NEW YORK -- The 65th Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade is returned in a big way to New York City after the COVID-19 pandemic impact the festivities of the last two years.
The nation's largest demonstration of cultural pride marched up New York City's Fifth Avenue from 43rd Street to 79th Street on Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m. CT.
The parade's scholarship gala fundraiser was held on Saturday night at the Central Park Zoo. Eyewitness News anchor Joe Torres was there.
Since 2014, the parade's scholarship program has awarded more than $1.2 million to Puerto Rican college students.
Learn more here in this press release from parade organizers, and visit them at nprdpinc.org.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona will serve as Grand Marshal.
Cardona, the 12th U.S. Secretary of Education, has dedicated his career to serving students, educators, and families as an elementary school teacher, school principal, district administrator, and, most recently, as commissioner of education for the state of Connecticut.
His focus on equity and excellence for all learners has driven his work at all levels of the education sector, and he has led the federal government's effort to support states in reopening America's public schools for in-person learning amid the recovery from the pandemic -- moving from only 46% of schools open when President Joe Biden took office to nearly 100% of schools open today.
Under his leadership, the U.S. Department of Education also has distributed historic funding through the American Rescue Plan to support K-12 schools and colleges and has granted more than $13 billion in student loan forgiveness.
Cardona earned a bachelor's degree at Central Connecticut State University as well as a Master's degree and doctorate degree from the University of Connecticut. He and his wife Marissa are the proud parents of two children who attend public school.
NPRDP celebrates its 65th Anniversary
The 2022 Parade will be dedicated to the municipality of Cidra and the Puerto Rican community of the Greater Philadelphia area.
Groups interested in participating in Parade and 152nd Street Cultural Festival can apply online at NPRDPinc.org
On Sunday, June 12, the NPRDP celebrated 65 years of showcasing the best of Puerto Rican culture, achievement and legacy with music, dance and colorful displays of cultural pride before an estimated 1.5 million spectators. After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) Board of Directors announces details for its big return to New York City's Fifth Avenue. The NPRDP serves to unite approximately 8 million Puerto Ricans living across the 50 states and Puerto Rico in cultural pride and tradition.
"This is a milestone year for the Parade, and our return to Fifth Avenue is yet another sign that NYC and the Puerto Rican community are strong, resilient and as vibrant as ever," said NPRDP Board Chair, Louis Maldonado. "The NPRDP Board of Directors invites all Boricuas in the New York City area, Puerto Rico and across the patria extendida (diaspora) to join us on June 12 to exclaim ¡WEPA! and sing 'Qué bonita bandera,' just as we have for the last 64 years."
Over the past two years, the NPRDP Board of Directors continued the annual tradition by pivoting to smaller processions on Fifth Avenue and 2-hour TV specials airing on ABC7 in New York City and Telecinco in Puerto Rico, which helped the Puerto Rican community celebrate virtually. Groups interested in participating in the 2022 Parade should visit the "Floats & Contingents" page on the Parade's website, NPRDPinc.org/floats, for additional details and instructions for completing an online application. All contingents and floats must have cultural elements as part of their presentation.
The 2022 Parade was dedicated to the municipality of Cidra, Puerto Rico. Known as the Pueblo de la Eterna Primavera (Town of Eternal Spring), Cidra is located in the central, mountainous region of the island and is home to approximately 40,000 cidreños. The Honored Stateside Community will be the Greater Philadelphia Area, which is home to more than 250,000 Puerto Ricans living in communities across Philadelphia, Berks and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania; as well as Camden, Atlantic and Cumberland counties in New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware. Other themes, tributes and individual honorees for the 2022 celebration will be announced over the coming weeks.
The NPRDP Board of Directors thanks for following sponsors and media partners for their support in making the 65th Annual celebration possible: Manhattan Beer Distributors and the Walt Disney Company.
ABC7 New York, Verizon Wireless, SEIU 1199, the Miranda Family Foundation, the Mets Foundation, the Coca-Cola Company, Acacia Network, City University of New York, HBO Max, Pepsico, Popular Bank, Pfizer, Liberty Coca-Cola, NBC4 and Telemundo New York, Univision, Door Dash, Montefiore, Rainbow Apparel and MetroPlus Health."
152nd Street Festival
Kicking off the 2022 celebration will be the NPRDP's 152nd Street Cultural Festival, on May 28th on 152nd Street between Jackson and Tinton Avenues in the Bronx. The festival is a family-friendly event makes the celebration more accessible to local communities by showcasing artisans, cultural activities, food, music, entertainment for adults and children.
Applications for the 152nd Street Cultural Festival are being accepted for artisans, community groups, vendors and sponsors wanting to participate. Additional event details and instructions for completing an online vendor application can be found at NPRDPinc.org/152nd-street-festival.
Gala Fundraiser to Benefit NPRDP Scholarship Program
On Saturday, June 11th, the NPRDP will host a Gala Fundraiser at the Central Park Zoo to support the NPRDP Scholarship Program. Since 2014, the NPRDP has awarded over $1.2 million to Puerto Rican students going to college. The Gala Fundraiser convenes honorees, community leaders, elected officials and corporate sponsors to celebrate Puerto Rican achievement while supporting students in pursuit of higher education. For tickets, visit NPRDPinc.org/gala. Proceeds from the gala ticket sales will benefit the NPRDP Scholarship Program.
In addition to the Gala, NPRDP is utilizing technology to raise funds for its scholarship program through a collaboration with Mowsse, one of the first independent digital marketplaces for crypto collectibles and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Mowsse has selected the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Scholarship Fund as its first philanthropic investment.