PLAINFIELD, NJ – Plainfield officials honored the Colombian Independence Day and the community’s presence in the city with a flag raising and celebration on Friday in front of city hall.

“This is one of the biggest populations in the city,” said Hispanic Cultural Commissioner, Maritza Martinez who organized the event that featured native food and music. “A lot of the restaurants along Somerset Street and North Avenue are Colombian now.”

One young performer, Michelle Galbis sang America’s national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner and later, the National Anthem of the Republic of Colombia.

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And Katherine Glen La Reina Del Mariachi (the Mariachi Queen) performed several of her Mariachi and Rancheras ballads while attendees danced and cheered.

Before Colombia’s flag was ceremonially raised on the front lawn of city hall, Martinez, who also chairs the Plainfield Advocacy Commission on Hispanic Affairs (PACHA) presented citations from the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly to several in the business community for their contributions to the local economy.

July 20th is officially recognized as the country of Colombia’s Independence Day from Spanish rule.