Que Viva Colombia! Paterson Raises Colombian Flag
Michelle Galvis, 12, performs the National Anthem of the Republic of Colombia. Credits: Steve Lenox Michelle Galvis, 12, sang the American and Colombian national anthem. Credits: Steve Lenox Board of Education Commissioner Manny Martinez, Jr. Credits: Steve Lenox Credits: Steve Lenox Osvaldo Oliveros, President, Asociacion Hijos Y Amigos De Colombia, takes the podium to begin the event. Credits: Steve Lenox Council President Martiza Davila welcomed several of her council colleagues to the steps of city hall to participate in the flag raising celebration. Credits: Steve Lenox Credits: Steve Lenox Credits: Steve Lenox Credits: Steve Lenox Credits: Steve Lenox Credits: Steve Lenox Santiago and Stephania Velez, w/ 6th Ward Councilman Al Abedelaziz, will celebrate the grand opening of their restaurant and bakery, Bendita Arepa, located at 789 Main Street, on Saturday, July 21. Credits: Steve Lenox Credits: Steve Lenox Credits: Steve Lenox Credits: Steve Lenox L-R - Council members Ruby Cotton, Luis Velez, and Dr. Lilisa Mimms. Credits: Steve Lenox
PATERSON, NJ- Despite the blistering heat more than 100 people filled the courtyard in front of Paterson City Hall on Saturday to celebrate the raising of the yellow, blue, and red flag of Colombia.
The annual event, which has taken place every year since 1989, marks the nationâs obtainment of independence from Spain in 1810.
Hosted by Asociacion Hijos Y Amigos De Colombia, the event showed the vibrancy of the local Colombian community that, according to Javier Fernandez, the cityâs new Director of Constituent Services, numbers approximately 6,000, and included music, song, and chants of âQue viva Colombia.
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Among the attendees was Board of Education Commissioner Manny Martinez, Jr., the cityâs only Colombian American elected official, a fact he called a âproud badg e of honor.â
âColombians tend to be a festive people, something you see right here in Paterson,â Martinez told TAPinto Paterson pointing to the âColombian Corridorâ of local businesses that run along 21st Avenue, and the recent street party that brought nearly 2000 fans out to watch the Colombian national soccer team take on England in the World Cup.
âWe make up a beautiful thread in the fabric of the community,â Martinez said.
Presiding over his first flag raising since being inaugurated as mayor on July 1, Andre Sayegh declared July 14-20 âColombian Weekâ in the city.
âPaterson is a better place because Colombians call it home.â
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