• The National Puerto Rican Day Parade in the streets of New York City was canceled
  • Instead, there will be a virtual celebration of the event on Sunday (June 14)
  • It will also serve as a fund raiser for its scholarship program

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP), held every year in the Manhattan streets, was canceled recently because of the COVID-19 threat. However, a 90-minute community celebration parade will be broadcasted this Sunday (June 14) to honor Puerto Rican heritage.

The NPRDP is said to be the largest celebration of Puerto Rican culture, history and issues of importance in the country. The parade typically takes place between 44th Street and 79th Street in Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and is often one of the most attended and celebrated cultural events in the city. But, the threat of the coronavirus has moved what was supposed to be the 63rd cultural celebration from the streets and straight to people’s homes.

On Sunday, WABC-TV and the NPRDP committee will air a community celebration from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., to be hosted by anchors Joe Torres, David Novarro and Sunny Hostin, with special appearances by community leader Luis Miranda, Jr. and award-winning actor, lyricist and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The event will also be streamed on and TV apps on Amazon, Apple TV, Roku, Android TV and Amazon FireTV.

"The Parade is more than a celebration of pride and culture. It's a platform for preserving our heritage while advancing our community by informing on important issues and promoting educational achievement," chair for the NPRDP Board of Directors, Louis Maldonado, said. "Given the profound impact COVID-19 has had on New York and communities across the nation, and with Puerto Rico still grappling with incessant earthquakes and its own COVID19-related pause, the Parade Board agrees it's critically important to continue the Parade's legacy while celebrating our resilience."

The celebration will also showcase the winners of the NPRDP 2020 scholarship and raise funds for next year's program, which aims to advance educational achievement in the Puerto Rican community. In fact, for four consecutive years, the NPRDP awarded $200,000 to a hundred exceptional students of Puerto Rican descent.

The event is also an opportunity for younger generations to learn about the value of the parade, not just as a cultural celebration, but also to understand the challenges the earlier generations had to face.

Although this year's event is rather different from what many people are used to, it will still hold true to its focus of celebrating Puerto Rican culture and advancing Puerto Rican communities.

National Puerto Rican Day
A woman holds up the Puerto Rican flag before participating in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan, New York, June 11, 2017. Reuters/Andrew Kelly