48th Annual Coconut Grove Art Festival
February 19th - 21st, 2011
Coconut Grove, Miami Florida
I know I have written about how I dislike most of the art festivals that occur in South Florida, this one is different. Voted one of the best outdoor art festivals every year, Coconut Grove offers a spectacular exhibition. Hundreds of fine artist line the streets with their artwork. Each artist takes a small tent and sets up shop showing all original work. The show is juried so the quality is strong and the reputation of the festival pulls artists from around the world. Many world class artists with big followings have shown and still show at this event. Clyde Butcher was an exhibitor until recently and James Gibson, the famous Highwayman, never misses Coconut Grove.
My advice for your enjoyment is to have a plan. Map out where the festival starts and ends and try to park as close as possible to an entrance. To get up close, in classic Miami fashion, you can find neighbors willing to let you park in their yards for a small fee. Most important, if you really want to see the art and talk to the artists, Go Early! By noon the crowds are so great that you will have a hard time getting close to the tents to see the work. It also can get really hot by midday. I make sure I arrive by 10am. That gives me 2 hours to walk the festival, talk to the artists and even go back to any work I want to see again. Make sure you check out the Church Art Festival that takes place along side of the main festival. After you have seen everything make your way over to Myers Park for some festival food! Now is the time to find a place in the grass, get a drink or two and enjoy the afternoon. There is usually a musical act on the main stage to enjoy and the people watching is pure entertainment. The weather will be spectacular this weekend, perfect for the festival.
Another idea, and one my parents did for years, is to make a weekend out of it. Get a room at the Mayfair or Ritz Carlton, both just a block from the festival. That way you can see the festival at your leisure, check out the Miami Boat Show that is also taking place and at night find a little restaurant in the Grove. Very Romantic!
The Coconut Grove Art Festival website with Map