Ultimate 2011 Moonfest Survival Guide

Ultimate 2011 Moonfest Survival Guide

MoonFest is the craziest Halloween Party in South Florida. Last year 70,000 people descended onto Clematis St. and all by all accounts it will be as big or bigger this coming Saturday.
What to Expect from MoonFest
MoonFest is a Halloween costume party. The party is focused on the stage and live music on the 500 block of Clematis, however each establishment on Clematis will bring something to the party.
Some parts of Clematis St., specifically the 300 and 200 blocks, will be filled wall to wall with people. With all the costumes and music it can take 45 minutes to walk the five blocks of Clematis Street. If you don’t like crowds, and lots of loud music, it is very likely that you won’t enjoy MoonFest.
Traveling east, we have Respectables and The Lounge on the 500 block. Last year there were amusement park style rides on Quadrille and a DJ party on the 400 block. The 300 block will have parties at Roxy’s Pub and Off the Hookah. On the 200 block we’ll have Dr. FeelgoodsRoccos Tacos and Monarchy. These parties will be packed so if you plan on going, make sure you get in early. To the east Bradley’s and Gratify bring the party to the waterfront. Seeing that this is a big event the Don Lounge and Mystique may be open.
There will be drinks and food sold on the street. Again, get your food early – last year almost every restaurant ran out of food and had to shut down early.
MoonFest is not a child friendly event and as the night moves on the party gets progressively more crazy. Get a sitter for the evening.
The party goes until 2am, at which point the streets will be cleared so don’t expect to be out after that.Click here to view all my pictures of Moonfest over the last few years.
Getting in and out of MoonFest
There is no parking anywhere near downtown, so if at all possible, don’t bring your car. If you bring your car and arrive after 10pm, do not under any circumstances drive it east of Quadrille or north of Fern and expect to find parking.
The Kravis Center will be playing “Mamma Mia” starting at 8pm. This will cause extra congestion around Cityplace and down Okeechobee when it is letting out. If you’re leaving downtown between 10:30 and 12pm, it may be quicker to drive south on S Dixie Hwy to Belvedere or Southern Blvd and get onto I95 from there.
Enjoying MoonFest
With 70,000 people downtown, the absolute BEST way to enjoy MoonFest is to find a “base camp” away from Clematis St.
If you have a friend who lives in a condo downtown such as 610 Clematis, The Strand, The Whitney, City Palms, etc. invite yourself to their party and then plan to venture into Clematis every few hours to enjoy the party without having to get a drink or the urgency of having to find a restroom to empty your bladder.
If you have a boat, get in early and dock on the waterfront (and then call me so I can hang with you)!
Get R.I.P (VIP) MoonFest Tickets! For $50 (in advance) or $60 at the door you can have access to the VIP area on the 500 block. This includes a free buffet until midnight, open bar, and most attractively, bathrooms. The tickets are well worth the price.
The Music
The band to watch is our very own Dharmata. if you haven’t heard them before they are a Reggae/Rock mix with enough energy to get any party started. They will be performing inside Respectables at 8:30pm.
Also playing are: Million Young, Under every green tree, BROBRAH Nation, Sweet Chariots, Darling Sweets, Luna Rex, Hard Richards, Band in Heaven.
Over the last 17 years that MoonFest has been running it has generally been peaceful. Unfortunately, last year the event was marred by a couple stabbings and several other incidents in which the police and emergency vehicles were involved. These occurred around 2am and were centered around the 200 block of Clematis St. and the alleys behind the 200 block.
This year the organizers have taken steps to enlarge the party area, blocking off more streets and increasing the police presence.
  • A lot of the crowds are in the 300 and 200 blocks. The 500 block has the best music, the VIP area and fewer party animals. Focus your MoonFest experience here.
  • Don’t bring your own alcohol downtown.
  • Like any party there are rowdy elements, make sure you’re hanging with the right crowd
  • Unless you’re hardcore party animal stay away from the clubs. The long lines mixed with the crowds outside are a trouble spot
  • Get out early
  • And obviously pick a designated driver
Have a GREAT time at Moonfest, and PLEASE STAY SAFE!!!

Clematis Street Update – Green Market Opens!

This is a reprint of my newsletter which comes out each Friday Morning. To get this information BEFORE the weekend please click here and subscribe to my newsletter.

I hope you had a fantastic week, and are fully enjoying the cooling weather!

This week was very special to me personally as aGalatCityplace (aka Ceci Dadisman) and I were featured in the Monday Accent section of the Palm Beach Post. Leslie Streeter did an incredible job on the article & I’m still psyched about it! If you haven’t read it, click here and read the full article.

In other Clematis news, CBS12 did an interesting piece on the new places which are opening on Clematis St. The businesses which were mentioned include: Wine Dive, Grimaldi’s, Five Guys, FuKu, and the yet-to-be-named Sushi place which is opening up in the Mambo’s space.

Last month we met at Grease and had a great time! Big thanks for everyone’s generosity. For our October meetup we will be at Roxy’s Pub. For a $20 donation, you will get 1 drink, buffet dinner and a raffle ticket where you can win one of the following great prizes.
  • Segway Tours from PB Segway
  • Döner Kebabs from Döner Pocket
  • Opera Tickets from Palm Beach Opera
  • Tickets for Seraphic Fire’s performance of “Serenade for Strings” by  Tchaikovsky
  • Camelbak bottle from Step-by-Step blog from Palm Beach Post
We will also have a Silent Auction that will feature:

Please grab your friends and prepare to have a great time!

Also on the Schedule for this week: 
10/15 – THE GREEN MARKET is coming back to the Waterfront on Saturday! This is going to be a fantastic event! I’ll probably see you there.
10/16 – SUNDAY AT THE WATERFRONT will feature the U2 Tribute band  UV and will be performing at the Meyer Amphitheatre.
10/18 – ONE NIGHT STAND the only open mic night in downtown West Palm Beach has moved to Roxys Pub.
10/18 – Police Athletic League Fundraiser at BBKings – Live Entertainment, Food & 2 drinks for a donation of $25 in advance or $30 at the door.
10/20 – TEAM CLEMATIS Light the Night fundraiser – $20 at the door gets you Food + Drink + Raffle tickets. Money raised goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. RSVP HERE.

That’s all for this week!

PS: Don’t forget to “Like” my facebook page, as well as get all your friends to join this mailing list

Top 5-Finnish Bands

Band 1: Kingson Wall – Way ahead of their time – cut short too soon – left 3 epic albums!


Band 2: Leningrad Cowboys – quite possibly the greatest band ever.


Band 3: Nightwish – Such an epic sound!!! Not the same without Tarja


Band 4:  Lordi – Because Monster Metal + Cheerleaders is made of WIN! 


Band 5: Porkka Playboys – Because now you can say you’ve seen Ace of Spades performed in a Sauna


 Honorable Mention: The Rasmus – Most Finnish bands are successful at flying under the radar some are not


Finnish Bands Honorable Mention: Apocolyptico – Making Cellos awesome since 1993


Disclaimer 1: This is probably the most random blog entry you’ll ever see on this blog, I’m sorry (OK not really)

Disclaimer 2: These bands were chosen because 1 they are in English and 2 they are somewhat mainstream (OK maybe not all of them) there are a LOT of great Finnish bands

Döner Pocket (German Fast Food) coming to Clematis St.

Döner Pocket (German Fast Food) coming to Clematis St.

I LOVE Döner Kebabs & was very excited earlier this week when I saw the signage go up in the old location of the Arepa place at 330 Clematis St.

Here is a youtube clip and the story behind Döner Pocket! I can’t wait!

German Fast Food Comes to West Palm Beach

The most popular fast food in Germany is now in West Palm Beach. Look for Doner Pocket at 330 Clematis Street food court opening now.

Four hundred tons of this meat is sold each day in Germany from 15,500 stores. More popular than the Bratwurst, more popular than the German Sausage, and more popular than burgers and fries, number one in Germany is the doener kabab.

This lean, specially spiced meat comes in chicken, beef and veal. It’s roasted on a vertical rotisserie with a constant heat source in the rear. All served on a unique fresh baked bread shell with fresh veggies of your choice, and a selection of secret recipe sauces.

Start your Doner Pocket habit, immediately. What an awesome meal. Nothing tastes like Doner Pocket.

For information, please contact, William Roger Cummings at 561.252.6123 or wroger@bellsouth.net.

What is aGuyonClematis?

I’ve been living and working on Clematis Street for the last six years. As many of you will no doubt remember, in 2005 Clematis was a very different street than Clematis today. The 400 block was empty, the library was still on the waterfront, now popular restaurants such as Rocco’s Tacos, Roxy’s, Don Ramons and Grease had yet to open. Instead of Roxy’s Rooftop, Off the Hookah and Dr. Feelgoods, the popular clubs were Bonds, Flow, Underground and Ray’s Downtown Blues. Clematis Street had a very different feel.

It isn’t only Clematis Street that has changed. The waterfront was still undeveloped, there were no docks, a storm-damaged condo still loomed above 1515 S. Flagler Drive, and Southern Boulevard was in the middle of a complete overhaul. One City Plaza had just been completed, and work had just started on Two City Plaza. The condos City Palm, The Whitney and Cityplace Towers were in the middle of construction.

Living in downtown West Palm Beach, I felt the unique “personality” that the city had and, as a long-time blogger and amateur photographer, I decided to start taking pictures to chronicle the changes in West Palm Beach. I created a blog to post these pictures, and slowly this turned into aGuyonClematis.

Using Twitter to communicate with others in West Palm Beach

Being interested in new technologies, I decided to try twitter which was at the time just gaining popularity. Twitter is a website which allows you to publish short messages “tweets” from your cellphone or computer.

I found several people using Twitter in West Palm Beach and started posting links to my pictures along with short updates on what was happening on Clematis Street.

As Twitter grew in popularity, so did the number of local people with whom I communicated. As of today I have over 1900 local Twitter followers and am ranked by WeFollow.com as the most influential twitter user in West Palm Beach (http://wefollow.com/city/west_palm_beach_fl).

Tweetups and the downtown Community

As I continued posting pictures and using twitter to communicate about downtown events and happenings, I found that people wanted to have a chance to meet up face-to-face. Businesses I spoke with were also interested in sponsoring local events and use the community to bring attention to their small local business.

With this need in mind we started our “Clematis Tweetup” series of events. Our tweetups are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month in one of our fantastic local venues. The locations for our Tweetups go from Relish in Northwood Village through Clematis Street and Cityplace, all the way to Darbsters in the South End of West Palm Beach.

Usually anywhere from 25 to 50 people attend each tweetup and we have collaborated with the Palm Beach Opera, Palm Beach Post, Sunfest, the West Palm Beach CRA as well as many local businesses to put together these events.

This month we will celebrate our 18th consecutive monthly tweetup.

Winning Sun Sentinel’s award for Most Popular South Florida Blog

In the beginning of 2011 I was honored by winning a contest hosted by Sun Sentinel for the best blog in South Florida. This was a huge surprise to me, as the contestants included many very popular blogs from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. While I’m very proud of this award for my blog, I believe it also speaks to the value and popularity of our downtown areas and the community that exists here in West Palm Beach.

This year, Ceci Dadisman launched aGalatCityplace.com which is a “sister-blog” and uses the same style of photo-blogging that I use to focus on businesses and events in Cityplace. I am currently working on getting a similar blog set up for the Dixie corridor, and am interested in working with other passionate individuals who want to use this model in other local areas.

The future of aGuyonClematis

One of the things that I have learned from my experience as aGuyonClematis, is that when you have the right tools, a little bit of effort can go a long way. I have spoken with many small local businesses and they have repeatedly told me that their biggest problem is getting the word out about their business and events.

While I will continue to use aGuyonClematis to bring attention to our downtown areas, I would also like to use what I have learned to teach small business how they can grow their business using some of the same tools that I have used. I have joined up with several like-minded individuals to start “Digital Palm Beach” a group which will be supporting the local digital community through providing events and training sessions for both individuals and businesses. Information at http://digitalpalmbeach.org

I truely believe that each person makes a difference. The more people we have talking about our beautiful city, the more people will be attracted to it, and as the old adage goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me via email at awormus@gmail.com or twitter at @aguyonclematis.

Thank you!
Aaron “aGuyonClematis” Wormus

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