NEW YORK — Tens of thousands of people waved the flag of their homeland with pride along Sixth Avenue on Sunday afternoon.
They were celebrating their Dominican heritage at the annual Dominican Day Parade, which is part cultural, part carnival—and always colorful.
“It feels great, coming from parents who came from the Dominican Republic, and came here to give me a bright future, and I’m able to share that with my son,” said a beaming Rosa Martinez, who came to the parade with her young son Miguel.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio were among the many politicians who marched in the parade.
In a few spots along the the parade route, Mayor de Blasio was booed for comments he made in June that criticized the Dominican Republic’s immigration policies.
Many in the city’s Dominican community were offended when de Blasio condemned the threat of expulsion of thousands of people of Haitian descent from the Dominican Republic.
De Blasio had called the Dominican government’s threat “illegal,” “immoral” and “racist.”
The parade, now in its 34th year, has a new board after a major shakeup.
“With that reorganization comes more monetary transparency, new leadership, and it comes at a time as the Dominican community continues to grow in population and make its economic mark on the city,” said NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, who marched in the parade.
This year’s Grand Marshall, Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Pedro Martinez wowed the crowd. So did the parade’s King, beloved musician Johnny Ventura.
The theme of the parade was “Educational and Economic Empowerment.”
The organization is hoping to raise $250,000 in scholarship money for underprivileged members of the Dominican community.