Colombians Deliver Good Times in Jackson Heights

4 Aug

  A hot mid summer day was the setting for the 11th annual Colombian Independence Parade in Jackson Heights Queens. Although it was a perfect beach day, Rachel and I made our way to Northern Blvd and 69th St to get into the mix and get a feel for the preparation. The pre parade buzz was more relaxed as the midday sun had marchers seeking shade. This year celebrates the 201 year of independence from Spain and the parade route was bathed in a sea of yellow, blue and red, the colors of the Colombian flag. The symbolic colors represent a part of the country..yellow for gold, blue for the oceans, and red for the blood shed by the heroes of the Revolution. So it was only fitting the start of the parade included the New York Military Youth Cadets. Parade organizers and VIPs were soon followed by a float of the Centro Cultural Colombiano with a lively cumbia singer and young beautiful girls dressed in colorful costumes.



  As a reminder to the crowd of how things used to be at home, a driver loaded up his jeep with practically all his possessions including sacks of maize, a black and white tv, a 50s style radio, a dresser and of course an oil painting of Jesus. He was followed by a cool chihuahua decked out in colors.



 After local politicians and corporate sponsors marched up Northern Blvd. floats with live music were the crowd favorites especially Orquestra Canela visiting from Colombia just for the event.   I met up with Rachel towards the end of the parade and we both looked forward to some good Colombian food. We were kind of glad it was a shorter parade because it was hot and our appetites were kicking in. We stopped by Papa Empanadas, a must visit if you’re in Jackson Heights. It must be a happening place because a parade veteran, Miss Colombia showed up and was greeted by the owners



All in all the Colombian parade was enjoyable and helped unite the largest Colombian population in New York for a festive celebration.

           For more photos click on the Photograph links on the right.

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