This page is from the 1998 festival. Due to the untimely deaths of the two founders of the Roots and Culture Festival, this page is dedicated to them.
Cola Couronne Presents
The 4th ANNUAL MIAMI-LITTLE HAITI ROOTS AND CULTURE FESTIVAL
MAY 16 + 17, 1998
"HONORING OUR HEROES"
200,000CELEBRANTS IN ONE
OF THE LARGEST
AFRO/HAITIAN/CARIBBEAN/AMERICAN FESTIVALS EVER!
We knew it was bigger this year, and we are proud of the wonderful turnout. Miami's Haitian community, be proud. We will be adding pictures and video to this site as they become available. Check back for updates, reviews of the Festival.
In recognition that Bob Marley, the King of Reggae is one of our Honored
Heroes, Roots & Culture invited Cedella Marley Booker, his mother,
and Rita Marley, his widow, as special guests. Mother Booker couldn't
make it, but Rita electrified the crowd with "One Love" and "One Draw".
She was a sensation, everyone singing along and dancing. We
presented her with a special plaque honoring her and her role as the
Queen of Reggae.
A small sampling of the crowd early in the day. Later, the 12-block-stretch of North Miami Avenue jammed up with over 300,000 revelers, spilling into all the side streets. You can see the homes and apartments that line Miami Avenue -- this Festival is right in the heart of the Haitian community, it is their annual celebration.
Backstage with one of the performing groups.
Some reggae horns sprouting out of the crowd. There are many spontaneous
displays of musical joy during the Roots & Culture Festival.
TITO PUENTE JR. ADDED TO SUNDAY NIGHT LINEUP!!!!!
SATURDAY, MAY 16TH, 1998 -- Parade, festivities, games and carnival
rides at Lemon City Park --Parade 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. Festivities continue
until 9:00 PM
As in the past three years, over 200,000 festival goers are expected at Miami's biggest Black Heritage block party, the Roots & Culture Festival, which has always drawn huge crowds. This year we are honoring over 150 heroes of African heritage. 1998 marks the first year the Festival is officially a two-day event. The Festival is Dade County's premier gathering and cultural Caribbean street fair, where all are welcome and invited to share in their "Roots & Culture". People from Martinique, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Jamaica, Africa, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago and all the countries of the Caribbean are invited to party for free on North Miami Avenue as they enjoy food, drink, music, dance performances and children's games. This family-oriented Festival also features local politicians and civic activists who will speak on issues pertinent to the immigrant community of South Florida. There has always been peace at the Festival, a crime-free zone.
Roots & Culture, Inc. formed because "There are no festivals on an annual basis representing the combined Caribbean Islands," says Rulx "JJ" Damas, Executive Director, "and the community has existed for close to twenty years, so we decided it time for someone to preserve our culture and our heritage."
Albert J. Alexis, Marketing Director for Roots & Culture, Inc., states "As a people, we have a rich heritage, and it's important that all of Miami has the opportunity to see that heritage, to experience the culture, and to listen to the music -- this will allow us to live together without prejudice. Only through understanding of all the cultures that comprise Miami, can Miami exist as a community without prejudice and fear."
Saturday, May 16, 1998, the Festival kicks off with a Parade at Lemon City Park on NE 59th St at 11:00 AM, and proceed East to NE 2nd Ave., then turn South on NE 2nd Ave to 54th St. The route will then proceed west (turn right) on NE 54th St. towards North Miami Ave, then march North towards 59th St. to return back Eastward to the Lemon City Park. Estimated arrival time is 12:30 PM.
Once back to the park, children and Community members attending will be able to enjoy rides and dance performances by the Toussaint Louverture Community School Dance Group. Dignitaries that will speak include the Consul Generals of Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago, and Rita Marley, widow of reggae legend Bob Marley, a renowned singer in her own right. Also speaking will be Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Carey, Ringo Cayard, Executive Director of The Haitian-American Foundation, Inc. (H.A.F.I.), and Phillip J. Brutus, candidate for Florida State Representative. The program and all the festivities will run until 9:00 PM.
Sunday, May 17, 1998, starting on North Miami Avenue between 54th St and 62nd Sts., the Roots & Culture Festival takes over the street for a day-long celebration of music, food, culture and pride. Live music from over 40 bands on three stages will punctuate the air with the rhythmic sounds from the Caribbean. Dance troupes will show their skills, illustrating the different styles of dance from various cultures.Tempting aromas of wonderful exotic, spicy and affordable food offerings will have the partiers trying cuisines from different countries. Vendors will be offering unique native arts and crafts, and children will enjoy the games and rides.
COME, ENJOY, PARTY -- BE A PART OF DADE COUNTY'S BLACK CULTURAL HERITAGE, WITH ROOTS AND CULTURE, Inc. -------- "HONORING OUR HEROES"
ACTIVITIES FOR SATURDAY 5/16
LIST OF ARTIST / PERFORMERS FORSUNDAY5/17
SPONSORS: SPECIAL THANKS FOR THE GENEROUS
ORGANIZERS AND STAFF
Rulx "JJ" Damas
BRIEF REVIEW OF THE FESTIVAL
posted to Internet newsgroups soc.culture.caribbean,
Well, the final count in is, and we topped the attendance of last year's
I was at the other end of the Festival, at the 62nd St. stage,
but I heard that
I did witness Rita Marley ignite the crowd at 62nd St. She only did
Please realize the crowd was 99.5% Haitian, so it was great to see these
The story why we had to cut some bands -- you wouldn't believe the trials
Still, we had to salvage what we could, we knew the crowd was going
to come, no
On the upside, the volunteers were wonderful. George Laguerre
Roots & Culture is the festival of the people -- they came,