By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jul 07, 2021 at 7:01 PM

After a one-year hiatus, the Puerto Rican Family Festival will return this summer, offering guests the opportunity to celebrate the rich, vibrant culture of Puerto Rico.

The free festival will take place August 1 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Wilson Park 1601 W. Howard Ave. and will feature traditional music, dancing and food. 

Three stages will feature a variety of musical performances including salsa, merengue, reggaeton and bachata, along with merengue and salsa dancing contests. Meanwhile a children’s area will feature a bounce house, obstacle course and dunk tank.

On the food side, guests can experience dishes from a wide range of vendors serving up traditional Puerto Rican food, Asian food, Mexican fare and more. Guests are also free to try their hand at a brand new food-based competition: a tostones eating contest.

Guests can also participate in domino competitions, peruse the festival car show or watch the annual baseball tournament, which has been renamed the Emilio Lopez Tournament in honor of the local baseball coach who organized the tournament for years before losing his life to COVID-19 this past year.

“This year we are dedicating the festival to the frontline healthcare workers,” says Victor Huyke, President of the Puerto Rican Family Festival and publisher of the bilingual El Conquistador newspaper. “We want to recognize the people who helped us through this horrible, uncertain time.”

In kind, the festival has partnered with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin to put on a safe, family-friendly event, which Huyke says will include a ceremony to honor the life-saving work of frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Huyke says the park will be set up with a variety of hand sanititizing stations and hand-washing sinks. Masks are welcome, but not required.

Guests interested in signing up for dance contests or the baseball game can call (414) 383-1000 for additional information. Additional information about the festival can also be found on the Puerto Rican Family Festival page on Facebook.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.