Calle Ocho – Miami, Host of the Biggest Street Party in the World
The Calle Ocho Festival is held every year in Miami and is one of the most well known events held in Florida. It is also known as the biggest block party – and uniquely Hispanic Festival. It is held in its traditional spot – between 27th Avenue and 4th – the southwest section of 8th Street – hence Calle Ocho.
The event started on a very small scale in 1978 by the residents of Little Havana neighborhoods and became one of the most popular events in Florida. This was started with the intent of letting young Cubans learn about their culture and heritage.
The festival’s popularity morphed beyond the confines of the Little Havana neighborbood. This neighborhood was a result of Cubans fleeing their homes in the 1960s to settle in pockets bordering 8th Street (Calle Ocho). It is one of the best spots in the US to find all things Latino and Cuban.
With a large Cuban population – this area is also know as Little Havana – and needless to say, there is a lot of music and food on offer. One can expect to find more than 20 stages offering a variety of not only Latin, but also Caribbean music like Salsa and Meringue. This part of town is famous for its arts scene, food and theater.
It is estimated that more than a million visitors come to Miami to take in the sights and sounds of this grand spectacle. In 1998, records were broken for the longest conga line with 119,000 dancers participating.
Pork is a favorite among meats with Cubans and one can find many variations to the dish – ropa vieja being one of the most well known. Rice and beans are also featured in a fusion of Caribbean and Cuban cuisine.
People from the Caribbean Islands and Cuba love to dance and “get their groove on”. Many contests are held at during this time and needless to say, this is a feast for the senses. So, come and experience a truly unique look into the culture and history of not just Cuba, but other nations too.