By Joe Contreras, Photos by Teddy Gomez/Xposer Photography & Joe Contreras Latin Life Denver, see 2 photo galleries below…
With a generous helping of salsa the 10th Annual Taste of Puerto Rico was delicious fun for the more more than 10,000 people who joined in the buffet of festival food, music and fun at Denver’s Civic Center Park on Sunday June 14th. Conjunto Colores, Quemando, Orquesta La Brava, Los Lunaticos and others provided the music as salseros danced the day away despite a hot afternoon sun. Barrio E featured Ni~na Trovadora for the 1st time at the festival, followed by Bomba on the stage & Plena competition that drove the crowd into a frenzy. Latin Life Denver was a proud media sponsor for the fourth year in a row.
This year’s festival was a tribute to Salsa legend, the late Frankie Ruiz, who is best known for his hits like Mi Libertad, Bailando, Vuelvo a Nacer, Desnudate Mujer and many others. Frankie Ruiz’ brother, Nelson Ruiz paid homage to his late brother at this year’s celebration.
Many others made their own shade and camped out under tents and umbrellas. The rhythmic sounds of congeros doing their own thing could be heard throughout the park while games of Dominos were played.
Food vendors had long lines of people wanting to taste some Puerto Rican favorites such as Pinchos, a barbequed beefsteak with onions (carne frita con cebolla), veal (ternera) a la parmesana, and roast leg of pork, fresh ham, lamb, or veal, a la criolla.
These roasted meats are cooked in the Créole style, flavored with adobo. Arroz con pollo (chicken with rice) was another favorite. Many people brought their own buffet spread of their personal cuisine to share with friends and family.
Although Puerto Rican cooking is similar to both Spanish, Cuban and Mexican cuisine, it is a unique tasty blend of Spanish, African, Taíno, and American influences, using such indigenous seasonings and ingredients as coriander, papaya, cacao, nispero, apio, plantains, and yampee. Locals call their cuisine “cocina criolla”.
Organizer and promoter of the Taste of Puerto Rico Alvino Velazquez told Latin Life Denver that he was pleased with the event. “We have nearly 10,000 people here all having a great time, dancing eating and socializing”. Vasquez said the event continues to grow each year and he hopes to expand it to a two day festival hopefully by next year.
Next up; the Colombian Festival followed by the Central American and Peruvian Festivals. Stay in connected LatinLifeDenver.com for details.
Photos by Teddy Gomez/Xposer Photography for Latin Life Denver Media
Photos by Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media