Southsiders were out en masse Thursday night, braving freezing temperatures, to mark Dominican Independence Day at the Brooklyn Arbor School.
And for more than two hours, they packed the South 3rd Street school’s auditorium to celebrate the rich Dominican heritage of South Williamsburg.
The audience sang and danced along with a performance by the El Puente Junior Dance Ensemble. They cheered a theatrical production by Teatro Soy and a pageant, Queens of the Dominican Parade of Brooklyn. Later, a video presentation explained the historical significance of the day.
In addition, awards were handed out to recognize service to the neighborhood, including one to PS 84’s popular principal Sereida Rodriguez.
Dominican Independence Day is celebrated on February 27, and commemorates the day the Dominicans gained independence from Haiti in 1844.
The Southside event was put on for the 12th year by Southside United HDFC-Los Sures, along with the Community Education Council for District 14, El Puente and the Nuestros Ninos Child Care Center.
For Los Sures, the celebration is a chance to celebrate the cultural traditions of the people they serve and to welcome new immigrants into the neighborhood.
“We support the heritage of the folks we see every day and it’s important for us that everyone in the community feel connected,” said Thomas Servello, Director of Communications for Los Sures. “It also serves as a way to meet the people who have only recently moved to the community.”