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June 16, 2023


Media Contact: Kelvin Molina-Brantley, Puerto Rican Parade President



Second contact: Shirley L. Rodríguez

Puerto Rican Parade Administrator



Press Release


For Immediate Release


Springfield Puerto Rican Parade “Nunca Olvides Tus Raíces

(Never Forget Your Roots)”

Kickoff Celebration and Reveal of our Ambassador Honorees

Location: White Lion Brewing Company



SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – Thursday, June 29, 2023 - 6:00pm-7:00pm Puerto Rican Parade Kickoff Celebration and Ambassador Honorees Reveal.


The Springfield Puerto Rican Parade has been celebrated for 33 years. Our 2023 theme “Nunca Olvides Tus Raíces” translates into “Never forget your roots.” The culture of Puerto Rico is a combination of Taino, Spanish, and African cultures. The Taino community people were among the first ones to settle in Puerto Rico. Even after Spanish people arrived, they tended to marry Taino Indian women to fulfil their motive of populating the country. Springfield has a rich representation of 47.5% of Latin/x/o community members and you can see it expressed through art, culture, traditions, music, festivals, and entrepreneurial leaders.


The parade kickoff celebration promises to be an evening filled with cultural pride and anticipation for the upcoming parade. The Committee is overjoyed to announce the kickoff celebration and exciting unveiling of ambassador honorees representing the categories of: Civil Service, Madrina (Godmother), Padrino (Godfather), Cultural, Youth, Sports, LGBTQIA+, Community Organization, plus one more special announcement.


One of the highlights of the evening will be the announcement of this year's Grand Marshal, Waleska Lugo-DeJesús. Waleska, is the CEO of Inclusive Strategies and Salsa Sal Pa Fuera DEI Advisor - nationally certified Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging facilitator dedicated to creating meaningful social change, with a human-centered, racial healing approach, addressing systemic racism for equitable environments, and communities. “Waleska’s selection as the Grand Marshal signifies her outstanding contributions to the community and her commitment to fostering positive social change.” shared Kelvin Molina, Springfield Puerto Rican Parade President.


We invite media representatives, community leaders, and the public to join us at the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade kickoff celebration. This event will serve as a testament to the unity and cultural pride that the parade represents while honoring the ambassadors who will play a vital role in promoting and representing the parade in their respective categories.


Members of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade will be present to share insights about the parade's mission, its significance in celebrating Puerto Rican culture, and the upcoming festivities planned for the community.


About the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade: The Springfield Puerto Rican Parade is an annual celebration of cultural pride, arts, and education that honors the 3.3 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico and over 5 million people residing in the United States. The parade spans 2.1 miles through the city center, starting from the north-end neighborhood and ending in downtown. It was founded in 1989, in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo, to uplift the spirits of the community and recognize the contributions made by the Puerto Rican community. Now in its 33rd year, the parade has grown significantly in size and scope.


Mission: is to uplift and empower the community by celebrating Puerto Rican culture, challenging stereotypes, preserving heritage, providing a sanctuary for cultural expression, representing the island, and leaving a legacy.



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