Every year Miami Beach’s Art Deco heritage gets a big tip of the hat in the form of a three-day festival that brings thousands to Ocean Drive to marvel at the wonders of the architecture, furniture, clothing, cars, knick knacks, jewelry and music of this creative period that straddled the two World Wars.
Ocean Drive will be filled to the brim with vendors peddling Deco-inspired wares, antique cars in mint condition, wandering street performers dressed for the era plus performances aplenty. The SOBE Shirleys are back; eight Shirley Temple impersonators will roam the festival with the singular mission of taking selfies with attendees. If you find all eight, well, there is no real prize except a feeling of accomplishment.
The musical entertainment, which takes place at The Promenade located at 12th Street and Ocean Drive on the sand, includes acts like Alex Baugh and the Crazy Carls, The Decotones, WDNA Jazz Bootcamp Ensemble, Swingsomnia, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes, the South Florida Lindy Collective, Allan Harris and the Deco All Stars, Bobby Rodriguez Big Band and Cat Shell as Kitty Carmichael.
This year the festival has added a new element for Art Deco dance lovers, the Dance-A-Thon. On Saturday from 3-6 p.m. participants can boogie woogie their way through five decades of music – from the ’20s to the ’70s – to see who will be the last lindy hopper standing. Prizes will go to the best dancer and best costume plus participants will be entered into a raffle to win a five-day trip to Napier, New Zealand’s Art Deco Weekend, which takes place Feb. 18-22, 2015.
The lecture series, held at the Art Deco Museum at 10th Street and Ocean Drive, will feature a lecture by Sally Jackson about Art Deco history in Napier, New Zealand, a look at Miami Beach’s storied history with the Mob, more tidbits about Miami Beach history with author and historian Carolyn Klepser and many more.
Look out for the Life Is Art block from 11th to 12th Streets which is curated by Life Is Art, a local nonprofit arts organization. Two dozen visual artists will have their works on display including Eleazar Delgado, Eugenio Jaramillo, Nadine Creates and Josephine Reyes.
For the uninitiated, the Art Deco walking tours will be heading out throughout the event highlighting different themes like architecture, LGBT history in Miami Beach, cocktails, Collins Park and Jewish history.