SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The 2021 Springfield Puerto Rican Parade is going virtual for the second year in a row.
This year’s theme is “Continuing Our Resilience,” (Continuando Nuestra Resiliencia). The theme symbolizes the resilience of the Puerto Rican community during the pandemic and the hopes to move forward.
Parade organizer Jade Rivera-McFarlin told 22News the decision to go virtual was due to uncertainties with the pandemic, including the Hispanic population, which remains the most vulnerable to COVID-19 as well as the community’s low vaccination rates.
“We really want to make sure that by the time comes, that when we are in a live setting, that everybody is vaccinated and safe,” said Rivera-McFarlin. “We really don’t want people getting sick, especially with the numbers we get for the parade.”
This year, the kickoff also included an infectious disease specialist to speak about the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. The committee says it is to encourage more people to get vaccinated so the parade can be held in person in 2022.
Jade Rivera Mcfarlin of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade Committee said, “We love sharing our culture so when we have these parades it’s a pretty big deal for our community to come out, to be happy with each other, to listen to our music, and eat our food. And though we aren’t able to be live we wanted to be able to do it in some shape or form.”