ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Puerto Rican Festival officials announced dates for its 51st year — and they’re changing a tradition.
As opposed to the previous 20 years, the festival will now have a Thursday through Saturday celebration. The festival used to run Friday through Sunday. The new schedule will include free admission on Thursday as part of the Welcome Home Roc initiative. On Friday and Saturday, there will also be free admission from noon through 3 p.m.
After last year’s festival, a community survey was taken. The change in dates comes down to affordability, community feedback, and it may even improve safety outside the festival. Orlando Ortiz is the President of the Puerto Rican Festival. He says he’s excited to kick off a new decade of celebration.
“We’re just excited to continue this tradition here as the longest-running ethnic festival in Monroe County, we’re very proud of that tradition and the history we have here,” said Ortiz.
In past years there have been large police responses at the end of the festival, not actually inside the event, but in areas nearby.
“We wanted to be proactive and maybe curbing some of that, and who knows, maybe it won’t. I can’t really control that aspect of it, we’re really focusing on the enhancing of the programming at the festival itself,” said Ortiz.
Part of that programming is an effort to bring Rochester natives back home.
“We want to bring back Rochesterian latinos that may have moved to other parts of the country to come and visit and make it into a family reunion weekend,” said Ortiz. “We get emails and people that live in Florida and Virginia and D.C. and other parts of the country that say ‘Hey, when’s the Puerto Rican Festival because we want to plan our trip to Rochester around the festival’. Typically when you go to the festival you start seeing all the folks that you grew up with and family.”
The 2020 festival will begin Thursday, August 13 and run through Saturday, August 15 with three days of music, food, cultural events and more at the Frontier Field VIP Lot. Last year’s event was held from August 16-18.
2020 Festival Information
Festival hours are as follows:
- Thursday: 4 p.m. through 11 p.m. (Free admission)
- Friday: Noon through Midnight (paid admission at 3 p.m.)
- Saturday: Noon through Midnight (paid admission at 3 p.m.)
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Advanced tickets: $10 per day
- Door tickets: $15 per day
- Senior & Children: $5 per day
- Children 5 and under: Free
Children 14 or under must be accompanied by an adult.