Things To Do

Five things you should do this year at Calle Ocho with thousands of your new best friends

Ready to spend time with thousands of your new best friends? Good. You’re ready for Calle Ocho 2019.
Ready to spend time with thousands of your new best friends? Good. You’re ready for Calle Ocho 2019. cjuste@miamiherald.com

By now, you probably know the drill. Head to Calle Ocho. Find somewhere to park (or better yet, summon Lyft or Uber). Then walk up and down Eighth Street, eating, drinking and dancing until your feet hurt.

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That’s the time-honored tradition for this Miami Latin street festival, which draws thousands to the heart of Little Havana, where they drink, eat, dance, sweat and generally have a good time in a sea of people whose only objective is to celebrate their culture and find new ways to wear their flags.

If you come to Calle Ocho street festival, which is organized every year by the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, here’s what you can expect to do.

Eat

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Cosette Constantine prepares shishkabob at Calle Ocho street festival. GASTON DE CARDENAS El Nuevo Herald

This is the no. 1 most important thing to do at Calle Ocho. You need to keep up your strength - you’re walking a lot of blocks here. There will be any number of meats on a stick, arepas, empanadas, Cuban sandwiches, batidos and other Latin favorites.

Be part of a giant Zumba class

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Look, you just ate 12 pastelitos. Walking isn’t going to cut it. Here’s how to work off some of those snacks: Join some of the top instructors in Miami to be part of a monster Zumba class at the stage at 24th Street.

Dance

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Kassie Rivera dances at Calle Ocho festival in 2018. MATIAS J. OCNER mocner@miamiherald.com

There are ten stages and many, many performers. It’s virtually impossible not to dance a little. The Tu 94.9 stage at 12th Avenue and Eighth street will have acts like Gente de Zona, El Micha and Maffio. A block down at 13th Street, the folklore of Central America will be on full display with a line up of groups Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama and El Salvador. Freestyle fanatics will get their fill at the stage on 13th Court, with all groups from your Miami childhood performing including Johnny O, Nas-T-Boyz and Debbie Debb. With ten stages, there is something for everyone.

Hear the King of Carnaval

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Fonseca!

This year’s king is Fonseca, the first Colombian king in Calle Ocho history. The five-time Latin Grammy winner performs at the stage at 22nd Avenue.

El Croquetazo

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Two years ago, Carmen Cincotti was the Croqetazo champ. He ate 158 croquetas. Can any Miami hero one beat his record this year?

You think you can eat a lot of croquetas? You only think you can eat a lot of croquetas. But if you want to test your theory, there’s an amateur contest at 1 p.m. Celebrities compete at 3 p.m. and the professional contest goes down at 5. The record at stake? Carmen Cincotti’s record of 158 croquetas that he sent in 2017.

Calle Ocho

When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. March 10

Where: 12th-27th avenues on Eighth Street in Miami

Cost: Free

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