Haitian Heritage Month Events in Miami

lil haiti mural

Little Haiti Mural

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little haiti fruit vendor
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Rolling Loud Festival

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By Jessica Modkins

The month of May recognizes Haitian Heritage

This month-long celebration allows Haitian Americans an opportunity to share their history, culture, traditions, music, crafts and cuisines. It is an expansion of Haitian Flag Day which takes place on May18th and was established to honor the contribution of Haiti internationally as well as its independence.

The United States Census reports that Florida is home to the largest Haitian population so it comes as no surprise that celebrations in Miami are like nowhere else in the country. We have street festivals, learning sessions, author panels, art exhibitions, films, musical concerts and Haitian cultural activities for all to enjoy.

Haitian Heritage Month kicks off on May 1, 2019, in the City of North Miami with their annual Mayor Smith Joseph’s Haitian Heritage Month Opening Reception, featuring cuisine from multiple regions of Haiti, live music and performances. This is a free event open to the public, but you must go to Eventbrite to RSVP. It starts at 6:00 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. It will take place at MOCA Plaza. 770 NE 125th Street,North Miami.

On May 5, 2019, stop in to the Little Haiti Book Festival taking place at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex. This annual free book festival will showcase Haitian authors, literary panels, writer workshops, interactive kid activities, films, dance and more. Definitely keep this event on your “to do” list for Haitian Heritage Month. It is open to the public. 212 N.E. 59th Terrace.

Music festivals kick off with the 5th Annual Rolling Loud Festival. It is the largest hip-hop festival in the world and is set to go for three days in Miami Gardens. It runs May 10 – 12 with star artists like Cardi B, Rae Sremmurd, Rick Ross, YG, Juice World, Lil Yachty, Trippie Redd, Rich the Kid, Migos, Travis Scott, Lil Wayne, 21 Savage, Kodak Black, Young Thung, Kid Cudi, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Pump, and more.

The 21st Annual Haitian Compas Festival is not for the wiry. The weekend music festival starts on May 15, 2019 and runs through May 19, 2019. It all takes place at MANA Wynwood with performances by Harmonik, DJ AKOUT #1, Nu Look, T-Vice, Kai, Kreyol La, Vay B, Gabel, Enposib, Rutshelle, Cubano, and more. There is also a kickoff party at Cafe Iguana Pines on May 16th. 318 NW 23rd Street.

Sounds of Little Haiti will take place on May 17, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex. Last year this arts complex turned into an outdoor concert laced with an array of colorful art murals. International performing artist, Wyclef John, graced the stage for Haitian Heritage Month. This year's artist has yet to be announced. 212 NE 59th Terrace.

The City of North Miami will host NoMi Nights and Pre-Haitian Flag Day Celebration featuring “The Young Talents of North Miami” on May 17, 2019. The night of live music will also have Haitian food vendors, and fun for the entire family. This event starts at 6:00 p.m. at MOCA Plaza. 770 NE 125th Street.

Miami’s Little Haiti Cultural Center offers Tap Tap tours of our Little Haiti neighborhood every Saturday at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. The tour on Saturday, May 18 at 1:00 p.m. (Haitian Flag Day) will be free and sponsored by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. The translation for the phrase “tap tap” is “quick quick,” and is a shared taxi in Haiti, often painted with religious imagery and vibrant murals. The mode of transportation for this tour is a mini-bus painted by two local Haitian artists, Serge Toussaint and Rodrigue Gilbert.

Sunday, May 26th will be the return of the 13th Annual Best of the Best Music Fest featuring reggae and dance hall music. It’s all going down in Miami this Memorial Day weekend at Bayfront Park. Come and check out the emperor himself Shabba Ranks, Super Cat, Alkaline, Jahmiel, Bushman, Skinny Fabulous, Noah Powa, General Degree, Round Head, General B, Frisco Kid, and more. Gates open at 2:00 p.m.

Be sure to check out the Caribbean Market Days. With the charge to offer a magnetic atmosphere of culture and community liken to the glory days of the "Mache Ayisyen,” the Caribbean Market Days showcase original Afro-Caribbean fashion and accessories, home goods, natural beauty products, books, music, arts, cuisine and more. Caribbean Market Days are every Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex.

This festive celebration isn't just for Haitians — it is an opportunity for all to explore the Haitian culture, sample their cuisine and embrace their rich traditions.

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