San Germán holiday festival features island’s largest arroz con dulce
By John McPhaul
Hundreds of people gathered over the weekend in San Germán to participate in the “First Festival of Arroz con Dulce and Almojábanas,” where, in addition to good music for all tastes and ages, troubadour contest, kiosks and handicrafts, among many other things, the public could also partake in the most exquisite Christmas dessert in Puerto Rico.
The event was held at Plaza Santo Domingo and Plaza Francisco Mariano Quiñones, where residents and visitors from various parts of Puerto Rico, and dozens of tourists, came away more than pleased with the event and filled with the magic of the holidays.
Those present enjoyed the creation of the largest arroz con dulce (rice pudding) in Puerto Rico, which was made by chef Fernando Santiago, from Pórticos 1606, Carlos Flores, owner of the El Bosque Bakery, and the community leader of La Chorra in Mayagüez, José “Che” Ramos Caraballo, who used more than 100 pounds of rice and had the help of San Germán Mayor Virgilio Olivera Olivera.
In addition, visitors enjoyed the famous “Pico a pico” troubadours contest, folk dances and the performances by AJI CORP, La Covacha, Bomba en la Loma, Son Criollo, La Tribu de Abrante, Step Dance Academy, El Trotamundos, and Son Libre y Plenéalo.
“As an interesting fact, it is already tradition, in our beloved City of San Germán, that we accompany the so delicious arroz with nothing less than almojábanas,” said the mayor, who congratulated those present for following the safety protocols of the island government, the Department of Health and the Municipality of San Germán.
“We appreciate the attendance of all the people who accompanied us over the weekend and enjoyed our exquisite cuisine, who also sang and danced to the rhythm of contagious Christmas music,” Olivera said. “San Germán is the only town that serves arroz con dulce accompanied by almojábanas.”
“Our objective, with the festival, was to strengthen the family unit, promote healthy entertainment and help the economic development of merchants, thus promoting gastronomy and tourist attractions,” the mayor added.