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The small city of Oakland Park is a wonderfully diverse culture and one of the most interesting, emerging areas of our city. Oakland Park has its original roots in agriculture. Up until just a few short years ago there was a pasture on the east side of Dixie Highway (Oakland Parks “main street”) between Prospect and 45th Street.

In 1922, during the land boom, an investment company, the Barkdull Investment Company planned a housing development here and named it “Oakland Park” in honor of the majestic oaks lining the meandering riverfront. In December of 1925 there was a movement to incorporate Oakland Park as the “Oakland Parkers” had learned that another city, “Florinada”, a combination of Florida and Canada had been incorporated around them. Florinada, was planned to be an exclusive resort community extending from the ocean to 441 and from the Middle River to Cypress Creek. At that time the boom had begun to bust, the wealthy backers slowly abandoned the project and the local citizens were left to care for this very large city with virtually no funding. On July 1, 1929, Florinada was dissolved and Oakland Park was incorporated. The city of Oakland Park was bordered by Federal Highway on the east side, NE Third Avenue on the west side, and the North Fork of the Middle River on the south border north to Prospect Road.

This little city was home to many of the area farmers and ranchers. There was one church, the Oakland Park Methodist Church and this was the hub of all social activities. The Oakland Park Elementary School (on the National Register of Historic Places) opened in 1925 and is the oldest functioning school in the county.

As the revitalization of this vibrant and diverse area continues, Oakland Park is becoming recognized as one of the premier up-and-coming culinary arts cities in the country. One of the initiators of this transformation arrived in 2013 when Funky Buddha Brewery moved in and set up their craft brewery and eatery. They are now proud to be a top 100 brewery and gold medal winner at the World Beer Cup. You can schedule a tour of their brewhouse to learn about their history and techniques all while sampling their unique beers in a commemorative Funky Buddha Brewery glass. You’ll simply love the chill and relaxing vibe and great libations here!

The downtown district features community gardens, agriculture-related outdoor space, fantastic farm-to-table kitchens, and wonderful little boutiques and pop ups that specialize in kitchen related goods and décor. The dining and entertainment scene in Oakland Park is more vibrant than ever. The downtown is growing each week with new businesses moving in and enhancing the area even more.

Oakland Park has plenty of outdoor space. They really prioritize this with playgrounds, jogging paths, picnic areas, Dillion Tennis Center where you will enjoy playing pickleball or tennis. There are also several special events throughout the year, most of them are enjoyed at beautiful Jaco Pastorius Park. This park is named after a former Oakland Park resident, perhaps Oakland Park’s most famous son, “The World’s Greatest Bass Player” John Francis Pastorius III (“Jaco”).

Jaco was a Northeast High School Graduate. He is famous for his skills and innovative techniques as well as his impressive compositions and execution that changed jazz and rock music forever. He recorded an album in 1976. This album was called “Jaco Pastorius”. Many believe this was the finest bass album ever recorded. It was definitely a breakthrough album for the electric bass. There is an impressive pair of murals of him in the park that were painted in 2010. He played with such greats as Pat Metheny and Joni Mitchell. Jaco taught the bass guitar as an adjunct instructor in the University of Miami’s Jazz Department.

Oakland Park is a very dog friendly city with The Oakland Park Bark Park at 971 NW 38th Street. This is the premier dog park in the area with separate fenced areas and exercise and agility training devices.

The Ethel M. Gordon Oakland Park Library is right in the downtown area and this remarkable institution offers programs for adults, seniors, teens, with art, technology, music and so many other educational offerings. The staff is wonderful and always happy to help.

There are wonderful parks and outdoor spaces to enjoy. Here are a few:

Art Park 1110 NE 34th Court, Oakland Park, FL 33334 (Outdoor Art Installations)

J. Dewey Hawkins Landing 2960 NE 12th Terrace, Oakland Park, FL 33334 (Boat Ramp, Canoe, Kayak and Picnic area)

Cherry Creek Park 1701 E Oakland Park Blvd, Oakland Park, FL 33334 (Exercise Stations, Walking Trail)

Dr. Carter G. Woodson Park 3490 NE 3 Ave. Oakland Park, FL 33334 (Basketball, Horseshoe, Picnic, Walking Path and a Shaded Playground)

Jaco Pastorius Community Center & Park 1098 NE 40th Ct, Oakland Park, FL 33334 (2,325 sq.ft. Community Center that may be rented for events and a Fabulous Park with Walking/Jogging Track, Wide Open Spaces)

Lakeside Sand Pine Reserve 2950-2998 NW 27th Terrace, Oakland Park, FL 33311 (5-acre Nature Park, Observation Deck, Pavilion, Trails, Walking Path)

North Andrews Gardens Community Center 250 NE 56th Court Oakland Park, FL 33334 (Playground, Basketball Court, Meeting Rooms, Tables, Prep Kitchen)

Veterans Park 3401 NW 21st Ave, Oakland Park, FL 33309 (Military Displays, Observation Deck, Lakefront)

Royal Palm Park 1701 NW 38th St, Oakland Park, FL 33309 (Basketball Court, Bocce Ball Courts, Exercise Path, Fishing, Frills, Picnic Tables and Pavilions, Playground, Racquetball Courts, Volleyball, Walking Track, Workout Stations)

Homes in Oakland Park are modest. The bulk of the area homes were built in the 1950’s and 1960’s with some dating back to the 1920’s.

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