Local boat shows, art showcases to draw Presidents Day weekend crowds

MIAMI (WSVN) - South Florida is preparing to welcome hundreds of thousands of boat professionals and enthusiasts for the Miami International Boat Show and Miami Yacht Show, but Presidents Day weekend promises to offer something for everybody.

Flags flying and knots tied, Biscayne Bay filled with boats and yachts of all sizes, all for the world-renowned showcases.

This year’s Miami International Boat Show features more than 1,000 powerboats and sailboats.

“We are going to open up the greatest collection of boats and recreational products anywhere in the world,” said Larry Berryman, director of the Miami International Boat Show. “Nearly 1,400 boats are on display.”

Meanwhile, the Miami Yacht Show promises glitz and glam, with hundreds of expensive luxury vessels on display.

“This year, we have more new boats on site than we’ve ever had,” said Dean Fillichio with the Miami Yacht Show. “You’ve got over 400 yachts and super yachts on display here, and we kind of try to accommodate everyone.”

In an effort to alleviate traffic on the roads, the famed show is offering free water taxi rides.

Boat show organizers said attendees don’t have to be seasoned experts or pros.

“There’s tons of stuff to do. Tons of stuff to see. You can buy anything from boating accessories up to large yachts,” said Fillichio. “We want the attendees to feel like they’re seeing new things every year.”

“Educational components. There’s new food and beverage components,” said Berryman. “Every year you come to the show, we enhance it just a little bit.”

Weekend crowds that don’t have their sea legs can head to the Coconut Grove Arts Festival. The event is celebrating its 57th year with music, fun and tons of art.

“We’ve got the concert, we’ve got the chefs’ table, and we have 380 great artists and a jury, which is always exciting,” said Monty Trainer, the festival’s president and CEO, “and we have a culinary presentation every day.”

This year, a member of Miami royalty, Emily Estefan, will be kicking things off. She will be taking center stage at Peacock Park, Friday night.

“There’s going to be a giant clam that descends, and then it’s going to open, and — I’m just kidding,” said Estefan.

The pre-festival concert, An Evening Under the Stars, is the first in the Grove’s long-standing history.

“I’m super thrilled and honored,” said Estefan. “Hopefully there will be more and more music incorporated into the festival, but it’s arts, and it encompasses everything, so it’s going to be beautiful.”

The daughter of power couple Gloria and Emilio Estefan said audiences can expect a real show.

“We’re playing some music that has never been played before,” said Estefan. “It’s not even released, which I keep it to one show a year here, so we go all out, pull the tricks out of our sleeves.”

Art lovers can also head to One Herald Plaza to attend this year’s Art Wynwood, held this weekend in collaboration with the Miami Yacht Show. The event kicked off Thursday with a VIP preview.

“Phenomenal time. Having a blast so far,” said art lover Arthur Bacon. “South Florida, Miami, right? That’s what we come here for.”

“It’s all fabulous,” said attendee Wendy Weber.

Organizers said this year’s showcase features dozens of exhibits from artists and galleries all around the world.

“Here you can see masters … and emerging artists from all over the world,” said an Art Wynwood spokesperson.

“Great artists, great people watching and great champagne,” said Weber.

From art and music, to boats and yachts, South Florida will offer a fun-filled weekend no matter what.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Miami International Boat Show

Miami Yacht Show

Coconut Grove Arts Festival

Art Wynwood

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