Palm Beach Daily News/The Shiny Sheet: “Royal Poinciana Plaza kicks of summer series”
Fresh off successes with an outdoor events series during the season, Royal Poinciana Plaza is ready to start a full slate of summer programs aimed at keeping up the traffic flow during the warm weather months.
The two-hour events, which kicked off last week, will run Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through September in the plaza’s courtyard, assuming the weather cooperates. If not, indoor locations will be used.
Some of the highlights include Music in the Courtyard, featuring a string trio from the Palm Beach Symphony, a visit from zoo animals for children and painting classes taught by local artists.
The Palm Beach Zoo program will be part of the Wee Royal Hour that will eature offerings by Ballet Florida and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.
“We wanted to find ways to partner with the community and offer Palm Beach ways to enjoy the plaza,” said Alexandra Patterson, development manager and interim general manager. “So, we didn’t want to let up on the programming in the summer. We wanted to keep bringing the community together even if it’s a slightly different demographic.”
There also will be a yoga series and a summer wellness series. Sundays will feature a program called Backgammon & Bubbles, which features “custom backgammon boards” and champagne from plaza shops.
Musicians from the Palm Beach Symphony will perform July 5, Aug. 2, Aug. 30 and Sept. 27.
“We’ll have a string trio, but we haven’t worked out the specific pieces of music,” said symphony spokeswoman Lisa Bruna. “They will all be chamber music performances. Sometimes they might be a quartet or a quintet.”
The trio – a violin, viola and cello – will provide musical background as attendees mix and mingle, nibble on foods and enjoy a drink.
The Science Center will put on programs for kids on July 10, Aug. 7 and Sept. 4. The kickoff event will be called Nitro Mania, said Kate Arrizza, the center’s chief executive officer.
“The kids are going to be making their own liquid nitrogen ice cream,” she said. “The cool thing about it is that using liquid nitrogen you get to see the physical changes and property changes, and you learn about the states of matter. And then, of course, it culminates in the making of ice cream.”
Kids will make their own soap at the August event and in September they’ll learn about insects.
“We actually bring out live insects,” said Arrizza. “We’ve taken this model and have done it at a few locations, including Harbourside up in Jupiter. It’s been really successful.”
Zoo animals will be brought to the plaza courtyard the last Tuesday of each month from 3-5 p.m. Different animals will be featured in 30-minute segments, said event consultant Christine DiRocco.
“We’re hoping to bring as many animals as possible for the segments,” she said. The specific types of animals are being worked out. “We’ll have some birds for sure, and probably some reptiles.”
The first visit will feature a model tortoise while the permitting process for bringing live animals to the island is still underway.
‘People loved it’
Plaza officials received a special exception for the outdoor events from the Town Council in February, and the approval will be reviewed by the council in August.
For the most part, town officials – including Councilwoman Julie Araskog, who voted against the exception because she wanted an immediate review if issues were raised – said they saw the spring programs as a success.
“It was experimental,” Patterson said. “We were allowed to start doing it in March. We had the complimentary fitness classes in the courtyard and people were taking advantage of that and coming week after week. And we had the spa breakfast, and that was a hit.
“People crave community. They crave a place to spend time and be with their peers. We were just offering another way to do that, and people loved it.”