Puerto Rican Day parade festivities kick off in Castle Hill

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THE BRONX -

The Bronx is set to celebrate the Puerto Rican Day parade this Sunday, and the fun is already getting started in Castle Hill.

Thursday marked the kickoff of the 31st annual parade, which is the second largest Puerto Rican parade in the country.

This year's grand marshal is City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. The "godfather" is former Rep. Charlie Rangel.

News 12 spoke with two former parade queens, who they say they want to avoid the controversy surrounding Manhattan's Puerto Rican Day parade. They say the Bronx event is its own, separate celebration.

The parade begins Sunday at 11 a.m.  It starts at East 192nd Street and the Grand Concourse.

Organizers say everyone is welcome, no matter where they are from. 

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