Boom — and just like that, this is the last full weekend of February. It may be a Leap Year, but time is ticking.
On the musical front, Lil Jon will hit LIV Nightclub this Friday for a DJ set, while the flamenco-rock group T-Vice will play an intimate show at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex. Rock legend Rod Stewart will prove he still feels "Forever Young" at Hard Rock Live this Sunday. Save room for the third-annual Soul Vegan Festival in Bandshell Park on Saturday and the grand opening of Hialeah's Unbranded Brewing on Sunday. End the weekend on a wild note with the colorful Hollywood Mardi Gras (how you earn your beads is up to you).
Here are the best things to do in Miami this weekend:
Friday, February 21
Each third Friday of the month, the Little Haiti Cultural Complex is a rockin' place to be. Its Sounds of Little Haiti series gathers some of the best and brightest talents for an evening of tunes, community, and cocktails. For this month's shindig, catch merengue-gone-flamenco rock outfit T-Vice. If you've never experienced authentic compas music before, the band is the perfect introduction to the Haitian genre. 6 p.m. Friday, February 21, at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Ter., Miami; littlehaiticulturalcenter.com. Admission is free.
"Whaaat? OK!" Yes, that's the sound of the one and only Lil Jon. The Atlanta-bred rapper and producer extraordinaire will play a DJ set this Friday at LIV Nightclub, where he'll deliver hits such as "Turn Down for What" and "Get Low." Fun fact: Lil Jon has made the rounds on television — he has appeared on everything from The Bachelorette to Bar Rescue. 11 p.m. Friday, February 21, at LIV Nightclub, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; livnightclub.com. Tickets start at $40 via tixr.com.
Saturday, February 22
Calling all green thumbs and wannabe green thumbs: Some of the most beautiful plants are orchids, and this Saturday, you can learn about them at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Coral Gables native and former Pan American Orchid Society president Peter Kouchalakos will guide guests through the special Landscaping With Orchids, aiming to help you add color to your space. At the end of the event, attendees can peruse a selection of orchid plants for sale. 10 a.m. Saturday, February 22, at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 11935 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables; fairchildgarden.org. Tickets cost $30 to $40 via eventbrite.com.
Who's hungry? Get to the third-annual Soul Vegan Festival Saturday in North Beach's Bandshell Park. Guests will indulge in Afro-Caribbean goodness thanks to the City of Miami Beach and local food influencer the Hungry Black Man. Purchase bites from the likes of Atlanta's Ingrid Bayoro, who'll serve her signature plantain sandwich, and Orlando's Jenn Ross, renowned for her killer vegan breads. Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, February 22, at the Sand Bowl in Bandshell Park, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Admission is free with RSVP via eventbrite.com.
Sunday, February 23
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Hialeah's Unbranded Brewing will celebrate its grand opening all weekend, but the party will peak Sunday when the new brewery hosts a massive block party. Unbranded will offer 16 beers for purchase at the event, which will also include food trucks and the unveiling of a mural. Pro tip: If you sign up for the brewery's email list and show proof, your first Unbranded brew is free. Noon to midnight Sunday, February 23, at Unbranded Brewing, 1395 E. 11th Ave., Hialeah; unbrandedbrewing.com. Admission is free.
You don't have to trek to New Orleans to enjoy an epic Mardi Gras. Hollywood Mardi Gras has some serious history and is always a colorful party. The festival, which dates back to 1935, is still going strong. Sunday's festivities include a walking krewe parade, a crawfish boil, beads aplenty, a king and queen costume contest, and a vendor market. And, yes, there will be beads. 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday, February 23, at 1920 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; hollywoodflmardigras.com. Admission is free.
Rod Stewart has been a singing and dancing machine for more than 50 years. But judging by how he zips across a stage — sometimes kicking a soccer ball and sometimes rockin' out with a full orchestra — you wouldn't think he's anywhere near 75 years old. This Sunday, the rock icon will pay a visit to Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, where he'll deliver an assortment of his plentiful hits. 7 p.m. Sunday, February 23, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; seminolehardrockhollywood.com. Tickets cost $85 to $380 via ticketmaster.com.