SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s a big weekend for all Latinos in western Massachusetts as they prepare to celebrate the 32nd Annual Springfield Puerto Rican Parade.

Everyone is anxious to hit the parade route once again to celebrate the culture and accomplishments of the Puerto Rican Community. Local residents have been saying that they’re excited to celebrate “juntos” together once again.

¡Unidos Progresamos!; United We Progress is the theme for this year’s Springfield Puerto Rican Parade. People are eager to see the flags and smiles on Main Street and unite once again.

“This is a beautiful day, not only in the weather but also the remembrance of the Hispanic culture,” said Hispanic American Library event coordinator Cristian Gonzalez-Rivera. “Today, especially the Puerto Rican community, I think it’s a beautiful day and a great day to be Puerto Rican.”

Cristian hails from Puerto Rico and moved to Springfield at the age of five. He believes that events like the parade allow the community to see all different types of representation of Puerto Rican culture.

“Understanding where you come from gives you a better identity of where you want to go in life. It’s a great time to get the community together to remind them of what the flag represents, the people that came before them, and hopefully, inspire the youth and future leaders,” Cristian continued.

Although for the last two years the parade has been virtual the resilience of the Hispanic-Latino community has kept the parade spirit alive.

Spokesperson and Parade Board member Jade Rivera-McFarlin told 22News, “When you have things like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, we come together and we’re all Irish on that day. Same thing with the Puerto Rican Day Parade, which is what we have coming up and during Hispanic Heritage Month, in general, it’s about learning about each other and what makes us who we are, and celebrating those differences.”

The parade kicks off on Sunday at 11 a.m. It starts at the corner of Wason and Main Street then heads down Main Street and ends at Boland Way.