For more than two decades, The Great Taste of The Grove has ushered in a miscellany of tastes, sips, and sounds for participants of all ages in order to raise funds for the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce. Crowds of up to 20,000 descend upon local cuisine from area eateries as chefs grill up their own specialties during live cooking demonstrations. Wine samples, beer, and cocktails from renowned libations manufacturers acquaint themselves with uninitiated taste buds, and entertainment includes Saturday's Tribute concert covering songs from Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, and Journey and Sunday's Clash of the Decades featuring a mix from the 50s tunes to modern hits with headliner Suenalo. While adults mingle, youngsters can head to the adventure park, where they can hop on carnival rides or get their faces painted.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba.
Pinecrest Community Center fosters community engagement with fitness classes, social events, and educational opportunities, all held in supportive group settings. Here, guests will find a fitness center with all the weights, core training equipment, and cardio workouts they need to slim down and squeeze back into their favorite childhood car seat. Classes are a main component of the center's mission, and the course topics here range from health and wellness to arts and education. Some examples include yoga and Pilates classes, modern dance and ballet, a Chinese-speaking course, and a mommy-and-me arts class. Additionally, the center also hosts lectures and seminars as well as informal game nights, so that members of the community can come together to socialize and engage in friendly competition.
In 1980, Harry and Darlene Kelton moved their houseboat to the Pelican Harbor Marina and discovered an injured brown pelican. Without the aid of animal-care experience, they removed a fishhook from his mouth and rehabilitated him. This led them to form the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in their shed. With the help of volunteers and trained staff, the seabird station rescues, treats, and rehabilitates sick and injured wildlife, and promotes their preservation with educational programs and research efforts. The center specializes in brown pelicans, most of which are entangled in fishing tackle, but will treat any animal brought in for care. In 2007, they treated 87 bird species and 39 mammals, nonmigratory birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
Since 1989, The Miami Symphony Orchestra has mimicked Miami’s cultural diversity with concerts and events that act as a melting pot of musical influences. Music director Eduardo Marturet, a Venezuelan composer and conductor, helms many of the concerts, encouraging the musicians to unleash their inner Beethovens or Bachs—former members of the ’80s hair-metal band Skid Row.
The Big Heart Paddle challenges philanthropic paddleboarders with 3- and 5-mile races, the proceeds of which benefit Bravery Beads, an organization dedicated to serving children with cancer. A sprawling 3-mile course welcomes any type of standup board, which racers steer through the water using standard paddles or inflatable pool noodles. The competitive 5-mile race allows only 12.5-inch stock boards, supplying loaners to those who need them, and putting entrants of all experience levels on an even playing field in order to show off refined paddling techniques or the ability to leap from board to dolphin back. Kicking off with a prerace coffee and breakfast, the event extends into a party, boasting an array of energy boosters such as a DJ, photo booth, and free beer, with event sponsors including Kona Brewery, Fratelli La Bufala, Lime Fresh Mexican, Zico, and more. All participants and spectators can attend, taking the opportunity to witness the Most Stylish Paddle award and to swap anecdotes about besting Poseidon.