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Celebrating 36 years of Arts, Culture, Heritage and Music

Friday, February 24, 2012
2012 Miami Goombay Festival June 1-3

Not only is the Goombay Festival one of Miami’s most flamboyant events, it’s arguably the largest black heritage festival in the United States. Every June, visitors fill the streets of Miami’s Coconut Grove during the Miami Goombay Festival. The Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival turns Coconut Grove’s Grand Avenue into Miami’s answer to Nassau’s Bay Street.

Don’t know what a Goombay Festival is? Aside from being a lot of fun, the Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival is a colorful celebration of culture. The annual Miami street festival takes its name from a kind of goatskin drum as well as the music of The Bahamas, a blend of African and European musical influences.

With three stages, the Miami Goombay Festival offers visitors plenty of opportunities to enjoy Caribbean-style entertainment. One of the chief musical attractions of the Goombay Festival is the 55-member Royal Bahamas Police Band. Equally entertaining are the Junkanoo groups that dance in the streets, with accompaniment provided by such instruments as drums, whistles and cowbells. The Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival also offers arts, crafts and food provided by more than 300 vendors.

The Goombay Festival is a reminder of the Bahamian immigrants who first settled in Coconut Grove in the 1890s — making it Miami’s first (and oldest) black community. First held in the 1970s, the black heritage festival is said to pump $21 million into the Miami economy every year.

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