MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An event billed as the largest Hispanic festival took over Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood on Sunday.
The Calle Ocho Festival marked the end of the Carnaval Miami celebration and was just as colorful, loud, fun and crazy as in years past.
“There’s no party like Calle Ocho,” said Tanaya Dupree. “Calle Ocho is awesome. It’s always awesome every year. Great people, great food, great drinks, what more can you ask for?”
Hundreds if thousands of people representing almost every Latin american nationality packed the streets to celebrate their culture.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, brown, orange, everybody will have fun here,” said Amaiber Alonzo. “It doesn’t just involve Latin people, there’s some of everything. ”
This year superstar Daddy Yankee performed and wore the crown as King of Calle Ocho. Megastar Celia Cruz was celebrated with the unveiling of a silver sculpture in her honor.
“I love it, it’s so fun,” said Yaranice Classe.
The annual Latin festival hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana lasted until 7:00 p.m. The festival took place on SW 8th Street from SW 27th Avenue to SW 11th Avenue. During the festival, Little Havana came alive with salsa music, latin food, and performances by legendary Hispanic artists.
“It’s not only Hispanic, it’s multicultural. It’s bringing different types of people in here,” said Louis Martinez.
The party-goers also unified in their support for South Florida Venezuelans, standing against violence in their home country.
“I have seen a lot of people from Venezuela wearing the hat and it’s a good day and we keep supporting our country,” said Anastasia Garcia.
“To Venezuela, our prayers are for you and this is for you too. We’re having a good time but you’re in our hearts and believe that one day you guys will have your own Calle Ocho in Venezuela,” said Martinez.
Southwest 8th Street from 7th to 27th Avenues shut down for the big block party, but will reopen starting Monday at 5:00 a.m. just in time for the work week.
Miami Police say they made 11 arrests at the festival. One arrest for someone carrying a concealed weapon and several others for disorderly intoxication.