NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The 65th Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade returned to New York City's Fifth Avenue on Sunday for the first time since the pandemic began two years ago.
The nation's largest demonstration of cultural pride stretched from 43rd Street to 79th Street.
The celebration was broadcast live on WABC-TV, Channel 7, the ABC-affiliated station in Puerto RicoTelecinco (Channel 5), and streamed on abc7NY.com, and on the station's free news and connected TV apps on Amazon FireTV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku.
The parade's scholarship gala fundraiser was held on Saturday night at the Central Park Zoo.
Eyewitness News anchor Joe Torres was there.
Since 2014, the NPRDP has awarded over $1.2 million to Puerto Rican students going to college. The Gala Fundraiser convenes honorees, community leaders, elected officials and corporate sponsors to celebrate Puerto Rican achievement while supporting students in pursuit of higher education. For tickets, visit NPRDPinc.org/gala. Proceeds from the gala ticket sales will benefit the NPRDP Scholarship Program.
In addition to the Gala, NPRDP is utilizing technology to raise funds for its scholarship program through a collaboration with Mowsse, one of the first independent digital marketplaces for crypto collectibles and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Mowsse has selected the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Scholarship Fund as its first philanthropic investment.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona served as Grand Marshal.
Cardona, the 12th U.S. Secretary of Education, has dedicated his career to serving students, educators, and families as an elementary school teacher, school principal, district administrator, and, most recently, as commissioner of education for the state of Connecticut.
His focus on equity and excellence for all learners has driven his work at all levels of the education sector, and he has led the federal government's effort to support states in reopening America's public schools for in-person learning amid the recovery from the pandemic -- moving from only 46% of schools open when President Joe Biden took office to nearly 100% of schools open today.
Under his leadership, the U.S. Department of Education also has distributed historic funding through the American Rescue Plan to support K-12 schools and colleges and has granted more than $13 billion in student loan forgiveness.
Cardona earned a bachelor's degree at Central Connecticut State University as well as a Master's degree and doctorate degree from the University of Connecticut. He and his wife Marissa are the proud parents of two children who attend public school.
The 2022 Parade was dedicated to the municipality of Cidra, Puerto Rico. Known as the Pueblo de la Eterna Primavera (Town of Eternal Spring), Cidra is located in the central, mountainous region of the island and is home to approximately 40,000 cidreños. The Honored Stateside Community will be the Greater Philadelphia Area, which is home to more than 250,000 Puerto Ricans living in communities across Philadelphia, Berks and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania; as well as Camden, Atlantic and Cumberland counties in New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware. Other themes, tributes and individual honorees for the 2022 celebration will be announced over the coming weeks.
Learn more about the parade at nprdpinc.org.