31st Springfield Puerto Rican Parade showcases vibrant, local culture

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hispanic Heritage Month is underway across the nation, and the 2021 Springfield Puerto Rican Parade was held on September 19, to celebrate the culture.

The 31st annual Springfield Puerto Rican Parade may have been virtual this year but that did not stop the community from proudly showcasing the vibrant heritage of Puerto Rican culture.

Whether it was singing, “Que bonita bandera” (What a beautiful flag). Salsa dancing to music by Latin artist Tito Puente Jr., or proudly waving the Puerto Rican Flag.

Each year the parade has a theme. This year, Springfield’s Puerto Rican Parade committee wanted to celebrate the resilience their community has exhibited throughout the pandemic and this year’s theme was unveiled: “Continuando Nuestra Resilencia” or Continuing Our Resilience.

Farah Rodriguez, Treasurer of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade told 22News, “Nosotros somos mas fuerte y mas resilente,” (We are stronger and more resilient.)

And while the COVID-19 pandemic had everyone celebrating at home again this year, the parade taking place during Hispanic Heritage Month became a message of unifying the community, especially during the hardest of times.

Jade Rivera-McFarlin, spokesperson for the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade told 22News, “Resilience is adapting to any situation and making the most out of it no matter what’s thrown at you.”

“We have to continue to be resilient and show our family and our kids that we love them and we are there for them and we are going to get through this,” said Massachusetts State Senator, Adam Gomez.

And that resilience, resilencia, of the Puerto Rican community was on full display. Some exclaimed, ‘WEPA!’ a word of excitement and rejoice, as the community celebrated who they are, ‘Boricua’ strong.

We spoke with Victoria Ann Rodriguez, Chair of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade who stated “I truly admire the way our community came together and moved forward during these difficult times as the true Boricuas we are.”

Maria Acuna from Acuna Real Estate concluded by telling 22News, “Yo soy Boricua, paque tu lo sepas, viva Puerto Rico! I am Boricua, I am Puerto Rican so you know, long live Puerto Rico.”

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