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La Placita owner and actor Julian Gil is hosting Miami’s biggest Puerto Rican party

Actor Julian Gil will host the annual Fiestas de la Calle Miami.
Actor Julian Gil will host the annual Fiestas de la Calle Miami.

Determined to uplift Puerto Rico through tourism, culture and the empowerment of the Puerto Rican community in the United States, actor and entrepreneur Julián Gil will once again produce the Fiestas de la Calle Miami, which in its fourth edition will occupy the Wynwood Markeplace Jan. 19-20.

The event will include the participation of Manny Manuel, Michael Stuart, Obie Bermúdez, Glenn Monroig, Lourdes Robles, the band Algarete, Julio César Sanabria, Grupo Manía, the quartet Fiel a la Vega and Plena Bombys.

Other novelties include a performance by Raúl Carbonell and the Orquesta La Oferta, who will pay tribute to Héctor Lavoe and El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, respectively.

“Happy and very excited about the Fiestas de la Calle in Miami. For the fourth time we are producing a great event for the whole family with great Puerto Rican artists,” said Gil. “Our desire is that the Puerto Rican who is away from the island, from his home, can feel the Puerto Rican warmth, their live music and traditions, and be able to visit Puerto Rico.”

The activity includes kiosks with typical foods and drinks, such as rice with pigeon peas, bacalaítos, alcapurrias, tembleque, fried meat and the indispensable coquito.

And as in previous editions, the comparsa de los cabezudos will parade, and there will be a fair for children and crafts sales.

Gil, who since his beginnings in the entertainment world has been active in various social causes, and in 2013 was the godfather of the Puerto Rican National Parade in New York, always upholds the name of his adopted homeland.

“We know how powerful the Puerto Rican diaspora is, we must empower it and make it felt in all areas. We must support our beloved Isla del Encanto,” said the actor and businessman of Argentine origin, who at the end of last year became news after the announcement of the opening of his restaurant La Placita, located on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami. The restaurant’s facade is covered by a giant mural of the Puerto Rican flag made by the Puerto Rican artist Héctor Collazo Hernández.

According to the City of Miami, neither Gil nor his partner, chef José Mendin, requested permission from the Historic Preservation Board that oversees the Miami Modern District (MiMo), where the building is located.

“All permits were requested in their time and order. The site is historic, but the building was not [because] it was built in 2009,” said the actor on Univision’s “El Gordo and La Flaca.”

The restaurant opened its doors on the first of January.

In a recent statement sent by Gil’s press office to El Nuevo Herald, the actor said: “As Puerto Ricans and Latinos we have been victims of an unscrupulous attack with racist attitudes against our community. The Puerto Rican diaspora feels very indignant at the racist attitudes (wanting) to erase our flag. We will do everything possible to avoid it being removed. ”

La Placita finished
The building that houses La Placita restaurant has a mural of the Puerto Rican flag on the exterior, which caused controversy.

Another document testifies that “the flag is still there and will remain that way until the authorities say otherwise. At present there is no order or determination to erase it. ”

Fiestas de la Calle Miami coincides with the traditional Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián that take place in El Viejo San Juan, Puerto Rico, and ends the Puerto Rican Christmas season, considered by some to be the longest in the world.

Last year the Miami version was attended by more than 50,000 people.

‘Fiestas de la Calle Miami’. Wynwood Marketplace, 2250 NW 2 Ave. Jan. 19-20. Tickets: $ 25- $ 50. Children under 12 years old are free.  Info: 786- 897-4419 and

Follow Arturo Arias-Polo on Twitter: @arturoariaspolo