Portugal Day Parade near Williston Park honors founder

June 6, 2017 by  

The fourth annual Portugal Day Parade is coming to Mineola, near Williston Park, on June 11.

The parade will begin at the Mineola Portuguese Center and will trace a route east along Jericho Turnpike, then south on Roslyn Road to Westbury Avenue, and east to Union Street. The end point of the parade is Wilson Park, which will host the 30th annual Portugal Day Carnival and Feast.

The organizers of the parade have thrown in a new twist this year. Rosa Leal, a resident of Woodbury who helped to found the parade back in 2014, has been named as the parade’s grand marshal.

Organizations can create banners to display in front of their groups and floats who are marching in parades. Parade routes provide groups with a good chance to educate the public about their existence. The Portugal Day Parade, for example, is expected to draw a crowd of around 10,000 people.

The 62 member organizations of the Portuguese-American Leadership Conference, which represent around 180,000 Portuguese people on Long Island and across New York State, chose Leal to be grand marshal because of her “tremendous work” in bringing the community together and promoting it.

Speaking to the Island Now, Leal stated that she:

“would have done it, recognized or not recognized, because I love my culture, and I do it for the young people.”

The parade begins at 11 am on June 11. The carnival and feast is scheduled for 1 pm until 7 pm that day.