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Controversy brews over trash left after Peruvian parade and festival

The parade starts in Passaic, passes through Clifton and ends in Paterson with a festival. Social media posts showed trash and empty liquor and beer bottles in the streets.

Chris Keating

Aug 8, 2023, 9:21 PM

Updated 318 days ago

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The 36th annual Peruvian Day Parade was held in Paterson this past Sunday. But some in the community complained about the parade organizers after social media posts showed a large amount of trash left behind on the streets.
Those streets included College Boulevard and Main Street where the festival was held. The parade starts in Passaic, passes through Clifton and ends in Paterson with a festival. Social media posts showed trash and empty liquor and beer bottles in the streets.
The parade is run by Peruvian Parade Inc. Louis Ona and Guillermo Huertas are directors with the organization. They say others running the festival dropped the ball and failed to prepare trash cans and volunteers. They also point out that those organizers are outsiders to Paterson.
“That manual says we have to hire dumpsters provide plastic bags, get an army of volunteers,” Ona says.
“They don’t love Paterson, they don’t love Passaic, they don’t love Clifton,” says Huertas.
The city says Peruvian Parade Inc. paid the necessary fee upfront - $40,000 in fees that covers police and cleanup by the Department of Public Works.
As far as the mayor of Paterson is concerned, there was no harm because the organization paid for the service.
“I can assure you that the Peruvian Parade organizers, they paid the city $4,000 for Public Works employees to clean up whatever was left as a result of the festival,” says Mayor Andre Sayegh. “They know going in you are going to be charged Irrespective of what you leave behind.”
The organizers had to pay around $36,000 for the police coverage.
They say that they hope to hold it in Paterson again with some improvements.


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