HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Puerto Rican Parade and festival in Bushnell Park is back invigorating the streets of Hartford.
Connecticut Institute for Community Development President Sammy Vega said it would be bigger than ever.
“We have confirmed so far that more than 20 floats, so it’s going to be colorful. Music, culture, I’m excited,” Vega said.
During the pandemic, parade organizers worked hard to keep the spirit going with a rolling caravan and multiple vaccine clinics. This return to a new normal feels good.
“We are full of joy and gratitude that we get to come back to the community with a parade and festival this year. It’s amazing,” said Brenda Marie Torres of CICD.
A precursor to Sunday’s parade was this past week’s Goya Food Drive, providing 5,000 pounds of food to more than 500 area families.
“Food is a gift from God and it must be given with love and that’s what Goya gives, love because they care. Goya cares,” Torres said.
“What we try to do is give them a meal. There will be rice, meat, beans, vegetables, and a drink. Things to give them a full meal,” said Rafael Toro, Director of Public Relations for Goya Foods.
Rafael Toro of Goya Foods says the international company takes great pride in servicing all people here in the United States.
“When people come from another country, they’re looking for their food and we’re very proud that whether they’re Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexica, Columbian, they can always go to that Goya section and find the product that makes them think of home,” Toro said.
For the Hartford community, this parade feels like home: a celebration of pride, family, and culture.