PATERSON, NJ – Many of the fans who lined the streets of Paterson for Sunday’s Victor Cruz parade were anxious to see one thing – their hometown hero do his hometown victory dance, the Silk City Salsa.
At City Hall, the star New York Giants receiver did not disappoint the boisterous crowd, just as he didn’t area football fans all year long. There, he and his mother, Bianca, broke into a dance that had the crowd cheering.
“This is a humbling experience,” said Cruz. “I am never afraid to tell people where I’m from and that’s Paterson.”
Eastside High’s marching band provided musical accompaniment, the schools’s ROTC color guard also participated in the parade. There were several floats from which city and state officials tossed Victor Cruz tee shirts to the throng.
The day belonged to Paterson residents and city youths were especially thrilled to see Cruz.
“It’s cool because he’s (Cruz) coming from where he started, giving back to Paterson,’’ said teenager Zaier Williams. “A lot of people don’t give back to the community where they came from, maybe they don’t like the neighborhood.’’
A beaming Simone Pitkin agreed: “I thought the parade was really fun, interesting and I got a autograph! And that made my day.”
Patersonian Lawanda Campbell attended the parade with her daughter and was especially thrilled about the parade’s impact on Paterson residents and the city itself, “The parade was fabulous,’’ she said. “Victor Cruz is Number 1. We have so many people from Paterson that are professionals. We are so proud of them. So keep up the good work Victor Cruz.”
The parade’s route began at the Great Falls and then proceeded down Spruce Street and turned left down Market Street where about a hundred residents with portable seats were eagerly awaiting.
The parade ended at the Paterson City Hall, where well-wishers cheered Cruz’ arrival and the subsequent salsa with his mother.