Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Calle Ocho

Reading one of the posts on TikiTiki Blog- I responded to a question about the annual Calle Ocho Festival and what I remember when I attended. Thanks TikiTiki and Latinaish for bringing back some great memories!
Growing up in Miami El Festival de la Calle Ocho was big stuff! We just called it Calle Ocho I remember going down there with my mother and my aunt- parking far away, having to walk through all the people in the streets, begging to buy this or that. Eating, dancing, just having a fun time.
Calle Ocho was always on a Sunday- and Sunday's were the fun days. Mom worked every day of the week, and most Saturdays- we had school and other things during the week and then Saturdays were for laundry and household chores. Sunday was the day we went out and about- sometimes we went to church in the morning and then we were gone all afternoon to the beach, the movies, to a fair or other events like Calle Ocho. I remember going later on with just friends too- and walking around like we were big shots because we were out and about without parents.
I did a little research and was interested to find out that Calle Ocho was actually started by the Kiwanis Club in Little Habana- because tensions between the different ethnic groups were running high- so they came up with the idea to hold a street festival like the ones held up north for all groups to highlight their music and food. Today is it huge!
It's interesting to think that a little street fair thought up by a group of people has become a landmark festival that highlights the cultural mix that is Miami.

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