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Brentwood Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade set for Sunday

Parade-goers line Fifth Avenue in Brentwood to watch

Parade-goers line Fifth Avenue in Brentwood to watch the 46th annual Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade. (July 22, 2012) Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

The Brentwood Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade will be held again this year after almost falling to the wayside last year.

Now in its 47th year, the parade will be held Sunday on Fifth Avenue.

The event was canceled last year after Adelante of Suffolk County, the group originally in charge of managing the parade, said it did not have the funds necessary to run it.

After an outcry from residents, community groups and local leaders, the parade was salvaged due in large part to State Assemb. Philip Ramos (D-Brentwood) and the nonprofit group Teatro Yerbabruja.

Margarita Espada, director of Teatro Yerbabruja, acted as organizer again this year and was able to land key sponsors such as Home Depot and AT&T to keep the floats rolling.

“This has been a tradition of the community,” said Ramos, who said he was able to obtain $10,000 from discretionary funds for the event. “It’s an opportunity for residents to celebrate their heritage.”

Grand Marshal Dafny J. Irizarry, president of the Long Island Latino Teachers Association and a Democratic candidate for Islip Town Board, will lead the parade, which will feature 10 floats, more than 1,000 marchers and an estimated 40,000 spectators,

The parade will kick off at noon at Spur Drive North and head up to Suffolk Avenue.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) is scheduled to march in the parade for the first time. King, whose district lines were redrawn to include parts of Brentwood, was invited to attend the parade by Espada, along with other local politicians.

The celebration starts Friday with a parade dinner-dance at the Knights of Columbus at 96 Second Ave. in Brentwood.


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