NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The Puerto Rican festival in New Haven was back in full force Saturday. It was canceled for two years because of the pandemic. 

Thousands of people came out to celebrate Puerto Rican culture, enjoying the food, the music, and the dancing. Salsa and reggae music was heard all over the city. 

Organized by Puerto Ricans United, the festival took place on the New Haven Green from 1 pm-8:30 pm. Musical artists performed on stage, some traveled all the way from Puerto Rico. 

“My favorite part of the day is always dancing and singing and just enjoying the day with different people and coming together,” said Shayanita Acosta from New Britain.

Long lines of people waited to purchase signature island dishes from various food vendors. At Sweet Works Co., owner Roman Urbina says the most popular purchase of the day was a traditional Puerto Rican cake called bizcohco mojadito. 

People traveled from all over Connecticut and out of state for Saturday’s festival. The organizers say festivities were planned with a focus on one specific group in mind.  

“We are dedicating this year’s festival to Puerto Rican women, her strength, her resilience, her passion and love for her family and her community,” said Joe Rodriguez, Puerto Ricans United president.