The Puerto Rican Day Parade's festivities were held virtually on Sunday. Crowds did not line up in Fifth Avenue for a second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Puerto Rican Day Parade did not take over the avenue again. The situation will be the same until 2022 because of the pandemic. Instead, the event was televised in a two-hour show that commemorated all that is Puerto Rico. It was similar to last year's commemoration in which thousands of citizens tuned into a virtual event while watching the parade and dancing.
"A Good Day to Be Puerto Rican"
The festivities were more humble. However, the energy was palpable for the 64th yearly Puerto Rican Day Parade.
"Everyday is a good day to be Puerto Rican. And the Puerto Rican Day Parade embodies everything that we are: education, beauty, literature are everything good," according to Clara Galvano Rivera, reported NY1.
The event is traditionally the biggest celebration of Puerto Rican culture in the United States. It commenced at noon, reported CBS New York.
The parade was also streamed live online with the cast of "In the Heights" serving as the 2021 grand marshals.
Lin-Manuel Miranda was the creator behind the Tony Award-winning musical. He also produced and starred in the film that premiered on Thursday evening in Washington Heights.
Because it is virtual, according to organizers, they focused on themes they would not be able to during the parade. This includes honoring 500 years of San Juan and the history of Puerto Rican poetry, reported News 12.
In the previous years, the annual parade has attracted up to one million people. Before its virtual broadcast, Mayor Bill de Blasio joined grand marshals Quiara Alegria Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda in a small march.
National Puerto Rican Day Parade Board Chair Louis Maldonado touted "In the Heights" a milestone that celebrates all Puerto Ricans and their work.
The virtual parade was hosted at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. Museo Del Barrio and the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture on the island was also involved as quintessential institutions within the community.
Hudes was the writer for the screenplay for the film "In the Heights." It was held in Manhattan's predominantly Latin neighborhood, Washington Heights.
According to Miranda, "This isn't a normal parade by any means, but it hasn't been a normal year. Our movie is a big reminder of what it was like to gather together and wave our flag with pride, and this is like a small segment of that."
Meanwhile, de Blasio remarked, that when Puerto Rico is celebrated, New York is the place to do it.
Milteri Tucker has performed in the Puerto Rican Day parade every yearly. She also appeared dancing in "In the Heights."