Latino Heritage Parade and Jamaica Fills Streets of Northwest Pasadena

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Posted By : Article and Photography by RACHEL YOUNG

Posted On : 12:10 pm | October 20, 2013


 

Hundreds of families lined the streets of Northwest Pasadena to catch a glimpse of the 1,000 participants dancing and prancing down Washington Boulevard in the 15th Annual Latino Heritage Parade and Jamaica on Saturday.

With 35 different entries, the parade showed a variety of marching bands, traditional folk dancers, Aztec Dancers, horsemen, old cars, school groups and more.

The parade began on Los Robles Avenue at Howard Street, turned onto Washington Boulevard and ended at La Pintoresca Park on N. Raymond Ave. The post-parade festival was also at La Pintoresca Park.

This year’s theme, “Celebrando los 15” (Celebrating 15) brought to life—with on-site activities and period re-enactors—what life for Latinos was like during 1912-1932 in the greater Pasadena area.

Sadly, this 15th annual parade marked parade founder Roberta Martínez’s last parade as president, but with the increased involvement she believes the parade will continue.

“This is the 4th year we’ve had 1,000 people in the parade. And the fact that the city has stepped up to be more and more supportive tells me that as my role is changing that it will continue, it will change and evolve,” Martínez said.

Congresswoman Judy Chu, Mayor Bill Bogaard, Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson, Councilmember John Kennedy, Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, Superintendent Jon Gundry, former Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, School Board Members Mikala Rahn and Tom Selinske all participated in the parade.

“This fair and parade celebrates the great contributions of Latinos to Pasadena. I am so glad so much has happened in this city with the Latino recognition ceremony and the Latino heritage month resolution, this parade and celebration just caps it off,” Congresswoman Judy Chu said.

Honorary Grand Marshal Dan Guerrero is a producer, writer, author and son of the folk music legend and social activist, Lalo Guerrero. The parade’s Community Grand Marshal this year was Alice Mijares; owner of Mijares Restaurant. The recipients of the Doña Eulalia Award, which honors Eulalia Pérez de Mariné, were Alex Schultz of the Visual Arts and Design Academy at Pasadena High School and Diane Walker, former Librarian at La Pintoresca Branch Library.

Martínez was inspired by an Irish Parade more than 15 years ago here in Pasadena. She thought if there were enough Irish to make a parade, and what with all the other parades—African American, Doo Dah, Rose, and Rosebud—then certainly Latinos making up more than 30 percent of Pasadena, they deserved a parade as well. The parade has grown every year, becoming a well-recognized event in the past few years and growing even larger this year.

“Everybody is Latino today, everybody,” Chief Sanchez said excitedly in his address from the stage.

This event was sponsored by Latino Heritage and the City of Pasadena.