Not much of a Goombay Festival
Despite the fact that it was a pretty nice day, no rain and kind of breezy, not many people came out to the Goombay Festival on Saturday. It could be that many didn't know about the festival. I actually just heard about it the morning of the event, there were no press releases or promotions sent out for the event. I was looking forward to it, too, especially the food. In previous years it was amazing.
It pains me to say this, because I used to love this festival, but the once mighty festival is now a spread out flea market. What used to stretch from Douglas Road to Fuller Street, then to the post office, then to McDonald Street, is now only a couple of blocks long. Vendors line up along the street, only they aren't side by side, there is lots of empty space.
This used to be one of my favorite festivals, it used to get so crowded that you couldn't pass through the crowd walking your bicycle, as my friends and I used to do. The conch salads were there and the conch fritters and a few other items, but nothing really held my interest.
Jeff Benjamin (left), who is running for City of Miami Mayor in 2013, was there handing out brochures and chatting up people -- the only politician to schmooze the crowd. The music was quite filthy. This guy to the right, up on stage was singing all this nasty stuff and so were the other performers at the other end of the block. Not really too appealing for a family crowd.
It's a shame what has become of this once great heritage festival. Maybe they need to dump the board of directors, get a new one and hire an event planner to run the show. Something needs to be done before the event ends up being one block long, then a half block and then just fades into oblivion. I never did get to see the Junkanoo parade and no one else that I asked seemed to see it either, so not sure what that's about, but the main attraction, the colorful parade, should be featured and taken advantage of.
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