If you’re ever looking for something to do in New York City, it’s often possible to find a parade. Our parades celebrate the diversity of our city. They’re great fun, as both participants and observers enjoy themselves tremendously. One of my favorite parades is the Hispanic Day Parade, which is held the Sunday before Columbus Day in October. The parade travels up Fifth Avenue between 44th and 72 Streets. From media coverage of the parade, I learned that the Hispanic Day Parade includes about 10,000 participants and attracts approximately one million spectators each year.
This parade is truly a feast for the senses–people marching in the parade wear vibrantly colored outfits and are consistently accompanied by festive music. It’s not only the parade participants who dance along; even bystanders find themselves moving to the beat. The parade represents cultural organizations in the city with ties to almost every Spanish-speaking country in the world. It reminded me of the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics, with its pageantry and diversity.
One of the things that makes this parade so spectacular is the incorporation of the folklore and cultural traditions of each country. Countless parade participants were dressed as characters representing those stories and traditions.
Of course, New York City parades usually include representatives of the police and fire departments, and the Hispanic Parade is no exception. (The parade also has its share of marching bands, colorful floats, and beauty queens!)
And it wouldn’t be a parade without bagpipes–but this version has Hispanic roots.
As a final note, the Hispanic Day Parade is a lengthy one, extending for approximately five hours. I recommend wearing comfortable shoes, but you’ll be surprised at how little you look at your watch–this is such an enjoyable parade that the time really flies!