Tag Archives: panamanian parade

Panamanians Proud of Their Polleras and Bands

11 Oct
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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.

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Hon. Shawndya Luisa Simpson and Jose Francis

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A grand festival like no other

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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.

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Lovely Beauty Queen

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The Band Striking It Up

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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 Make Some Noise in Brooklyn

13 Oct
Bugle Section Blaring Away

Bugle Section Blaring Away

On a sun filled Saturday in early October, the streets of Franklin Ave. in Brooklyn were converged on by thousands of Panamanians to celebrate their independence from Colombia and to display their culture, heritage, and some delicious food at the after party street fair on Classon Ave. Many ladies, young and old, wore their traditional polleras, a long decorative dress used in formal occasions while the men wore their straw hats and guayabera shirts. Panamanians love their marching bands and with good reason as they are one of the best in the city. This year the crowd was treated to a swinging folkloric band that improvised a song when an NYFD truck blared its horn. The lyrics changed quickly to someone called the firemen to bring the water because the parade is on fire. The crowd just ate it up.

Traditional Pollera

Traditional Pollera

Band Member from Panama

Band Member from Panama

Band from Maryland

Band from Maryland

The crowd was treated to some very special visitors from Panama. Each year a different town in Panama is asked to send their representatives and their marching bands to perform at the parade. This year an impressive group from Santiago de Veraguas made an appearance. High school students from San Vincente de Paul in their sharp looking uniforms set the tone for a day filled with lively bands and a celebration of Panamanian culture. One of the best High School bands to perform from Panama was from Las Tablas when the marching band from Manuel Maria Tejada Roca tore it up with their well choreographed dancers and impressive white clad musicians. They can compete against anybody. There were local community groups and businesses owned by Panamanians represented in the parade.  One of note was the famous Kelso restaurant float that was handing out samples of their delicious seasoning to spice up your next meat dish. As always, closing out the parade was the host marching band in their snazzy all white uniforms. The 1st Panamanian Drum and Bugle Marching Band played their hearts out to the crowd. They held nothing back as they marched down the parade route to the reviewing stand and onto Classon Ave. where the fun and celebration kept going until sunset. Now that’s how to have a party. Que Viva Panama.

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Que Viva Panama

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

Panamanian Bands Rule the Parade

10 Oct

    

     Franklin Ave. in Brooklyn has been changing over the years with new chic and trendy shops popping up here and there. One thing that I hope won’t change is the annual Panamanian parade where marching bands come up from parts of the USA and from Panama. A visit to Franklin Ave. wouldn’t be the same without stopping at Kelso’s for some delicious Panamanian food  to enjoy. The loud banging of the drumline and the blaring trumpets called everyone within hearing distance to come out and celebrate Panmanian pride and culture. The Panamanian Veterans Marching Band started the parade off dressed in their sharp blue and white uniforms and soon followed by community groups. It’s always great to see the tradition and culture passed on from generation to generation. Ballet Folklorico had the cutest kids dressed in their polleras while the adult ladies showed off the intricate dresses. Then the crowd was treated to El Hogar Banda from Panama. They were very good and were soon followed by a group dancing to typical Panamanian music and a float with the beauty queen in a highly decorated costume.

     The best part of the parade started when the marching band from Maryland made their way up the parade route followed colorful costumes of the Ballet Folklorico Panamena. Arguably the best band to appear was the Banda Christana with their skillful baton twirlers and energetic drummers and bugle corp. They crowd loved them. Closing out the parade was the local pride of Brooklyn. The Panamanian Drum and Bugle Corp.  It was tough to say which one was better since they were both excellent and well rehearsed. The end of the parade route was by a local school were the parade VIPs were on stage and the different bands performed for them. That was a lot of fun. As I made my way towards Eastern Parkway, the aroma of good food was all over the place. Everyone there was ready for the after parade party festivities…the good food and good music and good times.

             Que Viva Panama!!!

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