The Mexican Parade, NYC Celebrates El Bicentenario

Last Sunday Alex and I were two among thousands of Mexican-Americans (mostly immigrants) who gathered to watch the 16th annual Mexican Parade in New York City. Yes, contrary to popular belief Mexican culture is flourishing on the East Coast of the U.S. too!

Vendors walked around hocking flags, cotton candy, churrostres por dos pesos-, duros con limón y Valentina, and coco helado in the usually hard-to-find-flavor of tamarindo.

As you would expect, mariachis in sombreros and silver buckled charro outfits performed La Negra while folklórico dancers from Jalisco twirled their rainbow ribboned skirts. Women dressed in the black lace with floral embroidery of Chiapas sat atop floats. There were couples dressed in the style of Veracruz, women in light airy lace dresses with red flowers in their hair and men in crisp white button-down shirts, white pants, red bandannas tied around their around necks and straw hats.  A norteño band played their accordions and guitars to toe-tapping corridos. There were also some folk dancers with bearded masks or  tri-colored pompoms atop their heads vigorously dancing to a polka I didn’t recognize, if you know what this tradition is please let me know!

It seemed like everyone was waving a Mexican flag. La Virgen de Guadalupe was everywhere.

There was a pair of  Mexican masked wrestlers, luchadores behind the wheel of a sporty little convertible. Groups of Mexican beauty queens, crowned, in ball gowns and velvet capes gliding across the asphalt. Families of payasos, clowns, stood waiting to be cued in to the procession.

Every region of Mexico was represented. So too was the uniquely Mexican-American identity. There were even cholos with shaved heads, goatees and tatoos in the style of East L.A. looking tough on their chromed out bikes. Even a trace of  my home state could be found in the polished low rider cars, which originated in Española, New Mexico. And I was most amazed and amused by the Mexican drumline that were shaded under their sombreros. They sounded like a regular high school drum line but if you listened closely they were playing Cielito Lindo.

And then there were the adorable children watching the parade, faces painted with “Viva México.” Or dresses in green, white and red or colorfully embroidered outfits.

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I’ll post more recipes from my Mexican Bicentenario feast later this week and will be giving away of  a copy of my favorite cookbook next week, so please remember to stop by soon!

3 Responses to “The Mexican Parade, NYC Celebrates El Bicentenario”
  1. Eliana says:

    Looks like it was so much fun! Viva México!!!

  2. Grace says:

    That sounds wonderful! I watched the Mexico City celebrations on tv. I like the pictures you took.

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