The celebration was smaller, but the energy was big for the 64th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.
“Every day is a good day to be Puerto Rican. And the Puerto Rican Day Parade embodies everything that we are: education, beauty, literature are everything good,” said Clara Galvano Rivera.
In the past, this parade has attracted up to 1 million people. To keep everyone safe amid the pandemic, the parade was broadcast virtually. But before that, Mayor Bill de Blasio joined grand marshals Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes in a small march. Hudes wrote the screenplay for the movie “In the Heights,” which takes place in Manhattan’s predominantly Latin neighborhood, Washington Heights.
“This isn’t a normal parade by any means, but it hasn’t been a normal year. Our movie is a big reminder of what it was like to gather together and wave our flag with pride, and this is like a small segment of that,” Miranda said.
“When we celebrate Puerto Rico, this is the place to do it. There’s no stopping Puerto Rico. There’s no stopping New York City. We are in this together. Que Viva Puerto Rico," de Blasio said.
Milteri Tucker has performed in the parade every year. She’s also seen dancing in "In the Heights." Her passion for this day goes far back.
“My grandmother was one of the first Puerto Rican pioneers that actually collected signatures for the parade to be on fifth. Now I continue the tradition not only for my next legacy but for other students and communities that we impact every year here in New York,” Tucker said.
And like Tucker, many were happy to be together again celebrating their culture.
The virtual portion of the events included interviews with influential Puerto Ricans, performances and of course the music that keeps the energy of this day alive.