As you enter the Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo this year you will be captivated by two vibrant eyes gazing back at you.
They call it "The Eyes of Miami": A mural wall dripping with candy apple red, butter corn yellows and cotton candy blues showcases the city's colorful spirit.
But on Thursday, the unveiling of the artwork and the official opening ceremony of the 61st annual fair had to be canceled as a result of heavy rains.
Die-hard fair-goers and spring breakers flooded through the gates just the same, although some were forced to take cover beneath the new masterpiece above the ticket booth area.
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"Street Romantic Voodoo" is what spray paint artist Chor Boogie calls the artwork, which he created with Erni Vales, a New York graffiti artist.
The mural is an explosion of color. Without referring to a plan or a sketchbook, Boogie created the top portion with just a vision and a can of paint. Vales painted the bottom half.
"It was improv. It was all straight from the heart to the wall, " Boogie said.
The California native has created paintings for celebrities such as Hugh Hefner and Jay-Z. He says the mural is a touch of how he views Miami, plus more.
"I'm bringing a little of my culture to Miami."
Fond of colors and their ability to alter moods, Boogie says they dominate the mural.
"They're emotional landscapes of a melodic symphony. All colors have therapeutic attributes, " he said.
Vales' goal was to have the mural, which is visible from the parking lot, build up excitement beyond the fair's walls.
"I tried to capture some of the elements of the fair, to build up anticipation of people coming as they park their cars. They see the wall and they start to get excited, " Vales said.
The mural features a flying roller coaster with seats that spell out Miami; there is also a crew of colorful clowns. It all screams fun.
It took 11 days and more than 100 cans of paint to complete the mural.
Soon the mural will grace one million fizzing Pepsi cans that will be sold in South Florida.
Organizers say this year's fair will bring it up a notch - and they hope it will attract a new audience.
"We've been here 61 years, and it's very hard to bring something new every year because we've done it all. We've now come to the point where we are relating to different demographics, " said Nancy Chevres, Fair & Expo vice president of marketing.
For the next 16 days, there will be live entertainment, special performances by Grammy-award winning artists like Chino y Nacho, appearances by WWE stars and a variety of new activities for children like Cat in the Hat, Dinosaur Train and Super Why.
The fair runs through April 1. Regular admission costs $10; children 5 and younger get in free.
The fair is located at 10901 SW 24th St. For more information, visit www.fairexpo.com.