BUFFALO, N.Y. — Historical past and tradition took the middle stage in downtown Buffalo on Saturday, because the nineteenth Annual Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade kicked off in Niagara Sq. with the elevating of the Puerto Rican and American Flags, signifying unity.
“One of many issues that the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade does is honor the contributions of Hispanic People and Puerto Ricans to the American material of life,” stated Charles Torres, president of the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade. “We’re all not solely pleased with being American, however pleased with our personal unbiased cultures, so this highlights the contributions that our neighborhood makes.”
Although contributions by means of meals, music, and dance are sometimes acknowledged, the best contributions of the Hispanic neighborhood transcend these, particularly within the metropolis of Buffalo.
Recent census data exhibits Buffalo’s inhabitants elevated by about 17,000, largely because of the rising Hispanic communities within the metropolis.
Much more, these populations embody our on a regular basis heroes, like honorary Puerto Rican Day Parade host Officer Jonathan Negron, who was seriously injured in the line of duty when a light-weight pole fell on his automotive in June. After recovering from a medically induced coma that lasted over every week, being a part of the celebration meant greater than ever.
“It feels nice to listen to the tales of individuals coming collectively,” Negron stated. “That’s crucial half, and never only for me, however for my household as effectively. It means rather a lot. All of them got here collectively simply due to the traumatic occasion that my household needed to bear, however I’m right here now, and I’m blessed.”
The theme this yr was Distante Pero Juntos, or Distanced However Collectively, signifying that though the celebration was scaled down this yr because of security precautions amid the pandemic, the neighborhood spirit is alive all the identical.
The parade proceeded down a stretch of Niagara Road designated as Avenida San Juan in 2013 to acknowledge the rising Hispanic inhabitants. With households and onlookers flanking the sidewalks and watching from their porches, love, tradition, and neighborhood have been ever current.
“Very proud day for our neighborhood and that’s what that is all about, neighborhood,” stated Casimiro Rodriguez, grand marshal of the parade. “All our kids, all our neighbors, all our mates, and everybody right here, household and mates collectively, celebrating what it’s all about; neighborhood.”