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New York City, NY - New York’s landmark Fifth Avenue will once again shine with Puerto Rican pride and culture, as the 17th Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade (55th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade since the event’s inception as a local organization), will take place on Sunday, June 10, 2012.
In a press conference held Tuesday, May 15th, at Banco Popular in Lower Manhattan, Madelyn Lugo, the Parade’s Chairperson, announced that this year's Parade theme is “Puerto Ricans and Higher Education”, in recognition of the outstanding achievements and contribution of Puerto Ricans at all-levels in adult and continuing education. The Parade's Grand Marshal is Dr. Félix Matos-Rodríguez, President of Hostos Community College (CUNY). The Godfather is Manuel J. Fernós, President of Puerto Rico's Inter-American University.
“The National Puerto Rican Day Parade remains the premiere family event that celebrates Puerto Rican pride and culture from around the world. This year we have an exciting line-up of honorees whose work has empowered and inspired countless others. I invite everyone to join us on June 10th for our glorious Parade celebration”, Lugo said.
New York Giants' superstar Victor Cruz will march as Athlete of the Year. The 2012 New York Godmother is actress and author Sonia Manzano, a pioneer in Public Television. The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to María Román Dumén, Co-Founder of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc. The Executive of the Year is Raul Russi, CEO of Acacia Network, Inc., for his outstanding contribution to the Parade.
The Parade will be dedicated to the hometown of Guayama (38 miles south of San Juan), marking the 276th anniversary of its foundation. The State dedication went to Ohio, where the Puerto Rican population reached 94,965 in 2010, according to the U.S. Census.
Other 2012 NPRDP dedications announced today are:
State Grand Marshal: Andrés González, Vice Chairperson, Ohio Latino Affairs Commission; Director of Diversity and Community Outreach, Cleveland Clinic.
Guests of Honor: Sal Abbatiello (Music Executive, creator of the legendary freestyle sensation “The Cover Girls”), Carmelo Anthony (NBA Star), Carlos Cabrera (DJ Casanova, Radio Personality), Mario Enrique Calderon (Broadcaster), Javier Colon (Music Artist, NBC's The Voice), Yoshlie S. Garcia (DJ Bacan Bacan, Radio Personality), Tania Lopez (Local Entrepreneur, “Coqui The Chef”), E & J (Latin Music Group), Nilda Rosario (Journalist, Univision 41), Mayra Santos-Febres (Author, Poet and Educator).
International Guest of Honor: Rafael Pineda (Legendary Broadcaster, b. Cuba)
Ambassador of Good Will: Jessenia Filomeno (Volunteer and Community Activist)
Ambassador of Music: Alex Sensation
Corporate Acknowledgment: La Rosa del Monte
Puerto Rican Immortals (for Puerto Rican luminaries who have recently passed):
· Dr. Ricardo Alegría (1921-2011), known as the “Father of Modern Puerto Rican Archeology”.
· Cardinal Luis Aponte Martínez (1922-2012), first and only Puerto Rican
Cardinal in history.
· Ruth Fernández (1919-2012), legendary entertainer and former Puerto
Rico Commonwealth Senator
Lugo announced that the Parade will conduct a voter registration awareness campaign called“Voto Boricua”(Puerto Rican Vote). The Parade will also continue its environmental awareness campaign in partnership with the Sierra Club, and will pay a special tribute to Puerto Rico's Inter-American University on its 100th Anniversary.
The 17th Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade (55th Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York) will begin at 11:00 am on 44th Street, making its way north along Fifth Avenue to 79th Street. The event will be broadcast live by Fox 5/MY9, and in Puerto Rico through Telemundo of Puerto Rico.
Lugo and the Parade's Board of Directors called on parade marchers and spectators to display Puerto Rican flags without any symbols.
For up-to-date information, FAQ's, Parade guidelines, and the entire calendar of events leading up to the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, the public can visit www.nationalpuertoricandayparade.org or call 718-401-0404. The Parade and related events can also be followed on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube.