The Colombian Independence Day Parade kicked off around noon on Sunday at the corner of 68th Street and Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights.

Organizers estimated about 1,800 people showed up along the 18 block parade route.

"I [came to] visit a friend and they said the parade [is happening] so I came too," said parade goer Salvador Suaca.

Miss Colombia, also now the reigning Miss Universe, made a special appearance on one of the parade floats.

She was one of more than a handful of parade guests to come from outside New York.

"We have special invitees from Colombia, my friend Gerald Mesa Carmen and my friend from Miami," said the CEO for the Colombian Parade of New York, Rafael Castelar.

The guests came to the Queens event, although they have already seen a number of other Colombian parades.

"Queens is a magic city and we have a lot of Colombians. It’s a big community, the Colombians, here in this area," said Mauricio Gomez of Miami, FL.

The focus of the event may have been celebrating Colombia's independence but government officials say they are still fighting for their freedom.

"We freed ourselves 205 years ago from the Spanish people and now we're fighting to get free from war. We're trying to find peace. The Colombian government is negotiating in Havana with the guerillas of the FARC and hopefully very very soon we’re going to sign a peace agreement, “ said María Isabel Nieto Jaramillo, Consul for Colombian Government in New York City.

City leaders, including Comptroller Scott Stringer, also took time from their political duties to take part in the festivities.  

"I’ve always loved coming to the parade because of the energy, the culture, the excitement and I think this is how we celebrate New York we celebrate all our different communities," Stringer said. 

Making the event a celebration not just of Colombian culture but also of the pride many Americans have of their Colombian heritage.