Affluent cities like New York and Chicago are known for their free “huuuge” concerts. Not to be outdone, Miami brings it with Calle Ocho, the largest Hispanic street festival in the nation. Here is a highlight of what to expect there and at other area events this weekend.
Carnaval Miami’s week-long celebration culminates March 13 with Calle Ocho, the largest Hispanic street festival in the nation. We’re talking 19 blocks of Southwest Eighth Street in Little Havana lined with a litany of food vendors, live bands, sexy dancers and more. Expect more than 1 million hip-swayers packed together for a salsa-merengue melting pot. This year marks the 40th anniversary and the Kiwanis has asked Miami’s own much-loved actor-director Andy Garcia to serve as grand marshal (a.k.a. king of the carnival). Garcia will jam with his band, the CineSon All Stars, and it’s sure to bring out many of his fans. The descarga continues all day with top musicians like Luis Enrique, Chino y Nacho, Hansel y Raul and more too numerous to mention. Marketers with companies as large as Coca-Cola use the event to reach audiences, and folks will lineup for free new-product samples. Free admission.
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St. Patrick’s Day
Miamians will don hot leprechaun outfits in hopes of drawing the luck o’ the Irish during the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, which begin this weekend and run through the night of March 17. Events this weekend are worth noting: the 37th annual family-friendly South Florida Emerald Society festival in Coral Gables, the get-shamrocked Miami Leprecrawl in Wynwood and more. On March 17, the night of the holiday, “paddy hard” at Fado’s Irish Pub in Brickell, John Martin’s in Coral Gables and other Irish bars throughout Miami-Dade County. Yes, Miami has numerous Irish bars, bro.
Biscayne National Park
If you or your kids are wild for wildlife, learn about how the national park system protects all animals, whether scary or cute, at the Family Fun Fest in Biscayne National Park on March 13. See how you measure up to an apatosaurus, get to know a feathered friend, and see if you have what it takes to be an alpha hunter. The program is free and, if you ride the Homestead trolley, you can get in the park for free. In addition, a few other free family-friendly events this weekend include: Family Fun Day at HistoryMiami, Family Day on Aragon, and Family Day at the Miami Design District.
A number of free or cheap concerts are happening this weekend, including Latin music at the Magic City Casino, Orchestra Miami at North Beach, Moonlight at The Barnacle, and the Alhambra Orchestra in Coconut Grove.
Our Town festival in Coral Springs
The Our Town festival in Coral Springs features vendors, a beauty pageant, live music, fashion show, karate, dance and acting performances, and an auto show featuring street rods, antique vehicles and others. While admission is free, the amusement rides involve a fee.
To keep up with latest news on deals, discounts and free events in South Florida, sign up for the daily Miami on the Cheap newsletter or the daily Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap newsletter. For more tips on what to do this weekend, read the frequently updated Miami on the Cheap weekend roundup of free and cheap events and the Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap weekend events and deals roundup.