SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – This year was the 32nd year of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade, it began as a small and intimate celebration and now it’s an event that everyone looks forward to within the valley.

This event is a night that many Latinos look forward to celebrating the culture, traditions, music, and dance. But, the best part is you don’t have to be Puerto Rican to celebrate! Everyone is welcomed with open arms to celebrate all cultures.

Eloy Figueroa of Holyoke told 22News, “It’s nice when the community can come together, especially in the representation of our heritage again. It was the first one for me and it was beyond phenomenal.”

  • Parade

Whether it’s your first time at the parade or your 32nd time, the spirits were high at the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade on Sunday. The community was overwhelmed with joy at the display of Puerto Rican culture.

“This is our first time here! I like the music and people dancing,” expressed Ava Woods of Springfield.

“It’s just a bundle of emotions and pride, and joy that everybody has come out of this bubble that we have been under for so long to just celebrate this beautiful day today. I am full of every emotion you could possibly have,” expressed Victoria Ann Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is a member of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade Committee. “United We Progress” is the theme for this year’s parade. People were eager to see the flags and smiles on Main Street and unite once again.

“It’s important to celebrate our culture, just coming together, knowing that we are a little Puerto Rico here in Springfield Massachusetts. Western Mass. coming together is something that I love to do and so does the community,” continued Rodriguez.

Springfield resident Angelica Castro explained the importance of celebrating culture. “It’s important to have representation, right? To see our people here believe in hope. We can’t be kept down, we need to continue to fight and show up. Let people know we are proud of our culture!”

People came from near and far with their banderas, or flags, raised up loud and proud. This day was a celebration of what makes the Hispanic Latino community so special. From their resilience and strength to their love of family and community. ¡Unidos Progresamos!