Colorful dancers, floats and marchers will take to the music-filled streets of New York as the 59th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade makes its way uptown Sunday. Here’s everything you need to know about the parade, participants and road closures.
Between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. EDT, the parade will proceed on Fifth Avenue, starting at 44th Street and finishing at 79th Street. Its organizers are expecting about 100,000 participants and 1.5 million spectators, so paradegoers should arrive early to stake out good spots along the route. The parade will be live-streamed online and can be watched by clicking here.
The parade celebrates Puerto Rican heritage and the contributions made by Puerto Ricans living on the U.S. mainland. This year’s theme, Un Pueblo, Muchas Voces (One Nation, Many Voices), aims to celebrate the “creativity and diversity of thought in Puerto Rico and across the diaspora.” There are more than 1 million Puerto Ricans living in New York state and over 719,000 reside in New York City, according to 2013 figures cited by the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
This year’s parade will honor artists, celebrities and educators. Actress Rosario Dawson has been named parade queen and New York Knicks player Carmelo Anthony has been named parade king. Musician Ednita Nazario will serve as its grand marshal.
Called “America’s largest cultural celebration,” the popular parade held annually on the second Sunday in June is known for its lively atmosphere and for causing traffic delays.
“This parade is one of the most popular events in NYC, so getting around NYC on this day, especially on the East Side or anywhere near Museum Mile is a challenge. Please plan accordingly,” the NYC Insider Guide advised.
And if you’re not ready to call it a day after the Manhattan parade winds down, a Brooklyn parade and music festival will get under way immediately thereafter. Hosted by El Grito de Sunset Park, the second annual Sunset Park parade will begin at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue at 5 p.m. EDT and the music festival will start in Sunset Park at 7:30 p.m.