The Puerto Rican Festival of Massachusetts was founded forty-two years ago in the South End of Boston; with a small group of Puerto Rican pioneers who decided to organize an activity, whereby the community could promote a sense of belonging and cultural affirmation within the state.
Under the leadership of the late Chico Muñoz, and the commitment of many community leaders, the first festival committee was formed. The event took place in 1967 at the Blackstone Park, with approximately 2,500 people. This initiated the development of the Puerto Rican Festival of Massachusetts, Inc. Today, this cultural event has turned out to be the state’s largest Hispanic event with over 185,000 attendees during a three-day celebration at Franklin Park, one of Boston’s largest fields.
The Puerto Rican Festival of Massachusetts, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, with a statewide membership. The board of directors consists of fifteen members from a broad cross-section of the community; elected every three years by a general assembly of all members as stipulated in the by-laws
The organization is one of the most successful and far reaching festivals in the state of Massachusetts. It is by far the largest and best-organized ethnic festival in New England, celebrating its forty-first anniversary this year.
It has become one of the premier Puerto Rican celebrations in the nation, surpassed only by New York’s Puerto Rican Parade, New Jersey, Chicago, Ohio and Florida. Attracting people from these same states and providing a community celebration that exhibits the vitality and commitment of Puerto Ricans and Hispanics in general, improving the quality and richness of life in Boston.
The organization adheres to and committed to the following principals:
- To promote a cultural awareness and understanding of the Puerto Rican heritage, including but not limited to, the traditions folklore and other contributions of this community to the United States of America and specially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- To promote and affirm self-sufficiency and responsibility when we teach others the history and cultural values of Puerto Ricans.
- To foster our citizenship rights to political participation in the mainstream electoral process.
- To encourage and foster community activism by creating educational and cross-cultural programs that creates multicultural and multiracial dialogues with other ethnic groups residing in Massachusetts.
- To conduct and encourage educational and community action programs for the benefits of Puerto Rican children.
The Puerto Rican Festival of Massachusetts, a non- profit 501 (c) 3 Corporation seeks corporate partners who wish to share in the social and financial rewards of New England’s largest ethnic festival. Sponsorship is a business related activity in which your company reaches more than 300,000 Hispanics from all over the states and Puerto Rico during a three day celebration and a grand parade with over 30,000 spectators in the parade route.
Once the parade reaches its destination, Franklin Field at the Franklin Park, parade watchers join the tens of thousands at the park to celebrate the closing of the three days of festivities. At the park there are vendors, carnival rides, foods kiosk and artisans from Puerto Rico showing and selling their works of art.