The Parade Goes National
The parade had always included local delegations from the tri-state area, various regions of the United States and of course la isla del encanto itself, but in 1995, they officially transitioned from a New York City parade to a National one, claiming 100,000 participants, and delegations from all the towns of Puerto Rico and all 50 states! It would now be known to one and all as the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
The Seinfeld Incident
During a prime time episode of the hit show “Seinfeld,” the main characters become “stuck” in the middle of the Puerto Rican Day Parade while trying to flee the city. One of the characters proceeds to to burn a Puerto Rican flag — by mistake, and then stomp on it to get the flames out. That, and the various negative images of Puerto Ricans portrayed in the episode, led many to protest the show, to the point where it’s broadcasting parent took the episode out of syndication.