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New York Daily News

Brooklyn Puerto Rican Fiesta On Tap


August 12, 2003
Copyright © 2003 New York Daily News, Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved. 

Lindsay Park in Williamsburg will sizzle to the music of salsa artist Hector Tricoche and his orchestra Sunday as Brooklyn celebrates its 10th Puerto Rican Day Parade.

An estimated 300,000 Puerto Ricans live or work in Brooklyn, parade organizers say, and thousands are expected to turn out for the annual celebration.

"Most of the people who go to the Puerto Rican parade in Manhattan come from Brooklyn," said Enrique Sandoval, president of Brooklyn Puerto Rican Day Parade Inc., which runs the event. In his opinion, Brooklyn is a much better place for displaying pride.

"We are Brooklynites. We are proud of Brooklyn," Sandoval said. "And we try to promote our heritage and our culture here."

Speaking in English and Spanish, Borough President Marty Markowitz kicked off the festive mood yesterday by issuing a proclamation to parade organizers.

"On Sunday, either you're Puerto Rican or you'll wish you were," he told a small crowd gathered on Borough Hall Plaza.

Markowitz said he would attend the parade and described it as "a fantastic opportunity for all of us in Brooklyn to get a taste of the vibrant and dynamic Puerto Rican community that Brooklyn is blessed to have."

He added, "Brooklyn is wealthier and richer because of the very large and growing Puerto Rican population in our borough. They have played an important role in making Brooklyn the greatest city in the world."

The celebration begins at 1 p.m. Sunday with a parade starting at Broadway and Graham Ave. in Williamsburg. The march ends at Lindsay Park, between Montrose Ave. and Boerum St.

In the park, performers scheduled in addition to Tricoche include Benny Vargas and Sonido Amante Orchestra, Angel Rosario - Angel de la Salsa, Tonin y Su Son Boriqua, Trio Caribeno, Martin Lopez and his orchestra and Conjunto Imagen.

This year's Cultural Queen of Cinnamon Skin is 20-year-old Jessenia Filomeno of Park Slope, an architecture and communications student at Pratt Institute.

Her court consists of young ladies ages 7 to 14, selected for their talents and academics.

Each member of the queen's court represents the city or town in Puerto Rico from which her family came.

Tiana Santiago, 7, represents Caguas, Puerto Rico, and said she's looking forward to dancing Sunday.

Chelsea Colon, 11, representing Yaucoc, Puerto Rico, said, "I just love being here with all the girls to do something for our culture. It's a great feeling to know you can do something for the community."

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