Just a few weeks after the Colombians celebrated their independence, it was the Ecuadorians turn to show off their pride and love of country. August 10 is a National Holiday in Ecuador celebrating independence from Spain in 1822. The parade was set to kick off on 69th St. and Northern Blvd. in Jackson Heights Queens, one of the most cultural diverse neighborhoods in the city. Plenty of national flags were waving every time a group of marchers walked up the parade route. The yellow (sun), blue (ocean) and red (blood of the ancestors) flag with the coat of arms with mighty condor has a special place in the hearts of many of the marchers dancers and parade revelers. The mounted police as usual signal the start of the parade and were soon followed by parade sponsors and politicians including US Senator Chuck Shumer and Judge Carmen R, Velazquez, the 1st Ecuadorian judge in NY State, as they greeted the crowd to honor and celebrate the joyous event. Then the fun really started when the first group of dancers arrived. Sueno Ecuadoran got the crowd worked up for what would be a day of dance, celebration and happiness to those estimated one hundred thousand viewers that came out on an overcast but sweltering hot day.
This parade displayed the devotion to saints especially the Virgin Mary as a few floats had their statues raised high and decorated with flowers and adornments. Not to be outdone by statues some floats carried beautiful ladies in some Amazonian costumes that were quite appealing. Singer Manolo from Ecuador was also present. Many other dance groups followed but two stand outs were from the Reina De La Nube group dancing traditional steps and probably the best one came from Ecuador in colorful costumes and a highly energetic dance were the Agrupacion Folklorica Pakarina Huambracuna. They were on point with all their traditional moves. All in all it was one of the better neighborhood parades with plenty of representation of Ecuadorian music and dance and culture for all to see.