Vendor says Puerto Rican Festival feels like home

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Puerto Rican festival is kicking off at Frontier Field. and one island native has been selling he’s souvenirs there for the last 12 years.

Jose Harrison has been making Puerto Rican souvenirs for the last 25 years.  He is from Puerto Rico and runs his stand with family.  He got started in Syracuse after the Spanish population there grew. 

“The first time I did reach out to them I call them. I came in to try it out and like I said in the beginning everyone was so nice so respectful, it’s like a family. They treat me so well that no matter what I’m always here,” said Jose Harrison, Owner of My Puerto Rican Imports.

 This is his 12th year at the festival, a place he says feels like home 

“The first time I came here, we were just meeting new people, the second year they already know me, Now It’s like a family people come they hug us they kiss us they smile with us,” said Harrison.

Harrison says he has never had a problem at the festival and comes back every year. 

Organizers so it’s people like him that make the festival big. 

“We have people come here that are not Puerto Rican and we love to have that because it gives us the opportunity to showcase who we and you know our flag, our music, our food and all that good stuff,” said Orlando Ortiz, festival president.   

For Jose, sharing the culture is a way to make new friends.  

“A lot of the product we carry we make. And that’s even a better feeling that we can satisfy the customer satisfy the Puerto Rican, but a smile on their face and make them feel like home,” said Harrion.

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