Preserving culture and traditions at Bristol's Puerto Rican Day Festival

Bristol, PA's annual Puerto Rican Day Festival celebrates culture and traditions. (Photo via Facebook)

There’s no shortage of culture in the Philadelphia area, and thanks to numerous celebrations, festivals and block parties, we can get a taste of the world in our own backyards. Saturday, July 26’s Puerto Rican Day Festival in Bristol, Pa., will supply attendees to Bristol Lions Park a full day of color, dance, food and entertainment from noon until 8 p.m.

The day begins with a procession from King George Inn at noon with folkloric dancers, local Latin American dignitaries, and other colorful processionists.

Throughout the day at the park’s gazebo and wharf, various musical performers and dance groups will entertain the crowd with skillful Latin guitar melodies, tight harmonies, and authentic dance moves to set the backdrop to the numerous activities and workshops planned.

Among these workshops is a 1 p.m. oral history of indigenous Puerto Rican tribes, lead by the MaOconuco Taino Indian Nation — an aboriginal Caribbean community group — featuring dance and costumes (and will be held in both English and Spanish), and an adult cooking class at 4 p.m. where you’ll learn to make a type of Puerto Rican sandwich.

Be sure to bring your appetite for traditional foods: tons of vendors will be on site serving up customary Puerto Rican dishes.

Don’t forget about the kids, either. They can take part in a few arts and crafts sessions where they can draw their own Taino rock carvings and get their faces painted. Taino Indians will also lead the youngsters in indigenous Puerto Rican games and other culturally significant activities.

The day ends with salsa and merengue performances starting at 7 p.m.