Kiwanis Club of Little Havana Unveils Carnaval 2017 Event Schedule, CNCO Named King

Flagship Event, Calle Ocho Festival, Marks 40th Anniversary in Stunning Fashion

MIAMI--()--Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, an affiliate of the worldwide volunteers’ organization, Kiwanis International, today unveiled the official event schedule for Carnaval Miami 2017. Joined by Kiwanis board members and notable sponsors, President Jerry Fernandez made a series of announcements at a press conference held at Little Havana’s own Ball & Chain, including the unveiling of the official 2017 Carnaval Miami poster by Miami-born and internationally-acclaimed artist Alexander Mijares and the declaration of this year’s King of Carnaval Miami, CNCO.

Carnaval Miami is the marquis annual fundraiser of Kiwanis Club of Little Havana in support of the Kiwanis Little Havana Foundation’s youth development programs. Host to a series of captivating events that attract an average of one million attendees each year, Carnaval Miami 2017 also marks the 40th anniversary of the largest ‘Latino’ festival, Calle Ocho.

“We are proud to organize this event each and every year. It is truly a celebration that reflects the vibrant, unique character and culture of Hispanics around the world,” said Kiwanis of Little Havana President, Jerry Fernandez. “Carnaval Miami 2017 is a testament to both our legacy in this community and our commitment to the future of the next generation.”

As both the organization and the iconic Calle Ocho Festival celebrate 40 years, the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana is committed to raising the bar with its plans this year. To set the tone, the organization today revealed that the band CNCO would take the crown as King of Carnaval. “For the first time in Carnaval Miami’s history, we’re thrilled to crown not one, but five Kings to lead our efforts this year,” said Fernandez.

The Latin boy band emerged in 2015 as the winners of Univision’s Simon Cowell created Latin American singing competition “La Banda.” Their debut single, “Tan Facil,” was released at the end of January 2016, charting with both the Billboard Hot 100 and digital song charts. Being crowned King of Carnaval is an honored tradition and is a special role that’s been filled by internationally-esteemed Latin music artists, including Gloria Estefan, Celia Cruz, Pitbull and Chino y Nacho; as well as distinguished actors like Andy Garcia. The new Kings of Carnaval exemplify the diversity celebrated at Carnaval Miami, all five with different Latin backgrounds — including Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Ecuador.

“We’re honored to be named Kings of Carnaval Miami 2017, following in the footsteps of some of the most iconic and influential musicians with Latin roots,” said CNCO. “We are so excited to serve as brand ambassadors to the Kiwanis of Little Havana’s mission to support the youth in the dynamic and diverse Miami community.”

Adding to the excitement, Kiwanis Club of Little Havana also announced an all-new flavorful event in partnership with Major League Eating being introduced at this year’s Calle Ocho Festival: El Croquetazo presented by Catalina. This eating contest of CUBAN proportion will consist of contestants competing in three categories — amateur (open to the public), celebrity and professional — to eat as many croquettes as possible for bragging rights and monetary prizes ranging from $100 to $1,750.

Carnaval Miami 2017 officially kicks off on Saturday, February 11th with the Miss Carnaval pageant. The pageant winner will not only be awarded cash prizes and scholarships, but the opportunity to be the face of Carnaval Miami 2017 with sponsored entry into the Miss Florida USA pageant.

A full breakdown of this year’s events is listed below:



• February 11


36th Annual Miss Carnaval Miami

Manuel Artime Theater

A pageant of elegance, beauty, talent and poise to select Miss Carnaval Miami 2017 and court. The winners become hosts of all Carnaval Miami 2017 festivities, and brand ambassadors for the Kiwanis Little Havana Foundation throughout an intense year of activities. Tickets available through Eventbrite. [link:]


March 4 – 5

19th Annual Carnaval on the Mile

Downtown Coral Gables (Alhambra Circle)

A festival of art, jazz and funk, fine cuisine, cocktail pavilion and children’s entertainment all weekend long. Three concert stages, a mile of paintings, crafts, photography and jewelry of the highest caliber; one cultural experience for the enjoyment of all age groups.


March 4 – 5

2nd Annual Cork & Fork

Coral Gables, Miracle Mile [this will change. Pending meeting this weekend]

The food and wine tasting event will feature the hottest chefs, local restaurants and international wines combined for two days of unrivaled culinary tastings, intimate cooking demonstrations, exclusive book signings and live entertainment. Tickets available through Eventbrite. [link:}


March 7

36th Annual Carnaval Miami Cooking Contest

Location TBD

Aspiring chefs in three categories compete in one of the most popular food competitions in South Florida. Culinary aficionados will have the opportunity to showcase their creativity against other food enthusiasts and compete for a variety of cash prizes.



March 8

36th Annual Carnaval Miami Domino Tournament

Domino Park
A popular domino tournament for golden age seniors held in the heart of Little Havana.

March 9  

36th Annual Carnaval Miami Golf Classic

Miami International Links
Connect with VIPs at this Carnaval Miami-flavored tournament to benefit the Kiwanis Little Havana Foundation’s scholarship awards.

March 10

Carnaval Live! Gala

Jungle Island
An upscale, black tie gala attended by executives of multi-national corporations in a world-class setting.

March 12

40th Annual Calle Ocho Festival

SW 12th to 27th Avenue

The culmination of it all! The world’s largest ‘Hispanic’ festival! Block after block of Little Havana full of musical stages, international food, dance, sampling sites and family entertainment to celebrate life and all Hispanic ethnicities. Tickets for a first ever VIP tour, limited to 100 spots, available through Eventbrite.


Carnaval Miami is organized annually by the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana. All proceeds benefit the Kiwanis of Little Havana Foundation’s youth development programs. For more information about the Kiwanis of Little Havana, or Carnaval Miami 2017 sponsorship opportunities, visit and be sure to follow us on Twitter (@KiwanisKCLH) and Facebook (@KiwanisLittleHavana) for real-time updates.

About Kiwanis Club of Little Havana

The Kiwanis of Little Havana is an affiliate of Kiwanis International, a worldwide non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to serving children in their communities. Founded in 1975, the Little Havana Chapter is known for using advanced fundraising initiatives, such as Carnaval Miami and its flagship events Carnaval on the Mile and Calle Ocho Festival. Through the Kiwanis Little Havana Foundation, the organization impacts thousands of families annually, with youth development programs including holiday giving, scholarships, youth summer camps, back to school and more. For more information, visit, and


Pinta for Kiwanis Club of Little Havana
Rebecca Brooks, 305-615-1111 Ext. 203



Pinta for Kiwanis Club of Little Havana
Rebecca Brooks, 305-615-1111 Ext. 203