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Oakland Park Celebrates an Extraordinary 92nd Birthday

No Ordinary 92nd Birthday

Last year when the City turned 91 on June 29th, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. The residents of Oakland Park were hunkered down in their homes with care, in hopes that COVID would never come by there. 

COVID-19 had blanketed the country with fear and city governments had to switch gears into a war mentality in which combatting the enemy, COVID-19, was first priority. Everything else that was non-essential just had to wait.

So yesterday’s celebration was extra special because of the long hard and unforgettable year everyone in the City, residents and City employees alike, had to endure. It was a collective experience that touched everyone so being able to celebrate was especially meaningful. Needless to say this was no ordinary 92nd birthday.

A Celebration of Gratefulness and Thankfulness

The City Manager, David Hebert, opened the official part of the ceremony with a few words about why this celebration, the 92nd celebration was so important. He set the tone for the celebration and that was gratefulness and thankfulness. 

Mayor Jane Bolin, Commissioners Aisha Gordon, Matthew Sparks and Mitch Rosenwald all conveyed the same sentiment. It had been a hard a challenging year but there was a lot for which to be grateful and thankful. 

I'm so excited to be able to celebrate the 92nd birthday of Oakland Park. And indeed, it's been a difficult year. But I'm really proud of how our community came together, everyone in this room, and I want to thank all the volunteers who stepped up and really helped us overcome that challenge. That sort of came in many different ways. (...) So we had a vaccine pod, we were the first city in Broward County to be able to create this opportunity for our most vulnerable seniors. And it was the staff and the volunteers that made that happen. And then we came to the call for those who needed food, frankly, right. Our community we weren't aware, to some extent we are. But in a crisis like this. This is where you really find out. And we have volunteers deliver food for weeks. (...) It's really unbelievable what we were able to accomplish together.

The City’s leaders thanked everyone for their time, effort and cooperation in helping battle the COVID-19 enemy. More specifically special thanks went to:

  • First Responders,
  • Former Mayor Matthew Sparks who led the City when we were in the eye of the storm,
  • Current Mayor Jane Bolin for her leadership of the City as it transitions back toward a normal tomorrow,
  • The City’s employees for maintaining the City’s essential functions during the pandemic,
  • The volunteers who, without fail, put themselves at risk to help others in need by distributing food, and providing other needed services,
  • The exemplary point of distribution (POD) for the vaccine .

Happy Birthday Oakland Park!

The celebration concluded with a Happy Birthday being sung not once but twice and of course cake! 

Mayor Jane Bolin cut the cake and ceremoniously put out the candles, not by blowing them, but with a candle snuffer. The candle snuffer she used is an everyday object, one to which not a lot of meaning would normally be attributed, but in this case that insignificant object held deep meaning. It was a sign that things were getting back to normal but that they would forever and a day be slightly different from the way things were before. 

Oakland Park’s 92nd celebration just another step toward its second century but it was by no means and ordinary event. 

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* is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

Desiree Avila


Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 33 years. In addition to publishing, Désirée has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism.

Désirée consistently professionally develops herself and has earned several different professional designations and certifications in real estate including the PSA, e-Pro, AHWD, SRS, ABR, and SFR. She was also awarded the C2EX, Commitment to Excellence award by the National Association for Realtors (NAR). This award is given to Realtors® that distinguish themselves for their commitment to excellence in the real estate industry.

She is esteemed by her real estate colleagues and has consistently received 5 star reviews from her clients. Her philosophy about real estate is that being a Realtor® is a way of teaching and helping people, and in the process a real estate transaction may occur, that is to say her foremost priority is and has always been about helping others.

She is dedicated to her hometown of Oakland Park and works consistently on building and fostering a strong community. She is passionate about photography and loves to read books about history ; the more detail the better! In addition to English, Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

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