Thousands turn out for Central American Independence Day Parade

Posted: Updated:
BAY SHORE -

Thousands of people turned out Sunday to take part in the Central American Independence Day Parade in Bay Shore.

The 13th annual celebration made its way down Fifth Avenue. The parade celebrates Central American nations gaining independence from Spain in 1821.

The parade was filled with music and dancing, and it highlighted the culture and pride of Central America.

Business leaders say many Central Americans came to the U.S. for opportunity and to pursue the American dream. But the community is also aware of the recent gang crimes that have cast a dark shadow on their culture.

Suffolk police say in 2017, nearly 200 MS-13 gang members were arrested on Long Island. The El Salvador-based street gang has been blamed for a string of killings in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Amid the recent violence, parade-goers say events like Sunday's celebration are important and positive for their community.

About 3,000 people attended the parade.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."