No street fair, but Miami Book Fair gets creative virtually


Virtual this year, the Miami Book Fair will be Nov. 15-22 with hundreds of events for all ages. Everything is free with access registration.

Miami Dade College

For 37 years, the Miami Book Fair has been a celebration of connection through author conversations, workshops, and all types of events that highlight our love for stories and learning.

The anticipated week-long event, hosted by Miami Dade College, is pivoting this year to a virtual and free format, starting Sunday and continuing through Nov. 22. It will be more engaging than ever, organizers said, especially for children.

“We have built a Miami Book Fair that represents diversity of subject matter, diversity of presenting authors and diversity of fair goers,” said Lissette Mendez, MBF’s programs director.

“We have built a program that introduces more than 20,000 children each year to books and writers, instilling in each of them a love for reading that will support their educational pursuits,” Mendez said.

It has not been easy to be proactive and remain socially engaged while practicing social distancing, but the team has persevered through interactive online events since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Transforming an event that has been exclusively in person for more than a generation has indeed been challenging, but the opportunity for growth through digital delivery of programs is also motivating for us,” Mendez said.

Children’s Alley this year will be more fun than ever. In addition to author readings there will be games, science experiments, concerts, arts and crafts, poetry and music. Best of all, youth-related activities normally held during one weekend will now be available all eight days.

Some of the highlights are events with Bill Nye the Science Guy, actress Natalie Portman and her fables and Tony with Kenny and his Beasts.

And if you want to boost your memory, check out Nelson Dellis’ memory tricks. He’s a two-time champion of the USA Memory Championship and lives in Coconut Grove.

If you want to boost your memory, check out Nelson Dellis’ memory tricks at the Miami Book Fair. He’s a two-time champion of the USA Memory Championship and lives in Coconut Grove. Miami Book Fair

The fun also includes activities featuring the “Nat Enough” series, and the Muse Squad led by Miami’s own Chantel Acevedo, The “Storm Runner” books, and the “Animorphs” series.

Kids can join in workshops on how to write a song, build a video game, write a poem, and learn more about BattleBots.

Every day, there will be something new in Children’s Alley so be sure to check the schedules, especially the daily workshops starting at 4 p.m., Nov. 16 with Spoken Word Writing with Guitars Over Guns.

Book Fair visitors must also check out the Florida Writer’s Map, a map of Florida with pins marking all the places in the state with names of authors, filmmakers, and musicians.

Florida Writer’s Map MBFO 2020.jpg
The Miami Book Fair created a map of Florida representing the names of authors, filmmakers and musicians who work throughout the state. Miami Book Fair

Everything you need to join in the 2020 Miami Book Fair fun is at and you can also learn more and follow events on social media @miamibookfair, #MiamiBookFair2020 #MBF2020 and #MiamiBookFairOnline. While everything is free, you need to register to access all events.

Youth Symphony to perform at NASA space launch

Set your calendars to watch the NASA Launch of Sentinel-6/Michael Freilich mission Nov. 21 where we will be treated to a collaborative virtual performance of “America the Beautiful” that includes young musicians in our Greater Miami Youth Symphony.

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Inside SpaceX’s Payload Processing Facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the U.S.-European Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich ocean-monitoring satellite is being encapsulated in its payload fairing on Nov. 3. Randy Beaudoin NASA

The historic launch of the Earth-observing satellite is scheduled for 12:17 p.m. EST. The pre-launch commentary show, including the video of virtual performances by Greater Miami Youth Symphony, Greenville County Youth Orchestra, Winston-Salem Youth Symphony, and MUSYCA Children’s Choir, will likely begin around 11:30 a.m.

According to NASA, the “historic U.S.-European partnership with the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft will begin a five-and-a-half-year prime mission to collect the most accurate data yet on global sea level and how our oceans are rising in response to climate change.”

MCCJ Awards Go Virtual

Share in the excitement when eight civic and community leaders receive the Humanitarian Silver Medallion during the Virtual 85th Anniversary Celebration presented by MCCJ, formerly known as the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ).

Throughout its 85 years, MCCJ has continued to gather leaders, stakeholders, and regular citizens in “frank discussions to find solutions and make recommendations about local issues and challenges affecting the community.”

The ceremony, which was originally scheduled for March, will be emceed by WPLG’s news anchor Calvin Hughes 6-7 p.m., Nov. 22.

WPLG news anchor Calvin Hughes will emcee the Humanitarian Silver Medallion ceremony awarded to eight community leaders, part of the Virtual 85th Anniversary Celebration of MCCJ.

The event is co-chaired by Cristina Pereyra-Alvarez and Cesar Alvarez, with honorary chairs Marsha & Brian Bilzin, and Gail Ash & Albert E. Dotson, Jr. For more information and donation levels, visit

Learn About Internet Scams

Unfortunately, many seniors are susceptible to online fraud and phishing. In an effort to educate residents, the Coral Gables Adult Activity Center is collaborating with the City’s Information Technology Department to offer a practical webinar on scam prevention 2-3 p.m., Nov. 18, through Zoom.

Participants will learn tips on how to protect themselves from becoming victims of Internet scams and deceptive emails. The event is free to the public.

If you’d like to join this meeting, go to Zoom link, call 305-461-6764, or write to [email protected] for more details.

If you have news for this column, write to [email protected].

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