The Dominican Republic’s red, white, and blue colors majestically soared over the Bronx on Sunday as the community once again celebrated the Dominican Day Parade, but this time at full force.
Drawing hundreds from all around the city, the July 25 event has the distinction of being one of the first parades eligible to host at a larger capacity following the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions placed on previous functions such as the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
With an army of flag wavers wedging themselves against the metal barriers along Grand Concourse and 172nd Street, the occasion reinvigorated a borough hard hit by the coronavirus.
The Bronx Dominican Day Parade has been a time-honored tradition for the community for more than 32 years, highlighting the Caribbean nation’s music, food, culture and history. The sounds of bachata, merengue, and salsa echoed from speakers as dancers twirled their dresses and shook their hips.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, joined mayoral candidates Eric Adams, a Democrat, and Curtis Sliwa, a Republican, and local elected officials as they praised Dominican culture by marching down Grand Concourse Avenue. The floats, colorful outfits and pounding music drew much fanfare from the crowd who had set up seats in order to see the vibrant march and the next mayor of New York City.
Both Sliwa and Adams made the rounds, with many in the crowd already referring to Adams as mayor; there’s still an election in November, though the current Brooklyn borough president is the odds-on favorite. Prior to setting off, Adams personally thanked the Dominican community and credited their support for his victory in the Democratic primary.
The current mayor, de Blasio, led the charge, helping to haul a gigantic flag along the parade route. The vivid sights and roaring sounds were a far cry from last year’s occasion which merely featured a virtual commemoration. It was clear that both marchers and spectators alike were happy to be back.