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Chicago's Puerto Ricans Revel in United Parade

By Erin Meyer | June 15, 2013 6:04pm
 Proud Puerto Ricans who braved the rain in droves Saturday were rewarded when the morning showers ceased just as the annual parade set off on Division Street. They danced, sang and shouted "Boricua" as the procession passed by.
Chicago's Puerto Rican Day Parade
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HUMBOLDT PARK — Rain and gray skies Saturday could not dampen the spirit of Puerto Rican pride as festival goers cheered a decades-old tradition with a new spin.

This year, for the first time, Chicago's 48-year-old downtown Puerto Rican Day parade and the Humboldt Park parade joined forces in the heart of Puerto Rican community on the Northwest Side.

"There's no stopping us," said Lillian Quiles, standing with a broad smile as floats rolled by her home near the corner of Division Street and Humboldt Park Boulevard. "We get to see our people on the main boulevard; this is a very proud day.

"The rain doesn't matter at all; it's the community."

Since 1978, the downtown Puerto Rican Day Parade has been rivaled by the Puerto Rican People's Parade in Humboldt Park, so named because organizers thought it better represented the community in Humboldt Park.

Puerto Rican Parade and Fest
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Erin Meyer

People came out in droves Saturday in spite of the rain and reveled as it gave way to sunshine in the afternoon.

"We always go to the parade when it's raining even," said 7-year-old Ethan Vazquez.