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By Brian Latimer

New York City — Despite a seemingly endless heatwave, Sunday was a day of celebration in New York City as residents, visitors, celebrities and officials participated in the 35th annual Dominican Day Parade.

Spectators beat the heat to participate in the Dominican Day Parade in New York City.John McCarten / New York City Council

This year's theme centered around honoring and empowering Dominican women and their contributions to politics, social justice and Latino progress.

Among those honored were Alejandra Castillo, National Director, Minority Business Development Agency, Nurys De Oleo, Senior Advisor at the Office of New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Clarissa Molina, who was crowned Nuestra Belleza Latina 2016.

The parade's Grand Marshal was acclaimed singer and composer Juan Luis Guerra.

A performer wears a colorful costume during the Dominican Republic Day parade on 6th Avenue in Manhattan August 15, 1999. (Photo by Oleg Nikishin)Getty Images

New York City is home to about 750 thousand people of Dominican heritage, which is almost 50 percent of the U.S. Dominican population, according to the Pew Research Center.

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