National Puerto Rican Day Parade 2014
Over the past several weeks, the Board has taken several steps to deliver on their promise to rebuild the Parade and follow through on their commitment to address the concerns of community leaders and organize a Parade that is a prideful exhibition of Puerto Rican culture and heritage. First, the Board established a 2014 theme, “Un Pueblo, Muchas Voces”/“One Nation, Many Voices”, and ratified an increased focus on Arts, Culture and Education, to be manifested in this year’s celebration as follows:
- Arts: A tribute to Julia de Burgos in celebration of the centennial of her birth. An educator, journalist and poet, de Burgos is arguably the most notable poet from Puerto Rico and was inducted into the New York Writer’s Hall of Fame in 2011. A special ceremony in her honor was held on June 3, on E. 106th Street and Fifth Avenue, where de Burgos died. The ceremony will commence with a Taíno blessing, followed by readings from four Puerto Rican poetesses. At 6:30, El Museo del Barrio will host a reading of the play, Julia de Burgos: Child of Water, from renown Puerto Rican author, poet and playwright, Carmen Rivera.
- Culture: A mandate that all floats have a cultural theme represented as part of its presentation, and increased accessibility for cultural groups to participate through lower fees. Additionally, a variety of cultural groups, including folkloric, classical and contemporary music and dance will participate in the Parade and surrounding events.
- Education: An increase in the total dollar figure of scholarships awarded, from $10,000 to $30,000, which will be distributed to 15 students. Additionally, the traditional Beauty Pageant has been reformatted into a secondary phase of the scholarship program, called the Rising Stars Challenge, where scholarship winners will compete for an additional monetary award. Winners of the Rising Star Challenge will be announced at an event on May 31st at Queens Center Mall.
This year’s celebrations will consist of the following:
- 65th Infantry Regiment: Also known as “The Borinqueneers,” the NPRDP aims to generate support for a bill that was introduced to the U.S. Congress to recognize their service to the United States with the Congressional Gold Medal. Veterans will be honored with the title of Ambassador, and signatures will be collected at the 152nd Street Festival petition to urge members of Congress to support the bill.
- Cuidar al Prójimo (Feeding Our Neighbors): Recognizing the prevalence of food insecurity in the NY Tri-state Area, the NPRDP has partnered with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York to conduct a food drive to benefit Puerto Rican/Latino community, encouraging the community to bring non‐perishable food items to the 152nd Street Festival in the Bronx on Saturday, May 31st from 11AM to 4PM and the Annual NPRDP Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday, June 1st at 4PM. Goya Foods has pledged to match the donations collected with up to 5,000 pounds of product.
- Oscar López Rivera: In the spirit of the 2014 Parade theme, the NPRDP has officially called for a release of political prisoner, Oscar López Rivera, who will be represented by his brother, José López, and a contingent of marchers from the “Free Oscar López” movement.
NPRDP Partners in the Rebuilding Effort
The NPRDP would like to recognize and thank the sponsors that have helped the Board realize its mission, assuring that the 2014 NPRDP will happen, including JetBlue, Goya Foods, Banco Popular, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Macy’s, City University of New York (CUNY), Metroplus Health Plan, Acacia Network, Bronx Lebanon Hospital and Sofrito Restaurant. Likewise, the Board also thanks our media partners for their commitment in this endeavor, including Univision, NBC Universal (NBC and Telemundo), Fox5 and My9, the Spanish Broadcasting System, Siempre Mujer Magazine, the New York Daily News and Impremedia’s El Diaro.