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Pivoting In The Pandemic: Return Of Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, A Good Sign Of Recovery For Events In South Florida

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CBS Miami
CBS Miami
 2021-04-30

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, which has attracted thousands through the years, is set for a comeback.

Pre pandemic South Florida hosted major events and plenty of smaller conventions and now there is a sign of recovery with more events being held, but with restrictions.

Rum expert and critic, Robert Burr promotes the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. He spoke to CBS4’s Hank Tester.

“It has been in the past an international event three days. Everybody from around the world and in the business coming together,” said Burr.

Over its 12-year run, the festival has attracted those who take their rum seriously, including rum experts, producers, exporters, and importers.

Then came the pandemic, which put the hurt on conventions big and small.

The Rum Renaissance Festival is no exception. One of the many events that individually attract thousands to South Florida and impact the tourism economy.

It had to be postponed twice due to the pandemic.

“I think it is better to lay low, put it off. I am looking forward to November,” added Burr.

So, what was the pivot during the pandemic for the Burr family and the rum festival? Scale back, push back to late fall.

“Things should be back to normal and we will scale it back, so we are not trying to do something too big,” added Burr.

But it is a comeback, scaled back to a one-day event on November 14 in Coral Gables, and an example of the trail back to normalcy in South Florida’s events economy.

“Already rum companies are signing up, people buying tickets. We are kind of optimistic about it. You know cautious,” Burr says.

Smaller to medium size conventions are on the horizon for South Florida. Some will be hybrid, making use of Zoom, but tourism promoters say it is a start and the convention business is slowly ramping up.