NEW YORK (PIX11) — The president of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader and Dominican First Lady Raquel Arbaje joined local dignitaries to kick off the 41st annual National Dominican Day Parade.

It’s the first time in history that a president from the Dominican Republic has participated in the celebration.

President Abinader said in Spanish how proud he felt at the parade. He expressed his appreciation for Dominicans who live in New York for all their contributions—a sentiment echoed by New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

“We are just excited. This is the Santo Domingo of America right here, 900,000 Dominican strong. We are excited. We are going to have a great time today,” said Adams.

Dominicans of all ages lined up for blocks waving their flags with pride as they honored their heritage, music and traditions.

“We are here to stand for our country. Proud Dominicans. We are representing,” cheered one parade goer.

The parade is the culmination of weeks worth of events in our area that highlight Dominican culture, including scholarships, a gala and the main event on Sixth Avenue.

“New York City wouldn’t be New York City without the Dominican culture, heritage, and passion that we put into everything we do,” said actress and parade honoree Celines Toribio.

And, of course, PIX11 News was very proud to do just that. Some PIX11 News personalities were on a station float, making a powerful point about female empowerment with the lady lineup of entertainment: singers Judy Santos, Estela Starr and DJ Ultra Violet, all proud Dominicanas.

A tradition many in the Dominican community look forward to once again shows the world living up to its theme this year “Our History, Our People!”