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En español | Lovers of Latin culture, kindly proceed to Little Havana for the ultimate street party: El Festival de la Calle Ocho (March 12) is the cherry on top of Carnaval Miami, a two-week celebration in late February and early March. With street performers, food kiosks and eight stages along a 19-block strip, you won’t lack for diversión!1 of 9
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Angelenos hope the crowds will return to Fiesta Broadway in late April, the pre-Cinco de Mayo street fair that calls itself the “Super Bowl of Festivals.” Pop acts share the stage with mariachi bands and folklórico dancers, while families nosh on street food — tortas and aguas frescas,anyone? — and try their hand at carnival-style game.
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With this Texas city’s Hispanic population approaching 66 percent, prepare to immerse yourself in a truly authentic festival that takes place during the last 11 days of April. (Historic, too: Fiesta San Antonio started as a parade in 1891.) Oh, and come hungry: A Night in Old San Antonio — actually four nights — features more than 240 food booths.3 of 9
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The city throws a giant block party in the heart of downtown on the weekend closest to Cinco de Mayo (May 5 — the date of Mexico’s 1862 victory over the French). You can watch amateur boxers and lucha libre wrestlers, listen to mariachi tunes and corrido ballads, or just stroll the vendor booths while munching elotes (grilled or boiled corn on the cob) and gorditas (pastries stuffed with cheese or meat).
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Head to the Mile-High City if you like your Cinco de Mayo celebrations to have a certain edge. Denver’s two-day version draws half a million visitors to Civic Center Park, where the unusual offerings include Chihuahua races, a lowrider car show, a taco-eating contest and a quinceañera (a girl’s 15th-birthday celebration) fashion show.5 of 9
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Imagine 1.5 million spectators cheering on 100,000 merrymakers marching up Fifth Avenue: That’s the scene at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade each June. If you go, hit the 152nd Street Cultural Festival for music, dancing and mouthwatering comida típica (look it up!).
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Good thing you’ve always wanted to learn salsa dancing: Your feet start moving the minute you hear the bachata musicians thronging the city’s beautiful Bicentennial Park for its two-day Festival Latino each August. Ohio’s Hispanic population is under 4 percent, but — drawn by Latino artists, authors and fashion designers — attendees have swelled this relatively new fest (launched in 1996) to 150,000.7 of 9
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To shine a spotlight on Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15), the city’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce stages a Latin Food and Music Festival each October in Cesar Chavez Park downtown. At this year’s event (Oct. 8), you can sample savory foods from Cuba, Peru, El Salvador and Mexico, then wash them down in the beer tent and dance off the calories to live music by local bands.8 of 9
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