ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — This year was almost the second year without a Puerto Rican Festival. But, during the relaxed COVID-19 guideline period earlier this summer, it was pulled together as a two-weekend event. Orlando Ortiz, Puerto Rican Festival President, said the first weekend was like a family reunion.
“To know that we didn’t really lose what the essence of the Puerto Rican Festival is was great to see in terms of people going and enjoying and kids running around and enjoying and rekindling some of those relationships,” said Ortiz.
Ortiz said there wasn’t a plan to have a festival until June.
“We were able to modify it probably in about a three week time frame,” said Ortiz. But the tight turnaround was worth it, because Ortiz said it was something the community needed.
“Just that camaraderie that comes with being together— we kind of took for granted and we realized that we needed more than that,” said Ortiz
That camaraderie comes from getting together, dressing up, and the energy.
“People should be able to dance, celebrate, we saw kids with Puerto Rican outfits, or even just the Puerto Rican flag,” said Ortiz.
Even though it’s the Puerto Rican festival, Ortiz said it’s for everyone.
“We want to make sure that people from all Latin American cultures and beyond come out and celebrate culture,” said Ortiz.
The event will be held Saturday, Aug 21 at Parcel 5 from 2 to 10 p.m. The event is free and will follow outdoor COVID-19 guidelines which requires any unvaccinated person to wear a mask.