ROCHESTER — Puerto Rican flags waved outside the gates of a vacant lot on North Clinton Avenue last month to mark the entrance to a cultural festival honoring Puerto Rico’s patron saint.
The Aug. 11 event to celebrate the feast day of St. John the Baptist was sponsored by the Father Laurence Tracy Advocacy Center, Ibero-American Action League and the Little Italy Association. It took place in the parking lot next to the center.
During the celebration, members of the graffiti collective FUA Krew painted a mural of St. John the Baptist on the side of the building that houses the advocacy center.
The festival also featured a domino tournament; a 50-50 raffle; such traditional Puerto Rican foods as pinchos (meat skewers) and yellow rice with pigeon peas; and live salsa, bachata and merengue music by Swing by Four and Latino hits by DJ Torch.
Luz Rodriguez of Irondequoit said she made it a point to attend the festival, since it’s been a long time since such as celebration took place. She said St. Michael Church in Rochester had a similar festival about 40 years ago.
“I enjoyed the music and food,” Rodriguez said of the Aug. 11 celebration. “The festival also gave me the opportunity to see old friends I hadn’t seen in a long time.”