Puerto Rican Festivals in New York

by Ted Marten

Nearly four million Puerto Ricans live in the United States, many in the state of New York and specifically in the New York City area. Every year organizations celebrate their Puerto Rican heritage with festivals and parades to honor their culture. In addition to floats and marching bands, these festivals include authentic food, musical acts, and arts and crafts.

National Puerto Rican Day Parade

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade (nationalpuertoricandayparade.org) began in 1958 and takes place in the middle of June each year. The parade begins at 44th Street in Manhattan and marches along Fifth Avenue north to 79th Street. Featured Puerto Rican celebrities who have participated in the parade include Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and Rosie Perez. The parade starts at 11:00 a.m. on a Sunday and features floats and bands, and representative organizations.

Brooklyn Puerto Rican Parade & Festival

The Brooklyn Puerto Rican Parade & Festival (galoscorp.com) takes place at the end of June each year in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. The festival takes place between Graham Avenue and Broadway. The parade starts at noon and ends at about 3:00 p.m. In addition to the parade, the festival features local talent and authentic Puerto Rican food. Admission and parking is free.

Condado de la Salsa

The Condado de la Salsa (nationalpuertoricandayparade.org) takes place in early June in the Bronx. The annual festival is a one-day event that features family-oriented activities including musical bands, arts and crafts, and of course, Puerto Rican food and beverages. Activities take place on 152nd Street between Jackson and Tinton Avenues, and last from morning to early evening.

Puerto Rican Festival

Outside New York City, in Rochester, the Puerto Rican Festival (prfestival.com) has been taking place for decades and is the longest-running ethnic festival in Monroe County. The three-day festival takes place in early August at Frontier Field in Rochester. Activities during the festival include a parade, a 5K Race and a pageant. Additional entertainment includes celebrity guests, local musical artists and live salsa bands.