June 13, 2008
In the celebration of international culture and Caribbean roots, Piccolo Spoleto marches to a new Cuban beat while keeping its Reggae soul.
It was a fun and free time for all, for two Saturdays. Piccolo Spoleto launches with it’s beloved Reggae Block Party at the new Marion Square Park location. It’s a tradition among loyal festival goers to party at the free block party and let loose with gallons of beer-and the long line at the port-a-potties. The Reggae Block Party celebrates Charleston’s Caribbean-African roots. In its long history, people come to expect to catch major stars and emerging talents on their way becoming international stars. People chilled out to the Slice Band.
Tipping its hat to the growing Latino population, Piccolo celebrates its twenty-ninth birthday with something new on the second Saturday, a Cuban Block Party. Rousing opener, Garage Cuban Band, got people off their feet. Vendors peddle cotton candy between enthusiastic kids kicking it up in a conga line. Young, twenty-something men sporting airy guayaberas shirts, honoring Cuba, puff on Miami stoogies they picked up from the cigar store across the street. The women’s attire went from comfortably hippie at the Reggae Party a week ago to stylish babydolls and sexy camisoles with their strappy high heels digging into the soft dirt. Not bad, when all the hot clubs and bars are a hop and a scotch away. Couples rhumba and salsa to headliner, Garage Cuban Band, until the very end.
Piccolo Spoleto’s celebration of the new knocked people out of their complacent comatose of the predictable tried and true. It regenerates the idea of searching something fresh while exploring the possibilities of celebrating new cultures as the influx of new people, from other countries and California, spices up Charleston’s population and jazzes it the growing art scene.