Chita Rivera donning her Grand Marshal sash
Chita Rivera donning her Grand Marshal sash
(© Merle Frimark)
Two-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera has been announced as this year's Grand Marshal of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, set to take place on Sunday, June 9.

With over 80,000 people marching along 5th Avenue and approximately 3 million onlookers lining the parade route, the Puerto Rican Day Parade is one of the biggest summer events for the City of New York. Rivera, one of the most accomplished Puerto Rican women in the arts to date, will receive her honorary sash and lead this year's festivities. Past Grand Marshals include Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, and Ricky Martin.

"For generations, Chita Rivera has been a source of pride and inspiration for Puerto Ricans around the world", said Madelyn Lugo, president of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. "We are utterly proud to proclaim her the National Puerto Rican Day Parade's 2013 Grand Marshal, in recognition of her trailblazing accomplishments and artistic legacy".

Rivera has performed in 16 Broadway productions spanning seven decades. She has been nominated nine times for a Tony Award, winning two, for her performances in The Rink in 1984 and Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1993. In 2002 she became the first Latina to be recognized by the Kennedy Center Honors. Rivera most recently appeared on Broadway this past season as Princess Puffer in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, a recent recipient of five Tony Award nominations.

"I have many great memories of attending the Puerto Rican Day Parade with my heart swelling with pride and joy, just at being a member of its community", Rivera said. "Two things that distinguish the Parade from all the others are great music and the attempt to keep your body still, while you are surrounded by those pulsating rhythms. Not possible! I am so grateful for the honor of being The Grand Marshal. It makes me appreciative of my heritage and to be a part of this exciting day."