Tag Archives: polleras

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 Bands and Polleras

7 Oct

Marching Band From Panama

     The first Saturday of October is one of the busiest parade days in the city with several going on at the same time. On Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn, the largest Independence Day celebration outside of Panama was getting under way with hundreds of thousands coming out to cheer on their countrymen and friends. It’s a fun neighborhood parade that showcases school bands from different parts of Panama, fancy traditional costumes and bugle and drum bands blaring marching tunes.


Traditional Pollera on Display


Band of Instituto Rubiano


Fancy Polleras

     For many of the bands coming up, it’s their first time in the US. One band that showed off their moves was the Colegio Bilingue de Cerro Viento. They were really good. Right behind them was a group with military style uniforms. The Instituto Rubiano Marching Band got the crowd worked up for a day of fun and cultural pride. Rounding out the student marching bands from Panama was the Colegio San Martin de Porres Marching Band. They were impressive.


A Real Conga Line


Diablo Ready for some Mischief


First Panamanian Veterans Band Having Fun

    A perennial favorite that keeps growing are the Campesinos Originales. They brought out 3 different lines of conga drummers that really got the crowd worked up. Bugle and Drum bands are the crowd favorites. A repeat band came from Atlanta. They were real good. The First Panamanian Veterans Marching Band played their hearts out. A local band that teaches youth the style and techniques is the Drums and Bugle International Band Association. The host band always saves their best for last. The First International Band of Brooklyn always puts on a great show for everyone.


Focused Drummer


A Family Affair


Twirlers Getting Ready

     All the marching bands turn off Franklin Avenue at President St. where the parade VIPs are set up with a stage to review all the different bands. Then after the parade ends the festival on Classon Ave. gets into high gear with plenty of food vendors available to try some delicious Panamanian food. There’s also a stage set up for more music and entertainment. Even though the festival is really nice I’d rather stick with my favorite spot… Kelso’s on Franklin Ave.   A must have for some of the best Panamanian food in Brooklyn. Que Viva Panama.

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Hasta La Proxima…Until the next time

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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