Barbie, the iconic fashion doll, will reach a milestone birthday on Saturday, March 9, the anniversary of her introduction at the International Toy Fair in New York City by Mattel, Inc., on this date in 1959. Since her introduction 60 years ago, over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold. Designed by Ruth Handler for her daughter, Barbara. Ruth’s philosophy behind Barbie was that through the doll a little girl could be anything she wanted to be, and that she has choices. To celebrate this very special occasion, Matty’s Wilton Park and Art Gallery 21 in Wilton Manors are hosting a huge 60th birthday party!

Matty’s Wilton Park, 2100 Wilton Drive, is hosting a Barbie 60th Birthday Bash Happy Hour starting at 5 PM, Saturday March 9th, sponsored by “Desperate Plastic”, the hit doll-based comedy mini-series which has been called ‘Robot Chicken’ meets ‘Dynasty’ and features a cast of hilarious characters including a drag queen and a cross-dressing detective.  Matty’s birthday party guests are encouraged to dress as Barbie or Ken and a costume contest at 7pm will award the best with prizes.  Entertainment includes sneak preview videos from season 3 of Desperate Plastic, a Barbie trivia contest, Go-Go Kens, $5 Pink Cosmos and special appearance by Desperate Plastic director, Error N. Spelling.  More information is available at

Art Gallery 21, located in the former Woman’s Club of Wilton Manors at 600 NE 21st Court, is kicking of their latest installation, “The Art of Barbie: Homage to a Global Icon,” with an opening night party from 7-9 PM.  The art show features photography, art installations, a time warp retrospective and an interactive diorama which shrinks visitors to Barbie’s size for selfies.  Featured artists include, Brett Butler, Rodger Helt and Wayne Nilson.  The show continues through April 6th.  Opening night will have prizes, refreshments and a Barbie birthday cake provided by Stork’s Bakery.

Art Gallery 21 is also hosting a free fashion doll photography workshop entitled “Characters in Search of a Doll House,” from 1-4 on March 23rd instructed by photographer Brett Butler.  Art Gallery 21’s exhibit “Barbie: Homage to a Global Icon,” continues through April 6th and is open from Noon to 8 PM, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  More information is available at