verzola. Tickets start at $40+ at .

Second to nun: Opening with Saturday performances at 1 and 7:30 p.m., the hit musical comedy “Sister Act,” presented by Slow Burn Theater Co., begins a run through Feb. 18 at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets start at $54+ at .

Wizards unite: The rustic costume party known as the Florida Renaissance Festival, now in its 32nd year, opens on Saturday, beginning eight consecutive themed weekends at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach through March 24. Tickets cost $32+ for adults, $14+ for age 6 to 11, and free for age 5 and younger. Opening weekend includes a special discount: Kids age 11 and younger get in free, as do Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Costumes are optional, of course, but the opening-weekend theme is “Cauldron of Chaos — The Rise of the Wizards.” The festival is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Parking is free, while VIP spaces cost $25. Visit .

SUNDAY

You cannot be serious: Pickleball Slam 2 somehow will feature four of the biggest stars of your tennis-watching youth — John McEnroe and Maria Sharapova teaming up against Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf — when it sets up at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $40+ at . For more information on the match, set to be broadcast live on ESPN, visit .

The Holy Mole is the new burger of the month from Cheffrey Eats at Barrel of Monks Brewing Co. in Boca Raton. (Cheffrey Eats / Courtesy)
The Holy Mole is the new burger of the month from Cheffrey Eats at Barrel of Monks Brewing Co. in Boca Raton. (Cheffrey Eats / Courtesy)

Weekend burger: This is one of those weekend’s at Barrel of Monks Brewing Co. in Boca Raton, where Cheffrey Eats does that thing that got him on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Flipping the calendar to February brings Cheffrey’s new burger of the month: The Holy Mole is an Angus beef patty sitting on a bed of guacamole and pickled red onions and topped by a broad plank of queso frito and a generous ladling of mole poblano ($18; side of fries $2). But that’s not all … On Sunday only, Cheffrey will bring back his popular meatball sub called Cock n’ Balls: Four breaded and fried chicken-parm meatballs on a hoagie roll, with marinara, Parmesan and fresh mozzarella ($18). Interesting commentary on South Florida, from Cheffrey: “The name used to be more PG, but it didn’t sell until I changed the name.” Visit .

Love of country: Outdoor riverfront lounge The Wharf Fort Lauderdale will continue its western-themed Saddle Up Sundays party this weekend, this one offering a chance to win tickets to Tortuga Music Festival 2024, coming up April 5 to 7 at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park (headliners Lainey Wilson, Hardy and Jason Aldean). Other attractions on Sunday: a mechanical bull, line dancing, $35 Ranch Water pitchers and a free PBR when you buy a shot of Fireball. Visit .

Staff writer Ben Crandell can be reached atbcrandell@sunsentinel.com. Follow onԻ.

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