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Revamped Puerto Rican Day Parade To Step Off On June 8

Puerto Rican Day Parade

The Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 9, 2013. (Credit: Jim Smith/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some changes are coming to this year’s annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade.

When the parade is held June 8, every float rolling down Fifth Avenue will be required to display a cultural theme. A community food drive is also being organized as part of the festivities and more money has been set aside for scholarships.

The non-profit that runs the parade was overhauled after a state investigation discovered years of financial mismanagement. Critics had long complained of overboard sponsorship deals and other issues.

Louis Maldonado was appointed to the parade’s board in February and said the focus is on the future of the parade.

“Many in the community, including many on the board, had seen what the parade had become and had voiced our own concerns over what the parade had become. So, we felt that way and knew about it even before the investigation ever happened,” he told WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane. “Everybody has wanted this change. And so, yes, there’s that little bit of – perhaps five minutes or so – of griping over what it had become but then really everybody sort of focused on the future and trying to make it happen.”

Maldonado said the parade will focus on culture, arts and education.

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Rep. Nydia Velazquez will serve as the parade’s grand marshals.

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