HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The city of Holyoke kicked off a celebration of Puerto Rican culture and heritage with a festival at Open Square.

The last time the Fiestas Patronales festival happened was back in 1993 through State Representative Carlos Gonzalez.

“Diversity is our strength our language, no matter if you speak Spanish, English, if Polish, coming together is a powerful message because, one community, one unity, one Holyoke, one Massachusetts, and one United States of America,” said Gonzalez.

The festival marking a historic time for all Latinos throughout the Commonwealth. The event is also honoring Mayor Joshua Garcia who is Holyoke’s first Latino mayor.

“You see so many difffent generations coming togeher it’s a powerful message that we’re one communtiy one family,” Gonzalez continued. “And to see not only Puerto crowns, but the French community, the Irish community, the Polish community that have been here before us, coming togeher to celebrate Holyoke with a Puerto Rican mayor it can’t get better than that.”

Fiestas Patronales is one of the region’s largest Latino events ever in western Massachusetts. It features everything Latino! And the community has been celebrating since Thursday night.

Las Fiestas Patronales de Holyoke provide the LatinX community a chance to come together through the lively music, dance, food and more.

“That’s what we want, we want to bring our music, we want to bring our traditions to everybody in the community,” said Puerto Rican Musician Jesus Pagan. “All of the Latinos come and see what Puerto Rico is all about and this Fiestas Patronales, it’s a little bit of Puerto Rico here in Holyoke, Massachusetts.”

The festivies are not over yet! This Sunday is the last day, so Alza la Bandera Puertorriqueña!