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Art Lovers Connect At Coconut Grove Arts Festival

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COCONUT GROVE (CBSMiami) -- 54 years of fun, food and art in the Grove!

The Coconut Grove Arts Festival is up and running as thousands peruse the work from more than 350 artists.

"I've seen people from Boca to Key West," said City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado. "Thousands of people from Miami-Dade County, a lot of artists, local artists. What I really enjoy most are local artists. Every year, we have more here."

Bayshore Drive becomes a giant street party every year. The yummy festival food, live music and hundreds of booths line the waterfront with incredible art -- from paintings to photographs to jewelry to sculpture.

"It's one of the best shows in the nation," said Gilda Sacasas. "It's a very hard show to get in to and it gives a lot of prestige to the artist to be chosen to participate in this show."

The well-known marine life artist, Guy Harvey, created the official poster for this year's festival.

"It's probably one of the finest art shows in the entire state. It's a great chance for all the up-and-coming artists to meet the public," said Harvey. "I always say there is no replacement for a face-to-face encounter with some of your favorite artists. You know, we live in a digital age and it's kind of impersonal, so it's really nice to get the opportunity to meet the artist and discuss their work."

Another highlight? Spanish-language celebrity chef Pepín plans to break a Guinness World Record for the largest arroz con pollo by cooking his own 4,000 lb. dish. Sounds like a work of art to us!

An estimated 120,000 people are expected to make their way to the festival. Proceeds from the weekend go toward art programs in the Miami-Dade County school system.

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