By Adal Hussain, Chief Editor, Sunday June 11th 2023.
NATIONAL PUERTO RICAN DAY PARADE ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR ITS 66TH ANNUAL CELEBRATION ON NYC’S FIFTH AVENUE. Aguadilla, the City of Enchantments, is the honored municipality in Puerto RicoTribute to the music and legacy of Rafael Hernández Marín. The Board of Directors of The National Puerto Rican Day.
Parade (NPRDP) shared initial announcements regarding the 2023 celebration. This year’s Parade is dedicated to the municipality of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
Founded in 1775, and nicknamed La Ciudad de Encantos (The City of Enchantments), Aguadilla is a city located on the northwestern tip of Puerto Rico, on Puerto Rico’s Atlantic coast.
It is best known for its beaches, attracting surfers and other water sports enthusiasts, but Aguadilla also has a vibrant business community, restaurants, and a burgeoning arts and culture scene.
The mayor of Aguadilla, Julio Roldán, expressed being honored by the dedication of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
“The National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York is the biggest celebration of our brothers and sisters residing in the United States. It is the celebration of our roots and our national pride.
For Aguadilla, it is a sincere honor that the Board of Directors has dedicated the parade to Aguadilla and to continue making the best of our city known, its people, culture, and identity, as well as tourist attractions. We will be present, taking a piece of our heart not only to the Aguadillanos who reside in New York, but to all Boricuas,” said Mayor Roldan.
Closely aligned to the recognition of Aguadilla, the NPRDP announced a tribute to the life and music of legendary Puerto Rican composer and musician, Rafael Hernández Marín, who is considered one of the greatest Puerto Rican composers of all time and one of the most prolific composers of Latin America.
Born on October 24, 1891 in Aguadilla to Afro-Puerto Rican tobacco workers, Hernández Marín studied music as a child and played for local bands and in small theater productions.
Given his notable talents, he was recruited by the U.S. Army’s 169th Regiment band in Europe, becoming sergeant during World War I. After the war, Hernández moved to New York City, where he opened a music store and wrote some of his most famous compositions, like the highly revered Lamento Borincano. Together with other renowned Puerto Rican musicians, like Bobby Capó, Mirta Silva and Tito Puente, Hernández’ compositions and style impacted the music of New York City in a way that made him and his contemporaries global ambassadors of Puerto Rican music and art.
The NPRDP Board announces new leadership, with Lillian Rodríguez-López assuming the role of Board Chair. Ms. Rodríguez-López has served on the NPRDP Board since 2018 and has served as chair of the Development Committee since 2019.
As former president of the Hispanic Federation, and with an accomplished career in advocacy, government relations and community service, Ms. Lopez-Rodríguez is well poised and committed to continue the work of her predecessors in continuing to elevate the Parade celebration and the organization’s commitment to advancing the educational attainment in the Puerto Rican community, through the NPRDP Scholarship Program.
Other new officers appointed in January 2023 include Miguel Guadalupe as a Vice-Chair, and Lorraine Cortes-Vasquez as Secretary. Vincent Torres and Rosa Gutierrez continue in their roles as Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Board, respectively.
The Board also acknowledged the contributions of Mr. Louis Maldonado, Partner, and Managing Director of d expósito & Partners, former Board Chair who stewarded the execution of the historic Fifth Avenue NPRDP parade, with Emmy-winning broadcasts, for five years.
Mr. Maldonado will continue to serve on the Board. The Board also thanked Ms. Neysa Alsina, Deputy Secretary for Gaming and Cannabis, New York State Executive Chamber, the outgoing Board Secretary for her hard work and commitment to the Parade and Scholarship program as she completed her final year of service.
Now in its 66th year, The National Puerto Rican Day Parade marches up New York’s Fifth Avenue, in one of the United States’ largest cultural celebrations with an estimated attendance of 1 million people.
The annual celebration is one of America’s largest manifestations of cultural pride, celebrating the best of Puerto Rican culture, arts, and achievement, representing the 3.5 million residents of Puerto Rico and more than 5 million people of Puerto Rican descent living in the diaspora.
The NPRDP’s full 2023 event calendar will include the 152nd Street Cultural Festival in the Bronx on May 27th, St. Patrick’s Day Mass on June 4th, the Annual Scholarship Gala on June 10th and the Chi-Chi Rodriguez Golf Tournament on September 6th.
The NPRDP welcomes applications from groups interested in celebrating and representing Puerto Rican culture, history, and traditions in the 2023 parade.
The 2023 National Puerto Rican Day Parade will take place on New York City’s Fifth Avenue from E 43rd Street to E 79 th St, Sunday, June 11, starting at 11am. The celebration will be broadcast live on WABC-TV (Channel 7 in NYC).
Thousands of People marched down 5th Ave of New York City, Katchy Hochul Governor of New York State marched down with Mayor Eric Adams, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, NYS Attorney General , Letitia James, Adrienne Adams , New York City Council Speaker , Many other political leaders in attendance.
The Grand Marshall of the 2023 Puerto-Rican Day parade was Giselle Blondet Gomez who is a Puerto Rican actress and TV host. She also founded the non-profit organization “Fundación Arte por La Paz.