Rain or shine: Annual Fiesta DC Parade celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

WTOP is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. All this month, discover stories from the diverse Latino communities in the D.C. region, here at WTOP.com and on air at WTOP-FM.

Parade marchers unfurl the Venezuelan flag at this year’s Fiesta DC Parade in downtown D.C. (WTOP/Heather Gustafson)

Despite gray skies above, the annual Fiesta DC Parade hosted a vibrant event in downtown D.C., celebrating the diversity of Latino cultures.

“It can rain down as hard as it wants, but it’s not going to dim down the passion we have for this event,” one paradegoer told WTOP.

With a lively display of traditional costumes, music and entertainment, the parade allowed visitors to explore the uniqueness of each country represented.

The parade kicked off at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, near the iconic National Archives building. The streets were alive with colorful balloons and flags.

Parade marchers dance in front of an excited crowd at this year’s Fiesta DC Parade in downtown D.C. (WTOP/Heather Gustafson)

Jocelynne Simbana appeared in the parade as the queen of the Ecuadorian delegation.

“Latinas, and especially Ecuadorians, we’re not just the stereotypes you see in the media,” she said. “We’re professionals, we’re students, and we’re really leading the discussions here in D.C.”

Ecuador was selected as “Country of Origin” for this year’s event, where the country’s rich history, vibrant customs, artistic expressions and culinary delights were highlighted.

One of the younger paradegoers at this year’s Fiesta DC Parade in downtown D.C. (WTOP/Heather Gustafson)

Spectators lined the route, waiting to see if rain would stop the floats and dance troupes. But it never did.

Heather Gustafson

Heather Gustafson is a Freelance Anchor/Reporter for WTOP, a DMV native and an Emmy award-winning journalist lauded for her 2020 Black Lives Matter protests coverage.

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