Latin music, dancing, celebration at Puerto Rican parade - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Latin music, dancing, celebration at Puerto Rican parade

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Downtown Springfield was filled with Latin music, dancing, and a lot of celebration on Sunday. 

Thousands made their way through Main St. for the 25th Annual Puerto Rican Parade.

Western Mass News Reporter Jennifer Martinez emceed the event. 

"It's a very diverse community and that's actually one of our strengths, where we can learn to embrace and accept and really respect the contributions that all different types of ethnicities bring," said Edward Nunez, Committee Member.

Hundreds of marchers and 6,000 parade goers came together, hoping to create an environment that fosters inclusiveness. 

This year's theme: unido (unity).

"I've been a resident of Springfield for about 30 years and we've always enjoyed the parade. We represent for Springfield and for all the Latin people in the community," said Anamarie Padro from Springfield. 

Maria Perez was the Grand Marshall this year. She was honored for her work in the community. 

"She's someone who has been an advocate for the Puerto Rican community here for decades and she is very fitting of being our Grand Marshall for this year," said Nunez. 

When we asked Perez what this parade means to her, she said "It means that we are apart of the economic development of the city. It means that we are educating our children about our culture."

Several local schools took part in Sunday's festivities, bringing their own flavor and flare.
 
"I like how they have like younger kids apart of it too," said Jamar Ortiz from Springfield. "I was excited to come because it was my first time ever."

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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