Things To Do

Art Deco Weekend 2016 takes over South Beach

Art Deco Weekend is a trip back in time.
Art Deco Weekend is a trip back in time.

The Miami Design Preservation League hosts its 39th annual Art Deco Weekend from Friday to Sunday, a three-day street festival that is a celebration of Miami’s Art Deco heritage that explores the design, fashion, movies, music, architecture and history of the Art Deco era, which came to prominence from the 1920s through the ’40s. The event features film screenings, wandering performers, lectures, antiques, classic cars and kids’ activities along Ocean Drive between 5th and 13th Streets, which is blocked off to cars as the street fills with vendors and stages. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s festival.  


Nothing takes you back to the jazz age like a big band. At 12th Street and Ocean Drive the music will be humming all weekend at with a line-up of acts that capture the sound of the era to perfection. Starting at 6 p.m. on Friday catch Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes, the Fruit Stand Jam Band and the Shiny Shoes Band. Saturday the music starts at one and also includes Oriente and SJO Allstars plus the French Horn Collective. Sunday kicks off at one as well and culminates in a performance by the JECC Bootcamp Ensemble and Vinyl Blvd. 

The Art Bar, located at Lummus Park on 9th Street, will have music continuously from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on Saturday.


Parked along Ocean Drive between 5th and 10th Streets from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday will be some of the fanciest cars of yesteryear courtesy of the Florida Antique Automobile Club of America. Expect antique cars of all makes and models, plus trucks and motorcycles from the early 1900s up to 1991. 


The South Florida Lindy Collective keeps swing dance alive and brings it to the masses this weekend. Don your vintage finery and get your Charleston on with them at Art Deco Weekend where they will be cutting a rug on the sands of Miami Beach – actually, more like on a wooden dancefloor on top of the sand in Lummus Park. 


The Art Deco Welcome Center at 10th and Ocean Drive hosts the 6th annual Art Deco Weekend Fashion Show at 12:30 p.m. Saturday offering a review of the fashion of the Art Deco era with Miami Dade Preservation League’s resident artist and fashionista Angela LeMuse curating looks from the ’20s to the ’40s, which will all be on sale at the Official Art Deco Gift Shop following the show. 


Catch two classic gangster films at 8th Street and Ocean Drive each night: At 6 p.m. the 1976 film “Bugsy Malone,” the classic told with an all children’s cast including Jodie Foster, Scott Baio and Florrie Dugger. Then at 8 p.m. is “Bugsy,” the 1991 film starring Warren Beatty and Annette Bening that shows how Bugsy Siegel started Las Vegas. 


While the kids might not share your enthusiasm for gangsters named Bugsy, swing dance and flapper outfits, you can keep them entertained at the Kids’ Club by the playground at 13th Street from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The kids can enjoy art activities, kids’ art deco tours, Sprouted Chef demos, a meet and greet with rescue dogs, the popular Arf Deco Dog Show (11 a.m. Saturday), stage shows, Miami Youth Symphony Jazz Band, and more. 


Art Deco Weekend gets some sabor latino this year with an outpost of Viernes Culturales setting up on Friday from 6-9 p.m. at 8th Street and Ocean Drive. Viernes Culturales (Cultural Friday) is a monthly cultural gathering on Eighth Street in Little Havana with music, art, dominoes, cigars and more. The Miami Design Preservation League and Viernes Culturales want to highlight the historic structures and sites of the Little Havana neighborhood, the hub of Miami’s Cuban immigrant community which is constantly being eyed by developers. Get free salsa lessons and enjoy live music throughout the evening. 


Want to know why events like Art Deco Weekend can happen? It is thanks to a woman like Barbara Baer Capitman (1920-1990), founder of the Miami Design Preservation League in 1976 who fought vehemently to prevent Miami’s Art Deco legacy from falling to developers and disrepair. Miami Design Preservation League’s memorial to Barbara Baer Capitman will receive a public dedication on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Lummus Park and 13th Street. The BBC Memorial, designed by ArquitectonicaGeo, features a bronze bust from a sculpture of Capitman by her mother, artist Myrtle Bachrach Baer, completed in 1939 when Barbara was 19.