SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield’s Puerto Rican Parade is going to be held virtually again this year.
The parade typically draws hundreds of people to the Springfield area and is a time to celebrate Puerto Rican heritage.
Parade organizer Jade Rivera-McFarlin told 22News the decision to go virtual was due to uncertainties with the pandemic, including the Hispanic population, which remains the most vulnerable to COVID-19 as well as the community’s low vaccination rates.
“We really want to make sure that by the time comes, that when we are in a live setting, that everybody is vaccinated and safe,” said Rivera-McFarlin. “We really don’t want people getting sick, especially with the numbers we get for the parade.”
Hampden County has been experiencing the lowest vaccination rates in the state.
According to the latest data from the DPH, only 32-percent of Hispanics in Hampden County have received at least one dose of the vaccine.