Thursday, March 17
The news is awash with headlines about the warming relationship between Cuba and the United States, but Miami has always been a home for exiles. The story of the Cuban people is one of both trials and triumph. Damned if it doesn't also have a killer beat. Daymé Arocena's rich, rooted vocals are the perfect example.
The 23-year-old artist perfectly represents Cuba's sumptuous blend of cultures and styles. She mixes Afro-Cuban with neo-soul and modern jazz for an arresting style that uplifts and enlightens as it sets crowds to dance. Her sound has been recognized by critics across the globe. She nabbed a place on NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums of 2015. And this Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. she'll take the stage at the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse (404 NW 26th St., Miami) as part of the Miami Light Project and FUNDarte's Global Cuba Fest. Tickets cost $35 to $50. Call 305-576-4350 or visit miamilightproject.com.
A South Florida institution will celebrate its 65th anniversary this weekend. Stomachs everywhere are turning upside down in anticipation. The Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition, better known as the Youth Fair, will take place this Thursday through Sunday, April 10. Located at Tamiami Park, the Fair's home since 1972, the carnival is one of those life experiences that every Miami kid must undergo at least once.
The 21-day event is a cornucopia of food, rides, and events. It'll have you snacking on a creation by one of the second-annual Youth Fair Foodie Award finalists, like Frosted Flakes chicken-on-a-stick and puking an hour later after a brush with the Gravitron.
Each week, the fair will also feature a genre of music in a series performances by MercyMe (Christian rock), the Village People (disco), and Willy Chirino (salsa).
As if all of that weren't enough, the organizers have added some odd and intriguing exhibits and entertainment, such as an ice-skating performance, a laser show, butter-and-sand sculptures, the Pirates of the Sky Stunt Show, and in a bid to enter EDM culture, Light Up the Night Robots.
Head to the Fair Expo Center (10901 Coral Way, Miami) for fun you'll remember for a lifetime. Admission costs $10 to $14. Children 5 and younger and seniors 65 and older get in free. Call 305-223-7060 or visit thefair.me.
Friday, March 18
When was the last time you renovated or even redecorated your home? It's probably time for you to check out the Home Design and Remodeling Show. For more than 40 years, the show has brought professional home vendors and local homeowners together. Whether you're looking to completely remodel or simply make a few changes around the house, the Home Design and Remodeling Show's producers specifically cater to South Florida. At the convention, expect to find international products, local trends, new designs, and much more. Veteran show producers Larry Peryl and Steve Plotkin ensure a special emphasis on innovative appearance. Taniya Nayak, the featured designer on Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible, will be a celebrity guest speaker, and daily cooking shows will include entertaining demonstrations and delicious samples.
The Home and Design Remodeling Show runs Friday from 4 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday from noon to 10:30 p.m., Sunday from noon to 7:30 p.m., and Monday from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach). Tickets cost $10. Call 305-667-9299 or visit homeshows.net.
The New World Symphony turns its Frank Gehry-designed New World Center into a multipurpose cultural venue for ¡Fiesta Cubana!, the first of a three-part event. The initial portion of the Fiesta includes an art installation curated by the Conde Contemporary art gallery and accompanied by chamber music performed by NWS fellows. The second portion takes place in the main performance hall, where the entire New World Symphony performs a set of classical Cuban works organized for orchestra. Throughout the evening, samplings of Cuban bebidas and munchies will be available. Finally — because no Miami fiesta is complete without an afterparty — the third part takes place at Miami Beach Botanical Garden, featuring additional Cuban sounds from the 20th-century-jazz-inspired quintet Cortadito. Members of the Friends of New World Symphony will have VIP access to the afterparty, as well as complimentary food and Bacardi cocktails.
¡Fiesta Cubana! takes place at the New World Center (500 17th St., Miami Beach) Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $25. Call 305-673-3331 or visit nws.edu.
Everyone is talking about the exciting revitalization of Little Havana, one of Miami's most iconic neighborhoods. Calle Ocho is alive with new colors and sounds, and this Friday night, the party is at the historical Koubek Center (2705 SW Third St., Miami). It's all about that salsa. Miami Dade College presents Little Havana Social Club, a new dance party and concert series that bridges Miami's cultural roots to its excitingly modern future. Friday night's guest of honor is Cuban band Timbalive. Celebrated for its fresh approach to traditional salsa, the ten-piece will perform tracks from its critically acclaimed album Gasolina de Avion. That means "jet fuel," and once this energetic group gets going, you'll understand why.
The party will be preceded by salsa lessons, so novices can pick up a few tricks before the main event. After the show, a DJ dance party will commence. Bites and cocktails will be available onsite. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., dancing begins at 8, and Timbalive will perform at 9. Tickets cost $10, and children 10 or younger get in free. Call 305-237-3010 or visit mdclivearts.org.
Saturday, March 19
Grab your martinis, folks — shaken, not stirred. It's time for Bond. James Bond. And it's happening at the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In. Now at the new location off Old Cutler Road (7271 SW 168th St., Palmetto Bay), the Blue Starlite is showing a James Bond double feature. Two of the most popular 007 features will hit the big screen. First up is 1962's Dr. No, the first film in the franchise, introducing audiences worldwide to Sean Connery as the handsome agent. The second pick isn't the second film in the series, but rather the third. It's the one that partially took place in Miami and introduced the Shirley Bassey-sung Bond tune: Goldfinger. Both screen Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
For cars, prices range from $25 to $45 depending upon vehicle size and number of people. But the drive-in isn't limited to just automobiles — folks can ride in on golf carts or bikes or even bring their own chairs and blankets for lawn seating for $6. Visit bluestarlitemiami.com.
Wynwood is exploding. A million people and cars constantly clog the NW Second Avenue strip to get a piece of the hot arts neighborhood. It's hard enough to get a good look at all of the murals and wall art, and if there aren't any plaques to identify the works, how do you even know what you're looking it?
Cue the helpful bicycle tour guide. This person has spent a lot of time following the walls and the artists who paint them. The guides are full of interesting tidbits and street knowledge, and they want to share those secrets with you on a joyride through the city. The fun isn't limited to Wynwood alone. There's a lot of cool stuff just up the street in the Design District too. That's why the Wynwood Art and Design District Bike Tour, presented by HistoryMiami, takes you and your friends through both hoods. It's a cool way to get some exercise, soak up some sun, and learn a few party tricks. You'll look supercool the next time you attend Art Walk and seem to know everything.
The tour begins at Panther Coffee (2390 NW Second Ave., Miami) Saturday at 10 a.m. and lasts for two hours. Tickets cost $21.49 to $31.74, and you must bring your own bike. Helmets are encouraged. Call 305-375-1492 or visit historymiami.org.
Sunday, March 20
Actor Alan Rickman gave us years of pleasure, from Die Hard to Harry Potter and everything in between. So it's only fitting that not long after his passing, one of the many arthouses in Miami would showcase his films. This Sunday at 1 p.m., the Coral Gables Art Cinema (260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables) is the place to be.
Rickman starred alongside Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet in 1995's Sense and Sensibility. The Jane Austen adaptation chronicles the misfortune of two sisters — the sensible Elinor and the romantic Marianne — following the death of their father. Directed by Ang Lee and nominated for six Academy Awards, including a win for Thompson, it's arguably one of the best film adaptations of Austen's work.
The movie is a great choice for a tribute to Rickman, who was surprisingly not nominated alongside his costars. The film is being shown only once, and it's free for members of Gables Cinema. Tickets for nonmembers cost $7 to $11.50 and can be purchased at the box office or gablescinema.com.
This Sunday, the historic Deering Estate will host the 12th-annual Deering Seafood Festival on the Bay, featuring events and entertainment for all ages that enjoy a pescetarian diet. Celebrity chefs will offer cooking demonstrations; families can watch the Bahamian Junkanoo musical parade and stilt walkers from the Virgin Islands; and kids will even have their own area — the Lil' Shrimp Kids Zone — with themed activities and tasty bites that even the pickiest palates will enjoy. Also, because the fest takes place on the beautiful grounds of the estate, Pelican Skipper pontoon boat rides will zoom to Chicken Key, and staff will offer natural areas tours throughout the day. But seafood is the main course, after all, and local restaurants, caterers, and seafood purveyors will be lined up to deliver the goods for all to sample and enjoy.
The Deering Seafood Festival on the Bay takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Deering Estate at Cutler (16701 SW 72nd Ave., Palmetto Bay). Tickets cost $15 in advance and $25 at the gate. Kids' tickets cost $5, and Deering Estate Foundation members get in free. Call 305-235-1668, ext. 266, or visit deeringestate.org.
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Wednesday, March 23
Some interests are so American they transcend political party lines. Shopping, alcohol, and snacks, for example — these pursuits are more American than apple pie. Regardless of political affiliation, Miamians can dive into all three at the Shop & Sip Soiree, a souped-up happy-hour showcasing retail therapy, spa treatments, music, cocktails, and Mediterranean-style tapas. The pop-up will display the hottest fashions from Le Beau Maroc, and attendees can score mini-treatments from the Spa at Viceroy Miami. For liquid refreshments, 15th & Vine Kitchen and Bar will offer cocktail specials, and sustenance will come in the form of exotic appetizers like hummus, kebabs, and harissa. Think of it as a nonpartisan purchasing party — so much more entertaining than a caucus circus.
The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Viceroy Miami's 15th & Vine (485 Brickell Ave., Miami). Admission is free. Call 866-781-9923 or visit viceroyhotelsandresorts.com.