On Sunday, August 9, 2020, the National Dominican Day Parade left its usual place on Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue for a televised Dominican variety show hosted by actress Celines Toribio and comedian Ruperto Vanderpool on abc7ny.com. A single parade float honored the community and our first responders
Many New York City leaders and Dominican artists joined the show from home. Actors Zoë Saldaña and Manuel Pérez gave shout outs.
Political leaders included U.S. Representative Adriano Espraillat, Governor Cuomo, Mayor De Blasio, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Attorney General Letitia James, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Union leader Henry A. Garrido and many more. The NYPD and NYFD were present.
It seems like all of New York City supports the National Dominican Day Parade.
Here’s a full list of the honorees and special guests.
A Float Filled with Dominican Spirit
A single float filled with Dominican Spirit made stops in a couple of New York City’s Dominican communities. The first stop was to honor the community in front of the United Palace in Washington Heights. The second stop was to honor our first responders at the North Central Bronx Hospital in Norwood, The Bronx.
Carnival group Los Andulleros De Santiago (Facebook) and folk dancers from the Father Billini Cultural Association dance group (Facebook) filled the float and the neighborhoods with their good spirits.
Everyone was properly masked and observing family bubbles and other COVID-19 precautions.
Lots of Dominican Flags
Jennifer Hidalgo, co-director of Los Andulleros de Santiago, will wave her beautiful flag until her arm falls off. Dominican American pride is unstoppable!
Merengue Music & Dancing
If there is music, we dance, so we always play music. These wonderful folk dancers are Yovana Perez and Landy Familia from the Father Billini Association cultural dance group.
Young People Learned Our Culture
Education is one of the keys to success in life. That’s Bertilia Peralta, Frederick Familia, Steven Valdez and Moises Vazquez enjoying their lessons.
First Responders Were Thanked for Their Heroism
Los Andulleros de Santiago Director David Nuñez dances with an essential hospital worker. Many Dominicans work in health care. Let’s protect them by protecting yourself.
The Carnival Queen Made Everyone Smile
The Carnival Queen is Mily Peters. All you can do with a smile like that is smile back.
Roba la Gallina Ran Around Looking for Plump Chickens
Moises Vasquez shows her/his best Roba la Gallina.
She/he didn’t throw any candy to the children this year, but will be back next year with a full purse. Hide your chickens, Roba la Gallina is coming. 😂
But especially in this time of universal hardship, maybe we can understand that Roba la Gallina is a good mother who only steals chickens to feed her family.
Lechones of Santiago Cracked Their Whips
They made sure that everyone stayed safe and in good spirits by cracking their whips to scare away bad spirits. Every town has its own unique Carnival traditions. The Lechones are from Santiago de Los Caballeros in the Northern Dominican Republic.
The gallant lechones are Frederick Familia and Steven Valdez.
This is Grand Lechon David Nuñez.
Youth lechon Steven Valdez cracks his whip in front of North Central Bronx Hospital.
Everybody Gets Dominican Spirit
Dominican Spirit is love. Everyone understands that. You don’t even need to be Dominican.
Support Dominican Scholarships
We had a lot of fun, but the parade’s real purpose is to support scholarships for promising students of Dominican descent. Young Dominican Americans are our future and yours too.
The parade curates a really strong group of young people and supports them in many ways. There is never enough for everyone who deserves it. Please give what you can.
Congratulations to the National Dominican Day Parade Scholarship Class of 2020! We are so proud of you, our future.
- Betsy Vasquez ~ Neuroscience, Princeton 2020, University of Pennsylvania, GPA 3, 2022
- Chelsea Polanco ~ Computer Science, NYU, GPA 3.1, 2021
- Ramses Pena ~ Justice Peace Sociology, Georgetown, GPA 3.1, 2023
- Gabriel Marte ~ Kinesiology, Pre-Health, Temple University, Drexel University MBA, GPA 3.2, 2022
- Daniela F. Pena Cabreja ~ Voice Performance, Business Administration, Western Michigan University, GPA 3.2, 2020/2022
- Shantal Perez Vasquez ~ Technology Innovation Management & Marketing, Drexel University, GPA 3,4, 2021
- Assul Larancuent ~ Bio Engineering, Syracuse University, GPA 3.4, 2023
- Genesis Gomez ~ Undecided, Queens College, GPA, 3.5, 2024
- Gennyfer Pena ~ Biology, Northwestern State University, GPA 3.6, 2021
- Joel De La Cruz ~ Economics, Baruch CUNY, GPA 3.6, 2022
- Jessy Lopez Correa ~ Public Health, William Paterson University, GPA 3.7, 2020
- Rachall Temple ~ Accounting, Lehman College, GPA 3.7, 2021
- Amable Aristy ~ Sports Management, University of Connecticut, GPA 3.7, 2021
- Arlin Arias ~ Chemstry, Bosston College, GPA, 3.7, 2022
- Mariah Ramirez ~ Bilingual Childhood Education, CCNY, GPA 3.8, 2o21
- Melvin Urena ~ Computer Networks & Cyber Security, Monroe, GPA 3.8, 2021
- Alisa Colon ~ Justice Peace, Georgetown University, GPA 3.8, 2023
- Danielle Ramirez ~ Health, Stony Brook, GPA 3.8, 2023
- Danny Rojas ~ Education Leadership PhD, Harvard, GPA 3.9, 2022
- Gerilynn Castillo ~ International Community Health Services, CCNY, HS GPA 4.0, 2024
- Michelle Bueno Vásquez ~ Political Science, Northwestern PhD Candidate, GPA 4.0, 2024
- Daniella Mancebo ~ Undeclared, Bergen Community College, GPA 4.95, 2024
- Francisco Nunez ~ Undeclared, University of Miami, HS GPA 5.2, 2024
- Laura De Los Santos ~ Undeclared, Binghamton University, GPA 95, 2024
- Jose Bencosme Pena, Undeclared, Lafayette College, GPA 97.1, 2024
- Melannie Estrella, Health & Sciences, Manhattan College, GPA 97.3, 2024
These are not niños bien. If these young Dominican Americans can create a bright future, so can you!
Thank You Sponsors
- Tito’s Handmade Vodka
- ABC 7 News
- Emblem Health
- El Diario
- NYC Health+Hospitals
- Univision 41 Nueva York
- Rosalyn Yalow Charter School
- Pix 11
- Ponce Bank
- Telemundo 47
- Hostos Community College
- Delta Airlines
- Manhattan Beer Distributors
- Manhattan Mini Storage
- Workspace Offices
- El Especialito
The youth lechon is Frederick Familia. He looks so grown up.
Be safe. Mask up and social distance or the Lechones will come looking for you.😂
Photos courtesy Cindy Trinh for New York Latin Culture Magazine.