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For the first time since COVID, New Haven kicks off Puerto Rican festival

Elicker - Puerto Rican Day.jpg
Michael Lyle Jr.
Mayor Justin Elicker announces the Puerto Rican Festival of New Haven will return this weekend after being cancelled for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Puerto Rican Festival of New Haven will return this Saturday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut it down for two years.

State Representative Juan Candelaria, D-New Haven, marked the occasion by leading a crowd on the New Haven Green to sing a rendition of “Que Bonita Bandera,” a famous song that touches on the history of the Puerto Rican flag and its importance to the culture.

Connecticut has a high concentration of Puerto Ricans.

“It’s an exciting time for the city,” said New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, who joined Candelaria in raising the Puerto Rican flag to mark the start of the occasion. “The festival brings so many people, not just from the Puerto Rican community around Connecticut, but so many New Haven residents that aren’t Puerto Rican into the New Haven green to celebrate our heritage that is so multicultural.”

Maritza Bond, the city’s public health director, said there is no better place to celebrate her Puerto Rican heritage and pride than in Elm City.

“We have much to celebrate that is our culture,” said Bond. “We also have our fellow Americans who will be part of this process.”

The festival will include live musical performances, dance, food, family activities, arts and crafts, health and wellness resources and a career fair.

It starts at 1 p.m. Saturday, August 13 on the New Haven Green and stretches to City Hall.

Mike Lyle joined WSHU Public Radio in early 2021 as a News Anchor, and was brought on full time to cover Connecticut news. He is an anchor/reporter at New England Public Media, a journalist with the National Press Club, and a weekend/fill-in news anchor at WTIC News/Talk 1080.