Pride on parade

Pride on parade

The 15th Annual Latino Heritage Parade and Jamaica honors the city’s Latino community Saturday

By Carl Kozlowski 10/17/2013

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Pasadena has had a vibrant Latino community throughout its history, which has particularly flourished since the creation of the group that became Latino Heritage in 1998.  That organization has launched an annual parade and jamaica celebration, established a literacy program at the La Pintoresca branch of the Pasadena Library, created an annual Dio de los Muertos event at Caltech, convinced the city to honor Cesar Chavez with a citywide celebration, and established a Spanish language preschool day camp and monthly Spanish film series at the Crawford Family Forum.   

On Saturday, the group celebrates its many successes with the 15th Annual Latino Heritage Parade and Jamaica. The parade will kick off at 11 a.m. at the intersection of North Los Robles Avenue and Howard Street before heading south to Washington Boulevard, where it will turn west to the La Pintoresca Park and Library, located at 1355 N. Raymond Avenue, for the jamaica from noon to 4 p.m. Admission to both events is free. 

With more than 1,000 marchers participating in the parade and 100 volunteers making sure things run smoothly, Latino Heritage Executive Director Roberta H. Martinez notes that the day’s events are an example of how far the community has come and how strongly it will continue to grow. 

“It’s a very local parade and the group putting it together is an all-volunteer organization,” says Martinez. “It’s really exciting to see the city offering support with logistics and permits after seeing how successful it is. It used to be we had to run around and get all the permits, and then have to figure out where to go and how to get there after our regular jobs because practically none of us are city employees.

“It’s also wonderful that we have about 30 people on the steering committee and at least 100 volunteers on the day of the event,” Martinez continues. “Some people mostly speak Spanish, some English, some are bilingual, and some are immigrants while some were born here. This year, we had students from the high schools who were also part of the committee, so that’s a sign that things will remain strong and growing for a long time to come.”

This year’s parade will feature community organizations, Folklorio groups, marching bands, equestrians and the La Reina de Las Fiestas Patrias and Court in addition to the PUSD All-District Middle School Marching Band. Free arts and crafts workshops, as well as food trucks, will be part of the jamaica. 

The Honorary Grand Marshal will be Dan Guerrero, producer, writer, author and son of folk music legend and social activist Lalo Guerrero. The parade’s Community Grand Marshal this year is Alice Mijares, owner of Mijares Restaurant. 

The recipients of this year’s Doña Eulalia Award, which honors Eulalia Pérez de Mariné, are Alex Schultz of the Visual Arts and Design Academy at Pasadena High School, and Diane Walker, former Librarian at La Pintoresca Branch Library. 

For more information about the events and the Latino Heritage organization, visit www.latinoheritagesgv.org.

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