These Photos Capture Over 5 Decades Of Pride At The Puerto Rican Day Parade

¡Wepa!

New York City’s Fifth Avenue will be decked out in red, white and blue Sunday in honor of the 59th Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade. ¡Wepa!

Under the theme Un Pueblo, Muchas Voces (One Nation, Many Voices), the event will celebrate the beautiful and diverse culture shared by Puerto Ricans on the island and throughout the diaspora.

The first parade took place Sunday, April 13, 1958, with approximately 125,000 people in attendance, according to the New York Daily News. This year, more than 1.5 million spectators are expected to line the 35-block parade route as 100,000 more people march, dance and ride their way down Fifth Avenue, including this year’s parade king and queen, Carmelo Anthony and Rosario Dawson. If the parades of the past are any indication, this year's event will be spectacular.

So get excited and join us as we take a nostalgic look back at Puerto Rican Day Parades of yesteryear in the photos below.

1
1960
Charles Payne/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Luz Valentin, 5, has the spirit as she waves American and Puerto Rican flags from the hood of a car in the 1960 Puerto Rican Day Parade. Some 150,000 people turned out to cheer the marchers and bands as they streamed up Fifth Avenue in the brilliant sunshine.
2
1963
Charles Payne/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
16-year-old Carmen Juarge rides down Fifth Avenue in Cinderella's carriage.
3
1964
Dan Godfrey/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Three women in dazzling gowns "float" down the parade route.
4
1966
Ed Clarity/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Proud spectators line Fifth Avenue and 66th Street.
5
1967
Gene Kappock/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Children run out to greet Sen. Robert Kennedy (D-N.Y.) and Bronx Borough President Herman Badillo.
6
1968
Fred Morgan/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Two women don pavas, traditional straw hats.
7
1969
Fred Morgan/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Queen Ivelia Sisco (top) and her court wave at spectators.
8
1972
Mel Finkelstein/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Young women dance down Fifth Avenue at the 1972 Puerto Rican Day Parade.
9
1979
William LaForce Jr./NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Actor Erik Estrada waves at revelers as he rides down the parade route.
10
1980
Photo by Dennis Caruso/NY Daily News Archive
Baton twirlers from the Bronx march in the parade.
11
1995
Misha Erwitt/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Spectators cheer and shout along the sidelines.
12
1996
Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Young girls don traditional dresses and pavas.
13
2000
Bill Turnbull/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Actress Rosie Perez holds up a sign calling for peace for Vieques as she rides in a convertible during the 2000 National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
14
2001
Mychal Watts/WireImage
A young boy rides down the parade route on his mini-motorcycle.
15
2002
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Traditional dancers perform during the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in 2002.
16
2004
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images
Dancers wearing traditional garb perform for millions of spectators.
17
2006
Jason Kempin/FilmMagic
Marc Anthony served as the parade's National Grand Marshal in 2006. He was joined by then-wife Jennifer Lopez and then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
18
2007
Ray Tamarra/Getty Images
Ricky Martin reigned as king at the 2007 National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
19
2008
Robert Sabo/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Some 2 million spectators braved the hot, muggy weather to participate in the 2008 event.
20
2011
Rob Kim/FilmMagic
Three young girls ride in the back of a blue car along the parade route.

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