North Bergen celebrated the 207th anniversary of Colombian Independence Day with a ceremonial flag-raising on July 19 at Town Hall. Mayor Nicholas Sacco presided over the event, addressing the crowd in Spanish. Joining him in greeting the audience were Commissioners Hugo Cabrera and Julio Marenco, and Freeholder Anthony Vainieri. Cabrera noted his own Colombian heritage and the strong contributions of the Colombian community and culture.
Michelle Galves, 11, kicked off the proceedings by singing the national anthems of both Colombia and the United States. Mayor Sacco then presented certificates of appreciation to Galves and four other local residents with Colombian backgrounds.
Elvia Valencia was honored for being a community leader supporting international and regional causes including a local food pantry. Nurys Capello was honored for keeping alive Colombian folklore as the founder and leader of the Orquidea de Oro dance troupe. Karen Cano was honored as a second-generation business owner for her work in collaboration with the Hispanic and Colombian community. And Fernando Escobar was honored with a certificate as the Hispanic journalist of the year.
The event concluded with the raising of the Colombian flag over town hall.