Thousands of revelers packed Fifth Avenue Sunday to celebrate the city's Hispanic heritage.
Floats and marchers representing 18 different Spanish speaking nations -- such as Mexico, Peru, Cuba and Spain -- dazzled the crowd with upbeat tunes, exquisite costumes and lavish decorations. as thousands of revelers packed Fifth Avenue yesterday to celebrate the city's Hispanic heritage.
The Hispanic Heritage Parade marked its 50th year and spectators, who came to Manhattan from all over the tri-state area, hailed it for promoting their cultures on a prominent stage. "The music, the crowd, the atmosphere, it all makes this beautiful," said Anna Nieves, 21 of Bellemore, who is of Puerto Rican descent.
The festivities began at Fifth Avenue and 44th Street and marched north until 70th Street. Around 6,000 people from various Hispanic groups and associations marched, according to the parade's organizers.
Placido Avila, 29, of Mastic, Long Island, who is of Colombian descent, appreciated the fact that each nation got its own time and space to show off its culture.
"It feels like I'm back home," he said as he hoisted his 1-year-old daughter Maya to get a better view of the celebration.
Others revelers hailed the show of unity from Spanish-speaking cultures. Saray Lopez, 27, who moved to the Upper East Side from Spain a month ago, said she feels that connection strongly.
"This is our community," she said in her native language.
Her friend, Casey Freedman, a Manhattan native who now works in Boston as a Spanish teacher, agreed. The 26-year-old, who isn't of Hispanic descent, said New York has always done an exceptional job of promoting its diversity. "When you focus on the similarities between people you realize there aren't that many differences," she said.
Luis Motta, 64, a Colombian national who lives in Elmhurst, said he welcomed the non-Hispanics coming out Sunday and encouraged more people to learn about the cultures on display.
"It's important. Everything helps to help others understand about our culture," he said.