Carnival comes To Little Haiti

Written by Jonel Juste

Thursday, 09 February 2012 18:01

This article consists of facts, information or commentary from Jonel Juste.
The publishing of this article does not reflect an endorsement by The Sentinel, its Staff or Defend Haiti, LLC. Read About Us.

MIAMI, USA ( comes to Little Haiti on Saturday February 18. For the first time, the Haitian community in Miami will have its own celebration. Music bands will play and “Rara” bands will parade in newly improved streets enhancing the beauty of Little Haiti. The event announces the reopening of the Caribbean Market Place and aims to replace Little Haiti on the touristic map.

The Haitian community in Little Haiti will have its own carnival on February 18. Organized by Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones’s office with various sponsors, this street festival is an invitation to dance, enjoy music, shop, dine and explore the Caribbean’s most exotic fruits, delicacies and arts and crafts, says Tracy Lozama, one of the organizers met at Little Haiti Cultural Center.

This carnival aims first to announce the pre-opening of the Caribbean Market Place in Little Haiti, closed since 1997. It is a part of a campaign called “Believe” launched by commissioner Spence-Jones “to make people believe in their community, believe things are going to happen there”, said Ms Lozama to Defend Haiti.

“The commissioner thought it would be a good idea to have a celebration as we open up the Caribbean Market place (not officially yet) to make people believe it’s coming back to Little Haiti”, she adds.

This carnival also aims to highlight the cultural corridor and the businesses in Little Haiti. It’s a way to bring economic development back, to have people come and make business in the historic Haitian district of Miami. “Some people don’t know what’s going on here like the roads improvement, the cultural events; Little Haiti is totally different now”, argues Lozama.

The first edition of this carnival is taking place at the same week as the Haitian carnival. “This is a coincidence” assures Lozama adding that “If someone can’t make it to Haiti for a reason or another, this person can come to carnival in Little Haiti”.

“A lot of local artists and groups are scheduled to play at the event such as Grove Relax, Rara Lakay, Rasin Lakay, Jude Papa Loko, a Conga Band, the Nancy St-Leger Haitian Dance Theater and DJ Griot.

The organizers of the carnival are expecting at least one thousand people in the streets on February 18, but over all, they want “Little Haiti to be placed on the map, that it becomes a touristic destination”.

“We want to get Little Haiti back and share with the world what our culture is all about”, concluded Tracy Lozama.

The carnival will be preceded by the event Big Night in Little Haiti, on Friday 17, in Little Haiti Cultural center. Musical bands such as Disip and Rara Lakay will be performing.