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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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