Mexico's official independence day is Sept. 16
CHICAGO (WLS) -- This weekend, Chicago's awash in red, white and green as the city celebrates Mexican Independence Day.
It's a celebration of that is Mexican culture as the Pilsen Mexican Independence Day parade steps off in the southwest side neighborhood.
"This is the first time I've ever been here. Its amazing," said Brian Schneck.
For the 20th time, the annual procession headed across 18th street at noon Saturday.
Frank De Avila is the parade co-organizer and Pilsen Chamber of Commerce board member.
"The theme is independence day, Mexico's independence celebration within the Mexico community that's been done for many, many years," Avila said.
Today's celebration featured local marching bands, colorful floats and dancers -some dressed in traditional pre-Hispanic attire.
"It's completely done by hand. It takes about eight months to make and there's always a pre-Hispanic theme to it. So this theme is about the seven sons of Mexico," said Wendy Arzate.
And of course, everyone's fan-favorite did not disappoint.
"My favorite is the dancing horses. They are amazing," said Maria Morales.
I was born and raised in Mexico and it is just so amazing just to be here in Chicago, so far away from home, but it feels like home," said Denisse Veron.
And while the focus is on fun some like Mexican congresswoman Nora Oranday said she's participating for the ongoing plight of migrants.
"I'm so glad to still talk to the people. I'm a migrant myself, so I understand the issue," said Oranday.
The parade and other weekend celebrations are expected to draw a half-million people.
Celebrations continues on Sunday, including the 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade in Little Village.