Second annual United Latin Parade combines Dominican, Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian traditions in one large event
BY SARA GILBERT
The second annual United Latin Parade of Haverstraw, celebrating Dominicans, Puerto Ricans and Ecuadorians, was held on Sunday, July 15 beginning at noon. The event brought 2,000 to 3,000 spectators to the streets.
The event was planned to last until 8 p.m., but at about 3 p.m. rain and lightening closed the show down.
The parade began at the entrance of Emeline Park, proceeded to Broadway and ended at the Haverstraw Middle School on Partition Street.
The parade included cars and trucks decked out with flags. Young women and men dressed festively marched and danced along the route. Many youngsters hung out the windows and doors of the cars and trucks as they passed with ground-shakingly loud Latin beats. Each car along the parade route seemed to be competing with its neighbor to be heard.
Some in the parade were dressed festively in gowns or nice outfits while others wore authentic garb or costumes from their country.
Everyone seemed to be having a great time. Men, women, boys, girls and babies were all out enjoying the event, watching the scene go by and waving flags.
Jose Batista, 28, was standing outside near his house watching the parade with his two friends who had come from Long Island to visit.
Leonel Olivo, 30, had visited last year for the parade as well. “It’s different this year,” he said, commenting on how they made one combined parade this year.
“I miss some of the traditions from the Dominican,” said Olivo. “So I really liked this. It was nice.”
Further down the route stood three matching girls wearing flag colors and waving giant flags proudly.
Kasandra Arisi, 14, Jailene Paulino, 14, and her sister, Lieia Paulino, 7, all agreed, “It was really good.”
They went last year too and remember having fun then. But Lieia complained, “It was too noisy!”
Following the parade, there were four national anthems, speeches, food, informative booths, music and activities. Hector Soto, vice president of the Puerto Rican Committee, led the national anthems and kicked off the speeches.
Village of Haverstraw’s mayor, Michael Kohut, Village of West Haverstraw’s mayor, John Ramundo and Town of Haverstraw’s supervisor, Howard Phillips, all spoke briefly thanking everyone for coming out and wishing them a great, fun and safe day.
“Thank God for all the Latina women,” said Phillips. “God loves the Latinas! Have a great summer and go Yankees!”