Baseball fans and Dominicanos alike, from all over South Florida, congregated to catch a baseball game and celebrate their deeply-rooted cultural heritage with the Miami Marlins. The sixth annual Dominican Heritage Night, hosted by Dominican American National Foundation (DANF) and Hennessy V.S., brought out the Quisqueya community, including popular recording artist Amara La Negra, Universal Music Latino’s Yunel Cruz, and the legendary merengue kings Fulanito, to enjoy the game from the comfort of their exclusive party suite.
“I’m super excited and super happy and honored to have been invited to this event to represent my Dominican culture,” Amara La Negra explained. “Even though I was born and raised in Miami, I feel very proud to say that I’m Dominican and 100 percent Latina.”
The game kicked off with the National Anthem, sung by Grammy-nominated Dominican singer Leslie Grace. Yunel Cruz’s opening pitch was followed by another throw, courtesy of Internet sensation and comedian LeJuan James, while DANF was presented with a hefty donation check from Hennessy on the field. The suite provided traditional ballpark bites, hot dogs and pulled pork sandwiches (but no mangú), and Hennessy supplied an endless flow of their popular cognac throughout the evening.
“To me, it’s an honor,” said multi-instrumentalist and record producer Maffio. “Being Dominican means a lot to me since I was born and raised over there. The culture, the food, the people, you know it’s just an honor.”
Before the night was over, the party would move from the suite to The Clevelander, where Hennessy and DANF hosted a post-game soirée. Fulanito founder Rafael “Dose” Vargas and his brother Edwin Vargas performed the Dominican-American group’s classic hits, from “Guallando” to “Así Que Me Gusta A Mi.” A growing sea of Dominicans cut a rug as Kid G of Proyecto Uno performed the crew’s unforgettable single, “El Tiburon.”
Check out the official photo recap (above), courtesy of Hennessy V.S.