Many may not be aware of the fact that Coconut Grove is Miami’s original art district. In 1963, local theatre expert Charlie Cinnamon asked several locals to recreate an outdoor Paris-themed exhibition as a publicity stunt for the Coconut Grove Playhouse’s production of Irma la Douce.
The art world of Miami really benefited starting from Charlie, when he took a visit to the Coconut Grove Playhouse and became a key figure in the community. The Coconut Grove Arts & Historical Association continues to honor Cinnamon’s legacy with the tradition of providing the South Florida community access to visual, performing and culinary arts experiences.
That small little exhibition turned in to something beyond expected; a festival that features thousands of art pieces from worldwide artists, over 50 restaurants and gourmet vendor partners featuring foods from countries like Greece, Venezuela, China, Spain, and several music performances throughout the festival’s hours.
The festival is held every Presidents day weekend, and it takes up nearly one mile along Biscayne Bay’s waterfront streets. Each day features different events throughout the day, such as drama-performances, musical concerts, celebrity chef-led cooking demonstrations, tastings, art technique demonstrations, and many more. There is every form of art imaginable that people can think of.; Acrylic paintings, oil pastel work, sculptures made from randomly found recyclable objects, ceramics, photography, the list goes on.
Estimates show that about 120,000 people attend the festival every year, with numbers increasing with no problem, as art is expanding it’s audience, culture, and even styles. This 3-day event really has no limits to it’s art, especially since the number of tourists increase anually on both sides of the artwork; artists AND viewers.