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Egg hunt, chocolate, food festival, jazz, Beethoven and more

It’s March Madness at the Gardens! And when we say madness, doing two full festivals in one month with performing arts and other entertainment every weekend is absolute crazy fun. If you have a membership to the Gardens, entry to all public festivals is free. So if you have not renewed this year or are contemplating becoming a member, now is the time. With the Fine Chocolate and Food Festival and Eggstravaganza, the membership would certainly be paid for. Beyond that, you have daytime entrance to the park 365 days a year. What’s up at the Gardens? Take a look!

Jazz at Pinecrest Gardens presents Latin Grammy nominated saxophonist Ed Calle and his Big Band in an evening of Latin jazz and jazz standards, Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m.; his sensual sounds have appeared on albums by Frank Sinatra, Vicky Carr, Arturo Sandoval and Jon Secada. He has recorded and performed worldwide with artists including Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias and Michael Bolton. Critics hail his technique and musicality as “virtually flawless.” Gate opens at 6:30 for a light supper and refreshments.

Eggstravaganza, Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Calling All Kids! You’ll want to be a part of Miami’s most exciting day of mayhem and madness at Pinecrest Gardens 10th annual Eggstravaganza, the biggest and the best egg hunt in town. Over 50,000 eggs at scheduled egg hunts throughout the day, prizes, face painting, balloon art, interactive games, music, arts and crafts, petting zoo, storytelling, delicious food and even a wildlife show; it’s a virtual wonderland of activities. Join us for all the excitement. Admission is $5.

Fashion in the Gardens, Friday, March 1, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Pinecrest and the Community Foundation invite you to an extraordinary day where all proceeds will benefit the public schools of the Village. Featured will be the latest series of painted dogs (and now cats) entitled “Teacher’s Pets”, all of which will be up for auction. You’ll enjoy a delicious luncheon complete with decadent deserts and a “Fashionista Cocktail”. There will be music, a silent auction, and a preview of spring and summer fashions courtesy of local boutiques at the Gardens Fashion Show in the Banyan Bowl.

Miami Children’s Theater presents: Songs for a New World, Friday, March 1, at 7 p.m. — Jason Robert Brown describes “Songs” as a musical “about living the moment.” It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, take a stand or turn around and go back. The audience is transported from the deck of a 1492 Spanish sailing ship to a ledge 57 stories above Fifth Avenue to meet a startling array of characters ranging from a young man who has determined that basketball is his ticket out of the ghetto to a woman whose dream of marrying rich nabs her the man of her dreams and a soulless marriage. Songs For A New World is a great way to bring the next generation into the theatre. Tickets are $5.

Fourth annual Bike Day, Saturday, March 2, 9 a.m.-Noon — Pinecrest Community Bike Day is back and better than ever, beginning and ending in the Gardens parking lot. There are three routes, (two, three and four miles) that you can follow depending on your ability and stamina. There will be vendor booths, bike helmet giveaways, raffles, the Marlins Show- Mobile and Bounce House, lots of activities for kids and food trucks. It’s good for your health, good for the planet and a good time for all!

Miami Fine Chocolate & Food Show, Saturday and Sunday, March 9-10, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. — The inaugural Miami Fine Chocolate & Food Show is a unique culinary event featuring the talents of Miami’s top chefs as well as fine chocolate from around the world. The event showcases local chefs and world class chocolatiers while presenting a selection of fine food products and beverages. The show features live cooking demonstrations, pairing seminars highlighting fine foods and chocolates alongside crafted beer, wine and spirits, live music and entertainment for the entire family at an affordable price.

Free Beethoven in the Banyan Bowl, Orchestra Miami with conductor Elaine Rinaldi, Sunday, March 17 at 7 p.m.; Join us for our annual free concert. This year we’re featuring Beethoven’s iconic Symphony No. 7. Joining the orchestra will be internationally acclaimed soprano Elizabeth Caballero as soloist for Beethoven’s Ah, Perfido. Tickets are not required for this concert and it’s open seating, so come early. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Gardens Gallery Presents, Taste of the Tropics; March 14-April 3; awards reception, Thursday, March 21, 6-8 p.m.; This thematic exhibition allows students to examine Miami’s nuances while viewing it like a true native as they explore it through the use of various media such as drawing, painting and printmaking. Miami’s natural waterways, mangroves, palm trees, small islands, seagulls, sultry sea breezes, Biscayne Bay lapping at the shore, flora, fauna and sunsets that paint the sky a thousand shades of tangerine and lavender are but a few of the tropical wonders interpreted at this student exhibition.

Chick Flick Friday, Made of Honor, Friday, March 22 at 8 p.m.; “The romantic comedy Made of Honor adds tart satirical flavors to a cotton-candy formula without sabotaging the sugar rush.” — Stephen Holden, New York Times. Delightful romantic comedy revolves around Tom (Patrick Dempsey) and Hannah (Michelle Monaghan), who have been platonic friends for 10 years. He’s a serial dater, while she wants marriage, but hasn’t found Mr. Right. Just as Tom is starting to think that he is relationship material after all, Hannah gets engaged. When she asks Tom to be her “maid” of honor, he reluctantly agrees just so he can attempt to stop the wedding and make her his! Gates open at 6:30 p.m. for music and refreshments. Admission is $5.

Family Friday at the Gardens, Feb. 22, 8 p.m. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; “… that rare breed, an imaginative live-action kids’ film that engages and delights adults.” Sean Axmaker, MSN.com. The world is astounded when Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder), for years a recluse in his factory, announces that five lucky people will be given a tour of the factory, shown all the secrets of his amazing candy, and one will win a lifetime supply of Wonka chocolate. Nobody wants the prize more than young Charlie, but as his family is so poor that buying even one bar of chocolate is a treat, buying enough bars to find one of the five golden tickets is unlikely in the extreme. But, in movieland, magic can happen. Flashlight tours at 7 and 7:30 p.m. and we serve the best hotdogs and popcorn in town. General admission is $5 and children under two enter free.

Learning Made Fun, Botanical Arts and Crafts, Legends & Stories; Join us Saturday, March 2 or March 16 from 2-3:30 p.m. for Krafts-4-Kids. This month our program is entitled Stories and Legends. The class is about the legends surrounding the Banyan and Calabash trees, where they are from, how they are revered in their native India and Mexico. There will be an informative discussion regarding the role of “decomposers”, those insects and worms that help turn plant material back into fertilizer, mulch and enriched soil. These are classes for 6-12 year old students, limited to 20 and cost $5, with all materials included. Call 305-669-6990 for advance reservations.

From the Ground Up, A Garden Reimagined, Thursday, Feb. 28, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Hibiscus Room; organic gardening and pest control — Join horticulturist Craig Morell for the basics of organic gardening and the methods to control those pesky pests that want to eat your crops before you do. Learn the steps for success to creating an organic garden, take home new ideas on how to make your garden productive and renew your vow to eat healthier by growing your own produce. Class is $5. Coffee and snacks will be served.

Pan American Orchid Society, presents annual Orchid Auction, Saturday, March 30, 11 a.m. — Pan American Orchid Society has selected the Gardens as its home. This wonderful society is one of the oldest in Miami. It was founded in 1954 by a group of Pan American Airways employees who wanted to share and expand their love of orchids. Group will hold regular meetings at the Gardens on the third Tuesday of the month beginning in April. Annual Orchid Auction will be a wonderful opportunity to add to your collection or begin a love affair with these magnificent blooms.

For more information, call 305- 669-6990.

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