A look back at the hippies in Miami in the 60s

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Symbol of peace in Greynolds Park in 1970.

Miami Herald File

You may know Miami as a tourist attraction. Or as the capital of Latin American business. Or even a growing technological nest.

But some parts of Miami in the 1960s just wanted to be groovy, man.

It wasn’t Haight-Ashbury, but Coconut Grove and other neighborhoods drew groups of long-haired young people to the water’s edge, head shops, cafes, parks, all yearning for do their own thing.

Hippies hung out in the Grove, so just a little village, Sunny Isles, Haulover, and most notably Greynolds Park in North Miami Beach. They made such an impression that years later the park started hosting a Love-In as a nod to hippie culture. But the smoke billowing over the park during these festivals today was barbecue – and not you-know-what.

Miami’s hippie generation even had their own Woodstock-style festival in the ’60s, on a Broward County horse track.

Let’s go back in time, to the Miami of the 60s. Let’s take a look at some old photos and read some of the stories of the time.

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Music filled Gulfstream in 1968 for the Miami Pop Festival. AP file

MUSIC FESTIVAL PHOTOS: 1960s Miami Music Festivals.

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Hippies at Love-In in 1969 .. Albert Coya Miami Herald File

PHOTOS OF HIPPIES IN MIAMI: Gatherings in the 1960s.

And now, back to the scenes of the 1960s in Miami.

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Symbol of peace in Greynolds Park in 1970. Dave Didio Miami Herald File

Greynolin the park

Published in 2016

During the 1960s, local hippies and flower children gathered at Greynolds Park in North Miami Beach to hang out, listen to live local bands, smoke, read poetry, and play music, while some protested against Vietnam War. These gatherings and others like them across the country were known as “love-ins”. In Greynolds, they took place atop the hill of the park, which was once the highest public land point in Miami-Dade County at 46 feet above sea level, topped by a quarry tower of limestone.

For the past 13 years, Greynolds has hosted “Love-In, Party in the Park” festivals celebrating music from the 1960s, 70s and 80s, with acclaimed bands like the Jefferson Starship and singers including Richie Havens, among many other famous headliners. .

The event’s festivities on Sunday drew more than 1,000 people to Miami-Dade’s second oldest park. Tony Stevens, former bassist of English rock band Foghat, performed the hit song Slow Ride, among the band’s other songs alongside former members of Savoy Brown and Hall and Oates. Brian Howe, former Bad Company frontman, also performed on Sunday, as did local band Havoc 305.

In addition to live music, the event included a costume contest, Frisbee friendlies, fair trade food like funnel cakes, arepas, and lemonade slushies, but most of all the chance to relive and socialize. remember the good old days: most of the attendees were baby boomers, many of whom grew up in South Florida and went to school here.

Miami Beach resident Zona Horton, who attended Sunday’s Love-In with her husband, recalled how she skipped math class and came to Greynolds Park with friends in the early 1960s when she was 17 years old.

“We used to hurtle down the hill, sit by the water, hang out, get high – it was amazing,” she says. “It’s really come full circle,” she says of the park’s annual Love-Ins.

“I was a good boy,” says her husband, Jim Falkowski, from his youth. “This is the girl my parents told me not to date.”

This is the third year Davie’s Rhonda Grunthe has attended Greynolds Love-In. She’s been to Woodstock and says she enjoys live music and being with friends, but also “remembering and never wanting to grow old”.

Miami-Dade Parks Coastal Area Manager Tom Morgan has been leading the Love-Ins since the inception of the festival.

“The park was one of the hippie neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County. It was a dump many years ago. Buried under the hill are old rock quarry equipment. The park has a lot of neat history. Solo bands were showing up and playing on the hill. The flower generation would come here to have fun and preach peace.

He says the main message of the annual event is to give people a “step back” in time and to promote the decades associated with the peace and love movement.

He and his team will soon be planning the Coconuts Music Festival, with coconut-themed activities and live music, taking place at Haulover Park in November.

On Sunday, many participants were sitting on lawn chairs or on dyed blankets in the shade of a large tree near the rock quarry on the hill. Others took advantage of the sun closer to the stage or browsed food and drink vendors and launched free Frisbees distributed by one of the sponsors, Catholic Health Services. Peterson’s Harley-Davidson brought a black leather motorcycle for people to sit on, while the old music station, 102.7 The Beach, presented the festival’s music lineups. Miami-Dade District 4 Commissioner Sally Heyman addressed the crowd after Slow Ride, but attendees had shelled out, perhaps in awe of hearing and seeing a live performance of a song that helped define their generation.

Music

Published in 2009

When Ronnie Brooks was 17, he was part of the Woodstock Music Festival which celebrated an entire generation. On Saturday, he was able to relive some of his old memories, thanks to the School of Rock Woodstock Memorial Concert at Peacock Park in Coconut Grove.

Music from Jimi Hendrix, Sweetwater and others performed by School of Rock musicians and members of the public wearing tie-dye shirts and other colorful outfits reminded Brooks of the 1969 concert and the era of peace, love and rock and roll.

“That’s good; that’s bringing back a good time,” said Brooks.

For Brooks, however, there was a major difference between Saturday’s concert and the original Woodstock.

“Back then, they weren’t just talking about love and peace; they were actually doing it, ”he said. “You were walking down the street, you met a girl and you started kissing her.”

Brooks wasn’t the only one who was taken back in time. The hula hoop to the beat of classic tunes and the messages of hope that could be seen around the park gave younger generations a peek into the 1960s era.

“It’s like going back to the ’60s, and today we are in love and peace again,” said Christopher Bromley, 16, a School of Rock student who broke up. produced on Saturday.

Food and drink vendors were also on site, and although bad weather prevented some groups from performing, some said the rain made the rally more like the original Woodstock.

“It’s only fitting that it rained, because in Woodstock it rained even more,” said Carlos Cardoso, who attended the event.

It was also appropriate to have the concert in Coconut Grove, which was a 1960s hippie haven.

The School of Rock opened 11 years ago to teach young people the beauty of music. Today, the students hope to mark a new generation and inspire others to play music.

“Woodstock changed music forever and changed a generation, and we want to do the same,” said Julio Nieto, 16, who plays guitar.

“I hope that the children who are here today will be inspired and also take an instrument,” said Charles Arslan, 17.

At the end of the evening, a guitar signed by Woodstock artist Carlos Santana was offered.

“It’s just a big celebration,” Brooks said. “I’m going to party.”

South Florida-born editor-in-chief Jeff Kleinman oversees coverage of breaking news, public service and trends.


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