Art, Music and Food: All in One Mile


Melanie Garcia

The Kiwani’s foundation taking a group picture on the Telemundo stage.

Melanie Garcia, Staff Writer

A 44-year-old tradition of embracing local art, music and cuisine, the Carnaval on the Mile is back again for a new year. Celebrated in the heart of Miami, Miracle Mile in Coral Gables is filled with fun and entertainment for everyone. The free two-day event was held on March 5-6, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Since 1978, the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana has taken on the role of organizing and sponsoring the annual event. Since the club is dedicated to serving children in local communities, the revenue from Carnaval on the Mile goes towards funds for scholarships, back-to-school programs and summer camps. By hosting events like the golf and domino tournaments in Little Havana and even the internationally recognized Calle Ocho Music Festival, the organization is able to raise over $300,000 yearly.

The Kiwanis Club also hosts the Miss Carnaval pageant prior to the Carnaval. Winners of this pageant walk through the mile and take pictures with community members. Every year, the winners become prominent figures in their community, involved in all charity events. Alexandra Perez was crowned Miss Carnaval 2022 alongside the first and second runners-up. As a group, they began their journey as this year’s winners with the Carnaval.

“It is a great way to discover different foods, shops. It was a fantastic event to spend some time with the family and get out of the house,” Mr. DeArmas said.

The first Carnaval on the Mile was held to showcase Cuban culture, and its popularity has only grown over the decades. Three stages were placed in different spots on the street; the first one sponsored by Only in Dade was right on LeJeune. Next to the entrance, this stage is where several Spanish artists performed, including Grammy winner Leslie Cartaya. Telemundo hosted the stage in the center which offered a variety of music, from performances by the School of Rock to the French Horn Collective. The final one was made just for kids; different schools across Miami-Dade County came and performed. At night, they hosted a karaoke event where kids of all ages could sing their favorite tunes.

Apart from musical variety, different food was sold at every corner. Onlookers searching for something to fill them up could buy Paella with seafood, or purchase a big burger with an ear of corn. On the sweeter side, stands sold crepes, Dippin Dots’ or the traditional Hispanic dessert: a pastelito.

“There was a really great lively atmosphere at the festival. It was nice seeing all \the decorations and eating the street food,” junior Carla Nunez said.

Vendors from all over Miami also had the opportunity to sell their merchandise. Small boutiques sold jewelry of all shapes and colors. Others sold skincare products from lash growth serums to body wash scrubs. Buyers received several bargains while businesses marketed their items to promote themselves. Sundresses, shorts and loose blouses were sold in stands on almost every corner to help shoppers deal with the Miami heat.

Carnaval on the Mile 2022 was a weekend full of opportunities for Miami’s community to enjoy walking down Miracle Mile while having the chance to win prizes and participate in a long-standing tradition.