Brooklyn’s second largest parade kicks off Panamanian Day – Carib Vibe Radio
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Brooklyn’s second largest parade kicks off Panamanian Day

On Oct. 8. the largest assembly of Panamanians held outside the Republic will parade pride and culture of the 210,000 immigrant population who live in the United States.
With just 35,000 allegedly residing here, for 26 years, their Day of Independence Committee of Panama in New York, Inc is reputed for hosting Brooklyn’s second largest parade.
Rivaled only by the West Indian American Day Association’s multi-national, end of summer spectacle through Crown Heights and Park Slope, the annual heritage salute celebrates a single nation’s separation from Colombia in 1903.
Red, white and blue buntings, traditional Panamanian empanadas, tamales, carimanoals, sancocho, rosca bread, and foods that distinguish the uniqueness of the “bridge of the world” will likely provide a feast for the festival of folkloric exhibition.
Acclaimed for its geographic location, the isthmus combines an eclectic Caribbean population with European Spanish traditions to produce an enviable demographic of citizens.
That diversity will be on display next Saturday.
A moving cultural display of women dressed in polleras, men wearing white montuno shirts and indigenous natives parading colorful, embroidered, molas is expected to dominate fashions worn at the daylong event which previews Manhattan’s gathering of other Spanish-speaking nationals the following day.
Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the 27th annual tribute kicks off from Franklin Ave. and Bergen St. before meandering past businesses and enterprising outlets mostly owned by immigrants from the English, French, Dutch and Spanish Caribbean.
Recently in a conversation with visiting Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, DICPNY Committee official, Maria McKenzie explained the merits of the celebration.
“Every year we work hard to make improvements to the parade. This year we will not have as many groups from Panama as we usually invite.”
“The COVID-19 and delays in issuing visas limited the usual participation of groups that normally travel here.”
McKenzie said nevertheless, on Saturday, there will be no lag in the parade and spectators can expect the same spectacular parade presented in previous years.
Honorees will include Consul General Elias M. Levy C, Ambassador H.E. Ramon E. Martinez de la Guardia and Professor Gregorio Mayers.
She said, Grand Marshalls Dr. Leticia Thomas Bereton, Prof. Gerardo Malomey Francis, and his international compadre along with Padrino Porfiro Betegon Lara, Antonio Archibold, Guillermo A. Pascal and Earl Phillips will continue the tradition.
“It’s an anticipated event nationals expect.”
“Last year when other parades were postponed or canceled, the Panama parade attracted a big crowd.”
Special guests this year will be Kadine Anckle and Idania Dowman.
And local marching bands representing the Republic will not be in short supply.
Onstage near the Brooklyn Museum tamborito will highlight musical showcases featuring presentations of salsa, Latin jazz, cumbia and reggaeton.
Emcee Siria Miranda will introduce the stellar lineup of talents.
As for a special attraction, Willie Panama is billed to perform at the Classon Ave./Eastern Parkway junction where a street fair annually guarantees vendors and treats from the isthmus.
An after-party at Tropical Breeze Ballroom at Utica Ave. will continue the revelry.

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