Sunnyside Shines BID salutes Colombian Independence Day

July 22, Sunnyside, NYC: Sunnyside has a dynamic, and growing Latinx community. Sunnyside Shines works closely with all the various Latinx communities in Sunnyside and today is the day we celebrate the Colombian Community. Along Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue’s commercial corridors, you will see numerous venues with Colombian owners and countless Colombians working in our local shops. “We work closely with many of the Colombian restaurants and bakeries along Queens Boulevard, Greenpoint Avenue, and side streets. “We see the daily contributions of the dynamic and growing Colombian community here in Sunnyside,” explained Dirk McCall de Palomá, Executive Director of Sunnyside Shines, “As a gringo married to a Colombian, I celebrate Colombian culture daily, and today we all come together to recognize the contributions of Colombians to Sunnyside. We are so proud and grateful to the Colombian community for their work in Sunnyside and Western Queens”. “Sunnyside has many wonderful Colombian locals and merchants that continue to enrich Sunnyside. It is vital to represent and celebrate all the endless efforts and contributions of the local Colombian community” said Evelyn Chango, Program Manager of Sunnyside Shines

This celebration is coordinated by Sunnyside Shines in conjunction with Councilmember Julie Won, Queens Community Board 2, Ponce Bank, TD Bank, NYC Department of Transportation, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and La Vienesa Bakery.  This is the first celebration of Colombian Independence Day in Sunnyside, but most certainly not the last. 

Performers for the event tonight include Ricardo Estevan, a Colombian singer who has received many awards, and a dynamic dance group, Mestizo Art Center. 

Vice Consul of the Colombian consulate, Nicolas Avila Vargas will bring greetings. The master of ceremonies is Fabricio Caro, Director of Community Affairs for FDNY, a proud Colombian.

Colombian food for the event was donated by our sponsor, La Vienesa Bakery, with additional food from Café Colombia and Mira Cali. Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue have numerous Colombian owned or operated establishments including but not limited to Pegas y Algo Mas, Pollera de Mario, to Café Colombia, Los Verdes, Paper Plus Printing, Buen Sabor,   El Pilon Bakery, Mira Cali, and El Parador Caleño.  

Celebrating the event, State Senator Michael Gianaris declared, ““Residents of Colombian descent have been a vital part of the Queens community for many years and I am privileged to represent so many in the State Senate. Happy Colombian Independence Day to all and thank you to Sunnyside Shines for making the space for this important celebration.”

NYC Councilmember Julie Won stated, " I want to wish the Colombian community of District 26 a Happy Colombian Independence Day! I am honored to be a part of the first celebration of Colombian Independence in Sunnyside. I want to thank Sunnyside Shines for organizing this celebration and look forward to continuing to build community with our Colombian neighbors.” 

“Our Colombian merchant community makes Sunnyside Shine – their contributions to the civic and commercial life of Sunnyside are too numerous to count and their restaurants fill our hearts and stomachs with joy.  We celebrate the Colombian community and salute them on this anniversary of the Independence of Colombia,” said Dirk McCall de Palomá, Executive Director of Sunnyside Shines.  “We encourage everyone to go out to a Colombian venue tonight and celebrate with food and drinks.  I’m planning on Aguardiente shots tonight myself.”

To see the upcoming events for the BID, please visit the Sunnyside Shines website at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @SunnysideShines

Sunnyside Shines thanks Councilmember Julie Won, Queens Community Board 2, NYC Department of Transportation, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, TD Bank, Ponce Bank and La Vienessa Bakery for making this event possible.