Guidelines for Attending the Puerto Rican Day Parade

This Sunday Is The Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade!!!!!

And I can hardly wait.  It’s everything you want a parade to be.  Loud. Crowded. Boistrous. Loud. Music.  Loud music.  Louder music.  Amplifiers amplifying the amplified loud music.  Rolicking, crazy, wild, fun, and loud. This is a group that throws one heck of a parade!

I’ve been in NYC for four years now and this will only be my second of these parades.  I actually walked past the setting up once, but didn’t give it any thought.  But last year…I went.  Got myself one heck of an experience.  Wonderful.  Just a blast.

I wrote to family shortly afterward my guidelines for going to the Puerto Rican Day Parade.  For those of you going to the 2008 parade, here are Famous Ankles’ 2007 rules.

1.  Get there early.  (I didn’t.  I showed up 45 minutes before the scheduled start and barely escaped being in the third or fourth row of people.)
2.  Don’t stand behind people sitting on chairs.  (I did get behind two of them.  They looked older and shorter than most of the others around.  Didn’t matter.  They loved to stand on the chairs later in the parade despite the fact that they were at the front!!!)
3.  Speak Spanish.  (I don’t and that’s my bad, at least for that day.  One woman beside me kept asking me questions.  I think she thought it she was speaking English, but what I understood her to be asking and what she was asking appear to be different things.  She kept asking me if this was the “end of the parade” before it even started.  I think she was asking the direction they were coming from and answered accordingly.  She didn’t understand my answer.)
4.  Dance.  (I didn’t.  Everybody else did.  Including the cops.)
5.  Wave flags.  The bigger, the better.  Two flags are better.  Three if you can.  Don’t worry that others can’t see through the flags; flags are good and meant to be waved vigorously.  (They handed out flags by the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.  Even I had a flag.  Although, I admit that I only waved it once or twice and then gave it to a nearby child.)
6.  Earplugs.  Ya gotta have earplugs.  (Hurray, I got this one right.  When I mentioned I was going to the parade to a guy at work, he looked at me with dead seriousness and said:  Take earplugs!  I did and I’m very grateful to him.  You wanna know how much you need earplugs?  At one point in the parade, a police car was in the procession.  It had flashing lights and the siren going full blast.  It was just background noise. The whole parade isn’t that bad, but that’s beside the point. Take earplugs!)
7.  Wear red, white, and blue.  (Well, it isn’t necessary, but you’ll be the only person there not wearing the national colors of Puerto Rico.  I stuck out like a sore thumb.)
8.  Be ready to duck (I wasn’t.  At some point, a float came by and one, count it – one, T-shirt was thrown to the crowd.  Directly – at – me.  A gift for the poor guy not wearing the national colors. I didn’t see it, but at least two people around me did and launched themselves onto me.  I got clobbered in the head pretty good.  Not knocked down or anything, but it was a bit of a blow and I sure wasn’t happy.  The guy behind me was…he got the shirt.  The woman beside me wasn’t too happy, ‘cuz she didn’t.)


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2 Comments on “Guidelines for Attending the Puerto Rican Day Parade”

  1. […] Guidelines for Attending the Puerto Rican Day ParadeGot myself one heck of an experience. Wonderful. Just a blast. I wrote to family shortly afterward my guidelines for going to the Puerto Rican Day Parade. For those of you going to the 2008 parade, here are Famous Ankles’ 2007 rules. …Famous Ankles – […]

  2. […] in Manhattan. It, I believe, is the largest parade in Manhattan. And the loudest. I had my rules (posted Friday) and mostly followed […]

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