Puerto Rican Day Parade Anchors Busy Weekend in Hartford

NBC Connecticut

Be prepared for busy roads, congested sidewalks, and road closures in Hartford this weekend.

After two years, the city will come alive with several events filled with fun and excitement.

The Puerto Rican Day Parade and Festival is happening Sunday, with people expected from all over the East Coast.

It's the largest parade in the city of Hartford and in the Hartford region.

"I'll tell you there's gonna be no less than 5,000 people, or 10 or 15 who knows, who knows," said Amilcar Hernandez, treasurer of the Connecticut Institute for Community Development-Puerto Rican Parade.

Leaders of the Puerto Rican Day Parade and Festival say they want it even bigger and better--that's why they've been working with police on a contingency plan to ensure the public's safety.

"Historically, we've always had big crowds," said Lt. Aaron Boisvert, of the Hartford Police Department. "We have a full contingency. Over half the department will be out working."

The parade will go up Wethersfield Avenue, then down Main Street onto Gold Street, and end at Bushnell Park where the festival will follow.

Park Street will be closed, and Wethersfield Avenue and Franklin Street will have officers on scene in case they need to shut down for traffic, according to police.

"Social media buzz -- it's been there so people know about it for sure. I know New Haven had their parade and I believe it went very well so we're hoping for the same thing here," Boisvert said.

But before Sunday's big parade and festival, you can swing by the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza Saturday morning and watch people paddling for gold in dragon boats down the Connecticut River.

The Dragon Boat Race and Asian Festival has been going on for more than 20 years but was put on pause the last two years due to COVID.

"There are so many things to do so we encourage people to see the dragon boat racing, go to the Asian Festival and then take advantage of some of the other events going on in the city," said Michael Zaleski, President & CEO of Riverfront Recapture.

In addition, there is an Encanto sing-along show at the Xfinity Theatre Friday night and then Wiz Khalifa and Logic will take the stage at the Xfinity Theatre Saturday night.

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