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Calle Ocho Festival

The Calle Ocho Festival is one of the most popular cultural events in Miami and a large celebration of Miami's vibrant Cuban, Caribbean and Latin cultures. The Calle Ocho Festival, also known in Spanish as "El Festival de la Calle Ocho," is the largest block party and Latin festival in the country.

It takes place in Miami's iconic Little Havana and West Little Havana districts which were named after the largest city in Cuba after the sharp influx of Cuban immigrants to the United States in the 1960s who made the neighborhood their home. Today, Little Havana has the largest concentration of Hispanic residents in Miami at 98 percent of the population, and is a prime cultural and political center for Cuban Americans.

Calle Ocho Festival

Over 1 million people flock every year to the streets of Calle Ocho, mainly SW 8th Street, between 27th Avenue and 4th Avenue to enjoy the many beats of Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton and many other Latin musical genres. Over 40 stages are spread out in Little Havana featuring the biggest names in Latin music but also impromptu visits by international Latin stars. Some of the artists which have made appearances at the Calle Ocho Festival in the past have been Ricky Martin, Thalia, Chayanne, Pitbull and Gloria Estefan. Many local vendors also bring out their stereo speakers to share with the crowds authentic Latin and Caribbean music.

The Calle Ocho Festival is also a cultural bash with the many Miami-based Latin communities coming together to celebrate their individual cultures adorning their flags and showcasing their music and food. The Calle Ocho Festival is the perfect place to get a taste of some of the best Latin and Caribbean cuisines all in one place such as ceviches, tamales, tacos, and arepas at affordable prices.

Since pork is a popular staple in Cuban cuisine, visitors will find many vendors roasting and barbecuing pork on a stick but also entire pigs with the heads stuffed with the signature rice and beans. Also be ready to sample some great drinks such as Café con leche, the Cuba Libre, mojitos and many other specialties. Note that many vendors also offer free samples to festival goers. There are also hundreds of street vendors who showcase many products from their Latin and Caribbean communities.

Calle Ocho Festival

The Calle Ocho Festival is the perfect place to dance to the rhythms of Latin music and the festival made an entry into the Guinness Book of World Record on March 13, 1998 when 119,986 people formed the world's longest conga line. If you're not much of a dancer, be prepared to watch other dancing uninhibited as it is customary in many Caribbean nations, but also feast your eyes on the many salsa groups and classes performing both on the street and on many of the festival's stages.

Besides food and music, there are also many events scheduled at the Calle Ocho Festival such as the Miss Carnaval Miami contest and other fun activities for kids with face painting, clowns and magicians in designated alcohol-free zones.

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