U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), state Senator Nick Sacco (D-32), Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and West New York Mayor Felix Roque are just a few of the officials who marched through North Hudson for the 40th state Hispanic Parade.
The parade, which spanned from 79th Street in North Bergen down to 32nd Street in Union City (also passing through Guttenberg and West New York) via Bergenline Avenue saw Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, as well as several other countries, well represented.
With over a dozen floats on display and loud Latin rhythms echoing through the streets, politicos and constituents alike all seemed to be in jovial spirits throughout the afternoon.
Despite both facing criminal indictments, Menendez and Roque received major praise from the crowd on hand and seemed cooler than the other side of the pillow.
Both officials have proclaimed their innocence in their respective cases and have appeared undaunted by the allegations hanging over their heads, with Menendez in particular appearing to have an excellent time – at one point busting a move with Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32).
Additionally, Sacco made sure North Bergen’s presence was felt at the annual affair, as he marched with Commissioners Allen Pascual, Hugo Cabrera and Julio Marenco – as well as Freeholder Anthony Vainieri (D-8), Police Chief Bob Dowd and Parking Authority Executive Director Bob Baselice.
However, a mere two blocks away, Sacco nemesis Larry Wainstein – who lost to the longtime mayor in the May municipal election – showed he isn’t going away any time soon by strolling through Bergenline Avenue with his own entourage.
His former campaign manager and friend, Luis Gutierrez, and ex-running mates Juan Almanzar, Alcides Siri and Eduardo Cespedes were just a few of the individuals who joined the festivities yesterday.
Furthermore, Fulop, who seemed pretty chummy alongside Menendez during the early portion of the parade, was recognized as Man of the Year, while Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) was honored as Woman of the Year.
Event organizers said they choose “United for Autism” as the parade’s theme, collecting donations for Autism Speaks and the McKinley School in Newark – which educates autistic children.
Others in attendance included Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drasheff, West New York Commissioners Gabriel Rodriguez and Cosmo Cirillo, Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari and Union City Commissioner Celine Valdivia.