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Celebrating Cultural Diversity at Florida’s Top Multi-Centre Holidays in 2023

  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 25 May 2023
  • Revised 10 July 2023
Celebrating Cultural Diversity at Florida’s Top Multi-Centre Holidays in 2023
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 25 May 2023
  • Revised 10 July 2023
Celebrating Cultural Diversity at Florida’s Top Multi-Centre Holidays in 2023
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 25 May 2023
  • Revised 10 July 2023
Florida, a state known for its diversity, showcases a vibrant tapestry of cultures, including Caribbean, African American, Latin American, and Native American influences.

Throughout the year, these communities showcase their rich cultural heritage, with lively carnivals, captivating film festivals, and mouth-watering food extravaganzas.

To make your holiday even more memorable, we have combined these incredible festivities with some of Florida’s top Florida multi-centres, creating an extraordinary opportunity for you to immerse yourself in the celebrations while exploring some of the best that Florida has to offer.

Orlando and Kissimmee

Florida’s twin centre of Orlando and Kissimmee delivers even beyond its famous playgrounds of magic and adrenaline. The world’s theme park capital happens also to be a multicultural community that loves to celebrate its dynamic heritage.

Among the most beloved and lively events of the year is the Puerto Rican Festival and Parade, which takes place in April and features floats, bands, and dancers in traditional costume marching down Orange Avenue. Attendees love to participate in the jovial vibe, enjoying Puerto Rican arts and crafts, cuisine, and live music.

Orlando’s neighbouring city hosts the Kissimmee Juneteenth Festival - a family-friendly celebration of community, culture, and unity.

This annual event, held on a Saturday in June at the picturesque Kissimmee Lakefront Park, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and serves as a vivid showcase of African American heritage.

Immerse yourself in the jubilant atmosphere and enjoy performances by talented local and regional artists and devour delicious barbeque dishes, watermelon, red beans, and red velvet cake.

The Kissimmee Juneteenth Festival has quickly established itself as one of the most alluring events in Kissimmee, drawing hundreds of attendees from Central Florida and beyond. 

Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and West Palm Beach

A Gold Coast gem, Fort Lauderdale is known for its stunning beaches, sophisticated shopping, and its reputation, with its charming canals, as the Venice of America.

Fort Lauderdale also is home to one of the largest Haitian communities in Florida, which hosts several festivals throughout the year. May is devoted to Haitian Heritage Month, which celebrates the history, culture, and contributions made by Haitians and Haitian Americans.

Events are held throughout May along the Gold Coast to celebrate and honour Haitian culture, such as Haiti Flag Day, Little Haiti Book Festival, and Haitian comedy and storytelling.

South of Fort Lauderdale, and north of Miami, is the cinnamon-sand-and-palm-tree paradise of Hollywood. Known for the acclaimed Hollywood Oceanfront Broadwalk, a paved 2.2-mile beachfront promenade boasting a string of unique boutiques and restaurants, Hollywood is also host to the Black Theatre Fringe Festival of South Florida.

Drawing theatre enthusiasts, artists, and community members from the tri-county area and beyond, this vibrant event coincides with the Juneteenth celebration. The festival offers a diverse programme, where you can watch new and original mainstage productions, participate in master classes from improv to playwright, and enjoy outdoor artistic celebrations pulsing with energy and inspiration.

Further up the Gold Coast, many people flock to West Palm Beach for a carefree holiday in southern Florida’s tropical warmth. For a spicy feast with Jamaican flavour, visit during the month of May for the Florida Jerk Festival. This premier food festival serves the Jamaican speciality, grilled to perfection and known for seasonings that provide more than a little kick. And with live and soulful reggae music performances, you’ll sway to the beat and get a taste of Jamaica’s laid-back island living in this idyllic Floridian city.

Miami and Florida Keys

Miami is the life of the party, where everyone can enjoy the playful effervescence of this happening destination. There is no better example than the exuberant Calle Ocho Festival, a celebration of rich Latin culture and heritage. Hosted in the lively Little Havana neighbourhood on Calle Ocho (SW 8th Street), this iconic gathering has gained recognition as one of the largest street parties in the United States.

The festival's main highlight is a street parade with animated floats, costumed performers, and rhythmic Latin music. Dance troupes representing various Latin American countries take the stage, inviting attendees to join the celebration and move to the beats of salsa, merengue, and reggaeton.

Food lovers flock to the festival to savour flavoursome Latin American delicacies, including empanadas, arepas, ceviche and seasoned meats. 

Key West’s Goombay Festival is a joyful reverie that transforms Key West's historic Bahama Village neighbourhood into a high-spirited street party of music, dance, food, and art.

Named after the signature Bahamian drum, the goombay, this festival pays homage to the island's cultural roots with the infectious sounds of Caribbean calypso and reggae filling the streets.

Colourfully dressed dancers invite everyone to join the joyous energy of the Caribbean. Indulge in delectable Bahamian and Caribbean cuisine, from jerk chicken to fresh seafood, and explore the flavours that define the islands.

Tampa, Fort Myers and Naples

The gateway to the Gulf Coast’s award-winning beaches in Clearwater and St. Pete Beach, the bustling bay city of Tampa shines with striking architecture, alluring waterways, and diverse cultural communities.

One much-loved foodie event is the Cuban Sandwich Festival, a Tampa staple with roots in the historic industrial cigar neighbourhood of Ybor City. Developed by the Cuban community, this delight is crafted with layers of succulent roasted pork, cheese, pickles, and tangy mustard between Cuban bread -- and is worth every bite.

Hosted in the month of May, the Cuban Sandwich Festival is a competition to source the best served-to-perfection sarnie. It’s a great outing, for both the live entertainment and the variety of Cuban sandwiches. 

Down the Gulf Coast, Fort Myers is a haven for shopping, beaches, and family-friendly entertainment.

If you’re visiting in March, after soaking up all the sunshine on the uncrowded and immaculate beaches, head inland to Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, a Native American centre.

With the theme of ‘Honouring our Matriarchs,’ the Big Cypress Indigenous Arts and Music Festival showcases a diverse range of Indigenous art, music, fashion, and cuisine.

For those interested in gaining deeper insights into the perspective of America's native inhabitants, informative panels are available, with engaging discussions relevant to Native American people.

Add to Fort Myers and Tampa the elegance of Naples to create an exciting and diverse multi-centre holiday.

In addition to its luxury shopping, Naples is a gateway to the Everglades. It is here the Big Cypress Swamp Heritage Festival is held, an annual celebration of the region's rich history, culture, and diversity. This entertaining and educational event features a campfire programme with storytelling and music by local artists, providing valuable insights into the heritage shaped by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. 

Pensacola and Jacksonville

Up north in the Florida Panhandle is Pensacola, a superb base if you’re looking to enjoy both sugar-white sandy beaches and Florida’s thriving nature parks.

Holiday travellers are in for a treat in the month of November, when Pensacola holds the much-anticipated Latino Festival. This vibrant celebration bursts with a kaleidoscope of colours, dazzling costumes, and the captivating beats of Latin music genres, spanning Mexico, Chile and beyond.

Head eastward to the Atlantic Ocean and Jacksonville, where the World of Nations Festival celebrates cultural diversity with exhibits and performances from over 30 countries. Upon arrival, guests are given a special “passport” that gets stamped as they explore the diverse displays representing different nations.

Whether indulging in the flavours of Ethiopia, India, Colombia, Brazil, or other culinary delights, this festival offers a remarkable opportunity to savour a global gastronomic adventure. Drawing a crowd of over 75,000 attendees, it stands as one of Jacksonville's largest and most beloved festivals.

Do you want to experience a Florida multi-centre, bursting with cultural flair? Browse our USA Twin Multi Centre Holidays 2023 & 2024 to find the perfect one for you.

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