When 125,000 Cuban exiles fled to Florida in the Mariel Boatlift, many people believed Castro opened prisons and mental hospitals in order to infiltrate the United States with undesirables. But at this weekends Cuba Nostalgia, Marielitos will have the chance to shake off that stigma by documenting just how awesomely productive theyve been since landing here in 1980. Cuba Nostalgia is a three-day festival that celebrates all things Cuban, particularly the pre-revolution glory days of Havana. Traditional music and food, re-creations of historical landmarks, and memorabilia will fill the Fair Expo Center, triggering memories for exiles and providing visuals for those who have only heard about Old Havana. This year, the heritage festival honors mambo and bolero singer Beny Moré with an exhibit of his recordings, photos, and album covers. Homesick Cubans can walk down childhood streets on a giant floor map of Havana and pass familiar landmarks such as department store El Encanto and the ornate Colón Cemetery. So take simulated strolls along the Prado and Malecón and have your picture taken at a faux Havana seawall. Then sit down for a real game of dominos and an actual pan con lechón.
Fri., May 21, 11 a.m., 2010