Biography

The Dominican Parade & Festival of New Jersey, was established in the year 1989, after the 5thannual Dominican Week of Paterson; which was held on the basis of the restoration of the Dominican Republic . This event was realized each year in the month of August in commemoration of the Restoration’s date; the idea came from Miguel Mendez, who was the 1stPresident, and it was Mr. Jose Santos, its fifth and final president, who at the Gala Dinner of said week announced that the following year the Dominican Week of Paterson would become a Parade. These events were sponsored by the Ramon Matias Mella Club and the Dominican Club House of Paterson.
The Dominican Parade & Festival of New Jerseywas initiated by the election of a board of directors composed of men and women from the Ramon Matias Mella Club and the Dominican Club House of Paterson. Ramon Matias Mella Club board members Jose Ramon Ruiz, Arturo Munoz, Juan de los Santos and other members chose Mrs. Elsa Mantilla as their candidate for the presidency of the parade in a meeting celebrated in the presence of both of the previously mentioned organizations, counting on the good reception of her and her husband Arturo Mantilla for that position, who after the relevant election became its first president.
The Dominican Parade & Festival of New Jersey has become the 1st major event of the Dominican community in the State of New Jersey in the last 26 years, the activities are celebrated in the month of August, for the Restorative date, but coincidentally with another activity of the same nature it is now held in the month of September.
The Board of Directors of the Dominican Parade & Festival of New Jersey has been run by eight women and seven men as follows:
1989: Elsa Mantilla
1990: Jose Ramon Ruiz
1991: Virtudes Sanchez
1992: Arturo Muñoz
1993: Altagracia Corazon
1994: Hugo Guzman
1995: Miguel Diaz
1996: Mirian Martines
1997: Iris Tejada
1998: Damaris Ruiz
1999: Hector Mercedes
2000: Agustina Almonte
2001: Yuris Rodriguez
2002: Maria Paulino
2003: Humberto Castellano
2004 to Present: Elsa Mantilla
However, because of lack properly qualified and interested candidates most of the presidents have had to take the reins of the parade led by Mrs. Elsa Mantilla, who throughout the last 11 years has sacrificed a lot to bear the responsibility of managing the activities of the parade, along with the support of some Ex-presidents.
The Dominican Parade & Festival of New Jersey has served to project the Dominican values in the state of New Jersey, standing in the cultural, sporting, artistry, the beauty of Dominican women, folklore, as well as the talent of men and women who have distinguished themselves in this state, and also giving the opportunity to many of our youth to become known in the social and political environment of this state.
The Dominican Parade & Festival of New Jersey has benefited from the presence of largely distinguished personalities of the Dominican Republic and other sister communities, who have always given us their support and collaboration for the development of our activities.
Mrs. Elsa Mantilla, President / Founder
Desfile y Festival Estatal Dominicano de NJ, Inc.
368 21st Avenue, Paterson, NJ 07501
Tel. 973-345-2326 – Fax 973-977-8098