This weekend, the streets of Miami, literally, will be the hottest place to be when on Sunday, the iconic, annual festival, Calle Ocho, takes over nearly 20 blocks in Little Havana for a street party of epic proportions. Here are some things you cannot miss.
Chino y Nacho
The Venezuelan pop duo (pictured above) whose mamas named them Jesus and Miguel have been crowned this year’s Carnaval Kings, and will lively up the main stage with their appealing blend of salsa and merengue mixed with reggaeton. Shake your booty to all the hits from their three studio albums, including “Tu Angelito,” “El Poeta,” “Bebe Bonita,” “Sin Ti,” “Chica Ideal,” “Tu Me Quemas” and “Nina Bonita.” Chino y Nacho headlines the Eighth Avenue Anchor Site stage, which also features performances by Nicky Jam, Ivy Queen, J. Alvarez and Tito El Bambino.
Winn-Dixie Family Zone
Kids will love this refuge from the maniacal masses that offers fun family entertainment including a rock-climbing wall, games, raffles, giveaways, face-painting, a bounce house and a coloring station. Plus, there will be appearances from well-known brand characters including Kool-Aid Man, Oreo Man, Sour Patch Man and Planter’s Mr. Peanut, plus the charismatic Chef Pepin, who will whip up a few treats for the crowd. And everyone can snack on free samples (don’t miss the cubanito sandwiches) from Winn-Dixie, Kraft, Coca-Cola, P&G and Nabisco. Check it out from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the El Dorado parking lot, between SW Eighth Street and 25th Avenue.
With an expected crowd of about a million people, Calle Ocho represents just about every conceivable type of South Florida resident, for better or worse. It’s prime-time to let your freak flag fly (literally — there will be flags honoring all the South American countries that help make up this region’s glorious melting pot), so there will be plenty of merrymaking, crazy costumes, chanting, singing and dancing, whether it’s salsa, merengue, mambo, perreo, cumbia, twerking (sorry, kids), spontaneous tango, or even an impromptu conga line.