NYC's National Puerto Rican Day Parade celebrates culture, history

NEW YORK (KGO) -- The National Puerto Rican Day Parade might not be able to march up Fifth Avenue in New York City as usual this year due to the pandemic, but that doesn't mean a celebration won't happen.

An exciting 90-minute community celebration taking place today.

Watch on TV at 2 p.m.

The official parade program will be hosted by sister station WABC-TV anchors Joe Torres and David Novarro, along with Sunny Hostin, co-host of "The View."

Confirmed artists include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rosie Perez, Esai Morales, Gilberto Santa Rosa, La India, Victor Manuelle, Ivonne Coll, Pedro Capo, Anthony Ramos, Ariana DeBose, Kany García, and many others.

The special will continue the longstanding tradition of the largest celebration in America that recognizes Puerto Rican culture and history, in addition to raising awareness of the issues that affect Puerto Rico.

A key feature in the program will be the Puerto Rican community's solidarity with black people around the world by showcasing the traditional dance of Bomba, an Afro-Puerto Rican tradition of music and dance that represents resistance, survival, celebration and healing.

Bomba originates from the black slaves who worked on the sugar plantations in 17th century Puerto Rico. Today, Bomba has become an artistic and culturally meaningful form of protest and a symbol of pride.

"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," said Louis Maldonado, board chair for the NPRDP Board of Directors. "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 showcase winners of the NPRDP Scholarship program and serve as a fundraiser for the scholarship fund. For four consecutive years, the NPRDP has awarded $200,000 to 100 exceptional high school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors of Puerto Rican descent.

"It's more important than ever for communities to celebrate," said Debra OConnell, WABC-TV president and general manager. "We are proud to continue our partnership with the National Puerto Rican Day Parade committee on their official celebration this year."

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade Celebration will be streamed online as well as on our free news and connected TV apps on Amazon FireTV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku.
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