Hispanics Unite for One Great Parade

16 Oct

It’s not too often that about 19 different countries are represented for one day in  a display of culture and tradition. New York City is one of the few cities that can pull it off in grand style. The warm mid October day brought out nearly one million people to 5th Ave. to see the 49th annual Hispanic Day Parade.  Flags of all Latin American countries were displayed on the parade route from 44th St. to 68th  St. and spectators cheered on as their country of origin marched by or danced in most cases. As a show of unity, the Mother Cabrini marching band carried all the flags of Latin America to kick off the parade. The Honorable Mayor Bloomberg marched to show his support for all the immigrants that now call New York their home. Kicking off the first of many groups were the Spaniards and their flamenco dancers and bagpipe marchers. It’s really a treat to see them every year. As by design in alphabetical order, the first on Latin countries was Argentina showing off their old style cars and singers. The tango dancers must have caught a break this year. Then the fun really started when the first of many Bolivian dancers made their way up the parade route. The San Simon Caporales got the crowd excited with their energetic dance moves and great costumes. Chilean dancers showed off their style of dancing with guacho outfits for the men and evening gowns for the ladies. It was almost a waltz like dance with waving handkerchiefs. Very classy. However, the elegant dancing quickly changed when the Colombians made their way up 5th Ave. Their loud costumes and loud music let everyone know the party starts here and the crowd just loved it.

Toning things down temporarily were the Costa Ricans and Cubans with their display of fine horses and beauty queens. Then the Dominican diablos cracked their whips to pick up the pace again. One of the more energetic dance groups came from Ecuador. They really worked up a sweat. One of the better bands came from the group representing El Salvador but they just warmed things up this years winner of the best representation of culture, the group from Guatemala. Their marching band was on point with soilders doing a unique march. A float with musicians playing the vibes masterfully was a nice touch. Their display of traditional dress and costume gave a unique addition to their presentation.   Conga players were jamming when the Hondurans came up singing and dancing to native songs. The energy level kept going on high when the Mexican Chilenos showed up and danced their tails off. The serious baseline could only mean one thing, the Panamanians were next. They love their bands and had some the best bands and baton twirlers I have seen at any parades this year. They were a joy to watch. Paraguay had an unusual display of balance as several dancers had a few glass bottles resting on their heads. Leading the way with some really good dance moves was the group from Peru showing off several different styles of dance. A definite crowd pleaser was the group from Uruguay with their conga drum band and dancing ladies. Rounding out the great display Hispanic culture and tradition came the small group from Venezuela.

By far the largest representation came from the Bolivians. They were so large many of their marchers had to be placed in between other countries marchers and towards the end of the parade. There was no doubt each of the countries representatives made their people proud and surely reminded them of the beauty of their native land. Hispanics are very diversified yet united by one common language. Their place in this city and this country is slowly but surely rising to prominence. Mark your calendar for next year’s 50th anniversary parade celebration. It’s sure to be one of the best the city offers.


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