What would Miami Beach look like were it not for the efforts of the Miami Design Preservation League? We can only guess what kind of ’80s architectural monstrosities we avoided by declaring our Art Deco buildings off limits for developers who would do away with them. The result has been the unique and beautifully-maintained streetscape of boutique hotels, shops and restaurants we have come to take for granted in South Beach. This weekend, the Preservation League makes us reflect on the era that gave birth to some of the architectural gems that we pass every day with its annual Art Deco Weekend, taking place from Friday to Sunday on Ocean Drive. Here are the highlights:
FUN AND GAMES
What was it like to be an Art Deco kid? For one thing, paper dolls were all the rage. Board games taught you how to be high-stakes real estate speculators (Parker Brother launched Monopoly in 1935, right in the midst of the Great Depression). Die-cast toy motorcycles and rockets helped kids to play out the plots from their favorite comic strips. Check out the toys that children of the Art Deco period coveted on display at an exhibit at the Art Deco Welcome Center (1001 Ocean Drive). Look for Antique Toy Expert Steve Fuller if you have questions. Noon-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
The retirees aren’t the only antiques on the beach. Art Deco Weekend will erect huge tents on 11th Street and Ocean Drive to create a marketplace for vintage furniture, clothing and accessories called The Antique Experience. The Original Miami Beach Antique Show, which takes places Jan. 30-Feb. 3 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, will be displaying a sample of its wares along with Modernism Gallery and many other purveyors of fine antiques. Still wondering what you could get for grandma's fine china? From noon-4 p.m. Sunday antique appraiser Jennifer Bird will be offering appraisals of up to three different items per person for $5, the funds going to the Preservation League’s ongoing advocacy efforts. Noon-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.
Nothing captures the Art Deco era like a long strand of pearls and a bob. You'll see plenty of both at the screenings of Chicago starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Rene Zellweger on Friday and The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo Di Caprio on Saturday at Lummus Park (11th Street and Ocean Drive) at the Antique Experience Tents. Both movies begin at 6:30 p.m. A treat for the Deco lovers-in-training is the Kid-at-Heart film series with Little Rascals (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) and The Wizard of Oz (1 p.m.) screening Sunday at the Art Deco Welcome Center (1001 Ocean Dr.).
For live music head to the stage at 10th Street and Ocean Drive, just south of the Art Deco Welcome Center. Catch acts like Sarah Jane & The Blue Notes (7 p.m. Friday), Allan Harris/Doug Wimbish and the All Star Deco Band (8 p.m. Saturday) and Latin funk outfit Suenalo (9:45 p.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Sunday). Musical performances begin on the 10th Street Stage at 6 p.m. Friday, 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday.
Dogs can get in on the Art Deco action as well at the Arf Deco Parade on Sunday at 11 a.m. taking place on the Serpentine Walkway between Sixth and 13th Streets by Lummus Park on Ocean Drive. Dogs can get dolled up and compete in the costume contest, enjoy treats, games and the doggy photo booth. The Humane Society will be on site to introduce some of its furry friends in need of homes from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Classic cars and motorcycles from the early 1900s up to 1986 roll out courtesy of the Antique Automobile Club of America. Witness the evolution of engineering as these incredibly maintained vehicles parade down Ocean Drive between Fifth and Eighth Streets at 10 a.m. Saturday. The cars will also be on display from 10 a.m. until 3p.m. on Ocean Drive on Sunday.
On Saturday and Sunday there will be eight different Shirley Temples roaming Art Deco Weekend. Photograph all eight Shirley Temples using your mobile device, and then using your favorite social media platform (Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram) share all eight photographs and hashtag #SobeShirley on each one and you will be entered to win. All eight photographs must appear on the same social media platform (Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram) and must be submitted by 5 p.m. Saturday or Sunday to be eligible for a prize drawing on that particular day. Winners will be announced at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Antique Experience Garden and 6 p.m. Sunday at the Music Festival 10th Street Stage.
Join in on Art Deco Weekend’s version of Monopoly — Decopoly — on Saturday and Sunday. First, purchase the Art Deco Weekend Program Guide at the festival for $1. The Decopoly game board folds out of the program. Participants then must acquire a sticker for each colored square (11 in all) by visiting the coordinating vendors, locations and events to complete the Decopoly game board. Submit the completed board to the Antique Experience Tents before 5:30 p.m. Saturday or Sunday. Prizes include tickets to the Miami Culinary Tour, Jet Ski Tours and more.
Thanks to Bettie Page Clothing, Iris Chase Designs, Beauty Touches Group, and Beauty Schools of America, the fourth annual Art Deco fashion show will feature looks and trends from the 1930s and 40s. The styles will also be available for purchase following the show. Models are delegates of the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants and will walk the runway to updated mixes of iconic 1930s tunes. The show begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Art Deco Welcome Center (1001 Ocean Dr.).
JUST FOR KIDS
There will be plenty of activities for children at the Playground Stage sponsored by Post Foods at Lummus Park (Ocean Drive and 13th Street). Among the highlights are Steve Gryb’s “Percussion Petting Zoo” from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, a magic show with Maxwell Treat, and Rick Hubbard’s interactive Kazoobie Kazoo Show. There will also be face painting, arts and crafts, Billy the Marlin and more. The Post Playground is open from Noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
ART DECO TOURS
Learn a thing or two about Art Deco design, delve into Miami Beach’s sordid history of scandal, drink your way across town, learn about the gay and lesbian community or sit in a coach and get chauffered about while learning about the history of Miami Beach on one of the many tours available this weekend. The tour booth is at 10th and Ocean Drive. Tours last 90 minutes and range between $20-$60.