Tag Archives: panamanian bands

Pretty Polleras and Bugles Blast on Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn

14 Oct

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.


Pollera, traditional dress of Panama


Marching Band Leads the Way


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.


Beauty Queen Miss New York


 Drum and Bugle Corp. International Bands


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.


IMG_6153 Que Viva Panama!!!



Panamanians Proud of Their Polleras and Bands

11 Oct

Beautiful Pollera

     The largest Independence Day celebration outside of Panama is held every year for the past 22 years on Franklin Ave. in Crown Heights in Brooklyn USA. Each year the marchers and revelers keep growing in size with bands coming in from Maryland, Georgia and from Panama and of course hometown Brooklyn. There are folkloric dancers and women dressed in their traditional polleras with men in guayabera shirts. It is quite spectacular to see how ornate the women dress and follow their tradition. The warm weather had the streets of Franklin Ave. lined up with revelers waiting for things to kick off and once the Elite Riders Motorcycle Club appeared the crowd got revved up.


Hon. Shawndya Luisa Simpson and Jose Francis


A grand festival like no other


Georgia’s In the House

     This years Grand Marshalls were presented in pre-parade ceremonies. The Honorable Shawndya Luisa Simpson, current Assistant Attorney General for NY State, and Jose Francis,  Host of Rinconcito Panameno en Nueva York, a popular TV show in the Panamanian community. Once parade VIPs and dignitaries make their way down the parade route, they settle in at the reviewing stand on President Ave. where many bands display their talents.  The lead band came all the way from Colon in Panama and they did not disappoint. A group that was having a lot of fun were the Campesinos Internacional   banging on the congas and having a spirited dance. They were soon followed by a group of folkloric dancers with ladies in their fancy polleras and probably one of the best floats of the parade.


Lovely Beauty Queen


The Band Striking It Up


Proud Display of Flags

     One of the best things about this parade is the bands come from all over to play their drums and bugles. It is a unique experience for the many of these marchers since it’s their first time in NYC. Kicking off the proud display of talent was the Jose Santos Foca Banda de Musica soon followed by Monsenor Francisco Beckman Marching Band. They can play with any band from the US. A perennial favorite is the Instituto Jose Dolores Moscote Marching Band. They keep getting better each year. The King of Kings Marching Band and  Banda Evangelica El Elion made their presence known to the very happy and proud crowd. The band that had the best uniform had to go the Panamanian Band from Atlanta. Their red white and blue uniforms got the crowd buzzing. Saving some of the best for last was a newer group, ARCIA, that showed off their precision. Great job. Of course, the host band, the 1st International Panamanian Marching Band of Brooklyn showed why their one of the best. This really was an an amazing parade to witness and one the most festive neighborhood parades this year.  After the parade was over, there was more festivities and food available on Classon Ave. where the party kept on going.

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Que Viva Panama

Panamanians Bring Out Their Best Dress

15 Oct
Panamanians Enjoying the Parade

Panamanians Enjoying the Parade

    Neighborhood parades can be lots of fun. Aside from the delicious food you can find in the area, the people are casual and bring their folding chairs and just sit and enjoy the sights. This was the case on Franklin Ave. in Brooklyn on Saturday Oct. 12th where the Panamanians celebrated their independence for the 20th year in spectacular fashion. Many ladies brought out their traditional colorful polleras wearing it in style. It’s always great to see the tradition passed on to the younger generation where many teens and toddlers also wore traditional dress. Panamanians love their bands. One of first bands came from Maryland and the crowd stepped out of their way. They got the crowd worked up for the rest of the incredible bands from both Panama and Brooklyn. Local organizations were represented well in their dance and traditional costumes. One of the Panamanian bands that usually participate in the parade were the Banda Internacional  El Hogar and they got the crowd excited with their fast drum line and loud horn section.  But they were just getting things warmed up for the First Panamanian Drum and Bugle Corp from Brooklyn wearing their red uniforms. The winner of the beauty contest came next and she was quite stunning and dressed in a beautiful pollera. An interesting combination happened next when a Christian Panamanian marching band singing praises to the Lord was soon followed by a mischievous group of dancers and men dressed in diablo costumes..hmmmm. One tried to be louder than the other.  It was a tie. Closing out the parade was a float with beauty queens in spectacular attire. After the parade ended, most folks headed over to Classon Ave. where kiosks with food vendors sold some delicious meals and a stage was set up to keep the party going for the rest of the day. Que Viva Panama.

Banda El Hogar

Banda El Hogar

Two girls in polleras

Two girls in polleras

Panamanian Band from Brooklyn

Panamanian Band from Brooklyn

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Que Viva Panama

Que Viva Panama

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