Viva la raza
Pasadena’s Latino Heritage Parade and Jamaica kicks off Saturday
A citywide celebration of Latino culture, the 14th Annual Latino Heritage Parade and Jamaica, will hit the streets at 11 a.m. Saturday with a parade starting at the corner of Los Robles Avenue and Howard Street in Northwest Pasadena.
This year’s theme is “Planting Dreams: Sembrando Sueños,” which focuses on the time when California became a part of the United States and how its inclusion changed the government, culture and lifestyles of Latinos living in America.
The “jamaica,” or festival, will begin at noon where the parade concludes at La Pintoresca Park, 45 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena, and features arts and crafts for children of all ages, historical displays, ballet folkorico, food, storytellers and book signings by local Latino authors. The event wraps up at 4 p.m.
The group Latino Heritage, which is sponsoring the event, was founded in 1998 to promote cultural happenings and educational opportunities while weaving together the cultures of various Latino groups living in the city.
This year, scholar and author Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, professor of medicine and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA’s School of Medicine, will serve as this year’s grand marshal.
Local businessman Abel Ramirez, owner of El Portal Restaurant in the city’s Playhouse District, has been selected community grand marshal for his outstanding service to Pasadena. Ramirez came to the United States in 1964 from Yucatan, Mexico, and took a job as a dishwasher at a local hotel. Fourteen years later, he became manager of Caltech’s Athenaeum club. In 1994, Ramirez purchased El Portal, a popular restaurant specializing in the Yucatan and Mexican cuisine. In addition to El Portal, he and his family own Vanessa’s Café and Yahaira’s Café in Pasadena.
Ramirez is a co-founder of Latinofest and has served as president of the Playhouse District. He is currently president of the Pasadena Senior Center Board of Directors and serves on the board of Latino Heritage.
For more information on the event and Latino Heritage, visit latinoheritagesgv.org.