A Guide to Haitian Flag Day, One of Miami’s Best Celebrations

Dance until dawn (literally) or brush up on your history, with events happening all weekend

May 18, 2023 12:18 pm
A concert at night at the Haitian Compas Festival, an annual event celebrating Haitian Flag Day in Miami, Florida
This year, Miami's annual Haitian Compas Festival is back at Bayfront Park for its 25th anniversary.
Compas Festival

On May 18, Miami’s Haitian community celebrates Haitian Flag Day, commemorating the banner adopted in 1803 during the country’s revolution against French rule. South Florida has one of the largest Haitian populations in the U.S., and the holiday is a way to honor Haiti’s successful fight for freedom and to recognize the country’s rich history and culture. There’s an event for literally everyone all weekend long, whether you’re looking to inspire your kids or to dance all night with the Queen of Kompa Music. Here’s how you can join in.

Haitian Flag Day Celebration, May 18

Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami 

Consider heading to the Museum of Contemporary Art for this all-ages event, sponsored by the City of North Miami. The party will take place on the MOCA Plaza and is set to run from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m, with food, dancing and music courtesy of DJ Stakz and singer Alan Cavé. It’s free, but be sure to pre-register.

Tap Tap Haitian Flag Day, May 18

Oasis Wynwood, Miami 

Celebrate Haitian Flag Day by partying at Oasis Wynwood, the 35,000-square-foot outdoor venue in the heart of the neighborhood. The late-night event is sponsored by Haiti’s national rum, Barbancourt, and the party is slated to carry on until 2 a.m. Come out to hear the latest kompa, zouk and raboday beats (even more enjoyable with a glass of Haitian rum in hand). Admission is free before 10 p.m.; after that, it’s $20 in advance and $30 at the door. 

Celebrating Freedom: Haitian Flag Day, May 18

African American Research Library and Cultural Center, Fort Lauderdale 

If your preferred method of commemorating Haitian Flag Day is more learning, less dancing, this is the event for you, with a chance to learn about the Haitian Revolution and fight for independence through a commemorative ceremony, performances and a message from the keynote speaker, Paul Christian Namphy, organizer and political director of the Family Action Network Movement. The program is free, but pre-registration is requested. 

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Champagne cocktail carts, mozzarella hand-pulled at the table and more

Haitian Flag Day Concert, May 18

King of Diamonds, Miami 

Party literally all night to the sounds of South Florida’s local DJs at the Haitian Flag Day Concert at King of Diamonds, a sprawling, 50,000-square-foot warehouse nightclub. On the bill: DJs like Tony Mix, Gwap, Thunder and more, plus live performances from artists like Florence Dure, known as “The Queen of Kompa Music.” The party starts at 8 p.m. and lasts until 6 a.m. the next morning, with tickets from $25. 

Sounds of Little Haiti, May 19

Haitian Cultural Center, Miami 

Head to the the Haitian Cultural Center for their “Sounds of Little Haiti” concert — a recurring event that this month will host celebrated Haitian music stars Tabou Combo and T-Vice in honor of Haitian Flag Day. The family-friendly event starts at 6 p.m. and takes place on the center’s outdoor patio. Concert tickets are $10. 

Haitian Compas Festival, May 20

Bayfront Park, Miami  

One of the largest Haitian Flag Day celebrations in the world, Miami’s Haitian Compas Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. “We are so excited to be coming back to our original stomping grounds of Downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park,” Rodney Noel, co-founder of the festival, tells InsideHook. “It’s rare to have an event of this caliber last 25 years, and it’s a thrill to have become a tradition for families and friends to come together and celebrate Haitian culture through music.” The festival starts at 3 p.m., and this year’s lineup of artists features lots of Haitian talent, including superstar rapper Kodak Black along with legendary bands T-Vice and Klass. Tickets start at $25 and kids 12 and under are free. 

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