Mexican Independence Day Celebrations in Chicago, Suburbs Set For This Weekend

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Thousands are expected to take to the streets in Chicago and at gatherings across the suburbs to celebrate Mexican Independence Day Friday and into the weekend.

The holiday, which falls on Friday, Sept. 16, celebrates Mexico’s declaration of independence from Spain in 1810. In Chicago, it's often marked with a wide variety of celebrations, including fireworks and flag-waving cars driving through the city.

And while last weekend marked the official kickoff to the festivities, with the annual 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade in Little Village, city officials are preparing for more activities and celebrations this weekend, which often include family traditions like caravans.

Car caravan celebrations and impromptu parades were reported Thursday evening in several locations, including along Michigan Avenue and DuSable Lake Shore Drive, with many waiving flags and revving engines.

"We come here and honk at each other, just to celebrate and express ourselves and the victory," said Luis Fernandez Thursday. "It is pretty important because it represents my country and who I am."

"It’s been a family tradition we’ve been doing," said Vanessa Mendoza. "My grandma taught us, my mom showed me and now we’re here."

While the city of Chicago has not announced any street closures, the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications said in a press release Thursday that through Sunday, residents can "expect increased traffic activity throughout the city."

Though the caravans may back up traffic in some areas, those taking part say the celebrations are part of their identity.

"Everybody was looking for freedom, everyone looks for peace. So it means so much," said Blanco Mendoza. "More than anything to show our culture tradition, our beautiful colors." All we want to do is bring happiness to everybody."

The OMEC says that the city is "taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all residents around Mexican Independence Day," and is asking residents to "be cognizant of your neighbors and respectful of others while celebrating and realizing there are critical functions that exist for the well-being of all."

Planned Events for Mexican Independence Day in Chicago and the Suburbs

Annual Mexican Patriotic Parade, Chicago

  • Sept. 18
  • Step off begins at 1 p.m.
  • Parade route heads south along Commercial Avenue from 87th Street to 100th Street and disband at 101st Street 

Pilsen Fest

Aurora's Mexican Flag Raising Ceremony

  • Sept. 16, 11 a.m.
  • One Aurora Plaza

Joliet's 59th Annual Mexican Independence Day Parade

Fiestas Patrias Festival, Waukegan

El Grito, Boilingbrook

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