SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield’s Puerto Rican community had to get creative this year to showcase their music, dance, history and culture.
After holding the parade in the streets the last 29 years, the parade committee agreed, going virtual was the right call.
“It’s our 30th anniversary this year and I was a kid in the North End who marched in the very first parade,” Jade-Rivera McFarlin of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade committee told 22News. “I couldn’t’ see a year without having it myself and all the other committee members.”
22News Reporter Hector Molina served as emcee. He introduced local Puerto Ricans who made a difference in our region, like State. Rep. Carlos Gonzalez and Veteran Gumersindo Gomez. There were also several musical artists including Tito Puente Jr.
Community members could stream the virtual version of Springfield’s Puerto Rican Parade right on our website, wwlp.com. They had to celebrate Puerto Rican culture in this way due to the pandemic, but for the first time they were able to bring it to people’s homes all over the world.
“We are very proud of our culture and it’s just about sharing it with ourselves, but sharing it with others. Kind of like the Irish parade or the St. Patrick’s Parade,” Rivera McFarlin continued. “People come from all over to celebrate being Irish on that day, and that’s the same feeling we have for the Puerto Rican Parade.”
Of course the intention next year will be to bring the parade back to the streets of Springfield.