How to celebrate Haitian Heritage Month in Miami

Haitian Compas Festival is one of the highlights of Haitian Heritage Month. Bryan Cereijo for the Miami Herald

May is all about celebrating Haiti and all things Haitian and in South Florida, there is no shortage of events or parties during Haitian Heritage Month.

From the largest Haitian music festival in the United States, to a celebrity chef cook off, to Haitian film screenings, May is dedicated to showcasing Haitian heritage.

Read More: Haitian Heritage Month Playlist: 10 konpa songs everyone should hear

The month kicks off with a free art exhibit at North Miami Public Library and the Little Haiti Book Fair featuring Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat, and culminates with the Haitian History Bee. In between, there is the biggest Haitian party weekend, organized around Haitian Flag Day (May 18th).

While Catherine Flon sewed the first Haitian flag on May 18, 1803 in the city of Archaie in Haiti’s Artibonite Valley, Haitian music fans will be waving their flags on May 19 at the 20th annual Haitian Compas Festival, which moves to Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., this year. And how does it plan to celebrate the milestone? With a Living Legend Award and Hall of Fame Award, of course. The latter celebrates the achievements of 20 of Haiti’s most prominent movers and shakers and influencers – some of whom live in South Florida.

Can’t make Compas Fest? There are lots of parties before and after the show. That includes former Haiti President Michel Martelly, whose alter ego, “Sweet Micky” will be performing during the Sounds of Little Haiti – Haitian Flag Day edition—at 6 p.m., May 18, at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex Courtyard, 212 NE 59th Terr.

Here is a list of things to do for 2018 Haitian Heritage Month:

May 1-31

Lakou Lakay art exhibit at North Miami Public Library, 835 NE 132nd St., North Miami . Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.mMonday to Thursday; 9:30 a.m– 5p.m. Friday and Saturday; Closed Sundays. Free.

May 3

PAAM Free Haitian Heritage Night featuring Akoustik, Nancy St. Leger, NSL Danse Ensemble, Rara Lakay, DJ Whiskey Chick and craft demonstrations. From 5 to 9 p.m. Perez Art Museum, 1103 Biscayne Blvd. To RSVP here. 

May 4

The Institute of Contemporary Art Miami present a conversation and book signing with author Françoise Elizée and photographer Pipe Yanguas, on their newly launched book, “Haiti Rediscovered – The Quintessential Potomitan.”6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, 61 NE 41st St., Miami. Must RSVP info@haitirediscovered.com

Forged Path: Culture, History and Freedom gallery opening, 6 p.m., Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terr.

Lakou Lakay art exhibit, opening reception, 6 to 9 p.m. North Miami Public Library, 835 NE 132nd St., North Miami. Free

May 5

Little Haiti Book Festival featuring award-winning author Edwidge Danticat, and others from Haiti and the United States. Presented by Sosyete Koukouy & Miami Book Fair/Miami Dade College, 6 to 9 p.m., and 11 a.m. -7 p.m. on May 6 at the Little Haiti Cultural Center Complex, NE Second Avenue and 59th Terr. Free

Little Haiti Beautification Day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Little Haiti NET, 63O1 N.E. Second Ave., Miami

A celebration of Haitian roots and culture at Zaka Fest 2018, 5 to 11 p.m., Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terr., Miami. Call 954-643-2833 for more information.

May 6

Lakou Lakay, 11 a.m. to 3 p.mBayfront Park, 3O1 N. Biscayne Blvd.

May 10

Haitian Heritage Day Celebration, 6 to 8 p.m., Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terr.

May 11

Screening of Kafou,” a dark-comedy with English subtitles directed by Haitian filmmaker Bruno Mourral, 7 p.m. at the Overtown Performing Arts Center, 1074 NW 3rd Ave, Miami, FL 33136. $5 for Overtown residents and $13 for general admission.

Black Lounge Film Series Screening of “Liberty in a Soup” 4-5:30 p.m. at Culmer Overtown Braqnch Library, 350 NW 13th St. Free. RSVP here. 

SPICE IT UP! Miami Haitian Heritage Month Celebration “Real Men Cook”p.m. Caribbean Marketplace, 5925 NE Second Ave., Miami. Cost $50. RSVP at 305-492-7868 or EventBrite.

Performance: Jamilah Sabur “Beneath the rivers, there are no borders,”p.m. Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Terr.

May 12

Tap Tap Unveiling, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Caribbean Marketplace, 5925 NE Second Ave., Miami

May 13

Joël and Mushy Widmaier in concert, 6 to 9 p.m., Amaturo Theater at Broward Performing Arts Center, 201 SW 5th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets $23.58 – 35.00, available at Ticketmaster or Broward Center.

May 16

Pre-Compas Fest Unplugged, 7 p.m., Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terr. Cost $20. Call 855-736-7420 or EventBrite.

May 17

A Conversation With…Diaspora Speaks, Caribbean Marketplace, 5925 NE Second Ave., Miami. Free

Haitian Compas Festival Kickoff Party featuring NuLook, Sweet Micky, T-Vice, Cafe Iguana, 8358 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines. Doors open 10 p.m. $40. For more information call 305 945-8814.

May 18

Sounds of Little Haiti – Haitian Flag Day edition — featuring former Haiti President Michel Martelly, aka “Sweet Micky” 6 p. m. Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terr., Miami

Youth art competition: Forever 1804, presented by Kultural Kontractors, 5 to 6:30 p.m. Little Haiti Cultural Complex visual arts building, 212 NE 59th Terr., Miami.

Afrikin 2018| art, culture and fashion, 6 to 11:45 p.m., 144O Biscayne Blvd., Miami.

Haitian Compas Festival All Black Affair featuring Nulook, Djakout  #1,  Harmonik, KAI, and  Mikaben, Cafe Iguana, 8358 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines. Doors open 10 p.m. $40. For more information call 305 945-8814.

May 19

20th annual Haitian Compas Festival featuring the top bands in Haitian music. Doors open at 4 p.mMana Wywood318 NW 23rd St., Miami. Cost $40 to $120 for VIP. For a list of parties associated with the event go to www.haitiancompasfestival.com

May 20

Haitian Compas Festival All White Affair After Party featuring KreyolaVaybDjakout #1, Cafe Iguana, 8358 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines. Doors open 10 p.m. $40. For more information call 305 945-8814

May 21

Haitian Compas Festival Official After Party featuring Roody Roodboy, 5LanHarmonikKai, DJ TonyMix, Cafe Iguana, 8358 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines. Doors open 10 p.m. Pembroke Pines $40

May 25

Poetic Lakay, 7 to 11 p.m., Caribbean Marketplace, 5925 NE Second Ave., Miami.

Best Nation Ayiti, 9 a.m. to noon. Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terr., Miami.

May 26

Anniversary of the official naming of Little Haiti and Caribbean Market Day, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Caribbean Marketplace and Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 5925 NE Second Ave. Miami.

May 28

The Haitian Compas Festival sponsors a  Mass in memory of departed Haitian musicians at 11 a.m. at Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic Church, 110 NE 62nd St. Miami.

May 30

Little Haiti Senior Day, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terr.

May 31

Lakou Lakay: In My Own Backyard – Mother’s Day edition. 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Free. Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd.

Haitian History Bee finale, 10 a.m to 1 p.m. Stephen P. Clark, 111 NW First St., Miami.

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