The decision to keep the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade virtual for a second year in a row has many people talking.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The decision to keep the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade virtual for a second year in a row has many people talking. With the city's Fourth of July fireworks and pancake breakfast events going forward this year, why not a live parade

We checked in with the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade Committee and found the timing of the state's reopening and a low vaccination rate among those in Springfield's Latino community played into their decision.

“Now that you’re saying it’s going to be virtual, it’s like I’m not interested at all,” said Omar Rivera.

Parade spokesperson Jade Rivera-McFarlin said they were waiting for COVID-19 guidance from Governor Charlie Baker, but the state's full reopening came too late for them.

“So we kind of had to make a decision before that happened. Once he did, we’d already made the decision we’re going to go virtual this year,” Rivera-McFarlin added.

A virtual parade is much different than a live in-person parade, but will still include all the dancing, cheering, music, and passion.

“We will have them shoot videos and submit them and then we also have some of our entertainment also do videos and then we piece it all together,” Rivera-McFarlin explained.

However, small business owner Sheila Coon had a food truck at the parade in previous years. This year, she has a new storefront on Main Street, along the parade route, but won't benefit from that this year.

“Everything changes week-to-week and we’ve kind of been acclimated to just kind of roll with the punches if you will and do the best that we can,” Coon said.

The virtual Springfield Puerto Rican parade will play out on September 19. You can watch the pre-recorded video on their YouTube and Facebook page.

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