MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Calle Ocho came alive Sunday!
The music, dancing, food, and crowds filled Southwest 8th Street for the festival’s 40th anniversary.
“One of the best Calle Ocho’s ever,” said Jerry Fernandez, President of the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana. “Fifteen stages with the best musical talent from South America playing all over the place.”
While many showed up to dance, others came for the food.
“Cuban sandwiches,” said Lamont, a tourist from the north east.
“So I’m interested in the food, he’s interested in the people-watching and taking pictures,” said his date, Sakina. “I’ve never tried a Cuban sandwich before and figured this would be a great place to try it!”
The road from 27th Avenue to 12th Avenue was closed off to allow the thousands to wander around. Billed as the largest Hispanic street festival in the southeastern United States, the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana puts on the event each year.
“One of the highlights we’re having today is the ‘croquetaso,’ the first-ever eating croqueta-eating championship,” Fernandez said. “We have some of the best eaters in the world competing here.”
With an impressive 158 croquetas in eight minutes, Carmen Chincotti from New Jersey won the contest.