New York’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade returns on Sunday, June 9. By the time you read this, the flags will be everywhere in the city — the white star, blue triangle and red stripes flying from cars, storefronts, and apartment windows, and emblazoned on T-shirts, caps and bags—as José Manuel Simian reports in this article for The Daily News.
The National Puerto Rican Day Parade, now in its 56th year, runs over 36 blocks of Fifth Ave. over the course of one day — this year it’s on Sunday, June 9, starting at 11a.m. — but the celebration of Puerto Rican pride has already been stretched out for weeks.
This year’s parade festivities began in early May with the many official activities that lead up to the main event, including the crowning of this year’s Miss Puerto Rico/Parade Queen, Fabiola Ramos, who beat out eight other finalists for the honor.
There’s also been the usual parade-related banquets and festivals, including the Education/Leadership banquet on May 16, and the annual 152nd Street Cultural Festival in the Bronx last week.
But on the big day, more than two million people are expected to cheer along the route while over 80,000 marchers trek between 44th and 79th Streets.
The official theme this year is “Salud — Celebrate Your Health,” a motto that connects Sunday’s party with a series of events that include health fairs, screenings and a walkathon, and the idea of celebrating the contributions of Puerto Ricans to science and health services.
As is the norm, there will be no shortage of celebrities taking part in the parade in an official capacity.
The honor of being grand marshall this year goes to legendary Broadway performer Chita Rivera, a two-time Tony winner and longtime New Yorker who has attended countless parades, each time with her “heart swelling with pride and joy,” she says.
Other notable Puerto Ricans and Latinos bestowed with official titles include 1970s pop star Tony Orlando (International Ambassador), singer Ambar (National Godmother), Univision’s “Despierta America” host Johnny Lozada (Artistic Godfather), Telemundo’s “Un Nuevo Día” host Adamari Lopez (Artistic Godmother) and Telemundo’s “Caso Cerrado” host Dr. Ana Maria Polo (International Health Godmother).
The parade, which will be broadcast live by local news stations FOX 5 and MY 9, will also honor the southern Puerto Rican town of Guayanilla, while honoring three cultural institutions marking milestone notable anniversaries: El Diario/La Prensa newspaper, celebrating a century in print; Hostos Community College (45th anniversary); and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, which is having its 40th anniversary.
As usual, the organizers have requested that spectators arrive early and, as a sign of respect, the revelers display only unadulterated flags — no coquis, no dominoes, no congas.
And whatever the weather happens to be on Sunday, one thing is certain: Fifth Ave. will be white, red, blue — and very hot.
For complete information on the parade, go to nationalpuertoricandayparade.org
For the original report go to http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/pride-parade-article-1.1363345#ixzz2VNmhgHsg