Dominican Day Parade Takes Over Sixth Avenue

(Photo by Victor Matos via El Diario)

(Photo by Victor Matos via El Diario)

Dominicans in New York can be as joyful and enthusiastic as they are on the Caribbean island. This was evident once again on August 10 at the Dominican Day Parade, which ran along Sixth Avenue between 36th and 52nd streets in Manhattan.

Attendance was in the thousands, and the crowd enjoyed the 44 floats and 104 cultural groups that, according to the organizers’ reports, were part of the event this year.

The colors of the Dominican flag – red, white and blue – popped under the hot August sun. Still, the 90-degree temperatures did not stop people from dancing the energetic perico ripiao, merengue and bachata rhythms throughout almost 20 blocks. On the contrary, the participants seemed to gain energy as they marched, fed by the contagious enthusiasm of the onlookers standing behind the NYPD barriers.

(Photo by Victor Matos via El Diario)

(Photo by Victor Matos via El Diario)

“It is a pleasure to be here celebrating the diversity of New York City. Dominicans are our fastest-growing community and also one of the most influential,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who inaugurated the parade shortly after 1 p.m. alongside former Assembly member Guillermo Linares and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat.

“I am very happy to take part in another parade, and celebrating the history of the Dominican people and our contribution to this city,” said Espaillat, who added that he felt fortunate that the parade’s board decided to dedicate the event to him.

Council Member for Upper Manhattan District 10, Ydanis Rodríguez, said that he felt glad to be able to join in celebrating the presence of Dominican and other Latino communities in New York. “We are lively, yes, but we have also worked very hard. We have been here for many years working in the factories, and now we see the new generations assuming leadership roles in this great city.”

Luis Lithgow, consul general to the Dominican Republic in New York, said that, this year, the event is dedicated to the Dominican Restoration War of 1863, when the Spanish unsuccessfully attempted to recolonize the island, years after it had obtained its independence. “I want to congratulate the organizers for remembering this moment in Dominican history. The parade is an example of the discipline and harmony enjoyed by our nation inside U.S. soil.”

(Photo by Victor Matos via El Diario)

(Photo by Victor Matos via El Diario)

“Like every year, it is a pleasure to celebrate our roots and culture, and I am very happy to be a part of the 33rd edition of the parade,” said the parade’s president, Nelson Peña.

“I am happy to be here. I come every year with my kids so they won’t lose the love for their country,” said Altagracia Mateo, a mother of three who hails from Santiago de los Caballeros, the second largest city in the country.

“I wanted to come because it makes me feel proud to see so much culture and so many beautiful people from my country,” said Mariano Tineo, from the northeastern city of Moca.

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