Pilsen sees large crowds as Fiesta del Sol fun continues

CHICAGO (WLS) -- People have been flocking to Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood all weekend for good music, food, rides and fun at the 47th annual Fiesta del Sol.

The four-day celebration of Latino culture kicked off Thursday night and continues through Sunday.

This year, the festival will also include an emphasis on preparing Chicago's Latino community for the upcoming census amid fears about the threat of deportations.

With more than 1 million people expected over the next four days, it's an important festival for retailers.

"For Pilsen, it's a big thing because you know, with little changes here and there. See, everybody is here as one," said Leo Jacquez, an attendee.

Now in its 47th year, Fiesta del Sol began as a block party but now takes up a mile-long stretch of Cermak that is packed with hundreds of thousands of people.

"I love that it keeps on growing," said Lilia Salinas, who visited the festival over the weekend. "It's the 47th year of it being here and it all started like a block party. Now it's so big and grand. It's just amazing, I just love it."

Organizers have anticipated large crowds all weekend, despite fear and uncertainty about federal threats to deport undocumented residents. They reassured the community that all residents will be safe here.

The festival closed Saturday at 11 p.m. and will reopen Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free.
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