It's no mistake that Pitbull's breakout hit was named “Calle Ocho.”
Every year, over a million people show up for Miami’s largest street festival, making it one of the world's great wonders in human entertainment. Many nations gather under the beating March sun to dance, feast, and party at that axis of the solar vortex known as SW Eighth Street. And with so many individuals in one place at one time, it's easy to see that as different as we all are, we're really all the same.
Here are ten people you meet at Calle Ocho.
10. Cigar Smokers
They huff, and they puff, and they smoke your house down. From illegal Cohibas to Philly Blunts, all callejeros know the smell of tobacco burning in the air.
9. People With Giant Drinks
Sure, you could drink out of a pineapple or coconut, but that's pedestrian compared to an entire plastic leg and stocking filled with rum punch slush.
8. Indigenous Marchers
From the highlands of Peru to the Junkanoo streets of the Bahamas, cultural ambassadors in full costume meet to hit the streets and show their style.
7. Hat Wearers of the World
You'll see sombreros, you'll see gorras, you'll see bandanas, you'll see headwraps, and they'll say Mexico, Dominican Republic, New York Yankees, Miami Hurricanes, El Salvador, Cuba, Honduras, Puerto Rico, and on and on.
6. Street Dancers
Don't stop, get it, get it, pop it, shake it, throw it, do it. No city dances better than Miami, and the streets of Calle Ocho are the proof.
5. San Lazaro
In the back of a van at a gas station. He never misses the party.
So many stages so full of music, so many performers, and so many fans that there's always a good opportunity to get a picture with your favorite international hip-hop icon.
3. Party Animals
They'll be rolling suitcases full of ice and beer down Eighth Street, waving Puerto Rican flags, and screaming at the top of their lungs.
2. Street Entrepreneurs
You don't have to rent a booth to rock a hustle. Dade County, stand up!
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Suky was everywhere this year. Suky on booty shorts. Suky on t-shirts. Suky on rubber duckies, kazoos, on photo stops, as abetted by golden buddhas, and little people dressed as the Statue of Liberty, and even posted on trees. Suky, for locking down the street promotion like no other at Calle Ocho 2015, we salute you.