Here's how Catholicism works: Before you give up chocolate, meat, or reality TV for Lent, you get to have a big hedonistic carnival. Oh, you crazy papists! And one of the most famous carnivals in the world, Colombia's Carnaval de Barranquilla, best known for its energetic La Batalla de Flores parade, is being re-created this weekend in downtown Miami. According to Yolanda Ossa-Eslait, director of the O/E foundation, which organizes the festival, after the end of a three-year civil war ended in Colombia in 1903, Heriberto Vengoechea declared they would stop having a battle of bullets and would start a battle of flowers.
See the colorful floats, the reigning Queen of Carnaval, dance groups, and fantastical costumes. The parade begins at 2 p.m. Sunday at Bayside (401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) and travels south to Bayfront Park, where Sergio Vargas will perform at the closing party at 4 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 28, 2 p.m., 2010