First of all, we want to congratulate Julie Arias and the entire River Cities Festival Committee on putting together a spectacular three day event.  The crowds were huge every single day of the event.

We also need to thank the Lord above for blessing the Festival with beautiful weather all three days.  We all know about the record rain we had last week and especially the nearly 26 inches of rain that fell in Fort Lauderdale in just 24 hours.  The festival could have been a wash out disaster.  But instead it was kissed with sunny skies and clear nights.  There was one downpour that happened just as the Festival was set to open, but it quickly passed and the rest of the weekend remained dry until the end of the Festival.

I loved how most of the vendors on the Circle were pushed out onto the street.  This helped to open up the grassy area on the Circle as a more leisurely area to hang out and enjoy the performances from the main stage.  And by the looks of it, the crowd needed the extra space.

It also added energy on the street level.  Areas that in the past seemed kind of dead were humming all weekend long.


There were lots of choices for music all weekend long.  You had the main stage featuring a variety of acts that kept the Circle packed every day of the event.

There was the Canal Street Stage that had a variety of acts and live performances throughout the weekend.

Then, there was a DJ all weekend long at Paco’s Way playing a variety of Latin and Salsa music that kept people dancing.  There was a DJ outside of Siamo’s playing some great freestyle and 80s music on Westward Drive.  And there was even a DJ on Saturday night for the MSSH MEGA Reunion playing a variety of dance music ranging from disco to hip hop.  By the looks of it, the Golden Hawks loved it.  I saw you guys out there dancing all night under that tent!

Kids World

The Kids World was a massive improvement over last year with much more variety and even an epic mega bounce house that the kids loved.

I saw lots of kids enjoying the bull ride, the slides, the rock climbing, the kiddie swings, and more.


We also loved the addition of the two day car show on Westward Drive.  It was a great use of the space.  And the tree lined median provided much needed refuge from the hot mid-day sun. I love seeing these new traditions become part of the festival.

Westward Drive Car Show at the 2023 River Cities Festival in Miami Springs
Westward Drive Car Show at the 2023 River Cities Festival in Miami Springs

See more pics from the car show.


Speaking of traditions, the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida returned…and yes they brought alligators.  Festival goers could hold the gator and take posts with the Florida native reptile.  They are beautiful creatures.  And when you hold one in your hands, you immediately notice the smooth texture of their skin and understand why people love alligator leather.


The Miami Springs Lions Club was busy all three days.  They had their famous Grilled Corn and Fish Fry & Chips.  This group was working hard all weekend long to help raise funds for the Lions Club which does so much for our community and beyond.

Not to be left behind, the Hialeah-Miami Springs Rotary Club was also hard at work with one of the more popular tents. They were serving ice-cold adult beverages  including the best Margarita I’ve ever tried.  Seriously. It was that good.  Plus, it was a necessary refreshment under the hot South Florida sunshine.

Loyola Elementary, the new school that opened up at the old All Angels Academy, was also on hand to talk to parents and prospective new students.

Public Safety

My brother-in-law joined us Saturday night at the Festival.  He kept praising the family friendly nature of the Festival.  It’s a very chill atmosphere where folks get to hang out and catch up with friends, enjoy a beverage, and a bite.

There was no violence.  No gangs.  Just a wonderful crowd having a great time.

Nevertheless, the Miami Springs Police Department was ever present to ensure the peace should an idiot decide to crash the lovely time everyone was having.

Sunny skies at the River Cities Festival
Sunny skies at the River Cities Festival


Okay, there’s always someone who grumbles.  We heard the grumblings that the Kids World was too expensive, etc.  Folks, the pricing is the reality of today’s inflationary times.  We all wish we can raise a magic wand and make things cheaper.  The reality is that the United States dollar has lost a lot of its value…aka inflation.  Minimum wage is almost double what it was before COVID.   That means labor is more expensive.  Fuel is more expensive.  Everything is more expensive.  Don’t expect any price decreases any time soon.

The reality is, Kids World was way better this year than last year.  The kids we saw were definitely having a great time.

Again, this year was way better than last year.  Next year promises to be even better.  If you want to make it better, remember that you can help out by volunteering for next year’s festival.  Maybe you can volunteer to add more attractions for the Middle School aged crowd.  it won’t happen by itself.


Again, we want to thank everyone who participated in this year’s Festival. Whether you were a volunteer, an employee, or just someone who went to have a good time, you contributed to the success of this year’s festival.  And you’re also the reason Miami Springs is the most family friendly neighborhood in all of South Florida.

We can’t wait to do it again next year.  God bless you all.


Family Fun: Festival 5k

Miami Springs Senior High Brings Back the MEGA Reunion

Festival Car Show Worked Well on Westward



  1. I think you missed my point a little regarding the Lord. You cannot praise the Lord for the things you like but ignore the things you don’t. Many people’s lives were affected negatively from the rain this past week. That’s like praising Hitler for creating roads but ignoring the concentration camps. Though I suppose since according to the bible God killed more people than Hitler, he deserves lots of praise, but my point stands. Just please keep the Easter Bunny, Santa, Chupacabra, God, and any other made up figures out of a forum meant to benefit the community (yes, I know this is your forum, but still). The “Lord” does not control the weather. The science on that was settled long ago.

  2. “We also need to thank the Lord above for blessing the Festival with beautiful weather all three days.”

    Is this the same “Lord” that blessed Ft Lauderdale with feet of rain causing a huge gas crisis in South Florida? Yes, thank you Lord for making it nearly impossible to get gas so that we could enjoy a humid event with overpriced food.

    This festival was anything but great. Try asking someone who had to use the bathroom and there was no toilet paper. All 3 days there were like 2 rolls in each stall. This is horrible.

    Also, Florida minimum wage is $8.65 and it was $8.46 before COVID. Hardly “double”.

    • Thanks for your feedback.

      I don’t want to pretend to know and understand the Lord’s wisdom, but two feet of water in the long term view of the planet is nothing. Unfortunately, we tend to believe that mother nature is not in charge. Every once in a while she reminds us who indeed is in charge.

      Again, we were blessed to have 3 days of great weather. Was it hot. It sure was. Was it humid? Welcome to South Florida.

      As for the bathroom situation. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure the festival organizers want to hear this feedback.

      As for minimum wage, it was $8.46 pre-COVID. It’s at $11 today. It’ll be $12 in September. And it’ll continue to go up to $15 by 2026.


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