Carnaval on the Mile brings Latin culture to Miami

This weekend on the Mile, it’s all about Latin jazz, food, and art as the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana hosts its ninth annual Carnaval on the Mile, a three-day event celebrating Hispanic culture in the city of Coral Gables.

Located on Miracle Mile between Le Jeune and Douglas roads, the festival will feature the sights and sounds of more than 100 artists and 30 Latin jazz, funk and reggae groups. It is a tradition that has expanded from a one-day event into a three-day extravaganza.

Carnaval on the Mile is one of 10 events founded by the Kiwanis Club in an effort to promote cultural awareness while raising funds for programs dedicated to helping low income families in the community. The organization was established in 1987 to aid the growing Hispanic community through various recreational and academic programs, including scholarship opportunities and playground construction sites.

The Kiwanis Club’s Carnaval Miami is the parent to this weekend’s festivities. Running from late February to early March, Carnaval Miami is the city’s own homegrown Spanish fiesta, a series of events that this year includes a dominoes tournament and cooking contest, finally culminating in a block party of over one million people centered in the heart of Calle Ocho.

Sophomore Alexa Ferra, who has gone to Carnaval on the Mile almost every year since it was created, plans to attend the event after missing last year’s celebrations.

“It’s cool. There are booths with food and others with art. There’s live music, and activities for kids like a rock climbing wall and face paint,” Ferra said. “It’s a nice little time to go out and experience the community.”

People will also have the chance to find coins for prizes hidden in a Big Red Couch or even watch a car show.

Carol Fonseca, historian and the alumni relations chair of Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos (FEC), went to the event three years ago but thought the variety was both good and bad.

“Maestro de todo es profesor de nada – A teacher of everything is a professor of nothing. Since they had so much variety it limited it,” Fonseca said. “But I feel that most college kids would enjoy it. Not only is it free, but it has culture and meaning.”

The event starts Friday at 6 p.m. with a kickoff concert in Ponce Circle Park and will continue until Sunday at 8 p.m.  For more information, check out www.carnavalmiami.com/onthemile/home.html.

If You Go

What: Carnaval on the Mile

When: Friday, March 6 at 6 p.m., Saturday, March 7 from 10 a.m. to midnight and Sunday, March 8 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Miracle Mile between Le Jeune and Douglas roads

Cost: Free

March 4, 2009


Jessica Macias

Contributing News Writer

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