Giselle Blondet, Justina Machado, Judy Torres, & Ismael Cruz Córdova to lead 66th Annual PR Parade
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Jasmin Espada
Giselle Blondet, Justina Machado, Judy Torres, and Ismael Cruz Córdova to lead
the 66th Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade
New York City – (May 16, 2023) At a press conference at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute of Hunter College, the Board of Directors of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) announced additional honorees and plans for its 66th annual celebration of Puerto Rican culture, history, and contributions to our global society. Under the 2023 theme, Música, Cultura y Alegría (Music, Culture and Joy), the iconic procession will march 35 blocks up New York City’s Fifth Avenue on Sunday, June 11 beginning at 11am EDT, featuring the best in Puerto Rican heritage and achievement.
“We are excited to about the roster of 2023 Parade honorees, which features so many legendary and accomplished individuals in our community from both stateside and Puerto Rico cities; from New York City to Los Angeles and from Chicago to Aguadilla. We invite people from across the country to join us in commemorating our Música, Cultura y Alegría on the global stage that is Fifth Avenue,” said Lillian Rodríguez López, Chair of the Parade Board of Directors. “We want to thank our supporters and sponsors who, every year, provide invaluable funds to award $200,000 in scholarships to students of Puerto Rican descent.”
Leading the procession will be television personality, actor and author, Giselle Blondet, with the title of Grand Marshal. Born in New York City and raised in Puerto Rico, Blondet is recognized as one of the most iconic figures on Spanish-language television. She began her career in Puerto Rico in the eighties and became a national figure after joining the cast of the world’s longest-running TV variety series, Sábado Gigante. She then went on to co-host Univision’s morning show, Despierta América, where she served for 8 years before hosting the primetime series, Nuestra Belleza Latina and Pequeños Gigantes. She is now co-host of Telemundo’s daytime show, La Mesa Caliente.
Joining Blondet in the procession and representing Puerto Rican communities in both Los Angeles and Chicago will be actor, Justina Machado, as Queen. Machado is best known for her role as Penelope Alvarez in the 2017 remake and hit TV series “One Day at a Time.” She will next be seen leading a new Amazon Prime Series “The Horrors of Dolores Roach” premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday, June 15th. The Horror of Dolores Roach,” is set in NYC’s Washington Heights and the 8-episode series releases in its entirety on Prime Video, July 7.
Marching as Madrina (Godmother) will be singer, radio personality and certified life coach, Judy Torres. Affectionately known as the “Queen of Freestyle,” Torres has had enormous success singing the popular NYC-born musical genre, Freestyle, for over 35 years. Joining her as Padrino (Godfather) will be television and film actor, Ismael Cruz Córdova, who came onto the national scene playing the role of Mando in “Sesame Street.” Since, he has appeared in films like “Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power,” as well as TV series like “Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities” and Showtime’s “Ray Dononan.”
Other honorees announced at the New York City press conference include:
• Orgullo Puertorriqueño: Madison Anderson Berríos – 2023 winner of Telemundo’s La Casa de los Famosos and 1st Runner-up at the 2019 Miss Universe Pageant
• Ambassador: Luis Carle – Critically acclaimed artist-photographer
• Ambassador: Violeta Galagarza – Award-winning Choreographer and founder of dance company, Keep Rising to the Top
• Ambassador: Louis Molina – Commissioner, NYC Department of Correction
• Ambassador: Luis Salgado – Broadway performer, director, choreographer, and producer
In late April, the NPRDP Board announced an initial installment of honorees that included:
• Lifetime Achievement: Chucho Avellanet – Singer, comedian, actor, and television personality
• Lifetime Achievement: Josie de Guzmán – Tony-nominated musical theater actor and singer
• Lifetime Achievement: María Teresa “Tere” Marichal – Actor, writer, ventriloquist, playwright, and TV personality
• Lifetime Achievement: Jacobo Morales – Pioneer of Puerto Rican cinematography and the first filmmaker from Puerto Rico to be nominated for an Academy Award
• Lifetime Achievement: Antonio Martorell – Accomplished painter, graphic artist, and writer.
• Lifetime Achievement: Angel “Cucco” Peña – Multiple Grammy- and Emmy-Award winning composer, arranger, conductor, music director and trumpeter
• Lifetime Achievement: Silverio Pérez – Musician, comedian, motivational speaker, and TV personality
• Hijo de Borinquen: Wilson Nazario – Publicist and longtime NRPDP representative in Puerto Rico
• Ambassador: Nilda María Comas – Multiple award-winning Master Sculptor
• Trailblazer: Omi Hopper – Chef, contestant on “Next Level Chef” and social media influencer
• Athlete of the Year: Alelí Medina – ISA Para Surfing Gold Medalist (visually impaired category)
• Ambassador: Dr. Antonio Mignucci – Biological oceanographer and veterinary technician
• Trailblazer: Rebeca Nieves Huffman – Career coach and social media influencer
• Ambassador: Dr. Ariel Orama – Award-winning filmmaker, actor, and clinical psychologist
• Trailblazer: Ivelissa Ríos – Chef, life coach and social media influencer
• Ambassador: Ana Teresa Toro – Accomplished journalist and novelist
• Rafael Hernández - Composer and musician
• Marisol Malaret – Puerto Rico’s first Miss Universe winner, television host
• Antonia Pantoja, PhD – Educator, social worker, organizer, prolific author, and activist
• Tito Puente – Grammy Award-winning percussionist, composer, and bandleader
• Tito Rodríguez – Legendary singer and bandleader
Los Angeles is Honored Stateside Community
Every year, the NPRDP honors a community in the patria extendida (diaspora). The 2023 Stateside community is Los Angeles. According to the 2020 Census, Los Angeles is home to nearly 50,000 Boricuas, which ranks the community among the top ten in the contiguous U.S. The NPRDP is collaborating closely with local groups and festivals to highlight this vibrant community as part of this year’s celebration.
The National Puerto Rican Day Parade will march up New York’s Fifth Avenue, in one of United States largest cultural celebrations with an estimated attendance of one million people. The Parade will be broadcast on the WABC Channel 7 in New York at 12 noon EDT and streamed on the station’s website, abc7NY.com, and on the station’s free news and connected TV apps on Amazon FireTV, Android TV,
Apple TV, and Roku. For more information about the Parade and a full calendar of events, visit www.nprdpinc.org.
The NPRDP Board of Directors thanks the following sponsors and media partners for their support in making the 66th Annual celebration possible: Corona, Modelo Especial, Manhattan Beer Distributors, the Walt Disney Company and ABC7 New York, SEIU 1199, City University of New York, the Amazing Mets Foundation, Miranda Family Fund, Acacia Network, Liberty Coca-Cola, Spectrum , TWU Local 100, SNIPES USA, Popular Bank, Walmart PR, Lincoln Center, MetroPlus Health, Montefiore, NBC4 and Telemundo47, Univision 41 and X96.3 FM, the Spanish Broadcasting System, GFR Media, United Federation of Teachers and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.
About the National Puerto Rican Day Parade
Renown for being America’s largest celebration of Puerto Rican pride and achievement, the Parade is an iconic platform for cultural preservation and collective legacy-building that was born from the New York City Puerto Rican community’s struggle for equity, inclusion, and validation in the 1950s. Under its slogan, Un Pueblo, Muchas Voces (One People, Many Voices), the NPRDP promotes Culture, Arts and Education, with special tributes to historical figures and key themes to raise awareness of critical issues and causes to our community.