By: Kara Franker
What You Need to Know About the Miami Design Preservation League’s Free Art Deco Weekend 2018
Head to palm tree-lined Ocean Drive in South Beach for the annual Art Deco Weekend, where you’ll find historic pastel-colored and neon-lit Art Deco structures as far as the eye can see. Take part in a variety of fun, free and festive events taking place January 12-14, 2018.
Every year, Ocean Drive is converted to a pedestrian-only promenade for three full days where crowds gather to enjoy more than 85 special events. Expect at least 150,000 people to stroll in for the festival which was created by the Miami Design Preservation League nearly 40 years ago with the mission to showcase the stunning Art Deco buildings of South Beach.
The street fair along Ocean Drive includes vintage and fine art, musical entertainment, antiques, food, live performances and more. Enjoy live music including jazz, swing and more in Lummus Park. If you’re more of a Charleston fan, practice your dancing skills at the Jazz Age at Art Deco VIP Lounge. Stop by the Art Deco Welcome Center, where you can participate in a wide range of activities and watch live theater by Miami’s leading cultural and educational institutions.
Whether you channel The Great Gatsby, are a history buff, a classic car enthusiast, or are just looking for fun things to do with your kids, Art Deco Weekend has it all!
Here are just a few of the must-see events during Art Deco Weekend:
Visit artdecoweekend.com for the full list.
Vintage Cars on Ocean Drive
What: Classic Car Show, presented by the South Florida Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America, will feature antique and classic cars dating back as early as 1900.
When: Saturday & Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Along Ocean Drive from 5th street to 10th street
Retro Fashion Show
What: Attend the Retro Fashion Show and you’ll be instantly transported to the roaring 1920s. Miami Design Preservation League’s volunteer Fashion Show Director and vintage enthusiast, Angela La Muse, has curated a show inspired by the 1920s and 30s with a touch of mid-century class. These new designs will be followed by vintage styles from L.A. Boudoir Miami and available for purchase after the show.
When: Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
Where: Outside of the Art Deco Welcome Center at 10th and Ocean Drive
Bark Deco Dog Show
What: A fun-loving dog show that’s open to the public, the Bark Deco Dog Show is always a well-attended event. Anyone with a dog can enter one or all categories. There will also be a showcase of furry friends who need a new home and will be up for adoption.
When: Sunday. Registration at 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and the show starts at 1 p.m.
Where: At the front steps of the Art Deco Welcome Center at 10th and Ocean Drive
Art Deco Lecture Series
What: Attend one of the highly-regarded lectures on a wide range of preservation and history related topics. One of the highlights of the Art Deco Weekend Lecture Series will occur on Friday Jan 13th, where the topic will be Art Deco Tourism where you will hear from George Neary and Ceci Velasceo, “The Queen of Ocean Drive”.
When: Saturday at 6 p.m.
Where: Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave
Don’t miss out on any of these other popular events:
- Jazz Age at Art Deco VIP: Enjoy live music from local and world-renowned musicians, retro cocktails, dancing and VIP lounge -- all under the palms in Lummus Park.
- Official Guided Walking Tours of the Art Deco Historic District: Take one of these popular tours or one of many other specialty tours ranging from Cocktails with a Twist to Private Home Tours.
- Deco Kids Club: Bring the kids and treat them to plenty of activities and live theater by Miami’s leading cultural and educational institutions.
- Live Music and Lounges: Enjoy live music including jazz, swing, rock, classical, sax players and steel drums day and night in our pop-up lounges -- with a cool drink in hand -- and all under the stars and palms in Lummus Park.
- Antique & Design Promenade: Shop this special area for your home or for great gifts -- featuring design, antique, vintage and fine art dealers from around the country.
- Street Fair & Marketplace: Take in this fantastic experience with vendors, lots of dining options, live theater, costumed attendees and other entertainment.
- Experience Ocean Drive: Dine at one of many specialty restaurants. Stop in one of the unique Art Deco hotels or bars for a drink and entertainment -- just like everyone did when this world-famous street was originally built.
Some events and activities are ticketed. Admission is based on availability. To purchase in advance or for more information, please visit the following websites.
Tickets also may be purchased on-site on a space-available basis. Find a place to stay near the action and learn more about Art Deco style and architecture.
The History of Art Deco Weekend
Art Deco Weekend began in 1976 as a small grassroots festival produced by the nonprofit Miami Design Preservation League to save the Art Deco buildings along Ocean Drive. At the time, many of the buildings in the area were in disrepair and in danger of destruction. Today, the Art Deco District has the largest concentration of Art Deco buildings in the United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
What is Art Deco style?
Also known as Streamline Moderne or Tropical Deco, Art Deco style in South Beach is characterized by symmetry, floral and aquatic embellishments and nautical designs reminiscent of ocean liners.
To learn more about the Art Deco and the Art Deco Historic District, take an Official Guided Walking Tour and attend the well-regarded Lecture Series on a wide range of preservation and historical topics.
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