Puerto Rican Parade Slated for Bushwick

(Photo by Jorge Quinteros, Creative Commons License)

Puerto Ricans in Bushwick will have the chance to celebrate their heritage and history after a 15-year hiatus. Thanks to efforts spearheaded by Puerto Rico-born Assemblywoman Maritza Davila, the Knickerbocker Avenue Puerto Rican Day Parade returns on June 9 to the “strip commonly known as the epicenter of Puerto Rican culture,” writes Erik Kantar for Bushwick Daily.

Salvatore Polizzi, manager of Tony’s Pizzeria, has also been at the forefront of bringing the parade back. Run by his family, the restaurant has been a part of every festivity in the neighborhood since the 1970s. He recalled how the residents would return from the Manhattan Puerto Rican Day Parade.

“The constant honking of horns and stand-still traffic jams would not cause frustration on the streets of Bushwick but, rather, fill all those taking part with a sense of pride and joy that words could not justify by any means!” he said. “Mothers and fathers would hoist their children on their shoulders just to catch a glimpse of random strangers riding down Knickerbocker Avenue waving the Puerto Rican flag and playing music that not only filled their hearts with joy, but also brought tears to their eyes because it touched the souls of both young and old.”

Davila has more in mind for the parade than being just a celebration. Go to Bushwick Daily to see how issues of law enforcement, gentrification and cultural unity will factor into the event.

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