North Bergen held its annual celebration of Colombian Independence Day on July 17.
Dozens of residents turned out to Town Hall for an afternoon full of celebration and pride to mark 209 years since the nation declared its independence from Spanish colonial rule.
Things kicked off with a rendition of the national anthems of both the United States and Colombia, performed by North Bergen resident Michelle Galves. She’s been performing renditions on Colombian Independence day for several years.
A traditional dance display had everyone either on their feet or clapping along, as flowing dresses twirled and sombreros were tipped. After some hesitation, Commissioner Hugo Cabrera shared the dance floor with one local resident who sang her heart out.
Mayor Nicholas Sacco and the Board of Commissioners, along with Freeholder Anthony Vainieri, awarded proclamations to Colombian North Bergen residents who’ve made an impact in their community. This year, awards were given to Michelle Galves, Diego Mora, Doriela Hernandez, and the owners of Sabor Criollo Restaurant, a Colombian staple in North Bergen that raises funds for various township-sponsored events and donates money to the school district.
A banquet of empanadas and other Colombian delicacies was provided by Doriela Hernandez, and everyone in attendance stepped out into the balmy weather to hoist a Colombian Flag in front of Town Hall.
The fun is sure to pick up again when the township hosts a celebration of Peruvian Independence Day, which is July 28. The party will go on, and the Peruvian flag will fly high over Town Hall.