BRIDGEPORT - Thousands of southwestern Connecticut residents celebrated their Puerto Rican heritage Sunday at the 2008 Puerto Rican Parade and Festival in Bridgeport.

Festival attendees waved flags, listened to music and watched as floats made their way down Park Avenue. Residents said they felt proud to celebrate their heritage in such a festive atmosphere.

"This is everything to us," said Bridgeport resident Debbie Falcone. "We come out here to celebrate our flag, to celebrate everything. This is everybody coming together. We're all family."

Organizers say the parade is one of the largest held in southwestern Connecticut.