The more, the merrier!
Sunset Park was a busy and celebratory neighborhood on Sunday, June 14. Before the first Puerto Rican Day parade held in the area in decades, the Boricua Festival Committee held a party of its own with its annual Boricua Festival, which also celebrated Puerto Rican pride.
The event, which featured music, dancing, face painting and visits from elected officials, started at 12 p.m. For the first time, it was held in the Sunset Park itself.
“It was a great event,” said Co-Founder and President of the Boricua Festival Committee Pat Ruiz. “People were excited and they spent the entire day with us. They then participated in the parade.”
According to Ruiz, many people enjoyed the changed of scenery, as the past festivals had been held at the pier. “This was the first Boricua festival held in the park. We started in Prospect Park years ago and then we moved to Sunset Park to the pier about five years ago.”
Although the organization’s past festivals were successful, having the festivities at the neighborhood’s park added to the day’s celebration. “It was a great event at the pier, but when we got the opportunity to do it in the park, it was a dream of mine,” she said. “We received great feedback in bringing it in the park.”
Due to sound regulations, the festival couldn’t be held at the park in the past, but for this year, the committee received the sound permit.
“We had live performances and a DJ played between the acts,” she said. Performers during the concert included Willie Willegas, Jennie Sol and Herencia De Plena.
UPROSE also played an integral role in the event, providing face painting and kite flying for the kids. “It was a great participation by all,” said Ruiz.
It wasn’t just about the fun either. Representatives from the New York City Municipal ID program were also in attendance to educate those who want to learn more about the service. In addition, said Ruiz, “Councilmember Carlos Menchaca participated along with Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, Assemblymember Felix Ortiz and State Senator Jesse Hamilton.”
“What a great day for people to spend day in the park with families,” concluded Ruiz. “God willing, we will have it in the park again next year.”
BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Corazon Aguirre