“Everyone was doing their job, and I witnessed first hand the residents were the first priority of the city,” she said.
But this is Miami, and no Urban Beach Week would be complete without a bizarre twist.
Ironically, it happened on the Miami side of the MacArthur Causeway.
On Saturday afternoon, police shot and killed a naked man who had allegedly attacked another man and was eating his face, witnesses told police.
The victim remained hospitalized at Ryder Trauma Center on Sunday. His condition was unknown.
The macabre incident made headlines worldwide. It was the topic du jour on social media sites like Facebook and even spurred a new Twitter handle: @TheMiamiZombie.
It was no surprise that partygoers were slow to get started Sunday. Saturday’s festivities lasted until sunrise, and in some cases, longer.
Early Sunday afternoon, couples napped on picnic blankets. Muscular men did chin-ups in Lummus Park. Guys rolled down Ocean Drive on their skateboards.
It could have been any weekend in South Beach, but for the barricades, police watch towers and mobile command centers.
Heatherine Crooks and three of her friends sunned themselves atop a rock wall in the park, margaritas in hand. They had partied at Mango’s Tropical Cafe on Ocean Drive until 4 a.m. the night before, they said.
“They played some reggae, which we appreciated,” said Crooks, who is Jamaican. “We danced our feet off.”
To combat the partying, there were also some attempts at salvation.
Kyle Sandberg, 26, stood in the intersection at Eighth and Ocean and tried to convince the people passing by that their evils ways and gangsta rap have doomed them.
“Love compels us to tell you that you’re on your way to hell,” his sign read in big red letters.
His message wasn’t particularly well received.
“Hallelujah,” one passerby yelled sarcastically.
Sandberg said he and his friend Doug Berry had intended to preach a message of love and freedom. But they had to abandon their post early after an angry crowd gathered in front of them and police threatened to throw them in jail.
A half block north, Luis de Jesus and half a dozen Colombian, Cuban, Puerto Rican and Panamanian friends came out for what once used to be a weekly congregation of percussionists. They beat Afro-Cuban rhythms on congas and struck a cowbell and clave.
Mary Quintana from Hialeah and Matt Muentes from Coral Gables danced until they were out of breath.
“This is culture,” said Edwin Torres in between strikes of the congas.
Then, there was Pitbull.
The Miami music mogul met with hundreds of fans at Gulf Liquors on 17th Street and Alton Avenue.
Fans lined the block waiting for Mr. 305. One woman shouted that she had been waiting for three hours for the opportunity to hug her idol.
Perhaps no one was happier to meet Pitbull than Millie Diaz.
Diaz, who was born without vocal chords, flew from Salt Lake City through a grant from the Make a Wish Foundation.
“She is in seventh heaven right now,” said Isabel Feliciano, Diaz’s mother.
But the biggest bash of the day was by far The Best of the Best concert. The concert line-up also included Shaggy, Funk Master Flex, Fat Joe and reggae singer Marcia Griffiths.
At one point, soca artist Iwer George led the crowd in a jump and wave. Later, the crowds rocked hard to the dancehall beats of the hip-hop DJs.
Then it was back to South Beach for more partying on Monday — closing day for Urban Beach Week.
Miami Herald writers Daniela Guzman, Kate Howard, Kristofer Rios and Luisa Yanez contributed to this report.