Haitian Flag Day Parade, celebration set for Spring Valley – The Journal News

SPRING VALLEY — Thousands of people are expected to celebrate Haitian culture and history during the community’s 30th annual Haitian Flag Day Parade on Sunday.
Paraders will start the one-mile march from Village Hall to Memorial Park at 4 p.m.
There will be marching bands and “RaRa cultural bands along the parade route with people making music with homemade instruments. In Memorial Park, there will be a concert, food, arts, crafts, and vendors.
“Celebrating Our Pride in Diversity” is the theme of this year’s parade, “highlighting all the ethnic groups’ different ethnic groups that make Spring Valley and Rockland beautiful,” said Berthilde Dufrene, who leads the nonprofit Haitian Heritage Cultural Preservation, Inc.
Dufrene said the goal is to share the Haitian culture and history with others and especially pass the values down to the community’s young people. 
She said the parade’s founders in 1992 understood it was necessary to teach their children about their heritage and to better understand who they are as Haitian-Americans.
Haiti is far more than an island seen in the media as impoverished, a nation of natural disasters and political government upheaval.
“This is a way to pass on our heritage and richness of our culture,” Dufrene said. “We want them to know about our holidays, the reasons behind them, and the sacrifices our ancestors made.”
The celebration has extended over several days and culminates with the parade.
Haitian migration: The influx of immigrants over five decades has made Spring Valley part of the ‘Haitian fabric’
A community grows: Haitian community slowly making headway in Spring Valley politics
Photos: Past Haitian Day Unity Parades
The parade’s birth came in 1992 when Haitian community leaders formed IFG Production Inc. to confront the lack of consistent support and visibility for Haitian culture. The result was what has become the annual Haitian Day Parade of Unity to celebrate  Haitian Flag Day in Rockland County.  
In 1998, the Haitian Cultural Heritage Preservation was formed to collaborate with past IFG production members. The goal was to foster a permanent presence for Haitian historical celebrations, preserve the culture of the motherland, and promote cultural exchanges within the ethnic diversity of Rockland.
The first wave of Haitian immigrants came to Rockland in the 1920s through the early 1950s to places like Nanuet.
The migration of people to Rockland was enhanced by the construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge and the Palisades Interstate Parkway in the 1950s. At that point, Nyack was the center of the Haitian community. As immigration increased in the 1970s, Spring Valley became the center of Rockland’s Haitian community. 
Steve Lieberman covers government, breaking news, courts, police, and investigations. Reach him at slieberm@lohud.com. Twitter: @lohudlegal. Read more articles and bio. Our local coverage is only possible with support from our readers.  


What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

More in:Diaspora

Comments are closed.