Pilón does host a weekly street party – similar to those in Manzanillo and Bayamo – with whole roast pig, shots of rum and plenty of live music.
Arrive in mid- to late June for this crooner's extravaganza that is replicated in various cities throughout the country.
A tribute to one of Santiago de Cuba's musical greats, Miguel Matamoros kicks off in late October with dances, lectures, concerts and workshops. Main venues include the Casa de la Trova and the Teatro Heredia.
The international choir festival in late November brings in some strong international singing groups for some cultural cross-fertilization and spirit-lifting music.
The summer season begins with the Fiesta de San Juan, celebrated with processions and conga dancing by cultural associations called focos culturales.
The Grapefruit Festival is held on La Isla every March. Since a plague killed off most of the grapefruit crop a few years back it's become an excuse for a general carnival.
During the 10 days following October 10, Matanzas rediscovers its rumba roots with talented local musicians at this festival. Until the Teatro Sauto is restored, this happens on a small park outside Museo Histórico …
Carnaval in Matanzas every August doesn't quite reach the dizzying heights of Santiago but it's still a lively affair.
Fire celebration held in early July.
Festival of Caribbean culture held in July.