By Maria Roman
It’s the holiday season, time for the “Puerto Rican Parranda” fundraiser “kick-off” for the newly formed organization, Puerto Ricans United, Inc. (PRU) of New Haven. “It’s a great time to promote our roots and culture,” said Joseph Rodriguez, PRU co-chair.
The organization’s 1st Annual Puerto Rican Holiday Celebration was held on December 10 at the Frontier Building in New Haven to raise funds for the upcoming 2016 Fiestas Patronales de New Haven, a festival planned for August 13.
The parranda, which is similar to Christmas caroling, began with live music by Carlos Juan y su Conjunto Tipico. Traditional foods, such as “lechon,” a whole pig roasted by La Cayeyana Donis Bakery of New Haven, and homemade “coquito,” were served. The attendees, which included community members, leaders, politicians and out-of-towners, sang and danced through the night.
“A parranda, just like family, hits at the core of any Puerto Rican holiday tradition. It has true authentic and cultural relevance,” said Edwin Martinez, co-chair of PRU. Martinez also explained that the organization was created because of the demand from the Puerto Rican community to re-launch past events. “It’s to bridge our Latino communities, but we also need our Puerto Rican representation.”