Monday, June 16, 2008

Celebrating 30 years of the Puerto Rican People's Parade

Chicago - The 30th Annual Puerto Rican People's Parade was held on June 14. The theme of this year's parade was "Aesthetics as resistance - the act of community building." The theme seeks to highlight the continuing fight against the gentrification of the community which is driving many Puerto Rican families out.

Everyone was anticipating the presence of Lolita Lebron, as the Grand Marshall, but she wasn't able to make it.

The Parade traveled past throngs down Paseo Boricua on Division Street in the heart of Chicago's Puerto Rican community and past the annual festival in Humboldt Park.

Among the Puerto Rican flags, parade floats and contingents were the Communist Party of Illinois! After helping register voters with other election activists during the morning, CPUSA members joined the Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, many other community groups including those protesting ongoing gentrification, motorcyclists, decorated cars and others.

The People's Parade was conceived because the official parade was downtown, away from the Humboldt Park community. The People's Parade was established to address the social issues of the community.

The Festival went on into the night to the beat of Son and Salsa music from various stages and tents of traditional foods and Pina Coladas. It's always an enjoyable event for the entire community.

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