Big Orange becomes 'La Gran Naranja'

New Year's Eve party held every year in Downtown Miami

MIAMI - The Big Orange New Year's Eve party in Downtown Miami is getting a new name.

The City of Miami announced Monday that the event, which is held each year at the Hotel InterContinental Miami, will be known as 'La Gran Naranja' this year.

"The orange is the same. The flavor of the orange is staying the same, so nothing is going to change. Florida, don't worry about it. We are going to keep the orange forever," said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

The city said the new name will recognize the orange being brought to Florida by the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon in 1513. Next year marks the 500th anniversary of that event.

"Miami is a multicultural city and we want to be the first one in the State of Florida to celebrate the 500 years of the Spanish presence," said Regalado. "I think it's important to celebrate all the cultures and all the nationalities that we have."

The new name also coincides with a three year Spanish heritage campaign, called Viva Florida 500, which begins January 1st.

"It's just for this year, but we want to showcase the fact Ponce de Leon came throughout the City of Miami, the river, to the State of Florida," said Regalado. "It will be nationally televised. We have media at Spain that will be televised... so we are going global."

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