Celia Cruz honored at 37th Calle Ocho festival - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Celia Cruz honored at 37th Calle Ocho festival

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A sculpture of Cuban artist Celia Cruz A sculpture of Cuban artist Celia Cruz

MIAMI (WSVN) -- South Florida's biggest block party got underway Sunday as nearly one million revelers flocked to Little Havana for their annual dose of dancing, food and fun.

The 37th Annual Calle Ocho Festival kicked off at 11 a.m. with a colorful blast of musical performances, food vendors and an exuberant parade where folks from many countries and all ages got to celebrate Hispanic culture.

"I love Calle Ocho; it's a lot of fun," said Elvis Rodriguez, who said he attends the festival every year. "We enjoy it every time we come here. The food, music, everything is great."

This year the crowd had the opportunity to dance their way through decades of hits from the great Celia Cruz. The late salsa queen was honored in the parade with her very own sculpture.

Tony Lorenzo, the president of the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, said he was grateful for the opportunity to pay tribute to the revered music icon. "The same inspiration that she provides to the community through her music is the same that the Kiwanis want to provide to our community," he said, "just to love live, love each other and have a good time."

All the money raised at Calle Ocho goes to the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana serving children in need.

Among the performers who took to the stage were reggae artist Sean Paul and reggaeton singer Daddy Yankee. The latter was elected as this year's King of Carnaval Miami.

The festival ended around 7 p.m.

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