The “Fiesta Folklorica Puertorriqueña” Festival has the unique, and proud distinction of being one of the oldest, if not the oldest, and longest running annual event held in Central Park in its history. A fixture in Central Park festivities held every last Sunday in August since the mid 60s, “Fiesta” continues to attract thousands year after year. First introduced at the old Bandshell over 40 years ago, the festival grew and was moved to Rumsey Playfield, soon after its inception in 1980, and has remained FREE TOTHE PUBLIC ever since. Countless legendary artists and entertainers have graced the stages at the Central Park venue, bringing families from all over the tri-state area and as far as Puerto Rico. As an organization “Fiesta Folklorica” has been a dedicated entity of the Puerto Rican community in New York City for over 44 years, educating the greater New York community through an assortment of cultural activities and entertainment, promoting a healthy desire to appreciate Puerto Rican history in all of its forms, while celebrating its rich and vibrant culture and ancestry.
Recently, Fiesta endured a devastating setback in its long-standing relationship with the City Parks Foundation. Fiesta was informed that Rumsey Playfield venue will no longer be available on its traditional date. At present there are no dates available to present the festival in it’s current schedule at Rumsey Field essentially forcing this age-old cultural event out of Central Park to be replaced with a more lucrative alternative.
Every year, the “Fiesta” organization has relied heavily on corporate sponsorships, private donations, and public funding to pay for increasing escalating costs of presenting the festival at the public park, while committing to continue to keep the event free to our visitors. Successful attempts to secure funding to pay for the use of the park were hampered by bureaucratic delays, but the representatives at the City Parks Foundation refused to wait for the secured funding and have chosen to eliminate the festival, admitting they have been offered substantially more money for the use of the venue that day.
“Fiesta Folklorica”, as an organization cannot exist without it’s Central Park festival, it is what we work toward each year, please do not let yet another Puerto Rican organization, another Puerto Rican event, close its doors for lack of support.
We ask that our community let our voices be heard, and place a spotlight on a people that have wonderfully served this city’s inhabitants in every capacity imaginable. Let the City Parks Foundation know that Fiesta is important to you. Also contact your local representatives and ask them to work on behalf of Fiesta not to allow City Parks Foundation hand over the park to the highest bidder.