The streets of Melrose rang out with the sound of music, children’s cheer, and applause as We Stay / Nos Quedamos celebrated it 2nd annual WE ARE MELROSE street fair. Hundreds gathered to join the community-wide celebration that brought together a multicultural patronage that reflected the region’s diversity in aptly themed event — “COMÚN-UNIDAD: Common Unity = Community.”
The cultural programming echoed that maxim with performances by poets and cultural groups representing Puerto Rico, Mexico, Honduras and West Africa, a sample microcosm of the neighborhood’s ethnic makeup. A special carnival-like treat was provided area resident Roberto Velásquez, AKA “The Real Iceman,” as he dunked himself in a tank of water filled with ice cubes. And while onlookers felt a chill up their , it didn’t stop them from delighting in the icicles provided by event sponsor Delicioso Coco.

WE ARE MELROSE 2018 Awards Plaque
WE ARE MELROSE 2018 Awards Plaque
The day’s festivities also included a ceremony recognizing the contributions of regional stakeholders whose efforts have had a positive and marked impact in the South Bronx. Among the awardees were former arts and culture advocate Bill Aguado (former director at Bronx Council on the Arts and current brain-trust at En Foco), social service icon Carmen Allende (former director at South Bronx Group, retired), green space activist Raymond Figueroa (Friends of Brook Park), John Dudley (District Manager, Community Planning Board #3), and NYC Parks Commissioner (Bronx) Iris Rodríguez-Rosa. Assemblyman Michael Blake (District 79) attended and helped to give out the well-deserved honors.

 

"We Are Melrose" 2018 Street Fair. Recipients of the Harvesting Culture Awards are flanked by Nos Quedamos staff and NYS Assembly Michael Blake.
“We Are Melrose” 2018 Street Fair. Recipients of the Harvesting Culture Awards are flanked by Nos Quedamos staff and NYS Assembly Michael Blake.