SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Like many other events, the original plans for the annual Springfield Puerto Rican parade have been changed due to COVID-19.
This is the parade’s 30th year and due to COVID-19 the committee is taking the parade from streets to the screens. It will be held virtually so anyone anywhere can tune in to watch.
The virtual parade will include special messages from community leaders as well as music performances from artists all over the country.
“The goal was to take everything you would see on the street the day of the parade and try to pack that into a digital setting or on your television screen. Nothing is going to have that same feeling of having 100 contingencies going down Main Street but we try to bring that same feeling of putting everyone into your screen.”Jade Rivera-McFarlin, Springfield Puerto Rican Parade Committee
Parade organizer Jade Rivera-Mcfarlin was one of many western Massachusetts residents who went to Puerto Rico to help an island still recovering from Hurricane Maria and multiple earthquakes earlier this year.
She told 22News about the connection between Puerto Rico and western Massachusetts.
When we went down there, people were saying ‘Oh yo tengo familia in Holyoke, I have family in Holyoke. I have family in Chicopee.’ It was so crazy to see that even though we were thousands of miles away it was crazy to see the connection, the diaspora has with western Massachusetts and Puerto Rico.
It’s touching but at the same time you have your family and your roots and the way you would take care of your neighbor here, it’s the same idea just thousands of miles away.Jade Rivera-McFarlin, Springfield Puerto Rican Parade Committee
22News reporter Hector Molina will be the emcee of this year’s virtual parade and you can watch it on WWLP.com Sunday, September 20 at 11:00 a.m.