The blazing sun and heat reminded many of the 75,000 parade spectators on Northern Blvd of the weather back home in Colombia. Many brought out their yellow, blue and red flags and waved it with pride as they saw many floats with colorful representations of costume and dance in celebration of the 202nd year of independence. After the mounted police galloped by to announce the start of the parade, the first marchers to arrive were the New York Military Cadets in their crisp white uniforms. Parade organizers and this years Grand Marshall, Jorge Baron Ortiz, waved to the crowd to begin the festivities of the 12th annual parade.
A handsome coach pulled by two white horses arrived with a beauty queen and shortly after a float with another beautiful woman arrived with other children dressed in traditional and colorful costumes. Two groups of dancers in traditional dress danced cumbia to the delight of the crowd…one older dancers and one of a younger group. Another group that got the crowd worked up was the LaBoom nite club dancers. It was great to see the young dancers showing off their moves. Local community groups and companies with their floats blared Colombian music while parade watchers moved and danced and yelled for their motherland, Colombia. A parade isn’t a parade without a marching band and the band from Panama lent a hand. One different thing about this year’s parade is that neighboring countries like Panama, Ecuador, Argentina, Guatemala had more representation. Conspicuously absent were the Bolivians…hmmmm…and they always show up for parades. Closing out the parade was a tripped out jeep with every single possession the owner had on the jeep reminding the crowd of how life was back home. All in all it was a good parade and represented Colombia well and I couldn’t help stopping by Mama’s Empanadas and have some delicious food.
Que Viva Colombia.