Chicago’s Cinco de Mayo parade was canceled just days before stepping off amid a dispute between the event’s organizers and the area alderman.
The parade was originally scheduled for May 6 in the Little Village neighborhood on the city’s Southwest Side.
However, Hector Escobar, who organizes the event through the Cermak Road Chamber of Commerce, told the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs on Friday that the parade would be canceled, saying he was “tired of fighting” with Ald. George Cardenas.
Escobar claimed Cardenas was stealing sponsors to hold his own similar parade in another area, saying the cancellation will be a big economic loss for some businesses in the area that had already ordered extra supplies.
Escobar also said Cardenas interfered in the approval process for the event – a claim that Cardenas vehemently denied. A spokeswoman for Cardenas said that the cancellation seemed “politically motivated” and that the application to the Department of Cultural Affairs was not complete.
“The allegation that I interfered in the permitting process for this year’s parade is completely false,” Cardenas said in a statement.
“According to the Department of Cultural Affairs, the applicant failed to submit the necessary documentation, including an insurance policy and a letter of approval from the police department,” his statement continued. “The permit was not issued because the application was incomplete. The parade is not taking place due to the lack of responsibility on behalf of the organizer.”
“All Aldermen involved had the option to request a hearing if they had a concern, I certainly did not,” Cardenas said, adding, “There is no such conflict of interest, and I would never interfere with a significant annual celebration of Mexican culture and heritage.”