This year’s version of the 30th annual Dominican Day Parade surely made up for last year’s rain out and believe me it sounded like the crowd had waited two long years to get loud and proud of their Dominican heritage. The hot summer day saw hundreds of thousands come out to 6th Ave between 36th and 52nd Sts. were treated to a day of dancing, music, colorful costumes and a sense of pride of all the contributions Dominicans make to this great city. For the thousands of bodegeros, livery cab drivers, merchants, hair stylists and laborers all throughout the city , this was their proudest day. The mounted police signaled the start of the parade followed by the Honorable Mayor Bloomberg with City Councilman Ydaris Rodriguez, who represents Washington Heights in upper Manhattan. After the NYPD marching band played their way up 6th Ave. and the local politicians and VIPs and dignitaries arrived, the fun really started when the delegation from the Dominican Republic brought their Diablos Cojuelo (mischievous devils) with crackling whips to get the crowd whipped into a frenzy. The first float blasting lively merengue music got the crowd into it even more. The screaming and yelling got even louder when three floats playing club music rolled on by.
The Goya float came next with the fabulous Batala all female drum band rocked the parade. They fed off the crowd’s high energy and gave the crowd even more reason to cheer. They were amazing as usual when they come to the Hispanic parades. More groups of Diablos came up each one more ornate than the next. The ladies dressed in their Carnaval attire made their way up the parade route waving to the crowd. One of the merengue floats the got the crowd excited was the Cibao Meats float when the singer was singing to the people to raise their flags but one of the better floats was from New Jersey where the singer could have easily passed for the Boston Red Sox slugger, David Ortiz, but just not as big. So Little Papi sang a lively merengue song calling out where his people from Cibao and Boca Chica and Santiago were. Once the town was called out, people from that town screamed for attention. It seemed as the parade was coming to a close the crowd got louder especially when the vans with monster speakers blew the crowd away. Saving the best for last was the Union Carnavalesca Districto Nacional de Nueva York with the best Diablo costumes of the parade. They gave the remaining crowd a thrill with all their moves and colorful costumes. This was one of the better parades this year with the loud crowd cheering their people on. The Dominican parade has evolved into a much better experience than years past and now deserve their place on 5th Ave.