President’s Day weekend brings thousands for boating and art events

COCONUT GROVE, FLA. (WSVN) - - Thousands of residents and visitors are out and about across Miami and Miami Beach to take part in a boatload of special events this President’s Day weekend.

The jam-packed weekend got off to a beautiful start, Friday afternoon, and the picture perfect weather lingered on Saturday. “Nice and warm,” said one man who was out with his family.

Boat lovers can look forward to the latest yacht models at two boat shows: Yachts Miami Beach and the Miami International Boat Show.

Visitors from across the globe walked along Collins Avenue to take in the nice weather and large, expensive yachts.

Meanwhile, on Virginia Key, water taxis and shuttles were on hand to bring in thousands for the 76th annual Miami International Boat Show.

“Very interesting, and there will be a lot of rich people out there to afford boats like these,” said one man visiting from England.

When asked whether he’s been able to board one of the boats, the visitor replied, “Not so far, no, but maybe one day.”

“It’s the world’s greatest boat show,” said Miami Boat Show manager Ben Wold. “What’s really exciting is that we’ve grown, and we have 1,300 boats on display; 1,100 exhibitors and there are 565 boats in water.”

This is the second time the event will be held at Marine Stadium Park. Crews even built a special dock just for the show with three miles of piers, which makes it easy for potential buyers.

“We actually just sold ours,” said potential buyer Brad Deuel. “We’re trying to figure out what we’re gonna do next.”

World renowned manufacturers showed off the newest and latest technology on the water.

“We have 15 boats in the water, and we have one here inside,” said Joey Weller, Vice President of Sales for Grady-White.

On Miami Beach, super yachts lined Collins Avenue, and visitors came from all around to see what the yachts have to offer.

“They’re beautiful,” said Justin Zimmerman, who’s visiting from Illinois. “It’s neat just seeing all the new stuff they come out with.”

However, the entertainment doesn’t stop at the boat shows. For those who aren’t boat hobbyists, there is a lot going on for art lovers at the 54th Coconut Grove Arts Festival.

“Wows, oohs and aahs,” said one man.

“We have 1,200 artists that apply; 380 are accepted,” said Coconut Grove Arts Festival President Monty Trainer.

“It’s our 54th year, and it’s great,” said festival chairman Carlos Chialasgri. “I know we have a great impact on the community, as far as economic impact.”

Sculptor Ryan Schmidt said it’s not so easy to get into the festival. “I’ve been trying for years to get in this event,” he said.

Miramar-based sculptor Ancizar Marin echoed Schmidt’s comments about the event’s competitive nature. “I have to give credit to the show people, because the quality of the work here is very, very good.”

Organizers spent all day Thursday to transform the Grove into an artistic village.

Trainer said there is something for everyone. “We have painting, we have sculpture, we have clay work, jewelry,” he said.

“This is one of my favorite shows in the country,” said Maryland-based sculptor. “I do about 30 art shows a year.”

Even culinary arts took center stage at the festival.

Organizers said they are expecting more than 100,000 people to attend the annual arts showcase by the end of the weekend.

From the classics to the more contemporary, Art Wynwood returns for its sixth year. “We’re just here representing artists that have a huge passion for creating art that’s influenced by music,” said Alicia Mitchell with Art Wynwood.

From the water to the canvas, Miami has something to please everyone for President’s Day weekend. For everything you need to know about the upcoming weekend from parking to tickets to events, check out the links below.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Miami International Boat Show
http://www.miamiboatshow.com/

Yachts Miami Beach
http://www.showmanagement.com/miami_boat_show/event/

Coconut Grove Arts Festival
http://www.cgaf.com/

Art Wynwood
http://www.artwynwood.com/

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