40th Calle Ocho fest draws thousands to Little Havana

MIAMI (WSVN) - Thousands of people came out to dance, eat and just have a good time in Little Havana at this year’s Calle Ocho, the largest Hispanic street festival in the southeastern U.S., Sunday.

From street dancers to the musical acts on stage, the beat of Miami, the Caribbean and Latin America was undeniable along Southwest Eighth Street throughout the fun-filled day.

From Southwest 12th to 27th avenues, participants conga’d their way down the iconic street. It’s something they’ve now been doing for 40 years.

But Calle Ocho is every bit as much a food festival as anything else.

One woman told 7News she’s been attending for 30 years, and that’s how long the food coma can feel like.

Many of the food stands were a meat lover’s paradise, and so was a croqueta eating contest enjoyed by those who participated, watched and documented all the “hamming” it up on Facebook Live.

First-timers rubbed elbows with longtime attendees. “It’s my first time here,” said one woman visiting South Florida.

“I’ve been coming here ever since I was small,” said one reveler draped in the Cuban flag.

City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado also couldn’t stay away from all the fun. “It’s a good day for Miami,” he said.

Those who vibed to the beat of their own Calle Ocho drum agreed with the mayor. “I think it’s awesome,” said one reveler.

And then it rained, but the soggy weather couldn’t dampen festival-goers’ spirits at this annual event put on by the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana.

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