With hundreds of people walking along Ocean Drive, a gray Lamborghini resembling a spaceship revved its engine as it passed by spectators outside of the Versace Mansion.
On a block to its right, a reggaeton remix of Lil’ Jon and DJ Snake’s “Turn Down For What” boomed loudly onto Ocean Drive.
Moments like these on Friday evening set the stage for a lively Memorial Day weekend in South Beach. Visitors like photographer DeAndre Lemans are embracing the warmth of one of the Magic City’s most famous attractions.
Lemans, 32, is visiting from Atlanta and came to South Beach for Sizzle 2022. Sizzle is one of many events occurring throughout the area for the holiday weekend.
“It’s like Black Gay Pride for Miami,” he said of Sizzle. “Miami is a nice getaway from the city of Atlanta [and] it’s nice to be here and eat good food. We haven’t been partying yet and have just been chilling.”
Revelers in brightly colored beach attire were flanked by the city of Miami’s Bicycle Response Team, a police presence in place to dissuade crime on a holiday weekend. For the religious South Beach guests, one car wrapped with Bible verses drove down Ocean Drive in an effort to get people to attend Sunday service.
On a night the Miami Heat played a stressful playoff game with their season on the line, the throngs of people laughing and dancing along Ocean Drive suggested that enjoying life’s lighter moments is what matters most.
Meanwhile, no trace of a pandemic was seen in a lively Miami Beach as Memorial Day weekend kicked off. No masks, no social-distancing and no sanitizing.
This is not exactly what health officials want to see as South Florida is back to having a high rate of virus transmission, forcing the re-recommendation of masks.