The City of Boston’s Department of Veterans Services announced today that Commissioner Robert Santiago will serve as the Grand Marshal for the return of Boston’s Puerto Rican Parade. The 55th Puerto Rican Festival and Parade is returning to Playstead Park at Franklin Park on Sunday, July 31, after being canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commissioner Santiago is Boston’s first Puerto Rican Commissioner of Veterans Services, and also the first openly gay Commissioner.
“The Puerto Rican Festival and Parade is a beloved, vibrant tradition for Boston, and I’m excited to see Commissioner Santiago lead the parade for its return,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I encourage people from all across Boston and beyond to come out for this celebration, and look forward to the festivities.”
“My mom taught me what it means to be Puerto Rican through her pride, actions, and deeds and because of her I am very grateful for my Puerto Rican heritage, it’s who I am. I’m so proud to serve as Grand Marshal of this year’s parade,” said Commissioner Santiago. “The Festival and Parade hold a special place in my heart. I’ve attended this wonderful event since I first arrived in Boston as a crew member of USS CONSTITUTION, and I’m looking forward to another great year!”
On Sunday, July 31 at 12:00 p.m., the parade will proceed from Cedar St. and Columbus Ave to Franklin Park. The parade is the culmination of the Puerto Rican Festival, which is projected to draw more than 90,000 people over three days. The Festival includes performances by local and international artists, Puerto Rican food, local arts and crafts, and many more activities for all ages. For more information about the Puerto Rican festival and parade please visit https://www.puertoricanfestivalofma.org/
“We are thrilled to have Commissioner Santiago as our Grand Marshal! He’s been involved since day one, and as a fellow Boricua, we know he’s as passionate about this event as we are,” said Edwin Alicea, President of the Puerto Rican Festival “We’re excited for a great parade on the 31st!”