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Thousands turn out for final day of Puerto Rican Fest in Chicago

Puerto Rican Fest takes over Humboldt Park
Puerto Rican Fest takes over Humboldt Park 02:22

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Sunday marks the fourth and final day of the Puerto Rican festival in Chicago. A day after the weather was not so cooperative, the festival was treated to blue skies and plenty of foot traffic. The festival took over Humboldt Park as it has for the last 40 years, giving the more than 113,000 Puerto Ricans who call Chicago home a sense of community. 

"The minute we walked in, I was like, 'Wow, it really feels like we're on the island.' Just like the feeling of culture, the music, it's awesome," said Carlos Ochoa.   

"We get to celebrate being Puerto Rican once a year here in Humboldt Park, and yeah, it's amazing," said Ana Ortiz. 

The sounds of Bad Bunny and the smell of pernil and arroz con gandules truly made it a perfect situation. Organizers expected more than 3,000 people to take part in the festivities Sunday. 

The festival was a celebration of community and culture. Mayor Brandon Johnson made an appearance early on. A number of prominent boricuas in the community also made appearances. 

Organizers say what made this year stand out from past years was that Paseo Boricua strip, which locals know as Division Street in Humboldt Park, was recently designated the Puerto Rico town cultural district by the State of Illinois. 

They hope the fest is a vehicle to share and spread the culture. 

"We want everyone to learn about the culture, learn about our different foods, and all of our restaurants. Most of them are local here. And then we also have a cocina stage where we teach people how to make these recipes at home," said Melissa Gomez with Dynamic Productions.  

And that food packs a punch of flavor. 

"This is Puerto Rico in a cup. It consists of mofongo Puerto Rican rice and pork lechong," said Tait Vallrreal/Ponce. 

This year, Security was a priority for festival organizers. In addition to a Chicago Police Department presence on the site, security guards kept a watchful eye on the crowd, keeping festivalgoers safe over four days.  

As of Sunday evening, no arrests or incidents were reported on the festival grounds. However, multiple incidents did happen outside of the festival. In one case Saturday night, a CPD officer was struck with a bottle by an unruly crowd. And a 17-year-old boy was grazed by a bullet. He is in good condition.

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