Gilberto Santa Rosa is set to have a grand old time at this year’s NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade.
The 54-year-old Puerto Rican singer and bandleader, known as “El Caballero de la Salsa,” will serve as the grand marshall of the annual parade on June 11.
Santa Rosa is a Grammy and Latin Grammy winner, who has been active in the music industry for approximately forty years.
But Santa Rosa isn’t the only superstar participating in this year’s parade.
Iris Chacón, the 67-year-old showgirl who came to fame in the 1970s as “the Puerto Rican bombshell” has been named godmother of the parade.
Ozuna will appear as the parade’s Rising Star, salsa singer Ismael Rivera has been named a Puerto Rican Day ambassador, and Latin alternative duo BuscaBulla will also join the parade.
This year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade marks the 60th time that “la parada” fills Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue with tropical music and Puerto Rican pride. Previous grand marshalls include Marc Anthony and Ricky Martin; Calle 13’s Rene Perez was crowned king of the parade in 2014.
Olympic gold medal gymnast Laurie Hernández, actress Lana Parrilla (Once Upon a Time) and 14-time MLB All-Star Iván Rodríguez will also participate in this year’s parade.
The event will also reference recent politics: it will honor former political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, who was pardoned by President Barack Obama in January after 35 years in federal prison, as National Freedom Hero. And this year’s parade coincides with 100 years since all Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship by a law enacted by President Woodrow Wilson.
“In this monumental year, we are showcasing our collective achievement and the legacy we have built by working in solidarity,” Puerto Rican Day Parade Board Chair Board Chair Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez said at a press conference. “And we will discuss key challenges that Puerto Rico is facing to help inform and engage our community. We also honor legendary figures and the next generation of stars that are already accomplished in their own right.”
Two music festivals preceding the parade will turn June 9-11 into a full throttle Puerto Rican party weekend.
The 2017 Soulfrito festival will feature a line-up of “club bangers and Latin trap” that includes urban stars Farruko, Zion y Lennox , Bad Bunny, Cosculluela and Ivy Queen starts the party in Brooklyn on Friday, June 9, at the Barclays Center.
Willie Colon, Eddie Palmieri and Tito Nieves lead the incredible line-up of the 33rd New York Salsa Festival, which takes place Saturday, June 10, also at the Barclay Center. Jerry Rivera, Grupo Niche, Fruko y Sus Tesos, Tito Rojas and DLG are also among the artists scheduled to perform.