Huey Lewis to Be Fort Lauderdale's 2018 Winterfest Grand Marshal

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Arts and Entertainment Guide

Huey Lewis to Be Fort Lauderdale's 2018 Winterfest Grand Marshal

Huey Lewis to Be Fort Lauderdale's 2018 Winterfest Grand Marshal

Have you heard the news? Huey Lewis, ’80s heartthrob and singer best known for hits like “The Power of Love,” “Jacob’s Ladder” and “Stuck With You,” will serve as the 2018 Winterfest grand marshal for Fort Lauderdale’s holiday boat parade.

On Dec. 15, Lewis will lead the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade, traveling through the Intracoastal Waterway as a line of boats, all decked out in holiday lights and Christmas cheer, follow behind him.

This year’s show marks a first for the parade, which draws more than 1 million viewers annually. “This happens to be the first time our grand marshal coincides with our theme,” says Kathy Keleher, marketing and parade director at Winterfest.

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The “Best of the ’80s” theme was selected by Winterfest Inc. and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The groups then went through a list of potential celebrities to serve as grand marshal and narrowed it down by availability before making the final decision through a majority vote.

The night before the parade, Lewis will be honored at the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Grand Marshal Reception, during which he will be handed the key to the city of Fort Lauderdale.

Before being asked to serve as grand marshal, what was your relationship with Fort Lauderdale?

We’ve certainly played many shows in South Florida, and a few golf courses, but I’m also an avid saltwater fly fisherman and have originated many a fishing trips from Fort Lauderdale.

What are your responsibilities as grand marshal?

To make sure everyone has a good time. And, I take [that] seriously.

The musical “Heart of Rock & Roll,” based on Huey and the News’ music, premiered in the fall in San Diego. How does it feel to have your life’s work become part of a theater production?

We are very proud of the show. It was incredibly well received in San Diego, and that was extremely gratifying. We think we can make it even a little better, so we’re going to work on it in New York and then invite theaters to see it. I’m a co-producer of the show, and the nature of musical theater is so collaborative. I’ve been involved in all aspects, and that has really been the most fun.

You’ve recently been dealing with hearing loss. How has that affected your career?

Well, not being able to hear music enough to sing has affected everything. Needless to say, it’s very frustrating. I’ve been to doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists, holistic healers—and no help. I’ve gotten tons of support from fans, other musicians and other people with Meniere’s [disease], and that part has been wonderful, but it’s hard not being able to do what I most love to do.

What advice do you have for our readers who may be dealing with hearing loss as well?

Be thankful you’re not worse off, count your blessings, chill out, try to stay positive and know that it can get better.

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