PATERSON, NJ- Though social distancing and warnings of extreme heat may have kept the crowd size down, the enthusiasm of the nearly 50 Paterson residents that celebrated the raising of the yellow, blue, and red flag of Colombia at City Hall on Saturday wasn’t dampened at all.

The annual event, which has taken place every year since 1989, marks the anniversary of the nation’s independence from Spain in 1810. 

Hosted by Asociacion Hijos Y Amigos De Colombia, the event showed the vibrancy of the local Colombian community that, according to Javier Fernandez, Director of Constituent Services, numbers approximately 6,000, and included both music from Colombia folklore legend Javier Jimenez de Alva and chants of “Que viva Colombia.”

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Presiding over the event was Mayor Andre Sayegh who thanked those in attendance for the vibrancy they add to, and trust they have placed in, the City of Paterson as is readily recognized through the businesses along 21st Avenue, known as the Colombian Corridor.

“Paterson is a better place because Colombians call it home,” Sayegh said before declaring it “Colombian Week” in the city.

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