The best time of the week is finally here — the weekend. The next three days are filled with music, art, parties, and boozy beverages galore. From Coral Gables to Little Havana to South Beach, these are the best places to be until the sun comes up Monday morning.
Art Deco Weekend on Ocean Drive: Miami Beach is architecturally a special place. Sure, there's Wet Willie's and plenty of sand and waves, but the art deco era is well preserved in the buildings that now house boutique hotels and Banana Republic. That’s why every year, the nonprofit Miami Design Preservation League puts on Art Deco Weekend, showcasing the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District. Founded in 1976, the group strives to ensure this architectural style doesn’t fall into disrepair and distant memory. The weekend-long event is celebrating “40 years of fabulous” with art, music, vendors, and plenty of activities for the family.
The 2017 Miami Improv Festival at Just the Funny Theatre: Name a funny celebrity — Amy Poehler, Steve Carell, Horatio Sanz, Maya Rudolph — and chances are they got their start in standup comedy. The fast-paced, script-free genre forces participants to think creatively on their feet, leading to wacky scenes that never play out the same way twice. And for four days this week, Miami's long-standing comedy center, Just the Funny, will celebrate improv with dozens of comedy groups from around the country. The Miami Improv Festival brings comedians from as far as Chicago, New York, and San Francisco to mingle with Florida-based troupes, sharing the stage in back-to-back performances through Sunday.
- Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival at Flamingo Theater Bar: Sci-fi is the "it" genre of the 21st Century. From Star Trek to Interstellar to Avatar, mind-bending science fiction on film isn't just for nerds anymore. And for those who enjoy imagining what tomorrow will look like (we hope better than today), the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival celebrates all things futurism in a weekend-long extravaganza. The fest will screen 60 features and short films, dole out awards, explore social gamer fandom, talk sciencey stuff, and host field trips. From international flicks such as This Giant Papier-Mâché Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy, to a screenplay workshop with an Emmy nominee, to a free, family-oriented screening session, the lineup is jam-packed with options for sci-fi fans of all stripes.
Miami Beer Festival at Marlins Park: Five words, three hyphens: all-you-can-drink beer. What else do you really need? The suds will flow at Marlins Park for the fifth-annual Miami Beer Festival. The event will show off dozens of craft and international breweries, as well as South Florida’s best brewmasters. To name a few participants: Sierra Nevada, Goose Island, Lagunitas, Bell’s, Concrete Beach, Gravity Brewlab, Islamorada Beer Company, Wynwood Brewing, and Brooklyn Brewery. In addition to the free-flowing beverages, there’ll be concessions (including food for sale to soak up the brew), a video DJ, a photo booth, and lawn games. Think of it as a carnival, but instead of stuffed animals, your prizes are refreshing libations.
- Miami Festival of Laughs at James L. Knight Center: Laugh your way into a fabulous 2017 with some of the most exciting names in comedy at the Miami Festival of Laughs. The annual tradition returns for a third year to the James L. Knight Center Saturday with riotous routines from Mike Epps, Arnez J, Jay Pharoah, Felipe Esparza, Michael Blackson, and Benji Brown. You'll recognize Epps as Day-Day Jones in Next Friday and Black Doug in The Hangover, but its his stellar standup performances and deadly delivery that nabbed him the role of Richard Pryor in an upcoming biopic. See for yourself what gets audiences doubled over.
- Jazz Age Lawn Party on Ocean Drive: Gatsby was Gilded Age goals, flapper style is sexy as hell, and a 1920s orchestra can be improved only when a little Latin flavor gets thrown into the musical mix. So it’s great to hear news of the Jazz Age Lawn Party’s expansion to South Beach. The party just wrapped its 11th year in New York, welcoming 4,000 people per day to Governor’s Island. The Miami version of this event will veer away from its northern counterpart in terms of setting, Latin influence, and nightlife. Organizers plan to make the most of the South Beach backdrop, from putting the dance floor on the sand to renting cabanas for VIPs. With Art Deco Weekend going on all around, expect a decidedly deco aesthetic. Cuban flavor will show up in the cocktails, the food, and onstage, where the jazz will be a mix of classic Jazz Age and Latin jazz.
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Gay8 Festival on Calle Ocho: It’s all about pride in Little Havana — Cuban pride, Latino pride, and, this weekend, gay pride. The second-annual Gay8 Festival will take over Calle Ocho for a day of music, arts, and, of course, dance parties. Nearly 17,000 party people attended last year’s inaugural street fest, and even more are anticipated to hit up La Pequeña Habana for 2017. More than just a celebration of pride, the event will bring the diverse communities of the 305 together and embrace everything that makes Miami the Magic City. Enjoy tasty food from local vendors, live music from favorite local artists, pop-up art performances, cigar tastings, and other fab surprises. There will also be free historic walking tours and LGBT film screenings courtesy of the Miami International Film Festival and Miami Dade College.
- Vasco da Gama (Brazil) v. Barcelona SC (Ecuador) at Lockhart Stadium: The Beautiful Game will take over Lockhart Stadium this Sunday when Brazil’s Vasco da Gama takes on Ecuador’s Barcelona SC in a win-or-go-home showdown of the 2017 Florida Cup. Vasco, led by world-renowned midfielder Nene, brings a wealth of experience and winning tradition from Rio de Janeiro, having won Brazil’s national championship four times, as well as the Copa Libertadores in 1998. Barcelona, meanwhile, is the defending national champion of Ecuador and boasts its own star midfielder in Segundo Castillo, who led the national team on its improbable 2006 World Cup run, where it was able to reach the second round for the first time in team history. The two teams will join Argentina’s River Plate and Colombia’s Millionarios in the tournament’s playoff to see who will come out on top as the fútbol champion of the Sunshine State.