You Thought St. Patrick’s Day Was Lit Wait Until Puerto Ricans Get Their Hands On It

Held every second Sunday in June, the Annual Puerto Rican Day parade has more attendees than any other parade in New York City. At last count, about 800,000 march and about 3 million attend. With the St. Patrick’s Day Parade coming up, celebrating Irish culture, I pondered how they could boost attendance (about 150,000) by trying some PR Parade tactics. Here are the 9 ways the St. Patrick’s Day Parade could be more lit based on the teachings of the PR Day Parade.

1. Boricuas spend the majority of the parade dancing. The Irish have Riverdancing, which is dope. It’s literally all legs.  Why not throw some dembow on it?

Credit: andrewsantiagoNoceanida / Kendall de la rosa/ Youtube

Just like every chamaco at the parade, trying to look fly for the ladies.

2. Obviously, Puerto Ricans are known for salsa music, but we love merengue, too. Bagpipes sound like horns. Let’s dance! ¡Eso es!

Credit: andrewsantiago/ nana443/ angietrauma / Youtube

Who knew bagpipes were fuego?

3. Nene, we put flags on everything at the PR Day Parade. If you don’t have at least four on you at all times, you get kicked out. Especially if you’re marching.

Credit: FreeGreatPicture

I don’t care if you look like a peacock, if you’re not representing, you shouldn’t be at the parade, fam.

4. Puerto Ricans have been breaking since Rock Steady Crew with Richard “Crazy Legs” Colón. What if there were a Sham-Rock Steady Crew? Just saying…

5. There’s one unavoidable sight at the PR Day Parade: old men in fishnet PR shirts. I say we bestow this burden upon the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Credit: TShirtPix

Might be cold for March, but if we have to look at old men trying to pull these off, everyone should have to, too.

6. Every kid is “Super-Boricua” at the parade. Let’s get that heroic energy popping on St. Patrick’s Day.

Credit: Flikr

When your facepaint and flag are on point, no one will have to guess your true superhero identity.

7. Based on what I know, Jameson and Guinness are the preferred drinks, but how about some Bacardi from La Isla del Encanto?

Credit: Wikimedia

You never had a rum and coke so good. TBH they already look lit and the cap is still on.

8. Hot rods and old school cars are classic PR Parade. Make sure they’ve got plenty “Gasolina.”

Credit: andrewsantiagolena4ka81/ Movieclips/ Youtube

I wouldn’t encourage drag-racing, but hey, when you gotta move, you gotta.

9. Our biggest Boricua stars ride floats at the parade, I couldn’t think of any famous Irish celebs, so I thought we’d lend you two of ours.

Tag someone who turns all the way up for the PR or St. Patty’s parade! Remember to share with the links below!

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Some Call Him A National Hero, Others A Militant Terrorist, But For The National Puerto Rican Day Parade Oscar Lopez Is In And Goya And Other Sponsors Are Out

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Some Call Him A National Hero, Others A Militant Terrorist, But For The National Puerto Rican Day Parade Oscar Lopez Is In And Goya And Other Sponsors Are Out

After serving 35 years in prison, Oscar López Rivera had his prison sentence commuted by Barack Obama before leaving office.

López Rivera was the longest-jailed member of the group “Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional” or FALN (they really missed an opportunity there to be called “flan”), a paramilitary group whose mission was complete independence of Puerto Rico by any means necessary, as they saw U.S. rule as unjust and criminal.

López Rivera, however, as the New York Times puts it, is “a Puerto Rican militant associated with a group that carried out a deadly campaign of bombings in New York and other cities in the 1970s and 1980s.” The article also mentions that although López Rivera was convicted of several serious crimes, including robbery and interstate transportation of weapons to commit violent crimes, none of his charges actually involved “carrying out acts of violence.”

Before the end of President Obama’s final term, a petition calling for López Rivera’s release received over 100,000 signatures. Campaigns by several celebrities and politicians were also launched to get him released. Many feel the crime he was most penalized for was “seditious conspiracy,” which NPR’s Latino USA’s documentary on López Rivera said amounts to a “thought crime.” The video also discusses the United Nations’ assertion that colonized people have the right to self-determination by any means necessary.

Many Puerto Ricans celebrated his release. Others can’t forget FALN’s crimes.

Upon his release, López Rivera was invited by Puerto Rican Day Parade officials to attend as a “National Freedom Hero.”

Many of these sponsors have not taken kindly to what they see as a convicted felon, and member of a group responsible for the deaths of at least four people, being given an honorary title at the parade.

Among those sponsors, and the first to pull sponsorship, was Goya, whose headquarters are in New Jersey.

[AHORA] Conferencia de Prensa de Oscar López Rivera | Hoy expira su condena #OscarLopez

Posted by Telenoticias PR on Wednesday, May 17, 2017

López Rivera has been defending himself in the media.

Credit: mrcTV

He unequivocally denounced violence in an interview recently with Representative Luis Gutiérrez. López Rivera told the New York Times, “I do not have blood on my hands,” also adding, “All colonized people have a right to struggle for its independence using all methods within reach, including force.”

On May 23, 2017, the The Board of Directors of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade posted a response to the controversy around appointing López Rivera and the sponsorship fallout:

“While we cannot predict whether other sponsors and/or organizations might choose not to join us on Fifth Avenue this year, we expect they will do so with the same level of responsibility and professionalism as JetBlue and the Yankees. This community deserves no less. We thank the thousands of individuals, elected officials and community leaders who have expressed their support for the Parade, its 2017 honoree roster, and its commitment to raise awareness about the issues that impact Puerto Ricans across the world, even if some issues might spark a conversation.”

The physical parade goes on, but what will happen to the soul of the parade going forward?

Will it be an inclusive one or one divided by political ideologies, the way so much of this country seems to be at the moment? This could be a moment to come together, but will it be?

We can only hope so.

READ: Puerto Rico Is On The Brink Of Financial Ruin, So It’s Shutting Down A Record Number Of Public Schools

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