Every second Sunday in June, New York City hosts the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, one of the largest outdoor events in the country. Home to the most significant population of Puerto Ricans outside of the island itself, New York is a natural site for the parade. According to the 2010 census, Puerto Ricans make up 8.9% of New York City’s population, and that number has been on the rise in the last few years.
There has been an established Puerto Rican community in the city since the 19th Century, but during the “Great Migration” of the 1950s, Puerto Ricans further established their roots in New York and New Jersey. In 1958, Hispanic Day Parade officially became the Puerto Rican Day Parade, and it has been a staple to the NYC calendar ever since, with millions of spectators and tens of thousands of marchers each year. The parade gained national exposure when it was featured in an episode of Seinfeld during the show’s heyday. (The appearance did not come without its own controversy—one of the main characters stomped on an accidentally-burned Puerto Rican flag). It is also a stage for celebrities of Puerto Rican descent—Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, and Jennifer Lopez, to name a few—to showcase their loyalty by serving as grand marshal. This year, Rita Moreno, of West Side Story fame, will be the National Puerto Rican Day Parade’s grand marshal
The parade, whose theme this year is “One Community, Many Voices,” is on Sunday, June 14th, and caps off a series of festivities leading up to National Puerto Rican Day. The week before, the annual Puerto Rican 152nd Street Festival takes place in the Bronx, complete with the organization’s 2nd annual domino tournament. And on Friday, June 12th the National Puerto Rican Day Parade hosts a gala reception followed by dinner and dancing in the grand ballroom of the Marriott Marquis hotel. Two days later, the 58th parade starts on Fifth Avenue at 44th street at 11am and continues uptown to 79th Street, going strong until 6pm.
For more information about this Only-In-New-York experience, see here: http://www.nprdpinc.org/
When: June 14, 2015
Where: Parade begins on 44th Street and 5th Avenue at 11am, before heading uptown to 79th street.
image via flickr