The National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) takes place annually along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, on the second Sunday in June, in honor of the nearly 4 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico and over 4 million people of Puerto Rican birth or heritage residing in the United States.
Originally, the Desfile Puertorriqueño, Inc., was born of the imperative necessity of translating Puerto Rican achievements into a visible demonstration of the strength of the Puerto Rican community, in order to organize and support our Latino counterparts. The first parade was held on Sunday, April 13, 1958, in Spanish Harlem “El Barrio”; subsequently, the organization found its new home along Fifth Avenue in New York City.
In 1995, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) organization, was formed from its predecessor, the New York Puerto Rican Parade, when Dr. Ramón S. Vélez and the parade board envisioned a national concept for demonstrating the cultural pride of our community. This new organizational structure not only broadened the scale of the parade itself but enhanced its ability to promote cultural awareness, education, leadership and community engagement among Puerto Ricans.
Annually, the NPRDP hosts many social, cultural, and educational events throughout the city including an Educational Scholarship Banquet, Cultural Festival, Parade Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Cultural Pageant (Search for Miss Puerto Rico), and the Gala Affair.
In 2007, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary with more than 100,000 marching participants and nearly three million spectators along the parade route. The parade continues to attract prominent leaders in the Puerto Rican community including celebrities like Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, El Gran Combo, Geraldo Rivera, Rosie Perez and many more.
The parade marches along Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 79th Street and has grown to become the largest demonstration of ethnic pride in the nation. The parade is a cultural icon and a part of the cultural fabric of New York City.