P.R. Parade returning to its roots for 20th anniversary

Several weeks ago I attended the last meeting of the Puerto Rican Parade organization’s calendar year. (Their organization’s calendar begins on Nov. 1, which is when the last year’s planning is already wrapped and next year’s planning has begun.) Elections were held at the meeting for new leadership and Millie Maldonado, founder of the city’s parade organization, was elected to take over the helm once again as president.

It’s a return to its roots for the parade organization, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary parade and festival in July 2013.

The rest of the board consists of: Helen Cora, secretary; former councilwoman Maria Valle, vice president; Luz Martinez, treasurer; and Raul Ruiz, sergeant of arms.

The parade organization had a rough year and the new leadership has said they would like to return to the true roots of the Puerto Rican culture by providing exposure to the artwork, history and music.

They will kick off their first meeting since the elections on Wednesday (Nov.14) at 6 p.m. at the Habitat for Humanity office on Barnum Avenue (next to People’s United Bank branch). That’s the perfect opportunity for the public to express new ideas, suggestions, to offer to volunteer or just get a sense of where the group is headed.

Also, Friday, Nov. 16, the organization is kicking off its 20th anniversary events with a “Recuerdos de la Patria” event, or Memories of the Homeland” in English. The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 1691 Main St. in Bridgeport. Attendees will be treated to wine, cheese and special guests talking about traditional music and dances from the Caribbean island, the bomba and plena, among others.

I’m going to try to attend both, even just for a little while. Hopefully, this will be a positive start to an anniversary year that can showcase the positive sides not just of the Puerto Rican culture but also of the city of Bridgeport.

Here’s the Friday event info:

“Recuerdos de mi Patria” in Commemoration of the Discovery of Puerto Rico

Author Marta Soledad with her 3rd published book
Amamantando el Tiempo

Emmy Award Winning Producer\Director Frank Borres with his documentary
Puerto Rican Passages

Musical Artist Asher Delerme
Accompanied by Dancer Deneisha Valazquez

Short Story Writer Jose Sanchez

Poet Helen Cora

Art by Artist Noe Alicea to be displayed

Music provided by DJ JROC and DJ Problema

Friday, November 16, 2012
1691 Cafe and Lounge
1691 Main Street, Bridgeport
Complimentary Wine and Cheese
A Suggested Donation of $15 Per Person
For tickets call 203-260-7955 or hcora@optonline.net

Keila Torres Ocasio