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Festival marks birth of Cuban Republic

Cuban culture and heritage will be celebrated in Coral Gables on Friday.

By Rodolfo Roman
Special to The Miami Herald
The eighth annual Cubalibre Blockparty presented by the Globe Café and Bar, 377 Alhambra circle, will take place in downtown Coral Gables Friday night.

The 300 block of Alhambra Circle will be closed for the festival. Admission is free.

Daniel Guiteras of the Globe Café said the festival is in an effort to preserve the Caribbean island’s tradition.

“It reminds the older generation of the beauty that was and is Cuba,” he wrote in an e-mail. “More importantly, it introduces Cuba to those of us that are new to it or may have forgotten.”

Friday marks the 109the anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cuba on May 20, 1902.

The evening will be filled with Cuban music, dancing and food.

Grammy award-winning singer Albita will headline the stage.

Tomasito Cruz, who played conga drums for the late Cuban singer Celia Cruz, will kick off the show.

Cruz said he is excited to perform.

“It is an event dedicated to the freedom of my country and where I can share my talent with pride,” he wrote in an e-mail. “It will be like being with family, cause we will be dancing and celebrating together with one heart and all wishing for the same cause.”

Typical Cuban food will be for sale like arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), lechon asado (grilled pork), yuca, Cuban coffee and pastries.

Donations will be collected for the non-profit organization Regis House of Miami.

Cuban specialty drinks will also be sold, like Mojitos and the Globe’s signature Cubalibre cocktail.

Aside from the music and food, there will also be dominos, cigars and lots of street dancing. In addition, D.J. “El Russo” will be play hand-picked music from Cuba’s golden age.

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