The 29th annual Hispanic Family Festival — Festival de la Familia — begins today at 4 p.m. and continues through Sunday with the Western Massachusetts Puerto Rican Parade.
The festival with live music is a celebration of the Puerto Rican community as well as the city of Holyoke, said organizer Diosdado Lopez, a member of the City Council.
Most events at the festival will take place at Springdale Park on Main Street and most are free, including the musical acts, he said.
Festival hours are Thursday 4 to 10 p.m., Friday 5:30 to 11 p.m., Saturday 2 to 11 p.m,. and Sunday 1 to 8 p.m.
Mayor Alex B. Morse said he was “thrilled” the festival was returning and thanked Lopez and others for their work in making it happen.
“This is an important cultural event and I’m proud to provide as much city support as possible. I will attend the festival throughout the weekend, attend the breakfast on Saturday morning and march in the parade on Sunday. Holyoke’s greatest asset are its people and its diversity and this festival highlights that,” Morse said.
The parade will be held on Sunday at 11 a.m. beginning at Pine Street and Resnic Boulevard. Parade participants are asked to begin lining up at 10 a.m. in the parking lot behind Holyoke High School.
The parade will march up Pine Street, right onto Sargeant Street and left onto High Street, winding up at Dwight and High streets, Lopez said.
Entertainment will include local performers like Jose Gonzalez y su Banda Criolla on Friday night and headliners Bachata Heightz.
On Saturday Puerto Rico’s Orquesta NG2 will perform as well as local dance troupe Grupo el Coqui and others.
The festival will culminate at 6:30 p.m. Sunday with a performance by Charlie Aponte y su Orquesta. Aponte is a former singer for Puerto Rico’s most recognized band El Gran Combo.