Panamanians Love Their Bands

9 Oct




  Indian summers in NYC are always a favorite time of the year for many. It’s one last grasp of summer weather before things change and the weather couldn’t have been better for the 15th annual Panamanian Day Parade in Little Panama on Franklin Ave. in Prospect Heights Brooklyn.  Rachel couldn’t make this one so there aren’t as many great photos but I did have some help from my little guys, Andrew and Albert, as they participated in their first parade. The preparade festivities were running high on the parade route as a stage was set up to introduce VIPs and honored guests. It gave us a chance to stop by Kelso’s Restaurant for some great Panamanian food before all the fun started. Roaring motorcycles let the eager crowd know the parade was ready to kick off. Two lovely beauty queens waved to the crowd as they made their way up the parade route and they were followed by the parade organizers and VIPs. The parade celebrates the independence from Colombia in 1903 and also displays the vibrant culture and community of Panama.  All parts of the Panamanian community came out to march and display their rich culture and give positive messages of achievement and encouragement.  The focus was on the youth and giving them the inspiration to become professionals in their field of choice.  Then the fun really started as the first marching band from Maryland and from Boston were a prelude of some great band music to come.  Ladies dressed in their fancy polleras and dancing to typical Panamanian music set the tone for the rest of the parade.



     It’s always a treat when people from their country of origin come up for the parade and show off their talents and the crowd was not disappointed at all especially when the Banda Internacional El Hogar in their chocolate uniforms played with pride. A definite crowd pleaser with a large representation were the Banda Internacional  SEEM dressed in their bright red uniforms and baton twirling marchers. They were one of the better bands I have seen all year. They were followed by community groups dressed in colorful costumes and the ones that stood out were the Ballet Folklorico Nuestro Panama and Conjunto Nuevo Milenio. The children were drawn to both groups. Saving the best for last this year were the First Panamanian Drum and Bugle Corp of NY. They closed out the parade and had a large following as they made their way to the reviewing stand and made an incredible presentation to the parade organizers and Grand Marshalls.  Claussen Ave. was filled with post parade activity including a stage for more performances and some great food kiosks for all to enjoy and have a taste of some of the goodness Panama has to offer.



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