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MiMo Madness festival this Saturday

The Miami MiMo district’s history will be celebrated Saturday at the annual MiMo Madness street festival.

By Rodolfo Roman

Special to The Miami Herald

When opening his first restaurant, The American Noodle Bar, chef Michael Bloise considered several spots across South Florida.

But it was a historic place that caught his attention: the MiMo District.

“The area has come along the way. It has had its ups and downs,” said Bloise, who opened his restaurant in November. “But within the last year it has been coming up.”

Bloise will join an estimated 2,500 people in celebrating the historic neighborhood and its Miami Modern architecture at the fourth annual MiMo Madness street festival on Biscayne Boulevard between 66th and 72nd streets on Saturday. A stage will be set up at Legion Park, 6447 NE Seventh Ave. The free festival is sponsored by a volunteer community organization, the MiMo Biscayne Association.

The one-day event brings foot traffic to the area, which is perfect for promoting stores and restaurants in the area said Bloise.

“To draw people and bring attention to the area is what it is about,” he said. “This will show what we are capable of. It will showcase our homes, businesses, and streets.”

Formerly held in May and called “Cinco de MiMo,” the event will showcase the history of the area in fun fashion. It was started as a way to promote the area, which was designated historic by the city of Miami in 2006. The MiMo district extends from Northeast 50th to 77th Street.

This year’s theme is “new-vaudeville street extravaganza,” featuring street performances, an outdoor market filled with antiques, artisans and crafts vendors.

“New Vaudeville is a rendition of vaudeville acts from the past with a twist,” said Nancy Liebman, acting president of MiMo Biscayne Association. “It could be mixing clowning with performance art or experimenting with punk cabaret, the result is a bold and vibrant public theater.”

At Legion Park, performers will sing, dance and revive music from the vaudeville era. On the streets, there will be burlesque, cabaret and alternative circus acts.

Also part of the entertainment, the PlayGround Children’s Theatre: staging stores, Boise Bob and his Backyard Band and the Almost Blue band will perform.

It’s the perfect family event “to learn more about the historic district, to have fun, to eat in the many restaurants, to shop in the local boutiques as well as from the antique and crafts vendors, to take walking tours, to understand the importance of historic preservation districts” said Liebman.

For Bloise, he plans on preparing a special dish and handing out complimentary snacks.

“These community events keep highlighting the growth of the MiMo district,” he said.

A list of performers and schedule can be found by visiting www.mimomadness.com.

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