J.Lo, Anthony Lead Puerto Rican Day Parade

06/12/2006 at 08:40 AM EDT

J.Lo, Anthony Lead Puerto Rican Day Parade
Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez
Ronald Asadorian/Splash News
Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony were the surprise stars of New York City's annual Puerto Rican Day festivities on Sunday.

The New York natives – both of whom are of Puerto Rican descent – and mayor Michael Bloomberg headed up the parade of floats, folk dancers, show horses and beauty queen in towering tiaras. Other celebs in attendance included Rosie Perez and Jimmy Smits, the New York Post reports.

"The Puerto Rican parade has been a long-standing tradition in my life," Anthony told the crowd. "It was always an event that I looked forward to every single year."

Mayor Bloomberg joked about being overshadowed by the famous couple. "In the pictures tomorrow, I will be lucky if I am noticed at all," he said, drawing a giggle from a Cavalli-clad Lopez.

Indeed, the hordes of paparazzi forced police officers and Guardian Angels to keep Lopez and Anthony cordoned off from the crowds as they moved up the street, according to the Associated Press.

Lopez has always been proud of her heritage. "I've never tried to hide the fact that I'm Latina," she told People en Espanol recently. "I think that's why Hispanics are like, 'She's ours; she's out there, but she belongs to us' – and that's true. With the Latino community, I am theirs. I do belong to them – that's who I am."

The Puerto Rican Day parade, which became an annual event in 1958, has in past years drawn hundreds of thousands of revelers.

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