BUFFALO, N.Y. — The 18th annual Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of Western New York has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade was scheduled to take place on August 15 on Niagara Street in the City of Buffalo.
Charles Torres, president of the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of Western New York, says the concerts scheduled to happened on August 15 and August 16 at LaSalle Park have been canceled as well.
This year, organizers plan on honoring the achievements and contributions of the Puerto Rican and Hispanic community with a flag raising ceremony will be held in front of Buffalo City Hall on August 6 at noon.
"Every year the parade honors the achievements and contributions of the Puerto Rican and Hispanic community to the American fabric of life, to its diversity and to the ideals of justice, equality in inclusiveness for everyone," Torres said in a statement.
He added, "This year, we look forward to honoring those contributions, especially by those on the front lines of the pandemic, by having a brief flag raising ceremony at noon on August 6th, 2020 in front of Buffalo City Hall. As in years past, flags representing Puerto Rico and all Hispanic countries will be posted along Niagara Street."
Although the parade will not be held this year, the parade board is still finding ways to support and help the community. Torres says the parade board plans on donating over 1,000 backpacks to children in the community with the help of several sponsors.
"These backpacks will contain necessary supplies for school based learning, as well as provide a means to carry items should they have to travel (for internet connectivity) for online learning," Torres said.
The 19th annual Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of WNY will be held on August 21, 2021.