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BK President Celebrates Dominican Heritage at Borough Hall with Merengue and Maduros

The event featured live music and dance performances, a merengue lesson, as well as a number of Dominican eats.
Borough President Reynoso and honorees.

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso was recently joined by hundreds of Brooklynites at Borough Hall in celebration of the Dominican community.

This year’s iteration of the annual commemorative event featured traditional dance performances, a merengue (style of music and dance that originated in the Dominican Republic) lesson, and a merengue típico-style live music performance.

The event also provided attendees with a scrumptious variety of Dominican sweet and savory food options, such as pollo al horno, maduros, yuca and pernil, among other eats.

Reynoso — who became New York City’s first Dominican Borough President when he was elected in 2021 — welcomed the Brooklyn crowd in attendance, as well as honored multiple accomplished Dominican residents, including Stuart Cinema & Café’s Emelyn Stuart, who went down in history as the first Afro-Latina to own an independent movie theater in New York.

“Growing up, celebrations of Dominican culture filled our homes and the streets I grew up in. I’m so excited that we could bring that celebration into Borough Hall so that all of Brooklyn could come and enjoy in the culture, music, and dance of the Dominican Republic and our diaspora,” said Reynoso.

“This evening isn’t just about having fun; it’s also about honoring the Dominican and Caribbean dream — the sacrifices we make so that our kids have the freedom to accomplish their dreams and the community and home we have grown here in Brooklyn.”

Co-hosting the event with Reynoso was the Dominican Day Parade, Inc. Each year, the nonprofit organization organizes the annual National Dominican Day Parade in NYC, which aims to “promote the richness of the culture, folklore, and popular traditions of the Dominican Republic,” according to a release.

“Thank you, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso, for such an exciting celebration,” said Cristina Contreras, National Dominican Day Parade Board chair. 

“We appreciate all that you do for Dominicans and all Brooklynites. You exemplify our theme this year – Nuestra Historia, Nuestra Gente. You are part of our trailblazing history for being elected the first Dominican Borough President. Que viva la Dominicanidad!”

Also in attendance to provide remarks at the event were New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and Assembly Member Brian Cunningham.