The enchanting grounds of Vizcaya (3251 S. Miami Ave.) begin Independence Day celebrations ahead of schedule since the attractions 6th annual Red, White, and Blue Pre-Independence Celebration occurs a day early every year. But the historically inclined villa is just keeping in theme with regard to a popular document called the Declaration of Independence -- it was actually signed and sealed days before the 4th of July, according to most in-depth American Revolution anthologies. History lessons aside, La Lega dei Viscayani committee hosts the event, which features a spectacular fireworks display, live music and dancing, and a traditional barbecue feast that includes all the hamburgers, hot dogs, chili, soda, and beer you can fit in your patriotic belly. The main event will be a silent auction, with items to include jewelry, exotic furnishings, trips, and privately guided tours of Vizcaya. Tickets cost $35 in advance for nonmembers; $40 on the day of the event. Call 305-856-4866.
Since everyone seems to have his nose in the novel TheDa Vinci Code these days, the Miami Museum of Science & Planetarium (3280 S. Miami Ave.) is using that as a jumping-off point for the theme of its monthly Fabulous First Fridays event, going on from 7:00 to 10:00 tonight. Cool Codes will be the subject explored -- namely Mayan math, Morse codes, sign language, Braille, and yes, even the secrets behind that book you and the rest of the world are reading -- via demonstrations, a live planetarium show, a laser-light show, and more. Admission is $10. Call 305-646-4248. -- Nina Korman
Sat 7/3 Hollywood is to Latin cinema as Wal-Mart is to the corner tienda. But the movie industry behemoth can never stifle the creativity of films en español, as proven by a raft of engaging movies to reach our shores in recent years, such as Brazil's Central Station and Mexico's Amores Perros. And now with the Cinema Tropical monthly film series, dedicated to showcasing works from Latin America in several choice U.S. cities including Miami, even more access is assured. This month's offering is a dark comedy from Chile, Taxi Para Tres. A major hit in its home country, the film follows protagonist cabbie Ulises, who's forced into a lucrative life of crime, driving two small-time crooks in their nightly raids. The screening is at 8:00 tonight and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 6, at the Tower Theater, 1508 SW 8th St. Tickets cost $8. Write firstname.lastname@example.org for info. -- John Anderson