SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Thousands of spectators lined Main Street from the north end to downtown Springfield Sunday for the city’s 26th annual Puerto Rican Parade.
Yashira Soto from Springfield told 22News, “I am from Puerto Rico. I was born on the island and I’ve been here in Massachusetts for 26 years. It means a lot to us to be a part of the community and impact the community here in Springfield.”
The Puerto Rican flag was held high and music played throughout the streets. Where there is music there is dancing; not just in the parade itself, but in the crowds. It doesn’t matter what age you are; the music is infectious.
More than 4,000 people marched in the parade. Among the floats were the Puerto Rican Horsemen.
Jose Rubero of the Puerto Rican Horseman told 22News, “We’re bringing the caballos pacifino, we’re showing them in the parade. Puerto Rico’s National horse. The smoothest riding horse in the ride. The only chiropractor recommended breed of horse in the world and we’re here to steal the show. We’ve got about four pacifinos here today, and as you can see there’s a lot of excitement. Check me out. Vamos!”
Along the parade route on Main Street there were food trucks with traditional Puerto Rican foods like empanadas, roasted pork shoulder, and creole to snack on.
Residents 22News spoke with said it’s not only a day to celebrate their heritage, but also preserve the life they’ve created in a place they now call home. Even a little rain was not going to outshine their pride.