Preps for the Puerto Rican Festival are underway

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The city of New Haven is getting ready for its Puerto Rican Festival this weekend! The big event will be held on the New Haven Green on Saturday.

Organizers of the Puerto Rican Festival are also getting ready for the big day. As many as 7,000 people could be there.

Frank Alvarado’s car is filled with supplies.

“There are two other vehicles that are just like this,” says Frank Alvarado of Puerto Ricans United. “Enjoy the music, enjoy each other’s company, have some great food.”

For Maribel Ceesay, it’s about a lot more than food and fun. She has deep ties to Puerto Rico. Her family lost their home there during Hurricane Maria.

“Destroyed it. Destroyed our pride, hard working people you know. Not only my family all over the place in Puerto Rico.”

Her father and friends are still there now coping with the recent political storm. The former governor, now out of office after accusations of misusing hurricane relief funds and spreading hate-filled messages about Hurricane Maria victims and others.

“It hit my heart very hard,” Maribel says.

Frank says the festival here is a chance for Maribel and others to heal. “I hope it gives them an opportunity to forget about all the issues on the island just for a few hours.”

“We need that in this time,” Maribel.

The Puerto Rican flag hangs from New Haven City Hall. Hopes here that the festival brings people together to celebrate diversity.

“Unity, respect, and just bonding with each other,” Frank explains.

“In that moment, we’re going to be happy again,” Maribel says.

New Haven police are ready to keep people safe.

“There is nothing that the public should be concerned about that poses a threat to this weekend’s events,” New Haven Police Chief.

“We appreciate all the great help through the city the PD has done to reassure us so we’re moving forward, Frank says.

The festival runs from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the New Haven Green. Our live coverage begins at 6 p.m.

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