Annual Boricua Festival at BAT brings the fun, music to Sunset Park


A sudden storm didn’t put a damper on the 21st annual Boricua Festival, aka Salsa at the Waterfront, which organizers labeled another success. 

Held on Saturday, June 29 at Brooklyn Army Terminal’s Pier 4, the event attracted thousands of attendees who enjoyed food, games, dancing and more.

“It was a great event,” said co-founder and President of the Boricua Festival Committee Pat Ruiz. “It was very well-attended. People were dancing, sitting on beach chairs. We had an excellent turnout of a variety of vendors who sold Spanish food, T-shirts, smoothies.”

Performers included Piel Canela Dance School, Elvin Velazquez, DJ Benny Fuego, Jerry Hernandez Orquesta Dee Jay, Charan Salsa and Charlie Aponte. 

The weather didn’t cooperate during the performances, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of those that attended.

“It was awesome,” wrote one attendee on Facebook.

“People on the NYC Ferry saw us and they were yelling, ‘Boricua!’” Ruiz said.

Ruiz also thanked NYU Langone for its participation.

“They have supported us since day one when they were Lutheran Medical Center back in 1998,” she said. “They provided a Gator, which is like a mini golf cart with EMS personnel. They were riding around the pier looking for anyone that required medical attention. They were fantastic and we’re very grateful for their participation.” 

The Dr. Antonia Pantoja Youth Leadership & Service Award was given to two students, Raejean Burgos and Jasmine Ramirez, who, Ruiz said, “each received a $1,000 check from the Boricua Festival Committee and a crystal plaque along with a $500 gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond to help decorate their dorms.”

Even though this year’s festival just happened, Ruiz and company are already thinking ahead.

“We had a great time and we can’t wait to do it again next year,” she said. 

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