Salsa great Gilberto Santa Rosa will be this year’s grand marshall at the NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 11. Iris Chacón, the 67-year-old showgirl who came to fame in the 1970s as “the Puerto Rican bombshell” has been named godmother of the parade. Ozuna will represent as the parade’s Rising Star, salsa singer Ismael Rivera has been named a Puerto Rican Day ambassador, and Latin alternative duo BuscaBulla will also join the parade.
This year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade marks the 60th time that “la parada” fills Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue with tropical music and Puerto Rican pride. Previous grand marshalls include Marc Anthony and Ricky Martin; Calle 13’s Rene Perez was crowned king of the parade in 2014.
Olympic gold medal gymnast Laurie Hernández, actress Lana Parrilla (Once Upon a Time) and 14-time MLB All-Star Iván Rodríguez will also participate in this year’s parade. The event will also reference recent politics: it will honor former political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, who was pardoned by President Obama in January after 35 years in federal prison, as National Freedom Hero. And this year’s parade coincides with 100 years since all Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship by a law enacted by President Woodrow Wilson.
“In this monumental year, we are showcasing our collective achievement and the legacy we have built by working in solidarity,” Puerto Rican Day Parade Board Chair Board Chair Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez said at a press conference. “And we will discuss key challenges that Puerto Rico is facing to help inform and engage our community. We also honor legendary figures and the next generation of stars that are already accomplished in their own right.”
Two music festivals preeceding the parade will turn June 9-11 into a full throttle Puerto Rican party weekend.
The 2017 Soulfrito festival will feature a line-up of “club bangers and Latin trap” that includes urban stars Farruko, Zion y Lennox , Bad Bunny, Cosculluela and Ivy Queen starts the party in Brooklyn on Friday, June 9, at the Barclays Center.
Willie Colon, Eddie Palmieri and Tito Nieves lead the incredible line-up of the 33rd New York Salsa Festival, which takes place Saturday, June 10, also at the Barclay Center. Jerry Rivera, Grupo Niche, Fruko y Sus Tesos, Tito Rojas and DLG are also among the artists scheduled to perform.
New York-based concert promoter Adam Torres is producing both of the festivals.
“It has been our goal to expand our offering of events during this weekend and we are now bringing two concerts to the area, each catering to its own style and demo,” Torres said in an announcement.