Puerto Rican Festival Organizers and the RPD Get Ready for the Party
Puerto Rican Festival
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organizer Orlando Ortiz is hoping the good weather holds out for the three-day event that this year includes headline acts like Luis Enrique and Elvis Crespo.
"They always hear about the great success and the good experience other artists have had in the past. So we've had pretty good luck bringing top artists every year," said Ortiz.
But every year, Ortiz finds himself answering questions about the incidents that happen after the fest and away from the festival site.
"We're just trying to promote positive behavior. A lot of people who partake in these are not Puerto Rican so we also want to educate others as well that this is not our culture, this is not what represents us," said Ortiz.
In 2010, the RPD made 24 arrests after the festival, most of those for disorderly conduct. Last year, there were 28 arrests for disorderly conduct. Police say two cruisers were damaged after people threw rocks and bottles.
Organizers have teamed up with police once again this year, to try and curb the violence before the festival gets underway. Mailers are going out to residents in the 14605, 14609, and 14621 neighborhoods. They ask residents to "celebrate with pride" but also remind them that the RPD will also be out enforcing noise ordinances.
There are also videos with Spanish-speaking officers relaying the same message.
"They will be more officers out there. There were be a whole detail setup," explained Sgt. Justin Collins, spokesman for the Rochester Police Department.
Also again this year, the festival ends early, at 7:30 p.m.