El Portal Little River Celebration DaySaturday, December 10, 7am-7pm – Village of El Portal, 500 NE 87th Street, El Portal

Residents know the Village of El Portal is one of Miami’s best-kept secrets, but it won’t be for long. To showcase its extraordinary native flora and fauna, unique heritage and cultural diversity, El Portal will be hosting the first ever “El Portal Little River Celebration Day,” Dec. 10, 2011. Activities planned for the day include lots of family-friendly outdoor outings, music, art, and educational excursions. First up: a comprehensive bird tour with a resident member of the Tropical Audubon Society. A bird sanctuary, El Portal is home to peacocks, screech owls, cardinals and ibis, among other species, and the Little River is a habitat home to migrating bird species from all over the world.
Next will be a “floating” first-hand view of the Little River’s native plant and wildlife, where people can kayak and canoe down the river and learn about its rich history and systemic significance. Together with the support of the Urban Paradise Guild, which formed a local chapter in El Portal last year, the excursion will be guided by Dr. Hugh Gladwin, an anthropologist and long time El Portal resident.
Music performances will include a concert by the group Fatala, whose music features legendary Guinean balafonist, Ibrahima Dioubate, and the traditions of African folk compositions. Also performing is Inez Barlatier with her group Kazoots, an Afro-Indie Rock style band from the Miami music scene. Families can bring their own food baskets, chairs and blankets, and picnic on the campus of Horace Mann Middle School field while enjoying the show. Don’t forget to buy a ticket in a raffle of great prizes from local vendors and supporters, including a home water filtration system, veggie plant starters, Florida friendly plants, natural candles, yoga classes and others. Additionally, there will be a “river serenade” of Afro-Indigenous folkloric songs honoring fresh water by La Fortuna Muse Ensemble in the afternoon. The serenade can be viewed from various vantage points throughout the village. Biking and walking are encouraged for the event.

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