The Harker Heights Event Center got a taste of the Caribe during the second annual Puerto Rican Heritage Festival on Saturday — a breezy slice of home on a wet and windy day.

The all-afternoon festival featured vendors selling food and trinkets and live performances from bands and traditional dancing troupes.

For those looking for puertorriqueno comfort food, there was plenty of arroz con frijoles, mofungo and sofrito on sale, with lively tunes pumping through the speakers.

For Marta Jimenez, a Belton resident who immigrated from San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1998, the event was a rare opportunity to show her children the dancing, food and community of her native island.

“We come here for a better option, but my kids have never had the chance to go back and see some of their family,” Jimenez said. “So it’s fun to hear the music and see the dancers. Just show them part of who I am that they might not see.”

Saturday’s event was sponsored by The Shack Caribbean Seafood & Grill, RM Entertainment, Plan A Signs and We Deliver LLC. Organizers said last year’s festival attracted attendees of Puerto Rican heritage from Killeen, Copperas Cove, Temple, Belton, Waco, Austin and as far away as El Paso and Louisiana.

Jimenez said she hoped the event would keep going into the future and attract more people.

“We love to talk so the more the better,” she said. | 254-501-7567

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