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PR- 191-06
June 8, 2006


"Boricuas...We vote...We Count" is this Year's Theme of Parade

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg hosted a reception this evening in celebration of the 11th Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade at Gracie Mansion.  The parade, to be held on Sunday, June 11th, will kick-off with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11:00 a.m. on 5th Avenue and 44th Street.  Parade marchers, floats and bands will then travel up 5th Avenue to 86th Street.  The parade's theme this year is Boricuas...We vote...We Count, in recognition of the significant number of Puerto Ricans around the country and the importance that their votes have on Election Day.  New York City began its tradition of honoring the culture and contributions of the people of Puerto Rico and their impact on the City in 1958.  The annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade was established in 1995.  Last year there were over 80,000 marchers and 2 million spectators along the parade route.  Joining Mayor Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion were Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs Carol Robles-Román, Musician Willie Colón, National Puerto Rican Day Parade Committee President Ralph Morales, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Geographic Marketing Manager Zulema T. Wiscovitch, Galos Corporation President Carlos Velasquez and other City officials. 

"Tonight it is an honor to be joined by 20 Mayors from la isla del encanto to celebrate one of the greatest, most colorful, action packed events of the year- the National Puerto Rican Day Parade," said Mayor Bloomberg. "I also commend the organizers because they not only put on one of the largest parades in our City, they also promote national awareness and appreciation of Puerto Rican culture.  This year's parade theme 'Boricuas...We vote...We Count' is a perfect example, as it reminds us all of the importance that this community has in our nation's civic life." 

This year's Grand Marshall of the parade is recording artist Marc Anthony.  The parade is being dedicated to Hector La Voe and the hometown dedication is to Florida, Puerto Rico.  There is also a special dedication to the Puerto Rican municipality of Comercio, which celebrates its 180th birthday this year.  Mayor Bloomberg exchanged keys to the City with Mayor Jose Aaron Pargas Ojeda, representing Florida, Puerto Rico, and Mayor Jose Santiago Rivera, representing Comercio, Puerto Rico during the evening's program.  This year's parade also honors the State of Connecticut and Mayor Eddie Perez of Hartford, Connecticut was at the reception to deliver remarks.  Mayor Perez also joined Mayor Bloomberg earlier in the year for the Mayors Summit on Illegal Guns.   

Mayor Bloomberg also presented Ralph Morales, President of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, with a Proclamation in honor of our City's rich Puerto Rican Heritage and of the parade's many contributions to the City. 

Anheuser Busch and GALOS Corporation generously sponsored the reception.  Food and beverage donations were provided by La Fonda Boricua, Joe's Place, El Viejo San Juan, El Nuevo Bohio Lechonera & Restaurant, Capri Bakery, Coca Cola and Bacardi USA.


Stu Loeser / Silvia Alvarez   (212) 788-2958

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