Stay Connected


Crowds filled the vending area of the festival Sunday during the Puerto Rican Festival at Hubbard Park in Meriden August,10 2014 | Justin Weekes / For the Record-Journal
A good crowd turned out Sunday during the Puerto Rican Festival at Hubbard Park in Meriden August,10 2014 | Justin Weekes / For the Record-Journal Mirta Fanachi and Joshua Leon both of Bronx NY prepare tradition Puerto Rican food Sunday during the Puerto Rican Festival at Hubbard Park in Meriden August,10 2014 | Justin Weekes / For the Record-Journal Tiffany Lara of Meriden paints Marisol Malave 6 of Meriden Sunday during the Puerto Rican Festival at Hubbard Park in Meriden August,10 2014 | Justin Weekes / For the Record-Journal Tony Wright of Bridgeport serves Ilsa Nieves of Meriden a Bacalaito or codfish fritter Sunday during the Puerto Rican Festival at Hubbard Park in Meriden August,10 2014 | Justin Weekes / For the Record-Journal Dalitzy Feliciano 9 left and Niurka Feliciano 12 both of Meriden play a bungee cord game Sunday during the Puerto Rican Festival at Hubbard Park in Meriden August,10 2014 | Justin Weekes / For the Record-Journal Franke Perez of Meriden performs Sunday during the Puerto Rican Festival at Hubbard Park in Meriden August,10 2014 | Justin Weekes / For the Record-Journal Kevin Sanchez 4 left watches his brother Yaxiel Sanchez 7 both of Meriden as a python wraps around his arm Sunday during the Puerto Rican Festival at Hubbard Park in Meriden August,10 2014 | Justin Weekes / For the Record-Journal Jose and Brenda Fuenutez of Meriden show their Puerto Rican pride while listening to the music Sunday during the Puerto Rican Festival at Hubbard Park in Meriden August,10 2014 | Justin Weekes / For the Record-Journal

Big turnout for Meriden’s Puerto Rican Festival Sunday despite early budget snags


MERIDEN — Thousands spent Sunday at the 47th annual Puerto Rican Festival at Hubbard Park, enjoying carnival rides, music, food, and a family atmosphere.

The west-side park was studded with the red, white and blue of the Puerto Rican and American flags. Traditional Spanish music played and the smoke of food cooking perfumed the area near the band shell.

“I come for the music, basically,” said Jessica Romero, of Waterbury. “I remember listening to this music with my dad growing up, and it just brings back good memories.”

Performers included Alfred Rivera and Amor y Cultura, playing traditional Spanish music; Luis Javier y Myra Luz and La Orquestra Sensacional, of Florida, who performed rhythm and blues; and Hector Y Su Mocion Tropical. Headlining the show was Paquito Acosta y su Orquesta, of Puerto Rico and Florida.

Festivalgoers danced with friends and family in front of the band shell, and many brought lawn chairs to sit and enjoy the outdoor concert.

“Plus it’s nice to have some family time,” Romero said, gesturing to two family members with whom she was walking around the festival.

The family atmosphere was a big draw for many, including Gabriel Mendez, of Meriden.

“I love seeing everyone,” Mendez said. “I see people here that maybe I haven’t seen in a couple years,” he added, listing aunts, uncles, and cousins that he’d seen.

Long lines formed outside tents selling clothing and artwork emblazoned with the Puerto Rican flag, and people perused fresh produce.

The festival was in jeopardy earlier this year when Mayor Manny Santos vetoed a $7,000 budget line item with funds for the Puerto Rican Festival and the Black Expo. The City Council voted to override the mayor’s veto and restore $3,000, which was used for this year’s festival.

Santos, who attended Sunday’s festival said that while he enjoyed it — “Not only is it an opportunity for Puerto Ricans to come celebrate their culture and heritage, it’s a chance for them to share it with everyone else” — he stood by his veto.

“I don’t think there should be funds allocated for specific festivals,” Santos said. “It seems to me that there could be some problems in the future. What if we start having an Italian festival or a Portuguese festival? Would we need to fund those, too? I believe festivals should be self-sufficient, and that if there is a big community that supports it, they should be raising money for it to happen,” Santos said.

He added that the city “would always help with overtime for police” at the festivals, but remained staunch that the funds should not come from a festival-specific account in the budget.

mcallahan@record-journal.com (203) 317-2279 Twitter: @MollCal



Back to MeridenNews
Top Stories of the Week

Man charged in March drug raid arrested again by Meriden …
MERIDEN — Police surveillance led to the arrest of two people on drug charges last week, including a 25-year-old city man previously arrested in March … more ...

Last copper beech planted by prominent Meriden industrialist cut down …
MERIDEN — The last of three European copper beech trees planted along Broad Street 150 years ago by prominent industrialist Jebediah Wilcox was cut down … more ...

Top 5 stories on MyRecordJournal.com this week …
Here are the top 5, most clicked stories on MyRecordJournal.com this week. Father of Southington teen killed in car crash helps others heal “I recently … more ...

Meriden man accused of “groping” co-worker in Cheshire …
CHESHIRE — A Meriden man accused of “groping” a co-worker was released on $10,000 bond and is due to appear in court next week, police … more ...

City market sold to Durham investor …
MERIDEN — The former George’s East Side Market and Deli on South Curtis Street sold to a Durham investor who plans to renovate the vacant … more ...

Comments