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Masses jam Manhattan along Sixth Avenue for return of National Dominican Day Parade

CBS New York logo CBS New York 8/14/2022 CBS New York Team

NEW YORK -- One of the city's biggest celebrations of Latino pride is back.

Sunday's National Dominican Day Parade was a much-needed celebration for the community, marking 40 years of the tradition that brings culture to New York City, CBS2's Astrid Martinez reported.

The parade returned to the city fully in person for the first time in three years. It took its usual route up Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, but this year with a special new meaning.

"It's amazing being here, the people, the environment, it's a whole new beginning. Three years without being here, now we're back and now we're back to celebrate," a woman named Miriam said.

One of the biggest Latino celebrations returned to a post-COVID New York. The National Dominican Day Parade went virtual since the pandemic started. Last year, there was a hybrid version.

"But we're back. We're going to be bigger than ever. We're going to be louder than ever. We're gonna be rowdier than ever and Dominican as ever," a man named Jesus said.

For Yoel, it's a chance to share his culture with his girlfriend and enjoy a 40-year-long tradition.

"I want her to experience the Dominican culture because she's American and I wanted to share that love. I think this is amazing time to show it," Yoel said.

Like in years' past, the parade took over a stretch of Sixth Avenue in Manhattan with traditional dances and costumes.

There were a number of special parade Dominican honorees, like Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.

Congressman Adriano Espaillat and Gov. Kathy Hochul kicked off the festivities.

"Donde están los Dominicanos," Espaillat said.

"To celebrate the Dominican Republic and the over 1 million strong who call New York home," Hochul said.

Sen. Chuck Schumer cut the ribbon and then took to the streets to march alongside the floats.

"Viva la República Dominicana," Schumer said.

And while the festivities were a chance to party, for the nonprofit who organizes the event it was also an opportunity to raise funds for food drives and scholarship opportunities to exceptional students of Dominican descent.

And with the amount of support and thousands of people who came to participate, organizers said they're already working on next year's festivities.

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