Concerns about Puerto Rican Festival at La Marketa

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — In past years, the Puerto Rican Festival has drawn more than 30,000 people over a weekend.

The festival was canceled last year due to the pandemic, and this year it will take place on two consecutive Sundays: Aug. 14 at La Marketa, and Aug. 21 at Parcel 5.

According to North Clinton Business Association President Albert Algarin, La Marketa has a capacity of 350 people, and the festival will be capping the crowd at 1,500.

"So that means we can light up like a match with one event," said Sister Marsha Allen, COVID safety advocate and head of The Vineyard Farm in Rochester.

La Marketa is located in the 14605 ZIP code, which currently has the third-lowest vaccination rate in Monroe County. People who live in the area believe the festival has the potential to become a super-spreader event.

"Being a location and a facility, a space that really isn’t adequate for a festival of this magnitude we are concerned and they are concerned that it will be a super spreader," said Mercedes Vazquez Simmons, candidate-elect for County Legislature District 22.

Festival organizer Orlando Ortiz sent News10NBC a press release Thursday outlining the safety precautions the festival intends to take, including:

  • Non-vaccinated people are asked to wear masks
  • Hand sanitizer, hand-washing stations, and PPE will be on-site
  • Rochester Police officers and security professionals will be available

Read the full release below:

2021 PR Festival Press Release New by News10NBC on Scribd

“We are working with Monroe County, RPD, and community leaders to ensure the site is properly managed according to capacity set forth by the City of Rochester," Ortiz said. "We also have contingencies put in place in the event more attendees show up.”

There will be a free vaccine clinic at the festival. Next weekend it moves to Parcel 5.