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Voices in Focus: Parades to Plan For

June 1, 2012 1:33 pm 1 Comment By  | Via , , A+ / A-

With summer upon us, it’s time to plan for parade season. The diverse parades listed below were featured in the ethnic and community press this week — the first of many over the next months few months. Mark your calendars!

* The Celebrate Israel Parade, which began in 1965, will march up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on Sunday, June 3, starting at 11 a.m., reported The Jewish Daily Forward, which included a visual breakdown of who’s attending and how much it costs. The publication also has a profile on the parade’s founder, Ted Comet, 88, who explained his motivation for starting the parade: “I felt it would be important to have an activity to bring together the various segments of the Jewish community that didn’t regularly interact.”

It's not just schools, youth groups and synagogues at the Celebrate Israel Parade. Bikers also come out for the festivities. (Photo by Esther Rabinowitz, via The Jewish Daily Forward)

The parade may be the largest annual celebration of Israel outside of the state itself. The Jewish Week urged people to attend in a spirit of harmony:

It’s that one day a year to put aside political, religious and ideological differences within the community and recognize the positive impact Israel has on the world in general, and world Jewry in particular. Easier said than done for those whose passions about the Jewish state lead them to different points of view. But it is important for each of us to put the greater good ahead of our own individual preferences, at least on parade day.

The publication also provides some numbers on the celebration: 35,000 marchers and 200 organizations are expected, as well as 29 floats, 18 marching bands and 14 synagogues.

Celebrating Puerto Rican heritage. (Photo by RLJ Photography on Flickr, via Long Island Wins)

* As noted before in Voices of NY, Sunday, June 10 marks the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan. Meanwhile, in Brentwood, Long Island, the 45-year-old Puerto Rican/Hispanic Day Parade struggled to stay afloat in the face of budget cuts. Now rescued, it is scheduled for Sunday, July 22.

Noticia reports that the 6th Salvadoran American Day Festival will take place from Thursday, Aug. 2 to Monday, Aug. 6, with the main festivities happening on Aug. 5. Elizabeth Oliveira, executive director of the Red de Comunidades Salvadoreñas (Network of Salvadoran Communities) said that the parade is meant to portray a positive image of the Salvadoran community in light of the stereotypes it often falls victim to. Salvadorans are hardworking people who are dedicated to their families and contribute to this country’s economy, she said — not just dishwashers.

*  Then there’s the 23rd Central American Parade/Festival on Saturday, Sept. 16 in Hempstead, Long Island, reports Noticia. Members from different Central American countries will come out to celebrate their countries’ independence. This year’s parade will also focus on informing the community about leukemia and the importance of donating bone marrow. The parade will work with organizations that support people with the disease, as well as their families.

* Lastly, here’s a rundown of upcoming Hispanic parades and festivals in the metro area.

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