Carnaval On The Mile Has Food, Fun, Free Stuff

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The party is in the Gables this weekend as the annual Carnaval On The Mile kicks into gear. The event on Miracle Mile features paintings, sculptures, photography and crafts. Live musical groups, , including jazz bands direct from New Orleans, perform nonstop on three stages to help celebrate Carnaval, the South American Mardi Gras. But you don't go to festivals for the art or the music -- you go for the food.

More than two dozen vendors will set up to assist your feeding frenzy. All your favorite foods will be represented, including roasted corn, pizza, arepas, BBQ, cupcakes, sausage, empanadas and cinnamon rolls.

Still hungry? Food trucks are scheduled to help sate your hunger, including the debut of The Red Koi Sushi, La Camaronera's Fish Box, Sir Pizza, Sugar Yummy Mama, Dim Ssam A Gogo, Churro Mania and Chef on 4 Wheels.

Need a drink to go with your food? Have a Mojito or Cuba Libre at Bacardi USA's Official Spirits bar, located right on Ponce or enjoy a Heineken at one of the eight bars located throughout the festival.

A festival wouldn't be complete without lugging home a bag full of promotional goodies. Thankfully, there are more than a dozen companies willing to hand you coupons, pens, stickers and other "stuff" just for saying hi. Coca Cola will be handing out Coke Zero, J.M. Smucker will be handing out coupons and samples and McDonald's will be giving away iced teas, to name a few.

To give you that last push out the door, Carnaval On The Mile is a production of The Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, which means funds raised at Carnaval allows the club to sponsor kid-friendly projects in South Florida. See? You can pig out and do a really nice thing at the same time.

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