Coming back after a gap of two years, the much anticipated Pasadena Latino Heritage Parade and Festival on Saturday morning will feature 50 entrants and two special equestrian groups. More than 2,000 participants and spectators are expected to attend.
Festivities start at 10 a.m. at Los Robles Avenue and Prescott Street, where the parade heads south on Los Robles and ends at Villa Parke Community Center, 363 E. Villa St. Immediately following the parade, the festival will feature live entertainment by local groups and headliner La Sonora Dinamita with Vilma Diaz, educational booths, free activities for children, and food available for purchase.
“We were lucky this year to get equestrian groups that we haven’t had in the past,” Bob Monzon, Chairman of the Pasadena Latino Heritage Committee, said. “These are going to be horses that actually come from Spain and they reached out to us and wanted to participate in the parade.”
Monzon cited successful logistics management as one of the key factors to ensure everything runs smoothly the parade.
“A lot of it is logistics, making sure we have the right mix of groups participating in the parade, that we line them up properly at the beginning and that they all check in and register. Pasadena Media will be providing announcements of the groups that are going by the parade, providing the community a little bit of background on each group and doing a quick interview.”
“We’ll be taking full advantage of social media as well to let the community know what we’re doing and how it’s going. Most of the planning on the back side, like I said, is the logistics. Making sure that we plan properly, close the streets properly, have enough security, have a good mix, and provide groups that will entertain the community. That’s really the secret sauce,”
Monzon said the 24th Pasadena Latino Heritage Parade and Festival was originally scheduled for Oct. 15 but was moved ahead to this weekend.
“The committee is pretty well rounded,” he said. “Some of us have been on the committee for a number of years, and so we work closely with the City of Pasadena and their staff to do the planning and the organizing. And so everyone adapted to the schedule change and we’ve been able to get the word out.”
Monzon said they expect a large number of people on Saturday’s parade as spectators along the route and at Villa Parke, where the annual Festival takes place. Two equestrian groups have confirmed they will be participating, and quite a few bands will be in the parade.
“We have well over 14 VIPs and participants that will be in the parade, so we’re looking forward to a really exciting time,” he said. “I would encourage the community to take advantage of this, bring their lounge chairs and get along the parade route early.”
At Villa Parke, vendor booths will sell all kinds of souvenirs for the event, and live entertainment begins at noon. Food vendors will be around the park as well.
“This year we’re proud to say that we have Sonora Dinamita coming back; they’ll be doing their salsa and Cumbia dancing.” Monzon said. “I think this weekend’s going to be a lot of fun.”
This year’s Latino Parade and Festival theme is “De Colores,” which means “an array of colors.”
At a kick-off party for the Latino Parade and Festival early in September, Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo said the event is “yet again another celebration of our diversity in Pasadena.”
In the same event, Monzon introduced Liliana Perez, the Cultural Affairs Director for the Los Angeles Chargers, as the 2022 Grand Marshal for this year’s parade, and Yolanda Trevino, Executive Director of the Pasadena/Altadena Coalition of Transformative Leaders (PACTL), as the parade’s Community Marshal.
For more information about the parade and festival, visit www.pasadenalatinoheritageparade.org.