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7 Haitian Heritage Month events and festivities not to miss in May

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Throughout the month of May expect to see a lot more cars riding around with Haitian flags, Haitian bandanas waved in the air, kompa music blaring from speakers, party platters of griot and rice and peas, and plenty of street dancing. That’s because the month of May is Haitian Heritage Month, a time when Haitians in South Florida and around the world are proudly celebrating the month when the Haitian flag was adopted on May 18, 1803. That’s nearly eight months before Haiti gained its independence from French colonial rule on January 1, 1804 and making it the first free Black republic in the world and the second independent nation in the Americas only behind the U.S.

Whether you’re of Haitian heritage, have Haitian friends, love Haitian food, can dance to kompa music, or just a fan of history, Haitian Heritage Month is more than just a celebratory month for Haitian-Americans. It’s the month where the rich culture, proud history, and vibrant heritage is celebrated for what Haiti means to world history and Black history. Without the Haitian Revolution there would be no Louisiana Purchase, and the Siege of Savannah would be without the help of the more than 500 Haitian soldiers who fought alongside American troops in the battle against the British army. The history of Chicago would’ve been a little different without the Father of Chicago, Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, the first resident in the windy city. The independence of much of South America would also be different without Haiti.

So let’s all celebrate this proud month and partake in a number of activities hosted throughout the month as presented by Miami-Dade County Chairman of the Board, Jean Monestime. Here is our top seven list of the Haitian Heritage Month events this month that you definitely don’t want to miss. For the full lineup of festivities this month, visit


“Haiti, Too Rich to be Poor” Photo Exhibit Opening

Friday, May 6, 6PM – 9PM – North Miami Public Library, 835 NE 132nd St

The City of North Miami kicks off Haitian Heritage Month with a reception for the photography exhibit opening by Isaie “Zeek” Mathias. Through reminiscent photographs and innocent diary accounts, Zeek contrasts the general perception of the country’s poverty with the reality of its natural beauty, its cultural contributions, and human resilience. Free admission. RSVP at the Office of the Mayor and Council at (305) 895-9815 or


4th Annual Taste of Haiti

Saturday, May 14 – 3PM – 9PM – Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA) Plaza – 770 NE 125th St, North Miam

Love Haitian food and Caribbean cuisine? There will be plenty of it at the annual Taste of Haiti food festival, which celebrates Haitian culinary and culture with food for sale from multiple food vendors. The Top Chef Cook-Off features celebrity trainer ‘The Naked Chef’ Jaques Laventure and Chef Irie of the PBS ‘Taste of Island’ cooking show along with celebrity chef judges Ron Duprat from Bravo’s TV Top Chef and Chef Amadeus from Extreme Chef. This is a free family friendly event with music by Dj Nicky Mix and hosted by Haitian poet Mecca aka Grimmo along with live performances. The Taste of Haiti is presented by the Haitian Culinary Alliance, in collaboration with the City of North Miami, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime, the Consulate General of the Republic of Haiti in Miami, the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, and the Little Haiti Optimist Club. For more information, visit


City of North Miami Haitian Flag Day Celebration

Wednesday, May 18 – 5PM – Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA) Plaza – 770 NE 125th St, North Miami

Celebrate the rich culture of Haiti through dance, music, and dramatic performances to celebrate Haitian Flag Day. Enjoy live entertainment by Zenglen, performing the latest hits in Haitian Compas. Free admission.


Sounds of Little Haiti featuring live performance by Tabou Combo

Friday, May 20, 6PM – 10PM – Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Terr, Miami

“Sounds of Little Haiti” is picking up where Big Night in Little Haiti left off following a successful five year stint bringing Haitian music and culture to the Little Haiti community. Beginning with Haitian Heritage Month and every third Friday, the event will feature a live stage with some of the biggest bands in Haitian music along with family-friendly cultural activities and art. Upcoming performances include Harmonik on June 17 and System Band on July 15.


18th Annual Haitian Compas Festival

Saturday, May 21 – 3PM – Bayfront Park, 301 North Biscayne Blvd, Miami

The largest Haitian music festival in the country returns with performances by the hottest Haitian artists, including Nu Look, T-Vice, Kreyol La, Carimi, and even Haiti’s former president, Michel Martelly, aka Sweet Mickey. The festival weekend kicks off with a party on Thursday, May 19 at Moca Cafe in North Miami featuring Carimi and Harmonik performing live and the Black Affair party on Friday, May 20 at Club Space in downtown Miami featuring Klass, Nu Look, Carimi, and T-Vice. The afterparty to the festival is Saturday night at Moca Cafe with two parties on Sunday at Club Boca featuring Klass and 509 and Sunday Night Fever at Cafe Iguanas in Pembroke Pines featuring Nu Look, Djakout #1, and Harmonik. The festival weekend closes out on Monday, May 23 at Moca Cafe featuring Klass. Tickets to the festival can be purchased at



Haiti vs Colombia Soccer Match

Sunday, May 29 – 5PM – Marlins Park, 501 Marlins Way, Miami

It’s a highly anticipated friendly match between two soccer-crazed countries – Haiti and Colombia. Both teams will be bringing out their top players. This game will be the fifth time Colombia and Haiti have faced-off in a game with the last game being in February 2009 where Colombia defeated Haiti 2-0. Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased at




City of North Miami Haitian Heritage Month Closing Concert

Friday, May 27, 9:30PM – MOCA Plaza, 770 NE 125th St, North Miami

Celebrate the finale of Haitian Heritage Month with a free concert and live entertainment by Haitian compas band, Harmonik.