100,000 Catholics Flock to Des Plaines

Our Lady of Guadalupe Festival runs through Monday

Sunday, Dec 11, 2011  |  Updated 3:58 PM CDT
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100,000 Catholics Flock to Des Plaines

Big crowds are gathering in Des Plaines Sunday as tens of thousands converge for the annual Our Lady of Guadalupe festival.

Crowds in excess of 100,000 people are anticipated for the festival, which starts at 4 p.m. Sunday, and runs through 8 p.m. Monday at Maryville Academy, the Tribune reported.

The academy at 1150 N. River Road has hosted the festival for 24 years. It honors the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe near Mexico City 470 years ago.

The appearance was attributed to the Virgin Mary, and has been celebrated ever since. Several shrines have been built in Mexico and the U.S., including one in La Crosse, Wis., and the one in Des Plaines.

There will be a procession followed by several masses throughout the night as singers serenade the Virgin Mary. Click here for a detailed description of the events.

Traffic near the Maryville Academy is expected to be a big concern. Central Road will be closed intermittently through Monday. Drivers are advised to avoid the area.

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