37th Annual Main Street Festival of Lights

Community By Alexandra Herrera, Reporter Wednesday, November 30, 2022

     The Aguirre Obando family of Pembroke Pines and Miami Lakes have enjoyed the Main Street Festival of Lights so much that they brought a relative visiting from Costa Rica to the 37th annual event. 

     “Everything is bigger and nicer [this year],” Estevaly Obando said in Spanish. The family have attended the festival during four previous years and were among those who cheered when Santa Claus and his elves flicked a giant switch to brighten downtown on Nov. 19. 

     Like other residents and visitors, Obando said she enjoys the family atmosphere of the festival. Students from GiGi’s Dance Academy of Hialeah and the chorus from Bob Graham Education Center and Our Lady of the Lakes Glee Club performed.

     Obando also appreciated the free activities that included the Kids’Corner, for coloring and writing letters to Santa Claus; face painting, photos taken by a portable photobooth photographer and visiting the Santa House for more photos with the man in red.

      And there were free treats: Snow cones; popcorn; cotton candy and small bites from Bolay, The Garrison Taproom and Açaí Express. 

      The Farmer’s Market stayed open until 7 p.m., and businesses along Main Street – including new shops Undrgrnd Miami; Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming; Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids and Sweat 440 -- welcomed visitors, too. 

     Victor Rocha worked for 18 days straight to open his Undrgrnd Miami apparel and collectibles store in time for the Festival of Lights. 

    “I just wanted to [have] a presence and take an opportunity [to be known], with the whole town coming out,” Rocha said. 

     Renata Espinosa, owner of Renata Alchemy natural beauty boutique, opened last summer on Main Street. She was thrilled with the crowds who enjoyed the holiday decorations and fun times with their kids. 

     “It’s very exciting for me to see people coming to Main Street,” Espinosa said.

      The Graham Companies; Main Street Merchants and HDS Companies were sponsors; Clear Channel Outdoor; Dimelo305; 93.9Mia and The Miami Laker were media partners. The Graham Companies also teamed up with WFOR-Ch. 4, Neighbors 4 Neighbors and Giving Gators to accept gifts to donate to children.  

Photos by Alexandra Herrera.