Mayoral candidates campaign at Queens Ecuadorean parade

Anthony Weiner at the 29th Annual New York Anthony Weiner at the 29th Annual New York Ecuadorian Parade down Northern Boulevard in Woodside, Queens. (Aug. 4, 2013) Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

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Mayoral hopefuls appealed for votes Sunday at a spirited Ecuadorean pride parade where the cast of candidates seemed almost as colorful as the folk-dancing characters in the Queens procession.

"Que viva Ecuador!" shouted Anthony Weiner through a megaphone as he pushed on with his candidacy, walking in the parade as it made its way through Woodside and Jackson Heights.

The former congressman showed no signs of slowing despite demands for him to quit after a second-wave sexting scandal.

"I'm getting a lot of support in the Ecuadorean community. I'm going to work very hard for them," he said.

With just five weeks left before Primary Day, the candidates were seizing every retail campaigning opportunity they could to gain an edge. Sunday, they bopped to salsa music at the city's 29th annual Ecuadorean Parade and greeted revelers in Spanish, who in turn shouted, blew air horns and waved flags.

"We are a melting pot," said Republican Joe Lhota, formerly the MTA chairman, as he walked in the parade. "We should be very, very proud of our heritage, where our families came from, but always remember we're Americans."

Others echoed his sentiment.

"We're a city of immigrants, we're dynamic, we're constantly receiving people from all over the world," said Independence Party candidate Adolfo CarriĆ³n Jr., a former Bronx borough president.

Also in the parade lineup were costumed dancers -- some with bells attached to their pants and others with brightly colored skirts that swirled as they spun -- who performed elaborate routines. Beauty queens waved from convertibles and children cheered from floats.

"We feed off the energy," said Chrystal Teran, 21, of Jackson Heights, who said she has been attending the parade since she was 3 and this year wore a teal gown and jeweled tiara as the newly crowned Reina Dinosauro Club, or queen of the Ecuadorean social group the Dinosaur Club. "Ecuadoreans are one of the most up and coming communities in the city."

Most parade-goers were dressed less formally than Teran. Many wore yellow jerseys similar to those of the Ecuadorean national soccer team.

Democratic mayoral candidate and former City Councilman Sal Albanese, also wearing a Ecuador soccer jersey, said attending parades was a way to show respect for the city's cultures.

Christine Quinn, a Democrat and the City Council speaker, noted that Queens is the most ethnically diverse county in the country.

"Celebrating the contributions of Ecuadorean New Yorkers and the diversity of New York, it says everything today about why we are the greatest city in the world," she said.

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