Miami Beach Turns 100 With a Hundred-Hour, All-Out Bash

If you're freezing your toes off and need another excuse to dig them in some warm sand, here it is -- a once-in-a-century bash.

Miami Beach, that fabulous old broad with great bones and all-night party spirit, is (gasp) turning 100 on March 26. So to celebrate, there's a 100-hour party, a mix of way-out and global, including fashion shows, weddings, fireworks, citizenship naturalizations, and even a 21st-century something called astrophysical concerts.

The festival runs March 22 through 26, and the centennial crowd should be playful, sunny and celebratory -- an antidote to snowmen, slush and salt-covered boots.

I grew up on the Beach and watched it morph from fab to seedy and tacky to really fab, just in my lifetime. Right now stars, star architects, the rich and the glitzy are buying palaces and bling by the same sand and sea where I'd hang around with giggling girlfriends, flirting with cute boys from the north on winter vacay. Today, Miami Beach is a short-list world destination with more-than-cute people from everywhere.

Here's an idea of what will be happening -- with my insider take added. (Detailed info, with schedules of the week's events and ticket pricing, is at

Sunday, March 22
8 a.m. Fitness event (There's always a fitness event in this part of the world, more for show than for health. At least this one is an hour later than the others to come.)
2 p.m. Beach party (This is not Beach Blanket Bingo. Abs, pecs and boobs will prevail, plus music and conga lines.)
8 p.m. Fashion and car show (Just sitting on Ocean Drive on a typical winter Saturday night is a car show, as the Lamborghinis and Ferraris cruise by.)

Monday, March 23
7 a.m. Fitness event (The Sunday fitness event is later not because of church-going, but Saturday-night partying.)
12 p.m. Wedding of 100 couples (Want to be a part of the celebration? Register: 305-673-7577 or
8 p.m. "Let's Get Astrophysical" concert. (Not an Olivia Newton-John cover, this far-out event uses sounds from outer-space by astrophysicist Fiorella Terenzi, professor of astrophysics at Florida International University. Worth bragging rights as a strange thing.)

Tuesday, March 24
7 a.m. Fitness event (One more time, an antidote to over-indulging, working off those stone crabs and mojitos)
12 p.m. Beach party (More music, games and oogling)
12 to 9 p.m. Tennis pro and celebrity exhibition (Lobs -- not slobs -- in the sun)

Wednesday, March 25
10 a.m. 100-person naturalization ceremony (Might be touching, Bring tissue.)
5 p.m. Miami Beach Food Truck & Music Fest at North Shore Bandshell (Sounds like this could be the most fun of all)

Thursday, March 26
2 to 6 p.m. Small stage concert event (Lead-ins to the biggies, which means up-and-coming talent, and lots of music and dancing)
6 p.m. Main centennial concert event Miami Beach "100-Hour" Centennial's Lineup: Gloria Estefan, Andrea Bocelli, 28 Others

Events are free and open to the public, but Beach residents will have a reserved section at the concert, and a limited number of premium tickets are for sale.

And whether we attend or not, here's wishing the balmy old gal a happy hundreth! She's no spring chicken (even with sides of black beans and rice and mango salsa) -- but she's better than ever.