NEW YORK (WABC) -- The National Puerto Rican Day Parade might not be able to march up Fifth Avenue as usual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the celebration continues!
WABC-TV and the National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) committee presented an exciting 90-minute community celebration on Sunday, June 14.
The official parade program was hosted by WABC-TV anchors Joe Torres and David Novarro, along with "The View" co-host Sunny Hostin.
Guests included Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rosie Pérez, Esai Morales, Gilberto Santa Rosa, La India, Victor Manuelle, Ivonne Coll, Pedro Capo, Anthony Ramos, Ariana DeBose, Kany García, and many others.
This special presentation continues the longstanding tradition of the largest celebration in America that recognizes Puerto Rican culture and history, in addition to raising awareness of the issues that affect Puerto Rico.
"The parade is more than a celebration of pride and culture," said Louis Maldonado, board chair for the NPRDP Board of Directors. "It's a platform for preserving our heritage while advancing our community by informing on important issues and promoting educational achievement. Given the profound impact COVID-19 has had on New York and communities across the nation, and with Puerto Rico still grappling with incessant earthquakes and its own COVID19-related pause, the Parade Board agrees it's critically important to continue the parade's legacy while celebrating our resilience."
The event comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic in New York City has disproportionately impacted people in communities of color. And within that demographic, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans have suffered some of these highest death rates.
Another key feature in the program will be the Puerto Rican community's solidarity with black people around the world by showcasing the traditional dance of Bomba, an Afro-Puerto Rican tradition of music and dance that represents resistance, survival, celebration and healing.
Bomba originates from the black slaves who worked on the sugar plantations in 17th century Puerto Rico. Today, Bomba has become an artistic and culturally meaningful form of protest and a symbol of pride.
The celebration will also showcase winners of the NPRDP Scholarship program and serve as a fundraiser for the scholarship fund. For four consecutive years, the NPRDP has awarded $200,000 to 100 exceptional high school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors of Puerto Rican descent.
"It's more important than ever for communities to celebrate," said Debra O'Connell, WABC-TV president and general manager. "We are proud to continue our partnership with the National Puerto Rican Day Parade committee on their official celebration this year."
Now in its 63rd year, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade is America's largest celebration of cultural pride in the nation. Programs and events preserve Puerto Rican culture through special tributes to national symbols, historical figures and campaigns to raise awareness on important issues impacting the community.
You can watch the full special starting with segment 1 above. The remaining segments are below.