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The 2016 National Puerto Rican Day Parade Lineup is here!

By Centro Staff


New York, May 10, 2016 - NBA All Star and philanthropist Carmelo Anthony will join Latin Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Ednita Nazario, Grand Marshal of the upcoming 59th Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade, to march as Parade King in the upcoming celebration scheduled for Sunday, June 12th, starting at 11am, on Fifth Avenue.  

In a press conference held at the New York headquarters of the PuertoRico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA), Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, chairperson of the Parade, also announced that actress Rosario Dawson will march as Queen 2016.  Actor, screenwriter and director Adam Rodriguez will march as Parade Godfather.

This year the Parade will recognize Family Unity, Marriage Equalityand LGBT rights; Science, Engineering and Aerospace; and Voter Education and Registration.  The 2016 state dedication will go to Florida, the state with the fastest-growing population of Puerto Ricansoutside their native island.

"This year, in face of Puerto Rico's humanitarian and fiscal crisis, and the upcoming national elections, we wanted to recognize the voices, talent and good contributions of Puerto Ricans to all aspects of life.  We also seek to emphasize unity, as we work together to identify solutions to the crisis, and encourage voter registration and awareness", Cortés-Vázquez said.  

Lifetime Achievement dedications will go to retired baseball player Candy Maldonado and Salsa music legend Andy Montañez, who will be performing at the Parade's Gala on Friday, June 10th, and also at the 32nd Annual Salsa Festival at the Barclay's Center on Saturday, June 11th.

Other honorees and recognitions announced today include:

*  Luis Jorge Rivera Herrera, ecologist and winner of the Goldman Prize for Environmental Justice (Special Recognition).

*  Orlando "El Fenómeno" Cruz, Olympian, first openly gay boxer (Special Recognition).

*  Pedro Julio Serrano, LGBT and human rights advocate (Orgullo Puertorriqueño)

*  Jeimy Osorio, Actress (Boricua Superstar)

*  Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, comic book artist, Director of Somos Arte (Boricua Destacado)

*  Frank Maldonado, entrepreneur, Executive Chef at Sofrito (Ambassador)

*  Nilda Rosario, broadcaster, Telemundo 47 (Ambassador)

*  Alberto Rullán, broadcaster, Telemundo 47 (Ambassador)

*  Joel Santiago, radio personality, X96.3 FM (Ambassador)

*  Lynda Baquero, broadcaster, WNBC (Ambassador)

*  Lileana Ayende, broadcaster, Univision 41 (Ambassador)

*  Maxine Ashley, singer (Ambassador)

As part of its 2016 Annual Fundraising Gala, the parade will recognize Emilio Estefan (musician/producer), for his work in advancing the careers of multiple Puerto Rican musicians; Ingrid Otero-Smart(president and CEO of Casanova Pendril), and Larry Lugo (president of the Puerto Rico Milk-Product Industry/INDULAC).  As part of its Education Leadership Awards 2016, the Parade will recognize author, writer and education advocate Sonia Manzano, "Maria" on Sesame Street; Dr. Juanita Diaz - Cotto, Director of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACAS), and Professor of Sociology, Women's Studies, and LACAS, at Binghamton University; and Dr. Raquel Ortiz - Rodriguez, Professor of Anthropology at Boricua College.

The Parade Committee also announced that it will join the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, Puerto Rico Para Tod@s and LGBT Puerto Rico, to co-sponsor LGBT Ricans: El Encuentro, Beyond Marriage Equality; a panel with government officials and LGBT Puerto Rican activists.  The event will take place on Saturday, June 11th, 11am to 5pm at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, 2180 Third Avenue at E. 119th Street.  Speakers will include San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and actress Johanna Rosaly.

Records show 40% of Puerto Rican LGBT couples are raising children under age 18.  In addition, statistics indicate that almost 40% of all homeless youth are LGBT.  By recognizing family unity, marriage equality and LGBT rights, the Parade organizers wanted to highlight that LGBT people are our children, our neighbors, our friends and our family members.  The Parade's organizers believe that it is love that makes a family, as well as the values of love, respect, solidarity and inclusion shared by all of humanity.  

Besides Pedro Julio Serrano, the Parade will announce additional honorees and recognitions as part of the LGBT delegation, in a press release later this week.  

Pedro Julio Serrano said:  "I thank the Parade for recognizing family unity, and the landmark enactment of marriage equality in Puerto Rico and the United States - enacted in June 2015 and upheld by a court last month on the island.  This recognition highlights family unity through love and acceptance of LGBT Puerto Ricans. We are all Puerto Ricans".

 In a press conference held in San Juan last month, the Parade Committee announced the following honorees and dedications:

*  Arecibo, Puerto Rico Hometown Dedication 2016.

*  Giselle Blondet (actress, TV personality), Parade Godmother.

*  Risings Stars in S.T.E.M.:  Francisco Prokauer Valerio (High School Student, bronze-medal winner of the Mathematics Olympics in Thailand, who recently broke the record in the Spanish Culture and Language AP College Board Exam - equivalent in Puerto Rico to the SAT Exam); and Danitza Vázquez (High School Student, PuertoRico's Chess Champion, first woman in history to win the International San Sebastian Chess Championship).

 With the S.T.E.M. recognition, the Parade's committee seeks to highlight the talent and skills of Puerto Rican students and professionals, to help promote economic development and investment in the different industries on the island.  The achievements of these Puerto Ricans in STEM is an inspiration that in Puerto Rico, even amid the economic crisis, there is achievement and good local news going on, and that there is a whole generation of Puerto Ricans who do and give their best, to move the island forward.

Posthumous recognitions 2016 are:

*  Rosario Ferré (1938-2016), writer, poet, essayist.  

*  Gilberto Gerena Valentín (1918-2016), community leader and activist, founding member of the NY Puerto Rican Day Parade, now National Puerto Rican Day Parade.

*  Miguel Hernández Agosto (1927-2016), former speaker of the Puerto Rico Commonwealth's Senate.

*  Taylor Negrón (1957-2015), actor, painter, playwright.

*  Hector Ramons (1918-2016), noted journalist and pioneer broadcaster.

*  Holly Woodlawn (1946-2015), transgender actress, model and activist.


Special posthumous recognitions were also granted to the following Arecibo hometown luminaries:


*  Luisa Capetillo (1879-1922), women's and labor rights advocate.

*  René Marqués (1919-1979), playwright, novelist and screenwriter, author of "The Oxcart/La Carreta".

*  Mirta Silva (1927-1987), singer, songwriter and producer.

In today's press conference, Edgardo Miranda-Rodríguez unveiled the cover of a new comic book series based on a new character named "La Borinqueña", born out of financial crisis to unify community and engage youth through the appeal of graphic novels.  The Parade's Board worked with Miranda-Rodriguez to develop the new superhero character.  Some characters in the series are based on real-life prominent figures in Puerto Rican history.  The Board endorsed the character and comic book series concept, as it is an additional strategy for engaging the youth and other new audiences to continue educating about Puerto Rican culture, historical figures and issues being faced by the community.    

Ednita Nazario, whose new concert tour "Intensamente Ednita" will launch on June 4th in Orlando, followed by performances in New York and other markets, said:  "I invite everyone to join us for an exciting weekend of cultural pride, music, joy and unity.  I can't wait to march up Fifth Avenue as Grand Marshal of the most iconic Puerto Rican heritage event in the world.  I will treasure this experience forever in my heart wherever I go".

The Parade's Board of Directors thanked its 2016 sponsors and media partners, including GOYA Foods, JetBlue, McDonald's Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T, Acacia Network, City University of New York, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Rainbow, the United Federation of Teachers, Monster Energy, Univision Communications, NBC/Telemundo, Spanish Broadcasting System, People En Español, El Diario/La Prensa, and the New York Daily News.  

The 59th edition of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade will take place on New York City's Fifth Avenue, Sunday June 12, starting at11am.  The event will be carried live for the first time through WABC-TV (Channel 7 in NYC) and streamed online at www.abc7ny.com.  The live cast will begin at 12pm through 4pm.  For more information about the Parade, participant applications, Scholarship Fund and other data, visit www.nprdpinc.org.


                                                     National Puerto Rican Day Parade 2016

Main Events


1st Annual Golf Outing

(Check ticket-office)

Monday, May 23, 2016

11:30 AM - 10:00 PM


Annual Presentation of Scholarships & Educational Leadership Awards

Honoring Dr. Juanita Diaz - Cotto, Raquel García, Sonia Manzano, and others TBA.

(By invitation only)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

6:00 PM


152nd Street Cultural Festival

Saturday, May 28, 2016

152nd Street and Jackson Avenue, Bronx

11:00 AM - 6:00 PM


The  Guardians of Loisaida - Exhibit opening, honoring artist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, creator of the comics series "The Guardians of Loisaida", by Marvel.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Loisaida Center

710 East 9th Street, Lower Manhattan

1:00 PM


Annual Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral

Sunday, June 5, 2016

51st Street and Fifth Avenue

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Gala and Banquet in Benefit of Scholarship Fund

Featuring a special appearance by Andy Montañez

(Ticket holders only)

Friday, June 10, 2016

6:00 PM


LGBT Ricans: El Encuentro, Beyond Marriage Equality

A panel with government officials and LGBT Puerto Rican activists. Panelists include: Pedro Julio Serrano, NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, San Juan City Mayor Carmen Yulín, actress Johanna Rosaly.

Silberman School of Social Research at Hunter College

Saturday, June 11, 2016

2180 Third Avenue and 119th Street

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM


32nd New York Salsa Festival

Featuring Andy Montañez

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Barclays Center, Brooklyn

8:00 PM


2016 National Puerto Rican Day Parade

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Fifth Avenue, From 44th Street to 79th Street, Manhattan

11:00 AM - 5:00 PM