By Noah Schaffer.
After decades in Franklin Park, Boston’s annual Puerto Rican Day Parade will now go through downtown, where it will culminate in a festival at City Hall Plaza. The parade itself is on Sunday the 28th. There will be events at City Hall Plaza on the 26th and 27th. (These events had previously been at Franklin Field as well.)
The move was announced in a bitter statement from Festival Puertorriqueño de Massachusetts, Inc., the non-profit that organizes the event. The group said the city decided to move the festival because of the ongoing reconstruction of Playstead Field inside Franklin Park—but complained that the relocation happened “against the thoughts of the Puerto Rican/Latino Community . . . we did not like this decision ourselves . . . This was approved by the City of Boston, City Councilors Felix G. Arroyo and Tito Jackson.”
Although the statement did not explain why the organizers were unhappy with the move, a number of comments on the festival’s Facebook page cited everything from downtown parking hassles to the view that the festival now took place away from the heart of Boston’s Latino community. Others noted that it gave the event a new level of visibility.
The new parade route will start in the Villa Voctoria in the South End before heading down Tremont Street to Government Center. The parade and cultural festival will cap a weekend of family-oriented activities and performances.