Little Village holds 'El Grito De Dolores' celebration ahead of Mexican Independence Day

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There was a big celebration in Little Village Sunday, ahead of Mexican Independence Day on Thursday.

The traditional parade was canceled again this year, so instead, the Little Village Community Council is hosting the "El Grito De Dolores" celebration.

The "Cry of Dolores" is considered the call to arms that sparked the Mexican War of Independence.

¡Que viva Mexico! Long live Mexico.

The event was re-enacted in Little Village Park in front of hundreds of people eager to come together and celebrate.

It's the traditional cry of independence, issued every September 15 on the eve of Mexico's Independence Day.

"We're here to shout viva Mexico, and also to continue with our traditions and our culture, and let our children know why we are celebrating. The importance of being free -- of being independent," said Baltazar Enriquez, president of the Little Village Community Council.

The day started out slow and filled in as the sun began to set.

The day-long party included a little bit of everything. Music and dancing for the kids, some dressed in traditional garb, arts and crafts vendors showing off their wares imported from every corner of Mexico,. And of course, there was the food, especially popular were the traditional aguas to cool off during the hot day.

"My grandma started this business five or six years ago. We started out small and then my mom came and made the business a little bigger. Started adding more things," said food vendor, Yuricsa Ortega.

Just a few blocks away from La Villita Park was an adhoc parade of flag flag-draped cars lining 26th Street as far as the eye could see.

So, while the cheering crowds and the floats were missing, in a way, Little Village still got it's parade.

"For me, it's something beautiful. I got here when I was 7-years-old, so I never know what's going on in Mexico. I learned here a little bit more because the community showed me," said Mercedes Alvarez.

The parade celebrated 50 years in 2019.

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The celebration continues until 11 p.m. in Little Village Park.
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