Puerto Rican Day Parade brings thousands together in Philadelphia (photos)

Now in its 56th year, downtown Philly was filled with thousands of spectators celebrating the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.

‘Rebirth’ the theme of Puerto Rican Day Parade

This year’s theme was the “rebirth of Puerto Rico,” a tribute to those who lost their lives to Hurricane Maria and those who are still trying to recover from the tragic events of last September.

Puerto Rican Day Parade

Accompanying the theme, proud Puerto Ricans and Latinos displayed a large Puerto Rican flag during the march as a show of pride for their heritage.

“Red for the blood of our people, white for our unity,” Philly resident Kimberly Lamberty said.

Lamberty, an advocate and keeper of the flag, held it high with others from her community as a message to President Donald Trump, who has been criticized by many who believe the president did very little to help Puerto Rico recover from the aftermath of the storm.

“We’re not going to allow this man to minimize our role in this country, colonized citizens for 100 years now, and not look at the contributions we have done. Here we push to shove.”

Thousands watched as the parade, hosted annually by Concilio, kicked off the festivities off at noon on 16th Street and made its way up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with large colorful floats, dancers, music, flags and more.

Following the parade, many attended the festivities on American Street and Lehigh Avenue with more entertainment, food, music and more.

Each year the annual event attracts roughly 1,500 participants and more than 5,000 attendees. Around 96,000 viewers tune in each year to watch the parade live on TV.

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