ELIZABETH, NJ – City Hall was awash in red and white on a perfect summer day as Peruvians of all ages came out to celebrate their culture through dance and music.

They marched in a parade up the entire length of Elizabeth Avenue from Front Street to City Hall where the Peruvian flag was raised.       

The Grand Marshal was Maria Teresa Bazan. “Maria was chosen because she exemplifies a Peruvian lady,” said Ezzio Bustamante, president of Peruvians for Progress, a non-profit whose mission is to spread Peruvian culture through their music, dance, and to let people know about their millenary civilization.  

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Andrea Mora, who graduated as valedictorian from Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy and will attend Monmouth University to study chemistry, was the parade’s queen.

At the parade’s conclusion, the Peruvian flag was raised and Peruvians for Progress received a proclamation from the city, read in Spanish by Councilman Manny Grova, Jr. City Council President Patricia Perkins-Auguste also addressed the crowd of several hundred, saying, “Today, all Elizabethans are Peruvian and should have a good time.”

They certainly did.