Gay8 Festival

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By: Liz Cepeda

Celebrate Miami's Hispanic LGBTQ community during Presidents' Day weekend at Gay8 Festival.

Presidents' Day holiday weekend isn't just for appliances sales this year. Miami will be celebrating a much more colorful event that's not to be missed: the third annual one-day Gay8 Festival. Along with its satellite events, Gay8 is a fun Hispanic LGBTQ music, food and art street festival held at Miami's historic Little Havana on Calle Ocho.

You will be awash in Latino culture as the Festival explores the very heart of Little Havana from its art and food to a celebration of its music. Experience great live entertainment from Miami's celebrated musical talents like Palo, Suenalo, and Spam Allstars. There will also be authentic works of art from local painters and sculptors and pop up musical, theatrical and dance performances throughout the festival.

What is the Gay8 Festival?

Sunday's free massive annual block party starts at 11 a.m. on famous Calle Ocho (SW 8th St.), from 14th Ave. to 17th Ave. This isn't just a great party, but an event that brings together people from all walks of life and diversity to promote business, tourism, culture and economic activity in Little Havana. It helps forge a union between those who might not otherwise have an opportunity to experience the diversity of Little Havana and the LGBTQ community.

Whether it's a Miami local who has never visited Little Havana, a visitor from another part of the country or an international traveler in town looking for a unique cultural experience, Gay8 leaves a lasting impression that won't soon be forgotten. This is one party that works to build bridges between the people and communities of Miami and beyond as well as just being one incredibly fun experience.

Sunday's Gay8 Festival Schedule

11 a.m. food and art events begin:

  • The Main Music Stage is at the intersection of 17th Ave. and 8th St.
  • LGBTQ History Exhibit by Stonewall National Museum & Archives at the Tower Theater lobby.
  • Historic Walking Tours of the historic district, leaving from the Tower Theatre every hour on the hour.
  • Free film Showcase at Miami Dade College's famous Tower Theater. Seating is limited so get there early.
  • LGBTQ Cuban Art Exhibit at American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora.
  • Women's Tertulia at Cubaocho. A literary social event with LGBTQ poet and author, Caridad Moro-Gronlier; event host and activist, Lynare Robbins; event emcee and arts advocate, Jennifer Kriz.
  • MACHO next to the Tower Theater.
  • Girl Central Tea Dance by iCandee, 1637 SW 8th St

10 p.m.:

VIP Tickets

Gay8 is free, but you can purchase VIP tickets that include drinks and special access to performances as well as a full buffet for only $65. Get five drink tickets, all-day access to the VIP area next to main stage with shaded seating, a full buffet, the VIP bar and special VIP only performances.

Pa'Lante Awards Satellite Event

“Pa'Lante” is Spanish slang, short for “para adelante,” to push or move forward, which is exactly what the The Pa'Lante Awards recognize - those people that have helped move the South Florida community forward. This is a celebration honoring these local heroes in a fun-filled night replete with music, food, fun and a strong sense of unity and accomplishment in seeing Miami grow.

This year the awards are honoring Carlos J. Martinez a Miami-Dade County Public Defender, Juan Carlos Carabantes who has been a tireless Immigration Activist, Christina Ponthieux also working for change as an Immigration Activist and WeCount! an Immigrant Resources Organization. This event is on Friday, February 16, 2018 at the beautiful Cubaocho Museum & Performing Arts Center, tickets cost $100 and include the Sunday street festival.

Host Hotel

After a long day of the most fun a person can have, you'll want an amazing place to rest your head and nothing is nicer than the Provident Doral at The Blue. A beautiful property conveniently located by the airport with all the amenities you can dream of, this property will wrap up your perfect Gay8 experience.

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