STCC Staff, faculty, alumni and their friends and family proudly carried the college banner on Sunday in the 30th annual Springfield Puerto Rican parade, a festive event that helps kick off Hispanic Heritage Month.

Because of the pandemic, it’s been two years since a contingent from Springfield Technical Community College joined the parade. MassLive reports that Sunday’s event drew the largest entrants ever recorded. Five thousand marchers made their way through the city. Tens of thousands of spectators lined the streets to observe the parade.

President John B. Cook was behind the banner with Trustee Norman Roldan and dozens of marchers wearing STCC T-shirts with the parade theme Unidos Progresamos! Or “United We Progress.”

The parade falls at the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs Sept. 15-Oct. 15, and near the close of National Hispanic-Serving Institutions week, which runs Sept. 12-18. STCC was designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution in 2015, which means at least 25 percent of full-time equivalent students are Hispanic.

Student Lyly Dixson, who is Black and Puerto Rican, said she was proud to be marching with her husband and representing STCC.

“It’s a great day to be together and marching in the parade,” Lyly said. “I love STCC and the City of Springfield, and wouldn’t want to miss today’s event.” Like the other hundreds of registered groups, the delegation from STCC gathered in the medical park area near Main Street at 9 a.m. A variety of contingents joined the march, from law enforcement and medical service providers to elected officials, businesses and higher education institutions.

Please check out the inaugural the Cultural Newsletter, which will be sent monthly to students and employees of the college.