It’s a big year at the Puerto Rican Festival. The festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Festivities will be taking place each day at Frontier Field until Sunday offering food, fun, music and more for attendees.
The Puerto Rican Festival is the biggest cultural celebration in the city. The festival draws thousands of people from all over the country. Rain or shine Lilian Soto always comes out for a taste of Puerto Rican flavor.
“I’m here all three days,” Soto said.” “It’s about our culture, it’s about eating food, enjoying each other’s company enjoying the music so we’ll come out every year.”
This year there are several new additions to the festival, but old favorites like the domino tournament, live music, food, cultural events, celebrity guests, and much more will also continue. Outside of New York City, Rochester has the largest Puerto Rican population in the state. Orlando Ortiz, president of the Puerto Rican Festival, says the annual event offers a boost to business in the city.
“Being that it’s the 50th year, we have people coming from Puerto Rico, Florida, New York City and all over,” Ortiz said. “A lot of people plan their trip to Rochester around the festival and when they come they visit hotels, restaurants, barbershops and more.”
Ortiz reminds people to celebrate responsibly.
“We like to wave our flag, we like to beep our horns, we like to express the pride in being Puerto Rican but we want to make sure everyone does it in a safe manner,” Ortiz said. “We have the festival and the parade so we want people to showcase their pride through those channels.”
Soto says it’s the pride in the vibrant Puerto Rican culture that keeps her coming back every year.
“Just positive energy, people enjoying the music…and it’s just fun,” Soto said.
The festival offers free admission on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. After that, it costs $10 online and $12 at the door.
The festival ends at 11 p.m. on Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday.
The parade is also happening on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. The parade begins at the corner of Franklin and Main Street and will end at Frontier Field.