Miami Local Life

A Guide to Miami Festivals for 2018

Whether it’s a celebration of food, art, music, or dance, Miami has plenty of festivals that cater to all tastes. But if you want to make sure you attend the festivals that best suit your tastes, you’ll need to plan ahead since there are dozens to choose from, and many fall on the same weekend. Although it’s not exhaustive, the following list details some of the events to be held over the next few months.

Photo courtesy of Afrikin Fest

May 19: Afrikin Fest - Downtown Miami

Held at the Zenith Art & Fashion gallery in Downtown Miami, Afrikin Fest is an evening of African-inspired art, fashion, food, innovation, and performance. Afrikin (pronounced ah-free-kin) is “a platform that curates the arts and culture of our people, as we advance our ingenuity and promise across the Diaspora.”

Photo courtesy of Miami Haitian Compas Festival

May 19: Miami Haitian Compas Festival 2018 - Wynwood

This year, the Miami Haitian Compas Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary with musical events held at MANA  Wynwood. In addition to the main event, there are kickoff parties and after parties, all with music.

Photo courtesy of Best of the Best Music Fest

May 27: Best of the Best Music Fest - Downtown Miami

Featuring the biggest artists in reggae, dancehall, and soca, the Best of the Best Music Fest is the country’s largest multicultural music, arts, and culinary festival held at Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami. The event will include newer Jamaican acts such as Mavado, Aidonia, and Konshens, as well as old-school musicians like Barrington Levy ("Murderer") and Mad Cobra ("Flex").

Photo courtesy of Overtown Music & Arts Festival

July 14: Overtown Music & Arts Festival 2018 - Overtown

The Overtown Music & Arts Festival is a free street festival featuring music and arts geared for people of all ages. Created in 1999 by the Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency to highlight the unique offerings of this historic neighborhood, it has grown into an annual event.

Photo by Shutterstock

TBA August: Coral Gables Grill Fest - Coral Gables

The Coral Gables Grill Fest is a food festival that takes place at Alahambra Circle between Le Jeune Road and Salzedo Street. The focus is on bacon, beer, and barbecue, although other food and drink is available alongside live music and kids' activities. For this festival, it pays to plan ahead because admission is free if you register online, but $10 at the door.

Photo courtesy of South Beach Mango Festival

Aug. 5: South Beach Mango Festival - South Beach

Why not hold a day-long event to celebrate mangos? Mangos are ubiquitous in South Florida, and as sweet as sugar, so why not take part in in the South Beach Mango Festival in Lummus Park. The event caters to mango lovers of all ages and will feature growers of more than 40 varieties, a mango eating  competition, cooking classes, and a variety of other activities. 

Photo courtesy of IFÉ-ILÉ Afro-Cuban Dance Festival

Aug. 16-18: IFÉ-ILÉ Afro-Cuban Dance Festival - Little Havana

This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the IFÉ-ILÉ Afro-Cuban Dance Festival at the Koubek Center in Little Havana, which showcases a variety of dance styles with performances, lessons, and more. Known for its traditional Afro-Cuban dances, mambo, rumba, conga, chancleta, son, salsa, and the ritual dances of the Orishas, IFE-ILE Dance Company is the most renowned Afro-Cuban dance troupe in Miami. It also features contemporary dance styles resulting from the fusion of modern dance and Afro-Cuban forms.

Photo courtesy of Sam Adams’ Octoberfest

Oct. 5-7: 9th Annual Sam Adams’ Octoberfest - Wynwood

Sponsored by SWARM, this three-day event has all the features of a traditional Bavarian Bierhaus at the MANA Wynwood, including bratwurst, boots, and beer. 

Photo courtesy of Grovetoberfest

TBA October: Grovetoberfest - Coconut Grove

The largest festival dedicated to craft beer, Grovetoberfest features hundreds of brews and thousands of beer enthusiasts from around the world. Not only can you taste the beer, you can learn about home brewing and cooking with beer. There’s also live music and food. In recent years, the festival returned to its original Coconut Grove location.

Photo courtesy of Coral Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival

TBA October: Coral Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival - Coral Gables

The Coral Gables Hispanic Cultural Festival is a nonprofit event that celebrates Hispanic heritage and raises support for art and culture in South Florida. It features local and international artists, musicians, and designers. The festival is part of Dade County's month-long celebration of Hispanic heritage.

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