Valentine’s Day is a holiday with very ancient beginnings, at lot of which are still a mystery. The history comes from many different beliefs; some believe it began with St. Valentine, some reference the Pagan celebration Lupercalia, and others think it wasn’t considered a romantic holiday until English poet Geoffrey Chaucer’s 1375 poem, “Parliament of Foules”. No matter which version of the story, they are all rooted in the same belief; love. Even though this year’s Valentine’s Day weather conditions weren’t the most optimal, hundreds of people barred the weather and gathered at the Deering Estate on Friday night to attend the 21st annual “Moonlight & Music” Valentine’s Day concert.
Sir Portela kicked off the evening’s events with some great Latin music to warm-up the crowd. Headliner Keba & The Usual Suspects, who also performed at the Deering Estate’s 2017 Summer Cabaret Concert Series, took over for the rest of the night. The Trinidad born artist’s voice is “a sensual fusion of Pop, R&B and Soul, accented with exotic rhythms and cinematic climaxes, reminiscent of classic artists like Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan”. Her music became the night’s soundtrack as guests gathered around and enjoyed a night under the stars with loved ones. After a standing ovation from the audience she finished off the night by premiering a new original song entitled “Somebody”.
Other than the sound of music; laughter and conversation filled the air. Groups of friends surrounding lanterns, couples enjoying a romantic Valentine’s Day, and even families spending some quality time together; there was no shortage of love on display. It was a night to remember and Tasha Gars commented on the Deering Estate Facebook page saying that “it was the best Valentine’s Day surprise!” Walking around the crowd I was able to see so many groups of loved ones gathered together for some quality time on such a love filled holiday. It seemed as if time was suspended and everybody there was taking it in and living life in the moment, full of love and happiness.
Throughout the night Keba & the Usual Suspects had been serenading the crowd with covers of famous love songs as well as some originals. The crowd lent their voices and sang along to some of their favorite love songs, some couples even got up and started dancing in front of the stage. Loved ones gathering together under the stars for a night of music and fun surrounded by nature, truly making it a night to remember.
Madisen Michel is a sophomore at Miami Dade College, majoring in Mass Communications and Journalism. She is currently a Tropical Conservation intern at the Deering Estate.