The 61st annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade is taking over a stretch of Manhattan on Sunday, June 10. The celebration is one of the biggest of the summer in New York, with more than 1 million spectators expected to attend. The theme for this year’s parade is “Un Pueblo, Muchas Voces," or “One Nation, Many Voices,” which revolves around the diversity throughout Puerto Rico and its diaspora. Sunday also marks the first National Puerto Rican Day Parade since Hurricane Maria brought catastrophic damage to the island, and this year’s event is as much an opportunity to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis there as it is one to celebrate Puerto Rican culture.
Here's everything you need to know about this weekend's parade.
When and where is the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York?
The parade kicks off at 11am on Sunday and commences on Fifth Avenue at 44th Street. From there, it will march north up the avenue to 79th Street. Here's a map of the route:
Are there any other Puerto Rican Day celebrations happening in the area?
Yes, of course. The National Puerto Rican Day Parade's website has been rounding up ancillary events, but the biggest one to look out for is the 116th Street Festival. Now in its 33rd year, it’s the largest Latin festival in the northeast. The event takes over an entire stretch of Harlem with food vendors and music, and it runs from 11am to 5pm on Saturday, June 9. If you can't make it out to the parade, this is your next best bet.
Will there be any street closures from the parade?
Whenever there is an outdoor event in New York City, there are sure to be street closures. From noon to 5pm on Saturday, the 116th Street Festival will lead to street closures on 116th Street between Lexington and Second Avenues, and on Third Avenue between 106th and 122nd Streets.
As for the parade itself, well, don't bank on driving in midtown or the Upper East Side on Sunday. The following street closures will be in effect from 11am to 6pm:
-44th Street between Madison Avenue and Sixth Avenue
-45th Street between Madison Avenue and Sixth Avenue
-46th Street between Madison Avenue and Sixth Avenue
-47th Street between Madison Avenue and Sixth Avenue
-48th Street between Madison Avenue and Sixth Avenue
-Fifth Avenue between 42nd Street and 79th Street
-Fifth Avenue between 79th Street and 86th Street
-79th Street between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue
-80th Street between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue
-81st Street between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue
-82nd Street between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue
-83rd Street between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue
-84th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue
-85th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue
-43rd Street between Sixth Avenue and Madison Avenue
-Madison Avenue between East 43rd Street and East 86th Street
-Sixth Avenue between West 44th Street and West 49th Street
-51st Street between Rockefeller Plaza and Ffith Avenue
-58th Street between Grand Army Plaza and Fifth Avenue
-64th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue
-69th Street between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue
-74th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue
How can I help those affected by Hurricane Maria?
There will be ample opportunities to get involved and draw attention to the crisis. One of the festival's honorees is David Begnaud, who has provided extensive coverage from Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria hit. You can expect plenty of floats memorializing the victims of the hurricane, and with that comes calls to action. You can make donations to help the situation via the Red Cross, Friends of Puerto Rico, UNICEF and Global Giving (among others). Attending the parade itself is also a great way to connect with people who are making a difference in Puerto Rico as it recovers from one of the worst natural disasters in American history.