ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – U.S. Congressman Darren Soto, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and District 2 City Commissioner Tony Ortiz made their way from the Orange County Courthouse to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts for the inaugural Florida Puerto Rican Parade and Festival Saturday morning.
Thousands of marchers and onlookers packed Orange Avenue on a warm sunny day to celebrate the Puerto Rican heritage and culture. The parade was dedicated to Puerto Ricans in public service.
Floats, bands and marching formations all had one common element: the red, white and blue colors of the Puerto Rican flag.
“We are an extremely proud community,” said the Honorable Daisy Morales, an elected Supervisor with the State of Florida Orange Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors. “We love our heritage and culture. We are proud of what we represent.”
Morales was joined by Orange County 4-H supporters and nearly 40 members of the Latin American Motorcycle Association (LAMA).
Puerto Rico is a Caribbean territory of the United States with a vibrant culture all its own. A Spanish colony for more than four hundred years, its cuisine, art and music are all heavily influenced by Spanish culture. Puerto Rican culture has also influenced many cities across the United States.
Puerto Rican Elected Officials (Or Their Representative) Attendance
The Honorable Darren Soto (Elected 2016, 2-Year Term)
US House of Representatives
Representing Florida Congressional District 9
Osceola county, parts of Orange and Polk counties
Website: Congressman Darren Soto
The Honorable Victor M. Torres, Jr. (Elected 2016, 4-Year Term)
Florida State Senate
Representing Florida District 15
Osceola County and part of Orange County
The Honorable Amy Mercado (Elected 2016, 2-Year Term)
Florida House of Representatives
Representing Florida District 48
Consists part of Orange county
Website: Representative Amy Mercado
The Honorable Daisy Morales (Elected 2014, 4-Year Term)
Supervisor – Seat 2
State of Florida Orange Soil & Water Conservation District (State Agency)
Representing Orange County
Consists of Apopka, Bay Lake, Belle Isle, Eatonville, Edgewood, Lake Buena Vista, Maitland, Oakland, Ocoee, Orange County, Orlando, Windermere, Winter Garden, and Winter Park.
The Honorable Emily Bonilla (Elected 2016, 4-Year Term)
Orange County Government
Representing Orange County District 5
Website: County Commissioner Emily Bonilla
The Honorable Tony Ortiz (Elected 2008 – Present, 4-Year Term)
City of Orlando
Representing City of Orlando District 2
Website: City Commissioner Tony Ortiz
Other Elected Officials In Attendance
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh and State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith
Willie David is Founder and Publisher of Florida National News.