The exuberant residents of Miami who approach everything, including their recreation, with high-octane intensity, might have invented the phrase ‘look at me’. Cynics might argue that Miami has no need for special cultural events or festivals – the place is one year long celebration. Miami’s busy program of community events centres around food and wine, high end fashion, art deco architecture, movies and contemporary art.
January: Art Deco Weekend
Ocean Drive comes alive with street parades, classic cars, street food, fashion parades, jitterbug dances and live music performances during this annual celebration of all things art deco. The annual festival is organized by the Miami Design Preservation League, which works tirelessly to preserve Miami’s unique architectural fabric.
January: Miami Beer Festival
Now in its fourth year this popular event brings together dozens of local and international craft breweries. America’s best microbreweries, such as Brooklyn Brewery, Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada are well represented.
Held in Marlins Park, the festival features food trucks, DJs and plenty of beer tastings. Day passes are available.
February: South Beach Wine and Food Fest
There is more to Miami’s culinary scene than burgers, pizza and fried chicken as you’ll discover if you attend this four-day foodie extravaganza. The festival features guest chefs, top wine makers and leading American culinary personalities. Events range from cooking classes to wine seminars, cocktail workshops and gala dinners.
March: Carnival Of the Mile
Held over 11 blocks in Coral Gables, this weekend event brings together various genres of music – particularly Latin, jazz and funk – plus exhibitions by some 120 painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelers and other artists. Apart from the live music performances, visitors enjoy a wide range of food and wine from local restaurants and bars.
June: Miami Film Month
Given that Miami has appeared in so many television shows and movies it’s hardly surprising that the city today supports a strong film making community. This month-long festival offers moviegoers the chance to attend a number of special screenings at art cinemas and suburban theatres across Miami. Tickets are often heavily discounted. The festival also includes bus tours to film locations around Miami and kids’ movie screenings.
November: NASCAR Ford Championship Weekend
NASCAR is a quintessentially American sporting event featuring powerful stock cars and plenty of thrills and spills. The Homestead-Miami Speedway features a distinctive banked track and seating for 65,000 spectators. The program includes rock concerts, firework displays and other family entertainment.
December: Art Basel Miami Beach
Held in the first week of December Art Basel Miami is the largest contemporary art show in the United States featuring work from leading art galleries in America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere. The festival consists of satellite events, exhibitions, parties and fairs held across the city and attracts art dealers and buyers from everywhere. It is sometimes called a summer camp for the art world and continues to surprise and delight.