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South Florida High Season Arrives With Boat & Art Shows

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(Source: CBS4) An aerial view of Miami Beach and the boats gathered for the Miami International Boat Show 2011

(Source: CBS4) An aerial view of Miami Beach and the boats gathered for the Miami International Boat Show 2011

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida is jam packed with people this weekend ready to enjoy our great weather and great events as we kick off our busiest time of year with a weekend full of pricey boats and plenty of art.

There are four major boating and art events this weekend including the Miami International Boat Show, the Yacht & Brokerage Show, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the brand new Art Wynwood contemporary art fair.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to attend these events.

The Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail takes place at three locations in Miami Beach and Miami.

Click here for a Guide To The Miami International Boat Show

The Coconut Grove Arts Festival will mark its 49th year with about 380 artists — 30 more than in 2011. Last year the event drew about 100,000 visitors who spent an estimated $4-6 million.

Click here for a Guide to The Coconut Grove Arts Festival

Art Wynwood is cross-promoting with the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, running shuttles near the Fontainebleau hotel and Miami International Boat Show locations downtown.

The boat show also brings tourists and locals into South Florida restaurants and bars. Baoli Vita restaurant and lounge in South Beach catered to the boat and yacht show clientele by throwing a “Love Boat” party, complete with servers and hostesses dressed as captains and sailors. General Manager Michael Ridald says the extra effort is worth it.

“I would say we double our sales, the entire sale of the week. It’s a good thing for us and a good thing for Miami.”

Don’t expect the crowds to let up any time soon. Still ahead for South Florida, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Miami International Film Festival, Sony Ericsson Open, Cadillac Championship golf tournament, Ultra Music Festival, Winter Music Conference and, finally, Easter in early April.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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