CHICAGO -- ABC 7 CHICAGO celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 11 - Oct. 15, with the 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade, a series of news stories, a half-hour special "OUR CHICAGO: VOCES UNIDAS" and vignettes.
The 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade, taking place in Chicago's historic Little Village under the iconic Bienvenidos welcoming arch, is hosted by ABC 7 anchors Terrell Brown and Tanja Babich, with Liz Nagy capturing all the festivities on the street, Sunday, Sept. 11 at 11 p.m. It will also be available on abc7chicago.com. (The parade kicks off on Sept. 11 at noon.) Vice President of The Little Village Chamber of Commerce Eve Rodriguez Montoya will provide an insider's perspective on the history of the parade, the traditions and its importance to the community. After a two-year hiatus, the highly anticipated parade returns to the city with the theme "Nuestra Unidad es Nuestra Fortaleza" or "Our Unity is Our Strength," featuring colorful floats, mariachi bands, dancing and an expected crowd of 500,000.
Hosted by ABC 7's Rob Elgas and Michelle Gallardo with contribution from Mark Rivera, "OUR CHICAGO: VOCES UNIDAS" offers a rich tapestry of stories highlighting the contributions of Chicago's vibrant Latino community. The half-hour program airs twice on ABC 7 Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 25, at 11 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 2, at 4:30 p.m. and will be available on abc7chicago.com and ABC 7's connected TV apps. "OUR CHICAGO: VOCES UNIDAS" is an Emmy Award-winning series of special programs produced by ABC 7 Chicago.
"OUR CHICAGO: VOCES UNIDAS" profiles stellar individuals and organizations who play an important role in their communities and the city of Chicago:
-Illinois Deputy Governor Sol Flores is a proud Puerto Rican American from humble beginnings who has devoted her time and efforts to eradicating homelessness in Chicago. Inspired by the devotion of her own family, Flores has committed her life to the values of love and justice, becoming the executive director of La Casa Norte, a nonprofit that has now helped thousands of homeless people. Flores' most recent endeavor, the Foundation Project, will bring a new healthcare center, nutrition and housing to Chicago's West Side.
-La Catedral Cafe, located in the Little Village neighborhood, serves up some of the best Mexican and American brunch favorites in a restaurant rich with Mexican culture and Catholic-based artifacts that adorn walls and ceilings. A heavenly menu includes 12 different chilaquiles, sinful pancakes topped with frosted flakes along with authentic Mexican coffee laced with cinnamon. Chef and owner Ambrocio Gonzalez attributes La Catedral's success to delicious food and warm community relationships but also quips, "I'm not lucky, I'm blessed." Pointing to the surrounding statues and crosses, he admits, "I get a lot of help."
-Equipo Charro Juan Colorado is local group based in Grant Park that stays true to its Mexican roots by competing in local and national Charreria competitions. Charreria, similar to U.S. rodeo, consists of nine different skill events or "suertes." Local CPS teacher Diana Fernandez is a frontrunner for the group.
-Luis Beltran, a native of Ecuador and member of the world renowned Ensemble Español Theater, has consistently dazzled audiences with his passion for flamenco. He is committed to keeping flamenco alive and bringing his dance knowledge to Chicago's youth. Beltran was named one of the top 25 dancers to watch in 2020 by Dance Magazine. His performance at the Ukrainian Village Festival will be featured in the special. All proceeds from the event contributed to Ukrainian war efforts.
-Borinken Cakes brings traditional Puerto Rican cupcakes to the Chicago community. With recipes passed down through several generations, Borinken Cakes is a proud woman-owned family business that thrives on putting authenticity into each of their sweet treats.
-Rudy Lozano, an influential Latino politician from Little Village, was known for his labor activism and support for immigrant workers. He was an instrumental force in helping to elect Chicago's first Black mayor, Harold Washington, and his memory lives on in the Chicago Latino community.
About ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago
ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago is the No. 1 local news source and most-watched television station in Chicago. With top-rated daily newscasts spanning decades and the largest social media presence in the market with more than 2.6 million Facebook followers, ABC7 Eyewitness News provides breaking news, investigative reporting, weather, politics, traffic and sports in the multiplatform space to Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana. Named Best News Operation by the Associated Press for four consecutive years, ABC 7 Eyewitness News produces "Chicago Proud," a series of features that spotlights everyday heroes in and around Chicago. The station also produces the highest-rated New Year's Eve special in Chicago, holiday kickoff special "The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival," syndicated to a national audience, as well as the award-winning program series "Our Chicago," which showcases the city's diversity and highlights contributions in the Black, Hispanic, Asian, LGBTQ+ communities, among others. Every Friday, Windy City Weekend entertains while giving Chicagoans everything they need to know about what's happening in the city. ABC 7 is the only Chicago station producing and broadcasting parades representing Chicago's rich cultural history. In addition to producing town halls focused on current social issues, the station has a long and proud tradition of broadcasting political candidate debates keeping Chicago's electorate informed. ABC7's outreach efforts include annual partnerships with the Red Cross for life-saving blood drives, one of the biggest one-day drives in the country and, most recently, spearheading an effort to raise more than $1.5 million for area food pantries.