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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Next month’s PR parade & festival in Orlando dedicated to Loíza

From left, Florida Puerto Rican Parade Committee Chairman Ralph Morales, Loíza Mayor Julia Nazario Fuentes and committee member Pablo Cáceres.

By The Star Staff

This year’s Florida Puerto Rican Parade and Festival, to be held on Saturday, April 22 in Orlando, will be dedicated to Loíza and its culture.

At a press event held this week at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida Puerto Rican Parade Committee Chairman Ralph Morales said “the Puerto Rican Parade and Festival are the emblematic events of our organization, in order to provide residents and visitors with the opportunity to highlight the enriching culture, heritage and contributions of the Puerto Rican community in the state of Florida.”

“This year’s theme of the festivities is ‘Economic Development and Business Opportunities’ for our communities,” he added.

Loíza Mayor Julia Nazario Fuentes, who participated in the press conference along with Loíza Municipal Assembly Speaker Joel Osorio Chiclana, said that “for us it is a great joy to have been selected by the Florida Puerto Rican Parade organization.”

“This activity is a unique exhibition platform to highlight our culture and gastronomy, and promote tourist attractions here in Florida and throughout the United States,” she said. “We are very grateful.”

Osorio Chiclana added that “cultural promotion is directly tied to economic and sports development, because in Loíza we have everything from first class gastronomy to cultural expressions that are unique in the world.”

The parade will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. leaving the intersection of North Rosalind Avenue and East Robinson Street, running along North Orange Avenue and ending at the intersection with West Livingston Street. The festival, which will take place in different stations from West Amelia Street to Orange Avenue until 11 p.m, will include musical performances and more than 100 food, drink and amenities stalls.

The event’s grand marshal is Puerto Rican doctor Arcilio Alvarado, president of Advantage Medical Group. The prominent medical industry entrepreneur stated that “it is a great joy to serve and be part of this great event.”

“Our mission is to serve and on this occasion, celebrate our magnificent culture,” he said.

Dr. Alvarado is the grandson of Arcilio Alvarado Alvarado, who was speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives from 1965 to 1968.

The event will feature the participation of loiceños musical groups that will travel to Orlando for the occasion, such as Grupo Belelé, Junte Loiceño, Comparsa Tradiciones Loiceñas, Florecer Loiceño, Grupo Afrikta’al and Parranderos de Loíza, among others. Also participating, on behalf of SBS and El Nuevo Zol 95.3 FM, will be the talents El Molusco, La Burbu, Pamela Noa, Rocky The Kid, El Giga and Robert FantaCuca.

The Florida Puerto Rican Parade and Festival will be honored with the presence of loiceña Marilyn Mercado, a native of the Tocones Community who arrived at age 12 in Boston.

“I have always held high my racial, cultural and Puerto Rican background, as a beauty queen, actress and model on Univision and Telemundo,” Mercado said.

On behalf of the office of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeannette Quiñones Hernández, who is in charge of the office’s Hispanic Outreach section, confirmed the presence of that office at the event.

“For Senator Rubio, the Puerto Rican community and the culture is very important,” she said, emphasizing “the unique blend of Taino and African cultures” found on the island and celebrated perhaps most proudly in Loíza.

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Rose Rose
Rose Rose
Mar 24, 2023

Rose Rose
Rose Rose
Mar 24, 2023
Replying to

Some people seriously need to take history and theology

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