Puerto Rican pride shines during another successful Boricua Festival

Boricua pride!

Thousands of people celebrated Puerto Rican culture as they made their way to the 19th annual Boricua Festival, aka Salsa on the Waterfront, where attendees danced the day away on Saturday, June 24.

Despite spotty weather early in the morning, Co-Founder and President of the Boricua Festival Committee Pat Ruiz claimed the event — held at Pier 4 at 58th Street and First Avenue — to be yet another success.

“I think from seeing all the smiling faces, everything went well,” she said. “The weather was a major factor in us getting a late start, but it went very well. We did have people. Not the huge number of people we’re used to but again, you get up at 6:30 in the morning and there’s thunder and lightning and downpour and you think the day is done.”

Some of the highlights of the day were geared towards the kids. “The children were excited. They had a great time at the Children’s Cultural Corner,” Ruiz said, adding that the committee also distributed scholarships to local students. “I was really excited about the young people that we were able to award the scholarships to. They were really great and mature for their ages. They were very grateful to receive the scholarships and to be honored by Borough President Eric Adams and Councilmember Carlos Menchaca.”

According to Ruiz, around 3,000 to 4,000 people showed up and enjoyed all the festivities. “Everyone enjoyed the music,” she said. “I was busy running around, but I can say that from looking at the number of people dancing. Whether it was couples or people just dancing on their own, it was great fun. The bands were well received. You could hear it from the applause and it was great from beginning to end.”

Feedback was also very positive shortly after the event. “We got some really great compliments from people that said they were glad they were there,” she said. “We also got comments from people on Facebook that they were sorry that they missed it because of the weather. We got really good support from folks.”

With next year being the 20th anniversary, Ruiz and company have already begun planning. “It’s going to be a big one,” she said. “We are a non- profit organization. We don’t just get money thrown at us so if people are willing to give a donation or learn more about the festival, please reach out.”

For more information, visit www.boricuafestivalny.org.

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