The approaching holidays are known to bring forth unexpected moments of nostalgia. For me, 27 years bring forth 27 vivid memories coming of age in and around the City of Aventura, which held its annual Founders Day Celebration on November 13.
‘Tis the season to give thanks, and I’m thankful to have immersed myself in all that Aventura had to offer before and during its official incorporation as a city 27 years ago. If I were to travel back in time to 1995, I can recall cheerfully participating in some of the mainstay youth activities around town and feeling like I was living a childhood dream. Christmas joy felt more authentic when caroling at The Waterways with my friends, pirouettes felt more whimsical as a ballet student at the Aventura Dance Academy, and a surprise outing to Aventura Mall’s Cajun Grill for receiving straight-A’s rivaled the meal of the century. Though I’ve lived in other cities throughout my life, there was always something unforgettable about my Aventura memories. They lingered on my mind and kept drawing me back to the city I loved, much like a warm, genuine winter hug from my grandparents, readily enveloping me after traveling thousands of miles for a weekend visit.
Aventura now reigns as South Florida’s quintessential city where family values, comfortable luxury, international business, and social offerings intersect. Those who are new to town might be unfamiliar with the rich history of the easy-breezy City, which is the brainchild of Turnberry Associates magnates Don Soffer and George Joshua Berlin, who conceptualized the general layout of the City over a brief table conversation. What was once a mangrove swamp in the 1950s has transformed into one of the world’s model cities. Among other notable achievements, the City birthed one of the nation’s most prolific shopping malls that is continuously expanding each day. Additionally, municipal resources are even more accessible with the formation of the eco-friendly Brightline station, with intercity train service commencing before the end of the year.
Aventura shines brightest when honoring its founders, along with the innovators and pioneers who still reside within the city limits. Such an example took place during the annual Veterans Day ceremony at Government Center on November 11, when dignitaries and guests paid homage to men and women of valor who served in the United States Armed Forces. Year after year, the City upholds its mantle of excellence by acknowledging the contributions of those who came before us, whose legacies continue to pave the way for our families to thrive.
Nearly 27 years later, I am still drawn to the essence of Aventura and remark on how the metamorphosis has elevated the City on the world stage, becoming a desirable residential choice for international families from destinations such as Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Jamaica, and Russia. While observing the STAR Talent Competition onstage during the Founders Day celebration at Founders Park– amid anxious parents supervising their tiny tots playing in Toddler Town– I stroll along Food Truck Row and reminisce about the fun times I enjoyed as a young girl in Aventura, relishing all the fond experiences from decades ago and the promise of an extraordinary future awaiting me.
Cheers to Aventura’s 27 defining years and many, many more to come.
LOVE, AVENTURA. A column celebrating the heart, soul, and culture of our community. Read the article in the November 2022 edition of The Aventura Digest Newspaper here.