The 32nd Annual Loisaida Festival Returns This Sunday, May 26
Everyone’s favorite neighborhood Latinx celebration returns for a 32nd year this Sunday, May 26, 2019, 12p-5p,on Avenue C, rain or shine.
Strong Roots, Healthy Branches: Harvesting Connections, the Festival theme, pays tribute to the Loisaida Inc.’s Puerto Rican roots and longstanding commitment to the Lower East Side. As always, the festivities commence at 11 a.m. with a Community Parade featuring the work of Garbagia, an eco-urban recycled arts initiative that will work throughout the month at the Loisaida Center with local artists and residents to conduct art building workshops to create instruments, flower masks, ‘vejigantes,’ paper mache animal masks, and other props—with an emphasis on recycled and found materials. On the Festival Main Stage, host Awilda Rodriguez Lora will introduce an eclectic mix of Latinx musical acts, including the Lower East Side’s very own, Son del Monte, led by renowned timablero Manuel Rivera, who will be performing their take on the Cuban charanga.
The lineup also includes Puerto Rican pleneros La Maquina Insular, whose lineup features Hector “Tito” Matos and other members of Viento de Agua, a group known for revitalizing the Puerto Rican musical traditions of bomba y plena. Making their Festival debut will be Nuyorican experimental salsa orchestra, Abrazos Army.
Rounding out the main stage lineup will be Afro-Cuban dancer Yesenia Selier and Puerto Rican theatre troupe, Y No Había Luz. Y No Había Luz will also perform as part of the 6th Annual Festival Theater Lab.
The family-friendly event will move to the street-level this year as part of the festival’s street vendor fair along Avenue C or what is known as the Loisaida Commercial Corridor (E. 6th Street to E. 12th Street.).
After the successful debut of their post-Hurricane play ¡Ay Maria! at last year’s Festival, Puerto Rican/Latin American theatre collective Mezcolanza will again host a series of one-act performances. Plenatoriom, a Puerto Rican plena initiative housed at Loisaida, and the improv comedy troupe Teatro 220 will also perform, followed by the closing Community Pageant.