Tag Archives: puerto rican day parade

A Beautiful Flag Raised by Millions at the Puerto Rican Day Parade

17 Jun
Dancing at the Puerto Rican Day Parade

Dancing at the Puerto Rican Day Parade

The sizzling hot Sunday afternoon was only matched by the blazing hot salsa music and dancers showing off their moves at the Puerto Rican National Day Parade. This is by far one of the largest and loudest parades the city hosts. An estimated 1 million people packed the parade route on 5th Ave from 44th to 79th Sts. and waved their flags in approval for the over 10,000 marchers. They were not disappointed as celebrities as Grand Marshall actress Rita Moreno, actress and parade Queen Roselyn Sanchez, and salsa singer and Parade King Victor Manuelle got the crowd worked up in what would be a day of celebration of culture, history, music and love of everything Puerto Rican.  Even Mayor DeBlasio got in the mix and took a selfie with a reveler. Each year a different pueblo in Puerto Rico is highlighted to display some cultural expression and history. This year the pueblo of Anasco sent a large group with dancers, singers and a float commemorating when the Spaniards and Taino Indians met in the Rio Grande of Anasco. They sent a salsa band that really got into the moment and played with lots of energy.

Grand Marshall Rita Moreno and her two grandsons

Grand Marshall Rita Moreno and her two grandsons

Parade King Victor Manuelle

Parade King Victor Manuelle

Parade Queen Roselyn Sanchez

Parade Queen Roselyn Sanchez

Mayor de Blasio getting in on a selfie

Mayor de Blasio getting in on a selfie

As in most large parades as this, there are always groups that seek to raise awareness of social issues. There were calls to release Oscar Lopez Rivera from a 75 year prison sentence. A large group asked Pres. Obama why funding for healthcare for Puerto Ricans is less than other Americans. For the first time the League of Women’s Voters had their float and encouraged women to register to vote and have a voice in our political system. Another float was expressing the push for a $15 minimum wage to help improve the income disparity in the city.

Taino Indian from Anasco

Taino Indian from Anasco

Cute dancer from Anasco

Cute dancer from Anasco

Costumes of Hatillo

Costumes of Hatillo

One float that got the biggest applause was the crowd favorite with Tito El Bambino performing his popular songs. This years theme was to highlight the African contribution to Puerto Rican culture. One group that distinguished themselves were the group from El Barrio in Spanish Harlem called Taino Towers. They played some classic salsa songs that had the crowd singing with them. Even Batman got in on the action when a float playing live salsa music got the Dark Knight to show off some moves. Another float had conga drummers getting dancers all worked up. They were fun to watch but think they would have been better dancing on the street instead of on a float. An interesting float payed homage to the masks of Hatillo with people dressed as though they were in an Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole. They were having fun. It’s always a nice surprise to hear some good music from an unexpected source like that of the Hispanic Society of NYPD float. They tore it up and the crowd loved it. Puerto Ricans love their cars and there lots of customized wheels on the parade route….even a pair of the hot new Slingshots made it to the parade. And for all you music lovers there was one van with doors of speakers on top of speakers. It was just crazy and loud and just beautiful. You know its beautiful when three generations of a family can come down to Central Park and 5th Ave. to see a whole bunch of loud and fun people letting everyone know just how proud they are to be Puerto Rican. Yo soy Boricua pa que tu lo sepa!!

Its a family affair

Its a family affair

IMG_8522 IMG_8562 IMG_8568 IMG_8588 IMG_8591 IMG_8600 IMG_8614 IMG_8617 IMG_8623 IMG_8625 IMG_8632 IMG_8633 IMG_8642 IMG_8655 IMG_8669 IMG_8673 IMG_8681 IMG_8706 IMG_8707 IMG_8726 IMG_8736 IMG_8747 IMG_8748 IMG_8754 IMG_8762 IMG_8777 IMG_8787 IMG_8799 IMG_8812 IMG_8831 IMG_8833 IMG_8836 IMG_8838 IMG_8849 IMG_8863 IMG_8868IMG_8517IMG_8520IMG_8858IMG_8865IMG_8874IMG_8888IMG_8894IMG_8897IMG_8913IMG_8918IMG_8931IMG_8935IMG_8940IMG_8976IMG_8978IMG_8984IMG_8989IMG_8992IMG_8996IMG_9003IMG_9005IMG_8644IMG_8968

Puerto Ricans Celebrate in Style on 5th Ave.

10 Jun

IMG_2339

The heat was just starting to kick in just before 11am when the mounted police announced the start of the 57th annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade up 5th Ave. The good weather helped bring well over a million people out to cheer on the marchers. This was the first Puerto Rican parade that Bill DeBlasio  walked as Mayor. He was soon followed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the rest of the City Council. Then the fun started. Parade Queen Rosie Perez waved to the crowd. Another  favorite, Giants WR Victor Cruz, made an appearance. Everyone was waiting for his signature salsa dance moves.  Every year a different town in Puerto Rico is honored and their representatives are sent to display their music and culture. This year the town of Guanica sent a youth violin orchestra that played very well. Young ladies dressed in tradition Spanish attire drew wows from the crowd. Floats with salsa music blared through speakers getting the salsa dancers ready to show off their hot moves. There was a large group marching with Free Oscar Lopez signs. They provided many pamphlets and awareness to the political prisoners and their request for freedom after being imprisoned for 33 years. A float with Fania All-Star lead singer Ismael Miranda really got the crowd worked up. There was much love and respect given to the 65th Regiment known as The Borinqueneers. A really nice treat was an all-woman salsa music band that was on fire. There were plenty of salsa dancers strutting their stuff. This parade is known as the loudest and proudest of all the parades and it certainly lived up to it.

IMG_1619 (2) IMG_1622 IMG_1627 IMG_1634 IMG_1640 IMG_1653 (2) IMG_1668 (2) IMG_1675 IMG_1693 IMG_1706 IMG_1715 IMG_1723 (2) IMG_1737 IMG_1752 (2) IMG_1755 (2) IMG_1772 IMG_1778 IMG_1792 IMG_1813 IMG_1818 IMG_1868 IMG_1874 (2) IMG_1890 (2) IMG_1914 (2) IMG_1964 (2) IMG_1970 (2) IMG_1977 (2) IMG_1978 (2) IMG_1989 (2) IMG_2004 IMG_2007 (2) IMG_2009 IMG_2012 (2) IMG_2023 (2) IMG_2037 (2) IMG_2055 (2) IMG_2090 IMG_2094 IMG_2106 IMG_2111 IMG_2118 IMG_2152 IMG_2159 IMG_2192 IMG_2193 IMG_2200 IMG_2203 IMG_2205 IMG_2211 IMG_2229 IMG_2267 IMG_2289 IMG_2294 IMG_2315 IMG_2323 IMG_2337 IMG_2345 IMG_2353 IMG_2360 IMG_2362 IMG_2363 IMG_2365 IMG_2367 IMG_2372 IMG_2380 IMG_2396

Puerto Ricans Bring Their Flags to Fifth Ave.

11 Jun

Puerto Rican Day Parade 2013

     The unofficial start of the summer usually happens on the second Sunday in June when the National Puerto Rican Day Parade kicks off on 5th Ave. and 38th St. and makes its way up the parade route ending at 74th St. where well over a million parade revelers waved flags and danced to salsa and hip-hop. Marking the 56th anniversary of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade was an honor to both the state of Rhode Island and the pueblo of Guayanilla. This year’s parade theme was Salud: Celebrating your health. The sun-filled day was perfect for thousands of marchers to show off their Puerto Rican power and pride and show off some of their dance moves. As usual the mounted police signaled the start of the parade soon after followed by the Honorable Mayor Bloomberg. The excitement was building soon after as more parade VIPs including NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo and mayoral candidates marched up the parade route waving to potential voters for the big election come November. Then the fun started. Grand Marshall Chita Rivera was driven up the parade route waving to the crowd like the royalty of entertainment she earned.

banda escolar de guayanillaPuerto Rican Parade 2013 048Puerto Rican Parade 2013 082

     The honored town or pueblo of Guayanilla sent their representatives to the parade and proudly waved the flag just before two impressive High School bands marched playing some classic Latin jazz hits. They could compete against any American HS band. Next came a crowd favorite..  the all female drum band called Batala from DC. They rocked as usual. Keeping the tradition of authentic costume, music and dance were some plena dancers. One float representing a local union 1199 Healthcare workers  had the best plena singer I have seen in a while. They got the crowd worked up for another annual favorite..Estrellas Tropicales, the all-female baton twirlers from Boston. They had a fun dance routine and kept the flow going. Taking it to the next level was Sky Blue from LFMAO with 92.3 NOW-FM radio personalities, the lovely Lala and Lulu on the front of the float getting the crowd worked up to a fever pitch. Keeping the crowd worked up were more celebrities including legendary salsa singer Jose “El Canario” Alberto, the various talking heads from Univision news, but the one that got the most attention was the Colombian superstar Carlos Vives.

Puerto Rican Parade 2013 086Puerto Rican Parade 2013 155Puerto Rican Parade 2013 164Puerto Rican Parade 2013 240

     A special treat from the island were the Ballet Folklorico from Vega Alta with their unique dance moves that kept the crowd worked up. They were not to be outdone by another dance studio,Pointe, with a more modern flare from the pueblo of Aguada. Everyone that goes to the parade knows when the group from Loiza comes in. The demon masked costumes and acrobatic stilt walkers make them instant hits. More salsa music came jamming from another local union float with a timbale player that was channeling Tito Puente for a bit. One thing about this parade that stands out is the selection of fine automobiles brought in from the island and locally. From antique vehicles to hot rods to suped up low riders, the car enthusiast was not disappointed at all.  A pleasant surprise was a salsa dance group from Manhattan called Young Ambition that showed how teens can really dance salsa…great to see the tradition passed on and the young ones embracing the art form. Vaya…. Closing out the parade were some favorites including Daddy Yankee, John Brackett, and the crowd for 1st International Hip Hop Parade coming up in July in the Bronx.  The parade was very much representative of the Puerto Rican community …loud and proud and lots of fun to be with…and more than anything..enjoying life.

Puerto Rican Parade 2013 247Puerto Rican Parade 2013 251Puerto Rican Parade 2013 027Puerto Rican Parade 2013 030Puerto Rican Parade 2013 055Puerto Rican Parade 2013 088Puerto Rican Parade 2013 101Puerto Rican Parade 2013 129Puerto Rican Parade 2013 136Puerto Rican Parade 2013 150Puerto Rican Parade 2013 152 Puerto Rican Parade 2013 153Puerto Rican Parade 2013 174Puerto Rican Parade 2013 177Puerto Rican Parade 2013 179Puerto Rican Parade 2013 185Puerto Rican Parade 2013 195Puerto Rican Parade 2013 209Puerto Rican Parade 2013 211Puerto Rican Parade 2013 215Puerto Rican Parade 2013 223Puerto Rican Parade 2013 239Puerto Rican Parade 2013 242Puerto Rican Parade 2013 248Puerto Rican Parade 2013 259Puerto Rican Parade 2013 281Puerto Rican Parade 2013 286Puerto Rican Parade 2013 289Puerto Rican Parade 2013 293Puerto Rican Parade 2013 308Puerto Rican Parade 2013 310Puerto Rican Parade 2013 312Puerto Rican Parade 2013 331Puerto Rican Parade 2013 339Puerto Rican Parade 2013 340Puerto Rican Parade 2013 162

Yo Soy Boricua…Pa que tu lo sepa….

What A Beautiful Flag..The Puerto Rican Flag…

14 Jun

    June is the busiest parade month of the year and it’s also fitting that the largest parade in NYC is held this month. Rachel and I were getting ready for the start of the 54th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade and the 16th as a National Organization. With a record 80,000 marchers scheduled to show their Puerto Rican pride up 5th Ave. from 46th St. to 79th St., security was tight around the area where the marchers were getting ready so Rachel and I weren’t able to see the preparations for the big parade. Many of the marchers are invited guests from the island of Puerto Rico representing their pueblos with marchers and bands. This year the main pueblos were Cabo Rojo celebrating its 240th anniversary and Patillas celebrating their 200th anniversary. This year’s theme of the parade is “Celebrating the natural beauty of Puerto Rico”. With just a few minutes left before the parade started, the streets were filled with revelers waving their flags and blowing their whistles and horns. It felt more like the countdown to New Year’s The NYC Marching Band started out with good old blue eyes rendition of New York, New York. For a second I thought I was at Yankee Stadium after a win.  Parades this large always draw the big politicians and all the heavyweights were out today including the honorable Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Andrew Cuomo standing next the former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer and other parade VIPs.  Then the fun really started.

                           

       The first float and marchers from Cabo Rojo appeared followed by the municipal leaders and  marching band and salsa band with young dancers in colorful gowns showing off their dance moves to the cheering crowd. They all dressed in the navy blue polo shirts to match the color of the municipal flag. Right after them came the Patillas float singing the parade favorite song….Que Bonita Bandera..what a beautiful flag…the Puerto Rican flag. The sounds of salsa music filled the air as people were dancing in the streets and showing off their Puerto Rican pride. One of the largest Puerto Rican flags was carried out by the Goya float. The Grand Marshalls of this year’s parade are the president of Goya  Foods, Inc, Robert I.  Unanue and president of Goya Foods Puerto Rico, Carlos Unanue presented one of the better displays of Puerto Rican pride especially with the sponsorship of the thunderous all female drum band Batala. They were a crowd pleaser and really set the tone for the rest of the procession which can be best described as loud and proud.

     Preserving their goal of celebrating the natural beauty of the island was the world renown Sierra Club. They helped to educate the crowd of the need to protect the natural environment of the land shared with the some endangered animals like the leatherback sea turtle.  On that green theme were also two groups of bike clubs that rode their tricked out pedal bikes up 5th Ave.  One man’s bike might have had hydraulics for the front tire.  A treat for most revelers is watching the young children dancing and dressed up. They surely were not disappointed. Getting family and friends together to celebrate Puerto Rican pride is a thrill for many and Rachel and I saw the excitement on the faces of the Aponte and Cruz families. Baudilio Cruz came from Cabo Rojo to see his first ever Puerto Rican parade and was happy with everything he saw. He was joined with his family and parade veteran Jesus Aponte, a retired police officer from Staten Island.  We were all getting anxious to see this years Kings of the Parade, salsa legendary band, El Gran Combo. They were playing  great music in the 80s and any salsero will tell you they are the best of the best. The blaring trumpets of one of their most popular hits, Un Verano en Nueva York (A Summer in NY), and the incredible salsa dancers signaled their arrival. Even though their music has been played in every parade since the 80s, this was actually their first parade in person. What a blast!!

                           

     A parade just isn’t a parade without a marching band and although NYC has hundreds to choose from, it was a treat to see two marching bands from Juncos and Guaynabo Puerto Rico show the crowd their style. Not bad.  A procession of salsa and bomba y plena dancers made their way to the cheers of the crowd. The float from Loiza got plenty of attention from their dancers and men dressed up in diablo costumes.  Dancers Dreamzzz got one of the largest cheers from the crowd as the young dancers turned it out mixing old school styles and new styles. The tail end of the parade was no doubt the loudest as car clubs blasted their salsa, reggaeton and hip hop from their monster speakers. The dancing in the streets just kept going to close to 6pm with over 2 million in attendance hoping the parade would continue. Arguably the loudest and proudest parade had to come to a close …until next year …

 Yo soy Boricua…pa que tu lo sepa.

For more report and photos click on these CNN links below:

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-621707

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-621709

Next parades:

Sat. June 18th ~ Mermaid Parade~ W. 21st St and Surf Ave. Coney Island ~ 2pm

Sun June 26th ~ Pride Parade ~ 36th St and 5th Ave. ~ noon

%d bloggers like this: