The Dominican Day Parade transformed New York City’s 6th Avenue in a loud and joyful merengue dance fest, bringing to a full display all the cheerfulness and vibrancy of the Dominican culture.

The 37th annual event stepped off around noon and stretched nearly 20 blocks between 36th and 52nd streets: dancers, colorful costumes, floats and lots of typical music transformed the Midtown section of Manhattan’s Avenue of the Americas in a joyful street party.

Thousands of revelers celebrated the Dominican heritage, waving Dominican Republic flags and displaying the island’s colors.

The parade brought a sense of pride to Dominicans, who felt “more and more like a big family, even if we don’t know each other” said one of the marchers.

On the same day, Governor Andrea Cuomo announced the opening of the Juan Pablo Duarte Foundation Community Space in Washington Heights, a cultural and educational center which will hold educational workshops, readings, art exhibits, and more.

The Dominican Day Parade is held every year on the second Sunday of August to coincide with the beginning of the Dominican Restoration War, in which the Dominican Republic conquered its freedom from Spain in 1865.