NEW BRITAIN - The cityâ€™s Puerto Rican Society is hosting its annual Puerto Rican Festival this weekend, and this year the organization is celebrating the eventâ€™s 30th anniversary.
The festival will run from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday on High Street.
â€śThis brings the community together,â€ť said Martha DeJesus, president of the Puerto Rican Society of New Britain. â€śThey get to learn who we are, come inside and see what weâ€™re all about. A lot of people in the community need us.â€ť
DeJesus said that, since becoming president about 18 months ago, sheâ€™s been trying to increase public awareness of the society.
While the Puerto Rican Society is a social club of sorts, she said, it also provides a variety of services to many Spanish-speaking residents.
â€śWeâ€™re not just there with a bar downstairs to play pool and dominoes,â€ť DeJesus said. â€śI want the community to know weâ€™re there if they need us, weâ€™re there to lend a hand.â€ť
During last yearâ€™s festival, the society collected clothing and other goods for Puerto Ricans who had recently arrived in the city after their island was devastated by Hurricane Maria.
DeJesus said she wants the society to be a resource for New Britain.
As usual, numerous food vendors will be on hand and there will be plenty to do for children and adults.
The festival also will feature live music, including a closing performance from Rika Swing, a band from Puerto Rico.
The festivalâ€™s Queen this year is Milagros Fontanez.
This yearâ€™s festival will be dedicated to Isabel Cancel, a longtime community advocate and activist in the cityâ€™s Democratic Party.
â€śShe has gone above and beyond to help the Puerto Rican Festival and make it happen,â€ť DeJesus said of Cancel.
â€śItâ€™s a great community event,â€ť DeJesus said. â€śWeâ€™re hoping to have really good weather.â€ť
The festival will take up much of High Street. The Puerto Rican Societyâ€™s building is at 152 High St.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.