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Why I Cherish the Parranda en El Barrio

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Navidad Criolla Last weekend I went to the Parranda en El Barrio and had a great time. For those that missed this year's Traditional Puerto Rican Christmas celebration in East Harlem, mark your calendars for next year. Once again the Parranda met and exceeded my expectations. The place was beautiful, the food was plentiful (and good!!) and the songs timeless! The band Cholo Rivera y Salsa typica (which sometimes goes by the name Charanga Blues) was exceptional. We were greeted with coquito and bowls of candy from Puerto Rico. The host, Dr. Anna Villafane, made everyone feel at home. This year guests were also given beautiful maracas, which I will cherish forever! Because of the Parranda's growing popularity, organizers might have to move the event next year to accommodate the increasing crowds. It will be great to keep the Parranda in El Barrio though. Despite the Parranda's growth, the key ingredient that must remain the same is the welcoming and giving env