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Wednesday, December 23, 2015


       Local merchants association will do anything to draw warm bodies to Coconut Grove.  Last October they gave us three festivals that churned Peacock Park into a field of dead grass and mud. 

      Taking advantage of this unfortunate situation, 
we will have the Grove's first dirt festival, "DirtFest" this weekend. 
    City workers have bulldozed the dead grass into four-acres of pillowy, black soil. 
     Like October's Pumpkin Festival, it will bring out the kids (and the "kid" in the rest of us).  What youngin' isn't happy playing King of the Dirt Pile?

Small orange flags have been placed strategically to encourage Capture the Flag competitions.
  Thanks to yesterday's rain, there is also an amazing mud pit.  Splash through it or stare at your reflection. Wallowing in it could be a Woodstock experience.

    Unlike other festivals,  the "Dirt Fest" is un-fenced and free.  It is brought to us by feckless promoters and poor park management.  They turned grass into dirt. We're turning lemons into lemonade.
    There will be no live music or food for sale.  Bring a picnic basket, kazoo, and a very old blanket. It will probably get dirty.

    There are acres of rich soil for you to enjoy. Tons of it to climb, toss, and and make festive dirt angels in.

   Dig it while you can.
   Peacock Park's dirt festival will continue until next month. That's when the city is planning to cover it with fresh squares of grass. 
    Once the new sod takes hold, the Grove art festival will come in with tents and trucks to tear it up once more.  
   That's when DirtFest II begins.



      Three years ago our former city commissioner, Mark Sarnoff, gave the southwest corner of Peacock Park to the private school next door.  The school fenced off the basketball and soccer courts for their exclusive use. I'm happy to report that when I visited last weekend the gates were unlocked, open to the public.

      The City of Miami closed down the Park's community center, the "Glass House" four years ago. 

  Earlier this year it started showing signs of life when the western half opened as a gathering space.  There is an after-school program and rec room. 
  On a Sunday afternoon it was empty, waiting for you to enjoy a game of Ping Pong, air hockey, or Foosball.
      The other half of the Glass House faces the bay.  S l o w l y  it is being 
turned into a restaurant, the "Glass & Vine". 
   It's taken years for this transition.  Why they gave the job to snails in hard hats I'll never know.
     Being snails, they'll  love DirtFest.

                    M e r r y   C h r i s t m a s

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