For most Puerto Ricans, the holidays aren't over until the celebration of the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian, a weekend festival that takes place at the end of every January in the namesake street in San Juan.
Thousands from all over the island descend upon the capital — filling the area's hotels and creating huge traffic jams — lured by special drinks with names like Wasikoki and exhibitions by local artisans.
On Saturday, a smaller, one-day version of the festival promises to bring the excitement to South Florida for the second year in a row.
"Us Puerto Ricans are always looking for any excuse to have big celebrations," said Segafredo Brickell manager Manny Flores, a Puerto Rican who moved to Miami six years ago and is organizing the event.
This year's Fiestas will span the block on South Miami Ave. between SE 14th and 15th streets, home to Segafredo Brickell and the recently opened Cuban restaurant Havana 1957. Both are owned by Vida & Estilo, the restaurant group hosting the festival.
"We're closing the block this year and bringing a much bigger production: we'll have live music and DJs, tents with handpainted crafts and some of our best food like [pudding desserts] tembleque and arroz con dulce."
Last year, Flores worked with sponsors like Heineken and Rums of Puerto Rico to bring the Fiestas to Miami for the first time. They expected a few hundred people to show up.
"We had this idea of doing it in Española Way [in South Beach], because that street has an Old San Juan vibe," said Manolo Benitez, the representative for Rums of Puerto Rico in the southern and western regions of the United States. "But [Flores] wanted to do it in Brickell, and at first I wasn't sure, but it ended up being surprisingly succesful."
According to Flores, the event ended up attracting about 3,500 attendees, showing both the organizers and the sponsors that they had a gold mine at hand.
"We see it as an opportunity to bring an icon of Puerto Rican culture to people here who are yearning for ways to honor their traditions," Benitez said, adding that Rums of Puerto Rico will also sponsor a similar event in Orlando on Sunday. "We want to sponsor the event in different cities and be known as the main promoter of the Fiestas here."
In Brickell, the Fiestas will be hosted by Puerto Rican telenovela star Julian Gil and will feature an appearance by Maripily Rivera, a socialite from the island best known for participating in Univision's celebrity dancing competition "¡Mira Quien Baila!" in 2012.
If you go
Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian
When: Saturday, January 18, 2 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Where: Havana 1957, 1451 South Miami Ave., Miami
Price: FreeCopyright © 2015, South Florida