The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend
Photo by Amadeus McCaskill

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend

Before we get to the fun stuff, there is one thing everybody in Miami should do this weekend: Vote early! Yes, voting on Election Day is exciting, but this year's lines will be long and Tuesday work schedules wait for no one.

Once you've cast your ballot, head to the Miami Beach Salsa Fest at the North Beach Bandshell or the 11th annual Everglades Awareness Concert at the Fillmore's Jackie Gleason Room. Wrap up the weekend with a laugh at Yo Space in Little Haiti or head north to the BB&T Center for a concert by Twenty One Pilots.

Here are the best free events happening in Miami this week.

Friday

There are about a gazillion film festivals in and around Miami, but few let kids in on the fun. The Miami International Children's Film Festival opens up art cinema to young viewers through plenty of international pieces perfect for the whole family. In addition to viewing collections of short films and full-lengths such as Zoo and Sing Song, you won't want to miss the fest's unique events: Sunday at 11 a.m., kids can paint their favorite film character, and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a big free party in the plaza, complete with a dance session, balloons, and other fun. Friday, November 2, through Sunday, November 4, at Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; gablescinema.com. Prices range from free to $5.

Young people can get a bad rap, but for every eye-rolling teen glued to a phone, there's a leader paving the way into the future. Take, for instance, 17-year-old Quinn Harrelson, who's curated exhibitions from Los Angeles to the 305. His newest exhibition, "Collectivity," at Bakehouse Art Complex (BAC), presents new works by select BAC artists. The pieces span sculptures, photographs, and performance art from the likes of Domingo Castillo, Michelle Lisa Polissaint, and Cara Dodge. 7 p.m. Friday through March 2019 at Bakehouse Art Complex, 561 NW 32nd St., Miami; bacfl.org. Admission to the opening reception costs $50 to $200.

An organizer at the March for Black Women last October.EXPAND
An organizer at the March for Black Women last October.
Photo by Maria Esquinca

Saturday

Malcolm X once said that the most disrespected and unprotected women in America are black women. Decades later, from targeted voter suppression efforts in Georgia to enduring pay gaps, his statement still rings true. The March for Black Women is a chance for Miami to show up for the women who are often the backbone of grassroots, progressive movements in our society. Nearly 1,000 women marched in support at last year's event, but with a march to the polls scheduled after the rally, there's no reason thousands more can't show up this time. 10 a.m. Saturday, November 3, at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terr., Miami; facebook.com. Admission is free.

It's salsa time! Put down your chips — we're talking about music. Headlining this year's Miami Beach Salsa Fest is La Muñeca de Salsa herself, Puerto Rico-bred singer/dancer Melina Almodóvar. She always brings the energy, and you'll likely feel a nice contact high simply by watching her. Also slated to perform at the free festival are Ana del Rocio, Cali Salsa Miami, and Rochy Cantillo, among others. 5 p.m. Saturday, November 3, at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; northbeachbandshell.com. Admission is free.

The music world lost one of its greatest voices when Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin died earlier this year. While we sadly can no longer hear her soulful, church-reared vocals live, ongoing tributes continue to remind us of her contributions to music, civil rights, and culture at large. Some of Miami's top musicians, including Brenda Alford, Paul Shewchuk, Bob Taylor, Phill Fest, and Mike Harvey, will pay tribute to the queen this Saturday at the Sandrell Rivers Theater. Come for the music and stay for the raffles, as WDNA will offer a pair of gift bags featuring CD sets of Franklin's iconic songs. 8 a.m. Saturday, November 3, at the Sandrell Rivers Theater, 6103 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; ftfshows.com. Admission is free.

Celebrate the bees and butterflies at Saturday's Pollinator Parade.EXPAND
Celebrate the bees and butterflies at Saturday's Pollinator Parade.
Photo by Maria Font

Bees rarely get the credit they're due. They pollinate the plants that grow our healthiest foods, and we repay them by spraying pesticides that decimate their populations. This weekend's Pollinator Parade aims to change that by educating the community about the importance of these insects. Bring the kids — this event is primarily geared toward the future stewards of our planet. There will be free face-painting for the little ones, and pollinator-themed costumes are highly encouraged. 4:30 p.m. Saturday, November 3, at Green Day Miami Shores, NE Second Avenue between 95th and 100th Streets, Miami Shores; greendaymiamishores.com. Admission is free.

Without the Everglades, South Florida would be a desert. That's why it's important to vote for politicians who protect the ecosystem and support organizations that do the same. At the 11th-annual Everglades Awareness Concert, hosted by Love the Everglades Movement and Ploppy Palace Productions, you can learn more about both. The multimedia event will present performances by Army Gideon, Spam Allstars, Iko-Iko, Tamboka, Above the Skyline, and others. There will be speakers such as Houston Cypress, Betty Osceola, and congressional candidate Tim Canova. Also expect spoken word, dance, live art, a digital art show, and vendors such as Miami's fine hippie venue the Wallflower Gallery. 4 p.m. Saturday at Jackie Gleason Room, Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; lovetheeverglades.org; gofundme.com/EvergladesEverywhere. Admission costs $15.

Do you like fine food and wine? If so, be sure to add the Coral Gables Food, Wine & Spirits Festival to your calendar. The one-day fest features more than 200 beverage brands and 20 restaurants offering unlimited samples of their products. Arrive hungry and ready to get tipsy on craft spirits and beer. The face-stuffing will be accompanied by live music, seminars, and demonstrations. There will also be a pre-party fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. at Giralda Place (tickets cost $49) and an afterparty from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Mara Basque Cuisine & Lounge (tickets cost $20 to $30), so expect to make a very long and satisfying day of it. 1 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Coral Gables Museum, 285 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables; coralgablesfoodwineandspirits.com. Tickets cost $49 to $99 plus fees.

Twenty One PilotsEXPAND
Twenty One Pilots
Courtesy photo

Sunday

Rap music fused with rock 'n' roll was a big trend about a decade ago. Ever wonder where the rapping rockers went? They're still around — they just added in a little electronic edge and made their tunes more danceable. Take, for instance, Twenty One Pilots, the Ohio twosome that rocks out rhymes with a reggae beat. The duo launched in 2009 and gained more traction and a Grammy with 2015's Blurryface, which includes the tracks "Stressed Out" and "Ride." Just last month, the pair released Trench and is now on the road with the Bandito Tour, hitting the BB&T Center for a show that's certain to be populated by people in their late teens wearing black. 7 p.m. Sunday at BB&T Center, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise; thebbtcenter.com. Tickets cost $55.

The world is ugly right now. You need a beer and a reason to laugh. Head to one of Miami's top spots for comedy, Yo Space Gallery & Studios, for a respite from the daily onslaught of terrible news. This Sunday's set, which doubles as the venue's third-anniversary celebration, will be hosted by Danny Benavente and feature headliner Nancy Camm. 8 p.m. Sunday, November 4, at Yo Space Gallery & Studios, 294 NE 62nd St., Miami; eventbrite.com. $10 suggested donation.

Did you know that the world-famous, cult RPG Final Fantasy is more than 30 years old? You can celebrate this milestone this week with Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy. Cosplay to the sounds of Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu and others from the beloved videogame series. The orchestral affair will be conducted by Grammy winner Arnie Roth and include vocalist Susan Calloway, Distant Worlds Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, and others totaling over 100 musicians performing live to HD video from Square Enix. 7 p.m. Sunday at Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; arshtcenter.org. Tickets start at $40.

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