Carnival is traditionally a farewell to the flesh, a last hurrah for intoxicated sin that precedes the sobering contemplation of the Lenten season. But in the Magic City, there's no time like the present for a party. Miami Carnival is here, and everyone's invited to a spectacular lineup of celebrations.
Tonight at 7:00 the crowds will gasp at amazing costumes as the Kings and Queens of Carnival competition commences at Hialeah Park (2201 E. Fourth Ave., Hialeah). Admission is five dollars.
On Friday steel pan fans will have something to cheer about. At the Steelband Panorama Jamboree and J'ouvert Parade, imported acts, including Trinidad's Exodus Steel Orchestra, will compete against local talent such as the Miami Pan Symphony. Admission is free, and the fun begins at 7:00 p.m. at Hialeah Park.
Besides the official celebrations, partiers can get down at fabulous shindigs all weekend long. At the Angostura All-Inclusive University Fete Saturday night, David Rudder, who has been called the Bob Marley of calypso music, will be the headliner. Admission costs $70, but the musical performances, great food, and free-flowing top-shelf liquor should keep revelers happy all night long. The party begins at 5:00 at the FIU Biscayne Bay Campus (2155 NE 151st St., North Miami). Visit www.universityfete.com for more information.
Also on Saturday, masked revelers will take over Club Pure (66 SW Sixth St., Miami) for an all-inclusive celebration at the Eyes Wide Shut party. "It will be a very nice, mixed international crowd," says organizer Earl Christian. For $60 you can drink and eat your fill and enjoy stunning live performances by the "Fly" girl herself, sexy soca superstar Destra Garcia (above). Call 305-761-1400, or visit www.eyeswideshutmiami.com.
At noon on Sunday, 25 masquerade bands and steel pan orchestras will crowd Biscayne Boulevard for the Miami Carnival Parade and Festival. In Bicentennial Park (301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) headlining acts Xtatik, Traffik, and D'Hitman will keep the crowd jumping. Tickets cost $15. For a complete schedule of Miami Carnival events, call 305-653-1877, or visit www.miamicarnival.net. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
At the library
The flavors of Spain and Latin America will add spice to performances, art exhibits, and story times throughout October as the Miami-Dade Public Library System celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month.
Today at 2:00 folkloric musicians Club de Huasos de Chile (below) will liven up the Miami Beach Regional Library (227 22nd St., Miami Beach) with exuberant dance and colorful costumes, while Bolivian strummer Luis Alfredo Gavilano performs soothing melodies of classical guitar at the Shenandoah Branch (2111 SW Nineteenth St., Miami).
Children and adults will adore the lively and hilarious storytelling of Carmen Agra Deedy, author of The Library Dragon, today at 10:30 a.m. at the Hispanic Branch (2190 W. Flagler St., Miami).
Art lovers can check out new exhibits opening today at the Main Library (101 W. Flagler St., Miami). "Emilio Sanchez: Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection" features the Cuban-born artist's vibrant watercolors of tropical landscapes and whimsical Caribbean architecture. And to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Cervantes's classic novel, Miami Dade College fine arts professor Alberto Meza presents his limited-edition prints in "Mad About Don Quixote: Images by Alberto Meza." Call 305-375-BOOK, or visit www.mdpls.org for a complete schedule. -- Lyssa Oberkreser
Pretty in Pinks
Shopping is good for your health
The change of seasons is a perfect excuse to update your palette with fall hues. But don't feel guilty about dropping dough on makeup and beauty supplies. GBS The Beauty Store is hosting a month-long "Shop for a Cure" event to raise funds for the American Cancer Society breast cancer research. In addition to special promotions and giveaways of some of your favorite brands of tools, nail polish, and hair-care products, if you spend just $25 or more (not a problem) at any GBS location, you'll score a cute "Think Pink" cosmetics bag stuffed with goodies and a signature pink ribbon pin. Do you need a little more spoiling? Today you can indulge in a "Marathon of Mini Makeovers" from 11:00 to 7:00 at the Fort Lauderdale store (31 N. Federal Hwy.; 954-763-9899). For only one dollar each, you'll be pampered with minifacials, brow shaping, hand spa treatments, and more while sipping pink cocktails and nibbling tasty appetizers and desserts. Call 1-800-565-3233, or visit www.gbsbeauty.com for locations. --Lyssa Oberkreser
It's wondrous how children use their imagination to turn everyday household items into props for pretend journeys. Chairs make perfect pilot seats, blankets tucked into furniture are forts for the naval base, and coffee tables act as hiding places from "the enemy." When you're five, it all seems logical. In an attempt to make your childhood fantasies seem more tangible, the aptly named "Be a Kid Again, Around the World We Go" gala is the second anniversary celebration for Miami Children's Museum (980 MacArthur Cswy., Miami). Tonight you can sip yummy drinks while sampling the culture, customs, and cuisine of countries around the globe. Participate in a silent auction in the Airport Shop, or hit the dance floor in the Passenger VIP lounge. Tickets are $175 per person or $1500 for a ten-person "Play Group" package. Leave the kids at home for this adults-only play time that benefits educational programming for the museum. To reserve your spot on board, call 305-373-KIDS, ext. 147, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. -- Christina Kent