“We don’t have the money in the budget, and we prefer not to continue doing the festival in Franklin Park this year,” said Reyito Santiago, announcing the cancellation of that part of the traditional Puerto Rican Festival.
“It was a hard decision, but we had to accept the situation after the economic crisis, and this 40th year will see a transition and reorganization,” Santiago said.
Carlos Rivera, another member of the board of the Festival Puertorriqueño de Massachusetts, agreed saying, “It is better this way. It could be bitter, but it is better to stop making the same mistake year after year.”
Even after the committee got a waiver from the Attorney’s General Office, the group decided it preferred to cancel the activities at Franklin Park such as the concerts, carnival rides and other activities. Instead, the festival will concentrate on other events such as the first edition of a marathon dedicated to “Chico Muñoz” the founder of the festival.
This is this year’s reduced program:
Sun., July 1: Present the beauty contestants at Plaza Garibaldi, 2-6 pm.
Fri., July 13: Gala for the coronation of the Queen of Festival Puertorriqueño at Club Lido in Revere.
Sun., July 22: Mass at Mission Church.
Mon., July 23: Raising the flag at City Hall Plaza.
Wed., July 25, Remembering Puerto Rican heroes in the South End.
Fri., 27: Marathon and parade starting at Malcolm X Boulevard and ending at Walnut Street in Egleston Square near Franklin Park.