Archive | October, 2019

Italians Celebrate Fashion and Culture on Columbus Day on 5th Avenue

17 Oct
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Let’s Get This Party Started

     The trifecta of parade weekend culminated in the largest celebration of Italian culture in the world right on 5th Avenue. The picture perfect day saw nearly a million people lined up on the parade route anxiously awaiting the start of the parade. Celebrating its 75th anniversary, parade organizers, the Columbus Citizens Foundation pulled out all the stops to make this a first class event. This year Grand Marshall Massimo Ferragamo was honored for his contribution to high fashion. Local news anchor Rosanna Scotto was an honoree of the amazing event.  As usual, the mounted police signal the start of the parade.

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Grand Marshall Massimo Ferragamo

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Tribute to Columbus

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Baton Twirlers from Italy

     Honorary lead marching band was Northern University playing some Italian theme tunes to get the crowd ready for a festive day of everything Italian. Sacred Heart University was right behind them. A parade of Maserati’s with the Grand Marshall and Honorees was well received. Italians have always been a religious people and home to the Vatican and where early Christianity thrived. Controversy did not escape this years parade as NY Mayor diBlasio called for more female statues to be erected throughout the city and omitted the beloved Mother Cabrini, even though she captured the most votes. Under immense pressure from the Italian community and Catholic Church to reconsider his decision, the mayor promised to rethink it….good idea.

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Marching Bands Ruled the Day

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Mother Cabrini Makes Her Appearance

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Trumpet Band from Bergamo

     Revelers were given a special treat when two Italian bands struck up some nice tunes. A coastal town from Castellammare di stabia sent a band that got the crowd thinking about home. Blowing the horns off in magnificent fashion were a band from Bergamo, Italy. They put a whole new meaning to fast tempo as it was a challenge to keep up with their fast pace. A variety of High School marching bands kept the high energy going. Perennial favorite Connetquot HS Marching Band always puts on a great show. Matching their intensity was the W. Tresper Clarke Marching Band. One band of note from East Meadow had a sharp drumline.  All in all is was a grand celebration of Italian culture and contribution. Like my Italian friends say…there’s only two kinda people…Italians and those that want to be Italians.

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Long Live Italy!!!!

Cultural Pride Abound on 5th Avenue for the Hispanic Day Parade

15 Oct
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Spain Kicks Off the Grand Event

 Written by: Albert Terc

Photos by: Albert Terc and Aluche_Events

     Wrapping up the national celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month was done in grand fashion in a way that only New York can do. A grand parade celebrating Hispanic culture, history and contribution to the quilt of this great city and nation took place on Sunday. Thousands marched and danced and sang with great pride up 5th Avenue while hundreds of thousands cheered them on. This is largest parade of its kind in the US. People came from all parts of the US, Europe, Central and South America to be part of the spectacular event.  Media coverage was extended locally and globally via television.  Opening up the parade is the display of flags from all the nations participating from an honorary marching band.

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Presentation of the Flags

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Bolivians with Big Hearts

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Honduran Traditional Dress

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Panamanian Float

     The way this parade works is the opening group is the mother country, Spain. Their representatives dressed in medieval attire this with some amazing costumes. They set the tone for what would be a spectacular show of culture and pride. Countries display part of their cultural heritage starting in alphabetical order.  Argentina kicked things off with about 8 pairs of tango dancers. Bolivia showed off a variety of dances. The high energy caporales are dedicated to San Simon (St. Paul) while the Morenales have a more slow rhythmic pace. Tinkus are more indigenous in nature. Then the party started when the Colombians showed up. Their group of a hundred revelers really got the crowd worked up with their fun antics. Cumbia dancers followed them with some traditional steps.

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Bolivian Caporales Dancing For San Simon

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Frolicking Colombians Starting Trouble

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Dominican Lechones Getting the Crowd Whipped Up

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Guatemalan Cowboy

     Chileans were applauding their dancers recreating the Handkerchief Dance. Costa Rica sent some stylish dancers. Dominicans had their lechones whipping up some action. Ecuador had a group doing a traditional dance. El Salvador sent an internationally acclaimed marching band, El Carbonara to get the crowd ready for more more marching bands. Guatemala sent a group of cowboys and cowgirls with some of the more beautiful horses ever to be part of a NYC parade. Hondurans were proud of their singers and dancers. Mexico had a few traditional dancers that really got the crowd worked up.

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Mexican Traditional Dancer

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Panamanian Drum Master

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Guatemalan Aristocrat

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Peruvians dancing up a storm

     Nicaragua and Paraguay had some beautiful costumes. Bottle dancers were seen balancing bottles on their head. One of the largest groups of the parade made their presence felt in grand style. Panama sent their ladies dressed in fancy polleras while marching bands from schools in Panama made their people proud. Peru had traditional dancers perform an energetic dance. Puerto Rico has a nice group dancing salsa while the all female drum band Fogo Azul got in on the fun. Uruguay gets to have the most attention when their Candombe drummers and dancers take over 5th Avenue. Closing out the parade is Venezuela displaying their tropical paradise and warning of its  threatening loss due to climate change and fires. Political statements are not allowed in the parade but it was clear that Venezuela was sending out an SOS message.

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Flamenco Dancers Showing off their Moves

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Argentinian Gaucho

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Bolivian Diablos

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Cumbia Dancers Having Fun

     This was one of the best parades of the city because of the different cultures on display. They all speak the same language but all have different customs. It was great to see those traditions passed on from one generation to the other. It was truly a day to be prideful of being Hispanic and a proud day to be a New Yorker.

Layout of Hispanic Day Parade

Photos by Aluche_Events

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Que Viva La Hispanidad

 

Pretty Polleras and Bugles Blast on Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn

14 Oct
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Panama Prep School Band Taking Charge

     Neighborhood parades can be a great way to get a sense of that area. Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn is home to a very large Panamanian population. The parade boasts of being the largest Panamanian Independence Day in North America. People travel from Maryland, Texas, Florida and of course from Panama to be part of the spectacular event.  Around noon time on Saturday, a group of motorcycles riders, displaying the Panamanian flag, let everyone know the parade was soon to start.  Parade VIPs and organizers made their way up the parade route on Franklin Ave. and turned on Carroll St. where a stage was set up to review the many marching bands that came up from Panama. Prizes were awarded at the end of the parade for the best band.

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Pollera, traditional dress of Panama

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Marching Band Leads the Way

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Colegio San Martin de Porres

     These same bands participated in the Hispanic Day Parade on 5th Avenue the following day. Beauty queens waved to the adoring crowd. They were followed by some fun folkloric dancing and women dressed in traditional polleras. It’s great to see the tradition passed on from one generation to another. The best part of the parade is when the marching bands from Panama come up the parade route. They have the best uniforms for marching bands this year. First up were the musical band Instituto Fermin Naudeau with their military uniforms. They got the crowd worked up for the next band in line, the Panama Prep School Band. This band ended up winning first prize at the event for best band. A perennial favorite is the Colegio San Martin de Porres musical band.

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Beauty Queen Miss New York

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 Drum and Bugle Corp. International Bands

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Getting Ready for the Grand Finale

    Not too far behind were the Guillermo Endara Galimany musical band. They were having some fun with the crowd. The last of Panamanian student group was the Musical Band Mons. Audilio Aguilar. Local bands close out the festive parade with the First Panamanian Drums and Bugle Corp making some noise. Saving the best for last, the United Panamanian Veterans Marching Band always closes the parade out with a bang. Once they pass by the reviewing stand, everyone heads over to the festival where a stage is set up for more entertainment and food kiosks with some delicious Panamanian food. This is one of the best neighborhood parades in the city.

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IMG_6153 Que Viva Panama!!!

 

 

Thousands of Polish People Celebrate Gen. Pulaski on 5th Avenue

7 Oct
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Let the Parade Begin

    A long standing parade tradition in early October is the celebration of Revolutionary hero General Casimir Pulaski. Hundreds of thousands of Polish people from the Tri-State area gather on 5th Avenue to celebrate all things Polish. The parade route was a sea of red and white flags. Now in its 82nd year, the Pulaski Day Parade is the largest of its kind on the East Coast. It coincides with the death of the War Hero at the Siege of Savannah in 1779. Pre-parade festivities took place right in front of the NY Public Library where there were stages and reviewing stands set up for the remarkable occasion.

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Traditional Dancers Start Up the Parade

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Royal Waltz with Senator Schumer

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Polish Marching Band Having Fun

     Before all the fun starts, there is a traditional breaking of the bread with wine and salt on the trays. The Bread is symbolic for never going hungry while the wine is present so that one may never go thirsty and salt for life’s tears….may they always be happy ones. There was a traditional Royal Waltz performed with special guest US Senator from NY Chuck Schumer taking part of the good times. Senator Schumer has been instrumental in pushing for the visa waiver program to include Poland since 2013. President Trump approved Poland’s entry to the program just recently. Poland is one of America’s best allies and certainly deserves the exception. A marching band from Poland played both national anthems and then the fun started.

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Saluting the General

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Bikers Making Some Noise

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Polka Dancers Have a Go At It

     Groups from all parts of the Tri-state area marched in red and white. They danced to polkas and more modern music. One of the favorite parts of the parade is when a few hundred motorcycles ride up 5th Avenue while making thunderous sounds. Groups representing Connecticut marched with lots of joy and pride. One of the largest groups is from Greenpoint in Queens that is home to a large Polish population. New Jersey sent some of the largest groups to be part of the festive day. It really is a fun parade with lots of happy faces in the crowd.

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Polska na zawsze!!!!

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