All American, All Fun

Light the grill and lock away frightened pets – it’s the Fourth of July! If you’re like most Americans, chances are you’ll be celebrating with barbecue spreads and red, white, and blue decorations, and the evening is sure to bring some of the most spectacular fireworks you’ve ever seen. This year it doesn’t matter if you live in a remote suburb or in the heart of fabulous South Beach. It doesn’t matter if you would rather spend your holiday twirling glow sticks and grooving to electronic music than eating hot dogs and tapping your toes to a symphony. Patriotism comes in all shapes and colors, baby! South Florida is alive with the sound of celebration today, and there’s something cool to do everywhere from Hialeah to Holiday Isle.

If you’re so amped that you want to kick things off a day early, head straight to Coral Gables. On July 3, the chic and cozy Mama Lila’s Bistro (1915 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; 305-461-2424, is getting down on some Star-Spangled ElectroFunk. This theme party answers the question, What happens when two “Best of Miami” winners come together? Mama Lila’s, which scooped up this year’s Best Bistro award, will be serving traditional home-style goodies. And Afrobeta, voted Best Electronica Artist in the readers’ poll, will be on hand to keep the bistro bumpin’ all night long. Admission is free. The elegant set can also party July 3 at Vizcaya (3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami). The palatial venue is perfect for the annual Red, White, and Blue Fest. Live music, traditional fare, fireworks, and -- everyone’s favorite – an open bar are included in the $55 ticket price. Call 305-856-4866, or visit

The celebration the City of Miami Beach throws will rank among the biggest spectacles of the Fourth. Come on down to the most MTV-approved intersection of South Beach (Eighth Street and Ocean Drive) for a free music ’n’ fireworks extravaganza. Local singer Jencarlos will perform his new release, “Miami Beach 25/7,” which to us doesn’t add up but will probably become the city’s unofficial theme song anyway. The event will begin with the naturalization of new American citizens and continue with plenty of song, dance, and revelry. Be on the look out for some hot older ladies: AARP the Magazine will be hosting its Faces of 50+ Real People Model Search. Aspiring models should register online at For more information about SoBe’s celebration, call 305-673-7400.

Head to Hialeah’s Amelia Earhart Park (401 E. 65th St., Hialeah) for an entertaining evening of music and fireworks. Puerto Rico’s Giovanni and His Orchestra, and Miami’s funk masters J.J. and the Connection, will keep the party going until 10:00 p.m. At 9:00 fireworks will light up the sky while the Miami-Dade Symphonic Band amps up the patriotism factor with synchronized music. Festivities in the Florida Keys will illuminate nearly every island in the archipelago. Fireworks displays, parades, and live musical events are scheduled at Islamorada’s Holiday Isle (Mile Marker 84, oceanside), along Sombrero Beach Road in Marathon (Mile Marker 50, oceanside), as well as in Key Largo and Key West. Visit for a complete list of events and locations.
Wed., July 4