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Our history in photos: The Palm Beach International Music and Arts Festival

The Thanksgiving weekend 1969 Palm Beach International Music and Arts Festival was hailed as the “first annual,” but there never was a second one. The event was marred by rain, lawsuits and scandals, but is fondly remembered by many who were there.

The festival drew 40,000 people to the 149-acre Palm Beach International Speedway, and featured Jefferson Airplane, Sly Stone, the Byrds, Grand Funk Railroad, Janis Joplin and the Rolling Stones.

Click on any of the images below to see a larger version. Read more about the festival and share your memories here at HistoricPalmBeach.com.


The caption on this photo: “The wait in the rain was worth it to these two who were among the thousands patient enough to wait for 6 a.m. Monday to arrive to see and hear Mick Jagger ant the Rolling Stones. The entertainment lineup was impressive, but some of the problems weren’t, as 133 drug overdoses and bad trips were reported.”


Dec. 1, 1969: Festival-goers who were arrested during the 1969 Palm Beach International Music and Arts Festival await their turn in Palm Beach County criminal court, handcuffed and linked together with chains.

Photos by Palm Beach Post and Evening Times staff photographers.

See more photos of the festival and video documentary trailer at oldrockphoto.com.

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Posted in Flashback blog November 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm.

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This week in history: The first Palm Beach County Oktoberfest

The American German Club of the Palm Beaches held its first Oktoberfest in 1974, on the Lantana Road grounds the club purchased in 1970. The club began in 1967 as the Bavarian-American Club, but changed its name in 1970 to welcome all Germans as members, not just Bavarians. And it’s American German rather than German American — unlike the other clubs in the German American Society of Florida — to express that club members are Americans first and Germans second.


Festival goers gather under the pines at the American German Club in 1983. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)


Kegs of beer, too numerous to count, stand waiting for the thirsty crowds just outside the festival tent in 1983. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)


Dancing to the music of Dick Dreher and the Rheinlanders at the 1983 Oktoberfest (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)


Chef Horst Stielow tends to a sampling of the tons of bratwurst, knockwurst, and other sausages served at the 1983 Oktoberfest. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)

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Posted in Flashback blog and Our history in photos October 15, 2012 at 9:18 am.

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This week in history: Palm Beach County’s own Woodstock

On Nov. 28, 1969, the three-day Palm Beach International Music and Arts Festival attracted 40,000 people to the Palm Beach International Speedway northwest of West Palm Beach. Freezing rain turned the site into a muddy quagmire the first day, but the sun came out before Janis Joplin’s performance the next day. The Rolling Stones closed the festival, coming on stage near dawn on the 30th. Read more about the festival and share your memories here at HistoricPalmBeach.com.

Poster Reprint 18x24

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Posted in Flashback blog November 29, 2010 at 6:00 am.

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Flashback to the first SunFest

Get ready for SunFest (tomorrow through Sunday on the West Palm Beach waterfront) by taking a trip back to SunFest 1983 (click on the images below to see the the full pages from the Historic Archive of The Palm Beach Post):

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Posted in Flashback blog April 27, 2010 at 12:13 pm.

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Before it was the Delray Affair, it was the ‘South Florida Gladioli Festival’

The first South Florida Gladioli Festival was held in 1946 on a rodeo field on Atlantic Avenue. Forty thousand invitations were sent to “northern visitors.”

The 1947 festival featured 22 Orange Bowl floats, along with Miss Gladioli and thousands of gladioli.

By 1966 the event was a week-long art show known as the Delray Affair.

The 1981 Delray Affair section of The Palm Beach Post recounts the history of the festival, including the story of Ignatz, the formerly ubiquitous Delray Affair symbol.

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By 1985 the annual event was drawing 100,000 people, and the 25th Delray Affair in 1988 featured the 60s band The Association (Cherish, Windy, and Never My Love).

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Posted in Flashback blog April 9, 2010 at 10:41 am.

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