PASADENA, Calif.—Join the free family fun at Pasadena’s 19th annual Latino Heritage Parade and Jamaica (community fair) on Saturday, October 14, 2017. The event is sponsored by the Human Services and Recreation Department and the Latino Heritage Committee. Online updates will be posted at www.cityofpasadena.net/LatinoHeritage and www.pasadenalatinoheritageparade.org.
More than 2,000 participants and spectators are expected at this year’s event that begins with the parade at 11 a.m. on a new route, followed by the festive Jamaica with cultural activities, food, music, and dance from noon to 4 p.m. This year’s theme “Embracing our Latino Military Servicemen and Women” celebrates the Latino Community’s accomplishments in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The new parade route starts at Los Robles Avenue and Prescott Street, heads south on Los Robles and ends at the Villa-Parke Community Center, 353 E. Villa Street. Street closures and temporary no parking zones on Prescott Street, Los Robles Avenue and Villa Street will be in effect from 8:30 a.m. through 2 p.m. Street closures will be lifted as soon as the parade clears the area.
The Jamaica features live entertainment, art exhibits, fun activities for children and tasty food for purchase. A special feature this year includes the “Hispanic Medal of Honor Wall” display promoting awareness of the patriotism, loyalty and sacrifices made by Hispanic Americans in military service. Oct. 14 is the last day of this special exhibit at the Villa-Parke Community Center.
At 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., two short films by Latino veterans will be screened in the Center’s auditorium. Outside, on the festival’s stage, a special ceremonial presentation at 1 p.m. will honor this year’s Parade Grand Marshal, Command Sgt. Maj. Ramon Rodriguez. Community Grand Marshal is Staff Sgt. Hector Rodriguez, another local community member who also faithfully served in the U.S. Army.
Command Sgt. Maj. Rodriguez was just 17 when he enlisted, ultimately serving 23 years and attaining one of the highest ranks in the U.S. Army for enlisted personnel. He is a Congressional Medal of Honor nominee—our nation’s highest honor—after serving 32 months in Vietnam and earning three Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars and five Purple Hearts. He was a Paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division and U.S. Special Forces member. He also has three Army Commendation Medals; the Army’s Meritorious Service Medal; was inducted into the Army Ranger Hall of Fame in 2008 and served as Chair of Los Angeles County’s Military and Veterans Affairs Commission.
Staff Sgt. Rodriguez, this year’s Community Grand Marshal, grew up and worked in Pasadena and now resides in Altadena. After attending local schools, he followed in his family’s military footsteps, enlisting in the Army, completing basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and serving from 1992 to 1997. In 1999, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves and was deployed to Kosovo in 2000 as part of Operation Joint Guardian, serving as an assistant team leader on a Tactical PSYOP Team (TPT). He deployed twice to Afghanistan and served in a variety of leadership roles in support of both Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A) and Combined Joint Task Force–10th Mountain Division. In 2007, Mr. Rodriquez ended his military service at the rank of Staff Sergeant (E6) after serving for 13 years.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 4, 2017 #048-17
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: William H. Boyer, Pasadena Public Information Officer, City Manager’s Office, (626) 744-4755, firstname.lastname@example.org