Festivals, exhibits, parades and more celebrate Hispanic communities in Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Sept. 7, 2022): VISIT FLORIDA and its destination partners shine a light on Hispanic Heritage Month with events and happenings around the state. While the month officially spans September 15 to October 15, there are events happening throughout the autumn that focus on the countless Hispanic contributions to Florida’s culture and history.
Travelers can visit the Hispanic Heritage Travel Hub on VISIT FLORIDA’s website for travel planning and resources to help discover Hispanic heritage experiences in Florida. Also, VISIT FLORIDA recently launched the brand new series on YouTube, “Meet My Abuela,” which highlights the lives of young Hispanic locals in the Tampa Bay area looking to gain the approval of their Abuela when they bring home their significant other.
What’s Happening From North to South:
In Jacksonville, a city once ruled by Spaniards until the 19th century, Hispanic influence shines during Hispanic Heritage Month. Jacksonville Hispanic Heritage: Cuban Sandwich & Taste of Latino Festival offers visitors tastes of Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, Spain, Peru and Venezuela on September 18. Guests will enjoy free live music and dancing alongside the food.
On Florida’s Historic Coast in the northeast, visitors can be transported back in time with a trip to St. Augustine, which was founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. Soak in the old-world charm of the city’s two-acre Spanish Quarter, an interactive journey “where history comes alive” with hands-on activities, living history demonstrations, themed exhibits and period restaurants. For authentic Spanish cuisine, visitors can nosh on paella at The Columbia Restaurant or grab a few empanadas at The Spanish Bakery and Cafe.
Heading to Central Florida in Ocala/Marion County, the Appleton Museum of Art will be putting on celebrations in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. Visitors can attend the Hispanic Heritage Festival on October 1 for free art activities, music, community resources and vendors. Join Dr. Welson A. Tremura and Grammy-winning Dr. José V. Ruiz-Resto for an interactive presentation on the History of Latin American Music. This presentation includes musical demonstrations combined with oral histories, all happening on September 18. Historian, writer and podcaster Dr. Rebecca Dominguez-Karimi will also speak on how Hispanic women view issues of race and ethnicity during her event, Treasures from Aztlan: Hispanic Women's Voices. Expect oral histories, audio-visual presentations and literary readings sourced from local events, happening October 8.
In Orlando, this month-long celebration includes special events such as receptions, art exhibitions, the Orange County Mayor’s Cup Soccer Tournament and other reasons to visit. On October 30, the one-day music celebration, Festival Calle Orange, takes over 10 blocks of downtown Orlando with dozens of national and international artists on three action-packed stages, featuring salsa, merengue and bachata. Traditional Latin food and beverages are also available for purchase. Authentic Mexican, Colombian and Tex-Mex food can be found all over Orlando.
On Florida’s Adventure Coast, Hernando Hispanic Heritage will hold its first Multicultural Parade in Brooksville-Weeki Wachee on October 8. The nonprofit organization is a growing force in promoting Hispanic culture through celebrations and civic engagement. Meanwhile in Tampa, the Viva Tampa Bay Hispanic Heritage Festival is set to take over the city in October with live music and dancing. Then, there’s the region’s oldest restaurant, Columbia, with nods to Spanish classics like paella and Cuban stand-outs like the eponymous Cuban Sandwich.
In Sarasota County, it’s all about the cuisine. Chef Santa Maria launched a new concept, Amazonica Cerveceria, with his own Peruvian recipes.
Over on the Atlantic Coast, The Palm Beaches is hosting musical events including Luis Manuel & The Charambo Band | Classic Salsa & Cuban Son on September 15 and Raul Gallimore y Su Orquesta Inmensidad on September 17. Visitors can also enjoy Salsa Palooza at The Kravis Center and then cap off Hispanic Heritage Month with a parade and family fun at the Latin Quarter WPB Fiesta.
Further south, Miami has more Cubans than anywhere in the world beyond Cuba – and a visit reveals a diversity of Hispanic cultures to experience. New restaurants, such as La Romanita Restaurant & Lounge, showcase Cuban flavors with hints of Italian thrown in to keep things interesting. Get into a salsa state-of-mind with Miami Beach Hispanic Heritage Celebration at The Bandshell, including free salsa lessons on September 24.
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VISIT FLORIDA is the Sunshine State’s official tourism marketing corporation and travel planning resource for visitors across the globe. As Florida’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming over 122 million visitors in 2021, an increase of 54 percent from 2020. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs, and serves more than 13,000 travel industry partners throughout the state. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, follow @FloridaTourism on Facebook and Twitter, or go to visitflorida.org. For inspiration in the Sunshine State follow @VISITFLORIDA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit www.visitflorida.com. For media resources, visit www.visitfloridamedia.com.