Calle Ocho Music Festival

Calle Ocho Music Festival

Mar 15, 2020

By: Shayne Benowitz | Jan. 14, 2019

For over 40 years, crowds have flocked to Little Havana’s Calle Ocho (Eighth Street) in March to celebrate Carnaval Miami and the Calle Ocho Music Festival. It’s an annual tradition that brings people together to celebrate Miami’s vibrant Latin and Caribbean cultures on the streets of Little Havana. The festivities are positively brimming with non-stop music, food and activities for an energetic and festive explosion of culture. Taking place on March 10, 2019, it’s the largest street festival in Miami and the largest Hispanic festival in the entire country, drawing more than a million people to Calle Ocho for 20 blocks of fun, from 8th Avenue to SW 27th Avenue. Entry is free and open to the public or you can upgrade to a VIP experience.

The Music, Art & Dancing

Join the crowds dancing salsa on the street and enjoy live performances and musicians rocking out on 12 different stages. You’ll hear everything from the beats of merengue, to reggeaton, bachata, balada, hip hop, rap, jazz and more, all in one day! You might even discover the next Latin pop superstar with a lineup of acts arranged by radio stations, like TU 94.9, RITMO 95.7, MIX 98.3 and other media sponsors. Pitbull, Niki Jam and Maluma all made their artistic debuts at the Calle Ocho Music Festival. There’s also a special stage dedicated to Central American artists, dance and music, including Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and El Salvador. Enjoy traditional dance demonstrations and lessons, as well as vendors selling folkloric artwork and crafts throughout the festival.

The Food

Like any good street fair, one of the main attractions is the food. Get a taste of home-cooked Latin American and Caribbean staples, from flavorful empanadas to tasty arroz con pollo. Forget hot dog eating contests. At Calle Ocho Music Festival, check out El Croquetazo, the World Championship Croqueta Eating Contest. Watch amateur, celebrity and professional eating champions devour as many crispy, fried croquetas as they can in eight minutes for a chance to win cash prizes. This festival is also the official host of the Cubano Wars where chefs from rival cities Miami and Tampa, as well as around the world, compete for the best Cuban sandwich: roasted pork, sweet ham, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard and pickles pressed between crispy Cuban bread. (Or if you’re from Tampa, you’ll add mayo and salami!) You’ll be impressed by the tasty variations these chefs create. Overall, Calle Ocho Music Festival is an exciting day of music, food and culture with that singular Latin flair you can only find in Miami!

The Community

The Calle Ocho Music Festival is made possible by the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, which was founded in 1975 and has grown into a major service organization in Miami that reaches the lives of many underserved children each year. Carnaval and its Calle Ocho Music Festival is a party for a good cause. Some of their recent initiatives include granting internet access to families in need and expanding educational programming, including funding college scholarships, sports leagues, summer camp and school supplies.

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