Mother Nature was not very accommodating, rendering Philadelphia mighty húmedo Sunday.
But that didn't dampen the spirits of those who turned out to celebrate Dominican culture.
Celebrations began with the 2018 Dominican Day Parade at Sixth Street and Lehigh Avenue, followed by a festival of food and music at the Lighthouse Field on Erie Avenue, with performances in bachata, salsa, merengue típico and dembow.
Organizers said rain — sometimes pouring — affected attendance, estimated at about 200. It was the third year in a row the event was soggy, said José Joaquín Matos, a committee consultant for the parade and festival, the 18th held in Philadelphia. The first was in 1996, with a few interruptions over the years.
According to the U.S. Census, about 22,000 Dominicans live in Philadelphia. Outside the city, there are high concentrations in Allentown, Reading and Lancaster. A 2015 study by the City University of New York's Dominican Studies Institute determined that Pennsylvania has the third-largest concentration of Dominicans outside of the island.
We asked parade and festival attendees: How are Dominicans shaping Philadelphia?
"Dominicans immigrated to Philadelphia and have developed their own community without the use of government dollars. Now, more U.S.-born professionals are moving in the area, too."
"The festival and the pageant are examples of cross-cultural experiences, as Dominicans with backgrounds from the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico get to learn about their roots and heritage here in Philadelphia."
"Dominicans are thriving well in commercial businesses in Philadelphia, and are now involved in home ownership for renting."
"The Dominican population in the state is the third largest outside of the island, and the state must be that backstop for the community to be involved and have a voice on a federal level."