Latin Unity Abound on 5th Ave. at the Hispanic Day Parade

15 Oct
Flags of Nations Displayed

Flags of Nations Displayed

For the last 51 years, the day before Columbus Day is celebrated by millions of fans coming out to the parade route on 5th Ave. to celebrate Hispanic culture in dance and music and costume. As the end of Hispanic Heritage Month comes closer, the parade showcases all the different cultures and their similarities. From the gauchos of Argentina and Chile to the diablos of Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to the hot dancers from Colombia and Panama…all came to show their talents and national pride. All Latinos speak Spanish but like here in the States there are accents and dialects of the same language. Kicking off the parade were junior cadets holding flags of all the Hispanic nations. The first of 18 nations represented in the parade was the group from Spain, as that’s who financed Columbus’ voyage to the Western hemisphere.  A group of lady flamenco dancers displayed their slow sensual moves to the cheering crowd. They were soon followed by the winner of this years Miss Universe pageant, Miss Colombia Paulina Vega and the 1st prize winner of the folkloric dance competition from Peru, Fuerza Peruana.  They were just warming things up for what would be a display of celebration and unity among Latinos.

Miss Universe Paulina Vega

Miss Universe Paulina Vega

Flamenco Dancers From Spain

Flamenco Dancers From Spain

Bolivian Dancer in Training

Bolivian Dancer in Training

The flow of the parade goes alphabetically with Argentina and their gauchos and tango dancers leading things off. Then one of the largest and most colorful groups from Bolivia showed the diversity of their culture with the San Simon Caporales dancing their energetic dance. The Indian Tinkus and the Morenales also made their way up the parade route on 5th Ave from 44th to 68th Sts. Colombia got into the mix with their colorful costumes and even had some impressive youthful dancers show off their moves. Costa Rica had some really tall stilt walkers and Cuba had a Celia Cruz wannabe. Azucar. The diablos from the Dominican Republic cracked their whips and got the crowd worked up. Ecuador had a decent representation with some good folkloric dancers having fun. El Salvador had an impressive marching band. Guatemala has always been the most environmentally conscience of the nations. Honduras got into the mix with a lively float. Mexico had a nice variety of dancers with traditional costumes but the crowd favorite has always been the super hyper chinelos in their amazing costumes. Nicaragua had a larger group than last year but still could use a boost.

Bolivian Pasion

Bolivian Pasion

Dominican Diablos

Dominican Diablos

Panamanian Queen

Panamanian Queen

Last years winner of the coveted Hispanic Culture Award presented by Macy’s for the group that best represents Latin culture and pride was Panama and they surely went all out to retain their crown. They had some of the most impressive floats and marching bands from both Panama and Brooklyn. Probably the highlight of that group were the High School marching band from San Vicente de Paul. and Manual Maria Tejada Roca MB. They were amazing and could give any US HS marching band a run for the money. Peru brought their better dancers to show off some moves. Puerto Rico sent a Marc Anthony wannabe. They definitely need to step up their game especially since their are so many Puerto Ricans living in the city. Hello. Paraguay got into the mix with their balancing bottles act. Closing out the parade were the scantily clad ladies from Uruguay with their drummers keeping the pace moving. Venezuela had a better group than last year and were more environmentally friendly. Each year the parade gets better and close to a million people came out to support the Hispanic culture and contribution to this great city.

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So long my Queen. See you next year.

So long my Queen. See you next year.

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