Looking for a way to spend your Saturday that doesn't involve spending crazy amounts of cash? This weekend, you can take to the streets of downtown for food, drinks, live music, and fun diversions for the whole family -- kiddos and pooches included.
Downtown Miami Partnership Inc. and the Miami Downtown Development Authority are closing NE Third Avenue between First and Second streets for a full ten hours of revelry. And you're officially invited.
Downtown has come a hell of a long way in the past few years, and this inaugural block party that's set to repeat annually is proof positive there's plenty to see, do, and eat in what was once a sketchy strip.
Designed to celebrate the small businesses serving the area, the party will include eats, cold drinks, live bands, DJs, cupcake decorating for kids, a silent auction, and other fun stuff.
Food will be available for sale and will include selections cooked up by the talented students at the Miami Dade Culinary Institute (MDCI), as well as area restaurants such as Elwood's Gastro Pub and CVI.CHE 105. Each snack will run one to four coupons, and coupons cost $1 apiece. Proceeds will benefit New World School of the Arts and MDCI.
"Some of the farmers in South Dade are donating items, so some of the food will be based on the donated produce," says Eddie Padilla, executive director of the Downtown Miami Partnership.
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As far as the auction: "We have about 20 different items, from gift certificates for meals from Elwood's Gastro Pub to Ten Fruits to CVI.CHE 105. We have some for massages, spa treatments -- there's a wide range of items," Padilla says.
"We're also collecting clothing for a missionary type of group that is sending clothing to South America." So take along those old duds you no longer wear.
Kids, pets, and everyone else is welcome. The streets will reopen at 11 p.m. -- and if you're not ready to head home, the party will likely move to local bars.
The fun runs from 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 29, on NE Third Avenue between First and Second streets. Admission is free, and food coupons will be available for $1 each. Visit the Downtown Miami Partnership website.