Puerto Rican Day Parade brings vibrance to Williamsburg
Williamsburg was filled with vibrant colors, music, and a big festival on Sunday as dozens flooded the streets for the community's first Puerto Rican Day parade.
Back in January, residents said the City Council approved to change the Graham Avenue "Avenue of Puerto Rico" sign to only read Graham Avenue. That decision created tension in the neighborhood and people say they couldn't let that happen.
"We said, 'We're not going to go nowhere. We want to let the world know we're not going anywhere. But if they took our sign off, they're going to take other signs off," said Alajandro Zayas, committee member of Desfile de la Avenida de Puerto Rico Parade.
According to elected officials, the removal of the "Avenue of Puerto Rico" sign was a mistake.
"Somebody that has no sense of history and doesn't understand what the 'Avenue of Puerto Rico' means to Williamsburg decided to just move forward with a policy without understanding the background," explained Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.
Residents demanded that the sign be returned, and local advocates said the mistake inspired the parade.
Organizers said the community wanted to express themselves and show the city that the Latino community is in Williamsburg and their history will never be erased.
They said the festival is more than just a parade but a celebration of culture, heritage, and what it means to be Latino.