Take a stroll along Coconut Grove's Main Highway and you'll find a beat-up historic marker toppling over a bent chain-link fence. The Charles Avenue plaque commemorates one of the oldest communities in Miami, the Bahamian neighborhood in the west Grove. Bahamians settled here in the 1880s to work at the nearby Peacock Inn or in Miami's pineapple farms. One was owned by E. W. F. Stirrup, who became one of the area's wealthiest landowners.
Like the plaque, the Grove's Bahamian heritage is largely overlooked except for one weekend a year when the Goombay Festival takes over Grand Avenue. In the spirit of a traditional junkanoo or street parade colorful dress, infectious drumbeats, and Caribbean food fill the area. This Thursday, attend the free happy-hour kick-off Pirate Reception with the Goombay Family at Chilis in Coconut Grove. Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, browse Bahamian art at the Lil Bahamas All Tings Bahamian Cultural Village and Straw Market at the Shoppes at Mayfair. And at noon Sunday, the Goombay Street Festival begins at Grand Avenue and Douglas Road, accompanied by the Bahamian Police Band.
Thu., June 3, 6:30 p.m., 2010