Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Meriden fest honors Puerto Rican heritage, culture.

Meriden fest honors Puerto Rican heritage, culture.

Meriden Festival Celebrates Puerto Rican Culture

Around 4,000 people and 50 vendors gathered in Hubbard Park on Sunday for Meriden’s annual Puerto Rican festival. The festival, a day-long celebration of Puerto Rican culture, featured live music, traditional food, and various cultural displays.

An Anthem of Unity

The festival opened with a powerful rendition of both the United States’ national anthem, “Star-Spangled Banner,” and the Puerto Rican national anthem, “La Borinqueña.” Ana García, standing on the Hubbard Park bandshell, delivered the anthems with emotion and pride. The crowd erupted in applause and cheers, demonstrating their enthusiasm for the festivities.

A Taste of Puerto Rico

Food vendors at the festival offered a variety of Puerto Rican delicacies, including tropical fruit juices, arroz con gandules, pernil, empanadas, and pinchos. Festival-goers could indulge in these traditional dishes while enjoying the sunny weather.

Preserving Heritage

Volunteers at the cultural tent worked tirelessly to raise awareness of Puerto Rican heritage. The tent showcased traditional herbs, roots, and vegetables, as well as assorted Puerto Rican sweets. Visitors had the opportunity to take home photocopies of authentic Puerto Rican recipes to try in their own kitchens.

A Celebration of Music and Dance

Couples danced to the infectious rhythms of bachata, salsa, and bomba, among other genres. Professional musicians entertained the crowd from the bandshell, while attendees joined in with cowbells and maracas. For Elizabeth Aguilar and Eduardo Ortíz, regular attendees of Puerto Rican festivals, the music and camaraderie were a vital part of their cultural identity.

A Lasting Connection

Meriden native Helen Muñiz, a dedicated festival volunteer, emphasized the importance of teaching children about their Puerto Rican heritage and ensuring that it remains an integral part of their identity. She believes that Puerto Rican culture is an essential and enduring component of American society.

In conclusion, Meriden’s annual Puerto Rican festival was a vibrant celebration of Puerto Rican culture, attracting thousands of attendees. It showcased traditional music, food, and cultural exhibits, providing a platform for the community to come together and honor their heritage.

For inquiries, please contact lguzman@record-journal.com or call 203-317-2386. You can also follow updates on Twitter @lauguzm_n.

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