A celebration of culture

The 41st Annual Hispanic Parade rocks Bergenline Avenue

Blaring horns, cheering crowds, brightly dressed dancers and loud music filled Bergenline Avenue on Oct. 2, as thousands of people line the street through North Bergen, Guttenberg, West New York, and Union City in a celebration of Hispanic culture.
Led by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and Mayors Nicholas Sacco, Brian Stack, Gerald Drasheff, Felix Rogue, and Richard Turner, the annual New Jersey Hispanic State Parade made its way from the foot of Braddock County Park in North Bergen to the reviewing stands near 42nd Street.
Beginning at about 1 p.m., the parade brought a rainbow of colors and music as groups performing dances were dressed in the traditional clothing of each country, some carrying strong influences from Spain.
Organizers said the parade was an effort to unite all Hispanic countries together as brothers and sisters, although viewers from the sidelines burst out in frequent applause and waved flags for particular countries as floats and dancers passed by.
The parade comes in the midst of Hispanic Heritage Month and has been a favorite among the Hispanic American community since founded in 1976. About 21 Latin American countries were represented, with groups coming in from throughout the northeastern United States to take part. Each country had a deputy marshal and many groups performed traditional dances to the folkloric music of their mother country.
The different groups included dance companies dancing to the traditional music of the country they represented. Countries have included Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The Hispanic State Parade of New Jersey, Inc. founded by Hispanic journalists, hosts the parade to stimulate, promote and preserve the Hispanic heritage and folklore.
Al Sullivan may be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com.

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