Hola amigos: Today I bring you “A million Puerto Rican Day Parade Goers in New York”. Chita Rivera, the Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer, now 80, was the Grand Marshal. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo was marching up 5th Avenue with dignitaries and a million goers with Puerto Rican flags everywhere… ES
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, center, marches up 5th Ave. with other dignitaries during the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Sunday, June 9, 2013, in New York. Photo: Craig Ruttle
byRyan Sit and Bill Hutchinson
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
With 80-year-old legendary actress, singer and dancer Chita Rivera as grand marshal, parade goers reveled in the roots of the Caribbean island.
Up to 1 million spectators packed Fifth Ave. on Sunday in the city’s annual demonstration of boricua pride.
Waving Puerto Rican flags and breaking out in spontaneous salsa moves, up to 1 million spectators packed Fifth Ave. on Sunday in New York City’s annual demonstration of boricua pride.
“It means everything to me,” Rivera said of leading the 56th annual National Puerto Rican Day parade for the first time. “To me, it’s the cherry on top of the cake for me.”
Grand Marshal Chita Rivera Image
Mayor Bloomberg was among the 80,000 marchers, whose ranks also included many candidates vying to succeed him in City Hall.
Riding on the Daily News’ float were Grammy-winning singer Miguelito and Danny Garcia, the light-welterweight world boxing champion.
Chants of “Que Viva Puerto Rico!” echoed through the crowd melding with mambo, hiphop and samba blaring from parade floats.
Latin band leader Orlando Marin, 77, dubbed the “Last Mambo King,” said participating in the parade was a “great honor.
“The response has been amazing,” said Anthony Weiner, a mayoral contender trying to bounce back from a sexting scandal. “We’re all Puerto Rican today.”
Weiner’s rivals — Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Controller John Liu, William Thompson and John Catsimatidis — also participated in nation’s largest Puerto Rican Day parade.
“We are the most diverse city in the world. Our diversity is our greatest strength, and the Puerto Rican community is an enormous part of that,” Quinn said.
“It’s a celebration of Puerto Rican pride and the fact that we are the friendliest group of people on the Earth,” said Marin, who rode on the Teamsters Local 237 float.
Jesus Reyes, 35, of the Bronx looked around at the crowd, most waving a Puerto Rican flags and wearing one em-blazed on their clothes, and summed it up as “a beautiful day.”
“It’s our time to shine,” Reyes said. “I’m a Puerto Rican-American and that’s how I live. Your root is your root and we never lose that.”
The event went off without a hitch despite a pre-parade controversy after the Coors brewery came out with a commemorative Puerto Rican Day Parade beer can boasting the words “cerveza oficial.”
Coors eventually pulled the cans after protesters complained that the beer sponsorship was incompatible with a parade whose theme this year was “Celebrating Your Health.”
The only thing that marred the event was an accident that sent a 29-year-old motorcycle cop to the hospital with a broken leg. The cop, who had been policing the parade route, was hit by a BWM at 11:45 a.m. on Park Ave. near 84th St. The driver stayed at the scene and was not charged.