Aug. 5, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
Bolivian Independence Day and Ecuadorian Independence Day will be celebrated during separate events in Sunnyside over the coming days.
The events, which will feature various cultural performances, will recognize residents and business owners whose heritage emanates from Bolivia and Ecuador. Both nations declared independence from Spain in the early 1800s after prolonged wars.
The Bolivian Independence Day celebrations will be held Saturday, Aug. 6 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. outside Bolivian Llama Party, a Bolivian restaurant located at 44-14 48th Ave.
The event will feature Bolivian dance performances, a live DJ and a photo booth.
Attendees will also get to savor traditional Bolivian food such as pique a lo macho, which is a heaping plate of bite-sized pieces of beef, French fry-cut potatoes, onions, locoto and egg. Savory items will include salteñas which are pastries filled with meat, spicy sauce, olives, raisins and potatoes.
It is being organized by the owners of Bolivian Llama Party, Patrick, David and Alex Oropeza.
Meanwhile, the Ecuadorian Independence Day festivities will take place on Thursday, Aug. 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bliss Plaza, located at 46th Street and Queens Boulevard.
The celebrations will include performances by Ayazamana, an Astoria-based Ecuadorian dance group, and musician Inti Paucar who will play Andean music, which is a type of folk music that comes from the Andes region in South America.
Speakers will include Council Member Julie Won and Woodside resident Judge Carmen Velasquez, who is the first Ecuadorian to serve as a judge for the Civil Court and Supreme Court of the State of New York.
The Ecuadorian Independence Day event is being organized by the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID). It will be the first time the BID has held an event to celebrate Ecuadorian Independence Day.
Dirk McCall, Executive Director of Sunnyside Shines, said the event is open to people of all backgrounds and will be a fantastic opportunity to experience South American culture.
“People love seeing residents celebrate their different cultures and heritage,” McCall said.
McCall said that there is a large concentration of Ecuadorians living in Sunnyside and many are business owners.
“They contribute so much to Sunnysides’s economic growth and Sunnyside’s success,” McCall said. “The Ecuadorian community is some of the hardest working people you are ever going to meet, they are an immigrant success story.”
He said he expects well over 200 people to attend The Ecuadorian Independence Day celebrations.
He also implored residents to come out and support the Bolivian Independence Day event tomorrow.
“It should be a great event,” McCall said. “The food at Bolivian Lama Party is out of this world, it’s delicious.”
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