Festive parade celebrating Columbus Latine cultures lights up Downtown

Festive parade celebrating Columbus Latine cultures lights up Downtown

Judy Heredia stood off to the side of Civic Center Drive Downtown as the parade passed by, gripping a Mexican flag with both hands and vigorously waving it.

“Viva la Mexico! Whoooooo!” Heredia cheered. Long live Mexico.

But the parade that wound along the Scioto riverfront was about more than just Mexico and the paraders who proudly featured Mexican flags.

It was also about those in the parade who hailed from Chile and its Andes Mountains in South America and the Dominican Republic and its proud baseball heritage in the Caribbean. From Bolivia and El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina and Puerto Rico, all now calling Greater Columbus home.

“This is very heartwarming. It’s all about the Hispanic community coming together,” said Heredia, who is from Polina, in western Mexico, but now makes her home in Whitehall.

“We are here, and we are here to stay,” she said.

It was that sense of community that was clear among the hundreds in the parade and the spectators watching them, no matter where they or their families came from.

The parade kicked off Latine/Hispanic Heritage Month in Columbus. Organizers emphasized Latine (lah-TEE’-nay) because the term is gender-neutral and Spanish.

Columbus City Council member Lourdes Barroso de Padilla, a Columbus native of Cuban heritage, said at least 30 countries were represented in the parade, the first of its kind in Columbus.

Barroso de Padilla helped coordinate the effort along with 20-30 community members since late spring.

This News is Published from Google Alert – Hispanic Heritage Month.

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