Bad weather did little to dampen the smiles and cheers
Rain did little to dampen the smiles and cheers at the Dominican Day Parade on Sunday, although the turnout was much lower than last year’s. Dressed for the festivities and waving red, white, and blue flags, parade goers filled Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.
The festivities were delayed from noon to 1 p.m. due to heavy rain but an energetic crowd cheers to the procession and waves flags at the Dominican Day Parade on Sixth Avenue on Sunday.
It was fun. I enjoyed it—my culture, my heritage, said Flemica Willis, 18.
I was just in awe, she added. Willis travelled from Trenton, N.J., to see the parade for the first time.
Besides the rain and stuff, it couldn’t have been better, said Nay Samylee of Brooklyn.
Police presence was higher than usual in the effort to discourage violence characteristic of previous parades. New York state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez had worked with the police department to ensure that the celebrations were not tainted by violent outbreaks. Espaillat also urged local stores that sell alcohol to close early.
We need to make sure our community continues to set the bar for positive participation and the parade is not overshadowed by negativity and chaos, Espaillat stated in a press release.
No major incidents occurred on Sunday. The procession began slowly, but as the parade progressed, so did the volume of the music and the energy from the crowd. At the peak of the celebration, several floats blared music loud enough to shake all of Sixth Avenue to the beats of Latin pop and traditional Dominican tunes.
It just felt good to be a Dominican today, said Dominique Brown from Newark, N.J.
It was pouring ’cats and dogs, ’ but you see, even in the city it really didn’t stop us from having a good time and just celebrating with one another.
Every year I come to this parade and I’m reminded of all the things that make us great as a people: our enthusiasm, determination, and most of all, our love for one another, stated Rodriguez in a press release.
There are so many people in our community that have reached heights we never would have dreamed of when we were young, he added.
Approximately 700,000 Dominicans reside in New York City, making up about 9 percent of the population. This year marks the 29th annual installation of the parade, which started as a small cultural celebration in Washington Heights in 1982.