Today-Sunday, June 11-marks the 66th annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade in the United States. It’s a time to celebrate the 5 million plus Puerto Ricans residing in the U.S., and the 3.5 million people living in Puerto Rico.
Whether someone immigrated to the U.S. mainland or is of Puerto Rican descent, it is a time for everyone to celebrate rich Puerto Rican culture, their families, history and more. It brings together a huge community of people to also raise awareness to certain issues and initiatives to support and enrich Puerto Rican communities. The parade brings in over 1 million spectators and has over 100,000 participants. As mentioned on the official website, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade is one of the “largest demonstration[s] of cultural pride in the nation.”
Every year the National Puerto Rican Day Parade [NPRDP] is celebrated on the second Sunday of June. The parade takes place in New York City and follows a path down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan from 44th Street to 79th Street. It begins at 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time and is broadcast through ABC7 New York, NBC 4 and Telemundo47.com.
The NPRDP also hosts multiple events preceding the parade including the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Scholarship Gala which was hosted at the Gotham Hall in midtown New York City on Friday night. There, the board awarded 100 scholarships of $2,000. On May 27, the NPRDP also hosted the 152nd Street Cultural Festival in the Bronx-a tradition since 1995. On September 6, the NPRDP will host the 7th annual Chi-Chi Rodriguez Golf Tournament.
This year’s theme is “Música, Cultura y Alegría” (Music, Culture and Joy).
“The NPRDP Board selected this theme because these words embody the essence of the 2023 celebration, and they encapsulate the tributes and honorees we will recognize during the Parade and related events,” said NPRDP board member Louis Maldonado Pérez in a statement reported by NBC 4 New York.
This year’s honorees include: Giselle Blondet (Grand Marshal), Justina Machado (Queen), Judy Torres (Madrina), Ismael Cruz Córdova (Padrino), Madison Anderson Berrios (Orgullo Puertorriqueño), Eladio Carrión (Rising Star), Jay Wheeler (Rising Star), Alelí Medina (Athlete of the Year) and more. For a full list of honorees, visit here.
The first Puerto Rican Day Parade was held in Spanish Harlem in 1958 to spotlight cultural achievements and pride in a nation that was trying to group all people of Hispanic descent together through a white lens. It became a national celebration in 1995, which allowed the NPRDP incorporation to showcase cultural pride on a larger scale.
“When you go to the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the biggest thing you feel is the pride and the euphoria, and it’s contagious,” said singer, radio personality and NPRDP honoree, Judy Torres in a statement reported CBS News. “You don’t have to be Puerto Rican to feel it. Just go and see for yourself. It’s an incredible thing. It’s unforgettable.”