Art Deco Weekend Festival 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Christine & Ma Cherie in front of 1970's Mini Cooper

It was a glorious weekend in terms of both weather and fun in South Beach. This weekend Ocean Drive closed its streets for the 34th annual Art Deco Weekend Festival, one of my favorite cultural festivals. "Selling Glamour & Style" was this year's theme and it certainly spoke to fashion and design enthusiasts.

The festival aimed to educate visitors that Art Deco is not limited to architecture but encompasses design in furniture, fashion, and jewelry.  From lectures, to a red carpet fashion show to a series of films about tropical deco elements in advertising and the power of persuasion in the 1930s and 1940s.

Under a clear, blue sky and spring-like temperatures, the festival kicked off with a parade Saturday morning of collector antique cars ranging from a 1936 Ford, to 1953 red Cadillac to a 1968 Chevrolet, the lines, the fins, the colors were pure CLASSIC.

Some cars carried owners, local politicians or hunky, shirtless firefighters.

Christine with hunky firefighters

Behind the cars was the "Arf Deco Parade", a dog parade. Owners and dogs were asked to dress up in their best. I think most attendees missed the owner dressing up part as I seemed to be the only one in Art Deco attire. My little girl, Ma Cherie, was fashionably dressed in her red coat with leopard fur trim on the collar and sleeves.  Her hair swept up in red and white Cartier bows.  I can't tell you how many photographers asked us to pose for their cameras--both tourists and professional photographers.  Surely we made it onto some local newspaper. If I only knew which one!

The festival is held every year around the third weekend of January and organized by the Miami Design Preservation League. A highlight are the hourly guided tours. They include the regular tours "Ocean Drive & Beyond", "Criminal Underworld Tour", and "Lincoln Road Tour".  A new popular tour is "Cocktails with a Twist".  This tour incorporates Art Deco history while sipping a cocktail in an Art Deco building.  All lectures, exhibits, films are free. The tours cost $20 a person except for the Cocktail tour which costs $30 per person.
Speaking of cocktails, no one has invented the Art Deco cocktail yet! Now there's an idea!

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