EAST HARLEM, Manhattan — It’s the largest Latin street festival in New York City — a celebration of the Puerto Rican community of East Harlem and beyond.
The festival focuses on the many contributions of this Latin community, and so many others, to the life of New York City.
“It started just on the corner and grew and grew to what it is today,” said Nick Lugo, festival founder and the president of the NYC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The 116th street festival started in 1985 and has grown to encompass 20 blocks of music stages, corporate events, games, fun and lots of fabulous food.
“The people, the excitement, I am so proud to be Puerto Rican,” said Violeta Galagarza, whose dancers performed at the parade.
Hundreds of thousands of people packed Third Avenue, coming back year after year. But some people are first timers, like Miss Puerto Rico Naysa Marrero, who’s in town for the National Puerto Rican Day parade.
“I am so happy to represent my country after all they have been through,” said Naysa Marrero.