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PR- 178-07
June 7, 2007


Parade Celebrates its 50th Anniversary in New York City

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today hosted a reception in celebration of the Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade at Gracie Mansion.  The Mayor will marching in this year's parade which will take place on Sunday, June 10 and will travel up Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street.  New York City began its tradition of honoring the culture and contributions of the people of Puerto Rico with a parade 50 years ago, and it became a nationwide celebration in 1995. This annual tradition has become one of the most exciting and festive days of the year for the City, attracting millions of spectators to the Parade route. Joining Mayor Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion were Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs Carol Robles-Román; Recording Artist Willie Colón; National Puerto Rican Day Parade Committee Chairperson Madelyn Lugo; National Puerto Rican Day Parade Grand Marshal Felix Juan Serrallés; Anheuser-Busch, Inc. Geographic Marketing Manager Zulema T. Wiscovitch; Galos Corporation President Carlos Velasquez and other City officials.

"New York City is privileged to be the home of the largest Puerto Rican community outside of San Juan," said Mayor Bloomberg. "For 50 years, Puerto Ricans have gathered to celebrate the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade but their longstanding contributions to New York City can be traced all the way back to the 17th century.  I congratulate the organizers of the Puerto Rican Day Parade on its 50th Anniversary of celebrating cultura y hermandad in our great City and I know it's going to be the biggest and best ever."

This year's Grand Marshal of the parade is Felix Juan Serrallés, Jr., President and CEO of Destilería Serrallés. The Parade will also recognize Puerto Rico's top selling recording artist Ricky Martin with a newly created honor, Rey del Desfile or King of the Parade. The Parade is dedicated to the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, which is celebrating its 345th birthday. The town of Camuy, Puerto Rico will also be recognized as it celebrates its 200th birthday this year. Mayor Bloomberg, Ponce Mayor Francisco Zayas Seijo and Camuy Mayor Edwin Garcia Feliciano exchanged keys to their cities during the evening's program. The Parade is also dedicated to the State of Massachusetts which is home to thousands of Puerto Ricans.

Mayor Bloomberg also presented Madelyn Lugo, chairperson 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 Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light, Capri Bakery, The Copacabana, El Viejo San Juan, La Fonda Boricua, Coca-Cola and Don Q. Los Pleneros de la 21 provided entertainment at tonight's reception.


Stu Loeser / Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958

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