Workers busy getting floats ready for Sunday's Puerto Rican Day Parade

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Thousands of people are getting ready to take part in the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan.

Sunday's parade marches up Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 79th Street, and the millions of people watching will get to see fabulous floats.

We spoke with the float makers, including Jose Camacho, who didn't have a minute to spare.

Inside Newark's National Guard Armory, the 49-year-old and his wife, both born in Puerto Rico, and their team of workers were super-busy Tuesday stapling, dressing and decorating a half-dozen floats for Sunday's parade.

There's no shortage of things to do.

"Before the parade comes we have to make sure the tires are good, everything is greased, that the railings are not loose because someone can fall, the walls are up and they're 100-percent stable," said Carmen Camacho of Camacho & Son Float Service.

The owners and workers at Camacho and Son build and design floats for roughly 30 parades each year. But because of their heritage, the floats for the National Puerto Rican Day parade are made not just with a whole lot of labor but also a whole lot of pride.

"This is my dream come true. We never thought we would go so far," said Jose Camacho. "So a day like Sunday, to go over there with my children and show them where we came from and all that Puerto Rico's an emotion that you never forget."

Plenty of emotion for float worker Jose Santiago as well. Not only is he Puerto Rican, he's from Arecibo. The 500-year old city, home of the world's largest radio telescope, is the recipient of this year's 'hometown dedication'.

"We look good in front of the camera, we look good in front of the world. So we try to bring the best from us to them," said Santiago.

That's a lot of pressure and a big responsibility for a dedicated staff ready to showcase the pride, the culture, the heritage of Puerto Rico on a very grand stage.

You can watch the Puerto Rican Day Parade Sunday on Channel 7, beginning at noon.

It will also be streamed live at ABC7NY.
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