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The Puerto Rican Day Parade

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Wayne Crayton Jr

Speech 214 sec 2

February 6, 2008

The Puerto Rican Day Parade

Imagine waking up to the sound of Spanish music blasting through the streets, the smell of Spanish food simmering in the air, and going to the window and seeing thousands of Puerto Rican flags covering the streets. This describes Manhattan during the second week in June. Growing up just a few blocks from Spanish Harlem, many of my friends was Spanish. Their families took me in as one of their own, and that lead to me sharing some of their customs, and traditions such as The Puerto Rican Day Parade. Based on my research and personal experiences, I am creditable to talk about this subject. The Puerto Rican Day Parade is one of the largest and best cultural celebrations. During my speech I will give you the history of the parade, the traditions that go on during the parade and explain why the parade is so important to Puerto Ricans.

The Puerto Rican Day Parade wasn’t called The Puerto Rican Day Parade. In fact, it was called The Hispanic Day Parade. On Sunday April 12,1958, the first Puerto Rican Day Parade took place in Manhattan, New York. All of the Puerto Ricans from New York gathered to celebrate their culture. Mike Mcintire of The New York Times states in his article” Puerto Rican Day Parade Carries Message in the Mayoral Race, Too.”, That the parade was incorporated with other states besides New York in 1995. This made the parade so much bigger, and fun. The parade always takes place every year on the second Sunday in June. Elder Puerto Ricans feel that Sunday is a day blessed by the Lord.(Vasquez) The parade marches along 5th Ave from 44th street to 86th street and has grown to become the largest parade and the second largest event in New York City.(Lee)

Last year the parade celebrated its 50th anniversary of the parade. A day of such history and honor is also filled with lots of traditions.

Even though different people come every year nothing else changes. The parade is always broadcasted on major television channels, and radio stations. The parade starts at 11:00 am. Elders and street vendors get there early to make the food for the later festivities. While they are cooking Spanish dishes the air is filled with laughter and Spanish music. Little kids walk around with Puerto Rican flags decorating the streets. Around 1:00 pm the parade kicks off. People march in the streets in honor of their culture with different Spanish companies, teams, etc. Beautiful elaborate floats come down the streets filled with happy Puerto Ricans. Puerto Rican celebrities and politicians ride in expensive cars, or floats in the parade to show their honor and respect for their culture. After the festivities are done and the parade is over there is a festival. The festival



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