Volume 23, Number 5 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | June 11 - 17, 2010
Parade’s original Godfather declines to lead celebration
This Sunday will mark the Puerto Rican Day Parade’s 53rd annual celebration, but there is a cloud hanging over it this year. Osvaldo Ríos, a musician, model and actor from Puerto Rico, was chosen to be the International Godfather of the parade, but he recently declined the offer under mounting criticism of his past arrest in Puerto Rico for domestic violence.
Based on last year’s numbers, there will be at least 80,000 vibrant marchers and nearly 3 million spectators cheering from the sidewalks.
New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade is the largest of its kind in the city. The parade is a mass event for New York City to celebrate Puerto Rican and Nuyorican culture. Attendees openly exhibit pride in their heritage and tradition.
A recent history of male arrests for violent sexual assault and robbery, especially in 2000 and 2007, however, has plagued the event.
Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer released a statement about the matter, calling it a “misguided move that offended survivors of domestic abuse and their supporters alike.” He also wrote, however, that “I look forward to a 2010 New York City Puerto Rican Day Parade that can move forward with these values in mind.”
Spectators and marchers will wake up in the morning and cover Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street. Delegates from Puerto Rico and other states across the nation will be in attendance. The event, which will be televised on FOX 5 with afternoon footage on WOR Channel of New Jersey, has routinely received the top local Nielsen rating for television stations in the New York area.
— Michael Mandelkern