You are reading

Colombian pride on full display during festive Jackson Heights parade

Colombian Americans march in the annual Colombian Independence Day Parade in Jackson Heights on July 23. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

July 24, 2023 By By Gabriele Holtermann

It was all about Colombian pride and culture at the annual Colombian Independence Day Parade in Jackson Heights on Sunday, July 23.

Colombian Americans march in the annual Colombian Independence Day Parade in Jackson Heights on July 23. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Colombian Americans came out in droves and lined up along Northern Boulevard between 69th and 85th streets, waving Colombian flags and cheering on dancers donning traditional Colombian costumes, floats, marchers and elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, state Sen. Jessica Ramos and Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer marches in the annual Colombian Independence Day Parade in Jackson Heights on July 23. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Cruz, who was born in Colombia and came to the United States when she was 9 years old, was visibly excited to celebrate Colombia’s rich culture with her peers. 

“We’re back. We’re finally back after almost four years of a hiatus of this amazing parade,” Cruz said. “For me, having been born in Colombia, getting to celebrate with our community, our culture, is just beautiful. I am elated. I am exhausted from work, but I am elated [with] happiness being here.”

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz marches in the annual Colombian Independence Day Parade in Jackson Heights on July 23. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

The parade celebrates Colombia’s declaration of independence from Spain more than 200 years ago and was first held in 2000. 

Jackson Heights, home to the largest Colombian population in New York City, is often referred to as “La Pequeña Colombia” or “Little Colombia.”

Colombian-Americans march in the annual Colombian Independence Day Parade in Jackson Heights. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Jackson Heights resident Andrea Sanchez enjoyed the parade with her mother Diana and boyfriend, Aldo Gallegos. 

Sanchez said they try and attend the parade every year because it celebrates the Colombian community in the area.

(Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

She mostly enjoyed the music and the liveliness of the event. 

“It reminds you of being back home,” Sanchez said. 

Gallegos was there because of his girlfriend and her mom. 

“I’m not Colombian, I’m Ecuadorian,” Gallegos clarified. “I actually do want to see what this is all about. It’s really nice to experience.”

(Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Mario Silva, owner of Fabrika, which has been serving modern Latin fusion food “with a twist” in the heart of Jackson Heights for a little over a year, said celebrating Colombia’s independence “meant the world” to him. 

“It feels like being part of Colombia, but in New York,” Silva said. 

Cole and Patrick were visiting from Long Island because they had family members dancing in the parade. It was their first time attending the parade.

(Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

“We don’t know what to expect,” Cole admitted. “So we’re just kind of like open to seeing what it’s about.”

Liliana and Cesil Quintero trekked to Jackson Heights from Far Rockaway to enjoy the beautiful day. 

(Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Cecil Quintero, who immigrated to the United States 50 years ago, looked forward to celebrating “with his people.”

“It’s nice with the people here. This is my country, Colombia,” Quintero said.

(Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Members of the NYPD march in the annual Colombian Independence Day Parade in Jackson Heights on July 23. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Police officer injured during traffic stop in South Ozone Park after driver speeds off: NYPD

Police from the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park are actively searching for the driver of a sports car responsible for injuring an officer during a traffic stop on Sunday evening.

The driver of a black Corvette was traveling westbound on Rockaway Boulevard when officers pulled him for speeding just after 9 p.m. near the intersection of Centerville Street and 109th Avenue in South Ozone Park. As one of the officers approached the vehicle, the driver stepped on the accelerator running over the cop’s foot as the Corvette sped away from the scene, police said.

Maspeth man faces life in prison for 2020 fatal stabbing in Dutch Kills: DA

A Maspeth man who was caught by transit cops vaping inside a Brooklyn subway station in January is facing as much as 75 years to life in prison for stabbing a Dutch Kills man to death four years ago.

Luis Hernandez, 36, of 56th Street, was arraigned Tuesday in Queens Supreme Court on a seven-count indictment charging him with murder, gang assault and other crimes in the fatal stabbing of a 21-year-old man and the attempted murder of two others in Astoria in 2020.