Coverage of cultural festivals and events that bring light to the Nuyorican experience.

“Festival de El Grito De Lares” 2017

"Festival de El Grito De Lares" Relief Effort

PHOTO: The names of towns and cities in Puerto Rico represented at the drive where marked onto the street of the festival venue.

(September 23, 2017)
“Festival de El Grito De Lares” 2017 transformed into a community relief effort for the people of Puerto Rico — one of many held throughout NYC. The drive organized by El Maestro, Inc., Healthy Minds In Healthy Bodies Youth Program and other local civic groups was held at the historic strip along Vyse Avenue between 167th Street & Home Street.

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Loíza Festival in El Barrio 2017 Finale

50th Annual Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza En El Barrio ProcessionalA group hug between members of a Puerto Rican family, integral to a 50 year legacy in NYC, upon concluding their ritual dance at the Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza En El Barrio.

(July 30, 2017)
The Sunday processional capping the local observance of Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza proceeded smoothly through sublime weather conditions, starting at 106th Street & Lexington Avenue, down to Third Avenue, then up to 115th Street. They were led by this year’s Madrina Manuela Arciniegas, Founder & Director of Legacy Women, Padrino Juan Gutiérrez , Founder & Director of Los Pleneros de la 21, and Ms. Iris Robles, President of Los Hermanos Fraterno de Loíza, collecting cheers from onlookers as they marched by. The group moved to the plena beat, under a hot sun, undeterred, turning west to Lexington Avenue again, then back downtown towards 108th Street, finally making their way to the festival venue on 109th Street between Third & Second Avenue. Once there, family members of the late Matriarch Doña Aida Perez performed their ritual dance, then concluded with a group hug.

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Fiesta de Loíza in El Barrio Celebrates 50th

50th Annual Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loiza En El BarrioThe new street sign honoring Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza En El Barrio co-founder Doña Aida Perez.

(July 28, 2017)
All weekend, The 50th Annual Festival Santiago Apóstol De Loíza En El Barrio celebrated the African heritage of Puerto Ricans here, on the island, and across the Diaspora.

Marking this El Barrio tradition’s longevity in a city where gentrification continues to destroy such notions was a street-naming ceremony honoring the festival’s co-founder Doña Aida Perez. An unveiling of the new sign took place on ‘Day One’ (Friday) which is designated as ‘Children’s Day’. The corner at 105th Street & Lexington Avenue is now known as ‘Miss Aida Perez – Loiza Aldea Lane’. Her daughter, Iris Robles, President of Los Hermanos Fraterno de Loíza, shed joyful tears, as she gave thanks to those in her community and its leaders for honoring her mother in such a way. Doña Aida Perez passed in October of 2012.

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49th Annual 111th Street Old Timers Day Festival

(July 10, 2017) Another El Barrio tradition comes to fruition under beautiful weather conditions. The 47th Annual 111th Street Stick Ball Tournament and Reunion Festival drew huge numbers to an area, filled with aromatic cuisine, dancing rhythms, and Puerto Rican pride. Performing on the Main Stage: Eddie Zervigon & Orquesta Broadway, and the Mambo Legends Orchestra. The event is held on the second Sunday in July.
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116th Street Festival 2017

116th Street Festival 2017

PHOTO: Performance artist ‘La Bruja’ was this year’s MC on the mainstage @ 116th Street Festival 2017

(June 10, 2017)
El Barrio’s annual “day before” the National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NYC) celebration — The 116th Street Festival — enjoyed good weather and a comfortable turn-out. Here are a few shots for Boricuas abroad who couldn’t be there.

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‘WE STAY/Nos Quedamos’ Honors Mother & Daughter

WE STAY/Nos Quedamos "We Are Melrose" Block Party

PHOTO: Que bonita bandera… face-painting always a favorite with the kids!

(June 3, 2017)
The community development organization We Stay/Nos Quedamos honored the late Dra. Evelina Lopez-Antonetty (founder of United Bronx Parents, Inc.), and the daughter who carried on her legacy, Lorraine Montenegro. The awards presentation took place during their “We Are Melrose” Block Party, held on East 160th Street between Elton and Melrose Aves.

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