The Marlins take the field at Marlins Park: an eco-friendly, 37,000-seat facility equipped with a retractable roof, plexiglass fish tanks behind home plate, and a vibrant sculpture in left-center field that kicks into motion for Marlins home runs. Born in 1993, the Florida Marlins quickly established themselves as contenders in the National League, taking home World Series titles in 1997 and 2003. And today, after some light rebranding to go along with the new stadium, the rechristened Miami Marlins aim to continue traditions new and old, expand their list of Hall of Famers, and train the stadium’s fish to stealthily intercept batting signals.
Seasonal beers like Becks Oktoberfest and Shock Top Pumpkin might rule this Bavarian-themed bash, but Miami Octoberfest has plenty of other attractions to offer. The full-day festival at Marlins Park keeps crowds entertained with a zipline, ferris wheel, and other carnival rides and games, as well as DJs and live music. Between forays to the dance floor, guests can refuel with generous portions of German food.
As couples and groups gather for dinner around Caribbean lobster, steaks, and tapas, the wine flows freely, and eventually, the stillness of early evening gives way to the revelry of nighttime. Flamenco dancers climb onto tabletops, music begins to play, and diners set down their forks to clink glasses, deliver celebratory champagne baths to their loved ones, and do some dancing of their own.
This is the scene at Casa Panza, where dinner transforms into an all-night party. Set amongst Little Havana's sparkling nightlife, the Spanish cafe wraps festive visits in an equally festive experience. Outside, a bastion façade mimics that of a fortress, and inside, Spanish tiles, bodega-style wine racks, and hanging ceramics further immerse guests into the exotic decor. On Friday and Saturday nights, flamenco dancers flock to La Cueva, a party area where 50 to 70 guests can take in the show while noshing on tapas and paella. Even more live music can be found at Salon Rojo, a ballroom and nightclub that books performers from around the world and hosts private receptions for up to 250 guests.
The impassioned and expressive married musical duo Celia and Paco Fonta have been strumming the guitar and dancing through Miami as Siempre Flamenco for more than a quarter century. For their seventh annual Festival de Cante Flamenco, the couple invite a host of internationally known artists to heat up an evening of traditional cante flamenco. Making their festival debut this year, singers Jesus Montoya, Kina Mendez, and Javier Heredia each boast an impressive resumé, fans across both Spain and the States, and an unerring ability to discern castanets from gum-chewing clams. Javier excites the crowd as a festero, able to both dance and sing, joined in step by Celia to twirl and tap across stage. The towering vocals of Jesus, Javier, and Kina explore the octaves while Paco joins forces with guest guitarist Jose "Panzekito" Cortes to fill the stage with a suitably sultry atmosphere. The evening of passion and grace unfolds at the Manuel Artime Theater, one of the largest small theaters in town, with a 60'x30' stage that strikes the right balance between intimacy and accommodation.
For one weekend each year, the flavors and sounds of Peru waft up from the Southern Hemisphere to the streets of Miami. PeruFest USA celebrates Peruvian culture with two full days of food, live music, and contests while also shining a light on other Latin cuisines. Visitors can attend quinoa-cooking demonstrations and classes and enter contests for dishes such as ceviche, which uses citric acid to cook fish rather than the usual method of stuffing hot coals in their gills. Meanwhile, youngsters can attend their own cooking classes, see the elegant gait of the Peruvian Paso during a horse show, and boogie alongside their parents as they watch international dance routines.
Visitors to Miami-Dade County Auditorium witness shows and concerts unfold on the same stage where U.S. presidents, Luciano Pavarotti, and stars of Broadway have respectively stood, sung, and danced. The 60-year old auditorium, known for its cultural contributions to the Miami community, has recently undergone renovations, upgrading its sound system and ensuring its lighting accentuates each actor’s shadow-puppet dream sequences.