The first long weekend of 2016 approaches and that means a plethora of free or cheap events. Consider: a parade honoring Martin Luther King Jr., a gay Latino street festival, smooth jazz performers, a classical pianist and a flamingo-studded festival.
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Miami celebrates the legacy of inspirational civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech with several free events: a business expo in Palmetto Bay on Friday, Jan. 15; musical performances in Miami Gardens on Sunday, Jan. 17; a parade in Liberty City on Monday, Jan. 18; and volunteer work in South Miami and Florida City also on Monday, Jan. 18.
Drag queens rule Calle Ocho
The first gay Latino street festival in Little Havana is sure to wow audiences with art, music, food, dance and culture. Dubbed Gay8 (GayOcho!), the free festival closes off Southwest Eighth Street (famously known as Calle Ocho) from 14th to 17th avenues from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Sunday, Jan. 17.
Smooth jazz under the Brickell lights
Head on over to Mary Brickell Village for free live smooth jazz on the evening of Friday, Jan. 15. Hosted by the Miami Jazz and Film Society, the Ventana al Jazz concert’s performers will play from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Scheduled are the Chinyere Taylor Quintet from 5:30-6:30 p.m., Carlos Averhoff Quartet from 7-8:15 p.m. and Puerto Rican Latin Jazz Singer Melina Almodovar from 8:45-10 p.m.
Classical piano in Fort Lauderdale and Coral Gables
The Chopin Foundation presents free piano concerts monthly through May in Fort Lauderdale and Coral Gables. This weekend, Joshua Wright will be performing at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Broward County Main Library and at 3 pm Sunday, Jan. 17, at Granada Presbyterian Church.
Flamingo and Florida kitsch in Davie
The Flamingo Fest at Flamingo Gardens in Davie will host a plethora of entertainment, funky art and Florida kitsch from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 16 and 17. And Fort Lauderdale On The Cheap has found a 25 percent off discount.
To keep up with latest news on deals, discounts and free events in South Florida, sign up for the daily Miami on the Cheap newsletter or the daily Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap newsletter. For more tips on what to do this weekend, read the frequently updated Miami on the Cheap weekend roundup of free and cheap events and the Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap weekend events and deals roundup.