Paperwork Mixup Delays Puerto Rican Fest

Chicago Park District officials said insurance documents weren't provided

One of Chicago's biggest summer festivals kicked off Thursday with a bit of confusion and controversy.

The opening of the 30th annual Puerto Rican Fest was delayed for several hours, angering hundreds of festival-goers who were kept outside the gates and prompting criticism from organizers.

Chicago Park District officials said necessary documents relating to insurance coverage of the Humboldt Park event were missing. But organizers said all documents relating to the event were turned in two months ago.

"Why don't they say nothing before, when we sent the papers over there about a month ago?" said festival president Angel Medina.

Gates finally opened at about 8:45 p.m., when the permit issues were apparently resolved.

"We had to go to the mayor's office. We had to go to a lot of people above because there was a sabotage," said State Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago).

Fewer officers are scheduled to patrol the festival compared to previous years because of manpower concerns elsewhere in the city.

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