Last year in 2011, I went to my first Puerto Rican and Cuban Festival and I would have to say it was a great adventure. I saw many familiar sights and sounds and many new ones as well. Many proud Puerto Ricans and Cubans were donning their red, white, and blue colors on their clothes and displaying a Cuban or Puerto Rican flag on their shirts or hats. Many simply sported creative attire in red white and blue. But this wasn't just a celebration for the people only, there were also people from all races, creeds, and colors that came out to experience the sights and sounds of the festival. And of course, everyone enjoyed the aromas and the tastes that the foods brought to the festival. Everyone wanted a piece of the Afro Latin flavor that the Puerto Rican's and Cuban's heritages have to offer. We could hear Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, and Reggaeton being played from all corners of the park. You could smell the Mofongo, black and red beans, and plantain's wafting through the air. Every where there were people from all ages, from 6 to 60 dancing on the sidewalks and in front of the main stage. Many local bands performed various types of Afro Latin music, and the local performers brought a lot of energy to the stage with a variety of dance styles. However, not just Salsa and the familiar dances that you think about when you are around Puerto Ricans and Cubans, but you also could also see Samba, Hip Hop, and even Break dancing. All the performances were energetic and exciting. As the day progressed, the crowds got bigger and so did the lines to get food and beverages. The people continued to dance and celebrate until darkness fell. This years' festival on the 22nd of September 2012, will offer the same fun and excitement plus a lot more. The founder and President of the Puerto Rican and Cuban Festival, Javier Ferrer has pulled out all the stops and has brought even more for us to enjoy and see this year. In a statement made by the festival organizers they said "Our mission is to disseminate the Puerto Rican & Cuban Cultures within the City of Houston and it’s surrounding communities. We want to enlighten and educate the audience through dance, art, music and food. Our event supports and promotes other ethnic organizations and their mission, by providing a venue for unification for our Spanish Caribbean citizens and the general market. Most importantly, the PRC Festival empowers our youth to become accomplished, self-directed, and collaborative citizen who boldly contribute to an increasingly complex and evolving world by engaging in leadership roles, relevant experiences and building positive relationships while embracing the uniqueness of each individual.
This festival is held annually to support the continuous efforts to disseminate the Puerto Rican and Cuban cultures within the city of Houston. We also want to teach our children about our roots, assisting them with their self-esteem, identity and letting them know that they have a strong support group. Additionally, we are educating the citizens of the City of Houston about who we are and asking them to embrace our cultures in a friendly and festive environment.
We receive strong support from many businesses and cultural organizations within the city of Houston and Puerto Rico, for which we are very grateful!".
With a mission statement like that, it's no wonder that this festival has been getting better each year and will continue to be a great success. So, for the weekend of the 22nd, don't sit at home. Come out and get a taste of Puerto Rico and Cuba. Pre-sale tickets are $9 available at many local vendors, and $13 at the gate. Kids under 8 get in for free, and there are VIP passes available; $60 for adults and $30 for kids. The VIP passes offer a meal and beverage tickets as well as access to VIP areas, and even a meet and greet with some of the International Artists that will be attending. And speaking of International Artists, in attendance will be Tito Nieves who is doing a tribute to Michael Jackson. Issac Delgado and Mala Fe will be performing as well and of course, many local Houston favorites including Mi Rumba, Son 7, Grupo Kache, Angelucho and Cecille and Rainel. Plus international and local dance groups and performances can also be enjoyed throughout the day as well. And lets not forget about the vendors who will be selling food, drinks, souvenirs, and other goods. As a bonus, there will be a car show, face painting, arts and crafts as well to enjoy. In today's economy, its hard to travel or take a vacation. At the Puerto Rican, Cuban Festival, you can take advantage of all this excitement and culture crammed into one day! So treat yourself and try and make it to this years festival. Its being held on Saturday September 22, 2012 in Tranquility Park, 902 Bagby St Houston, TX 77002. For more info call (713) 446-1027 or go to their website at: www.prcfestival.com The gates open at 10am and the festivities shut down at 10pm. So, come out and experience the best of what Puerto Rico and Cuba has to offer with out leaving Houston.