Thousands from all over the Midwest are expected to visit the shrine to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is the most visited shrine in the United States, and second in the world to the Shrine of Our Lady in Mexico City.
The unofficial start to the festivities was the blessing of horses and their riders with the Los Vaqueros Unidos, or United Cowboys Club. They arrived early Sunday from Northbrook and will stay through the tradition feast, which is celebrated every Dec. 12 for the Virgin Mary.
Music and dancing was featured at the shrine, where people will bring flowers and candles. By the end of the celebration, the entire shrine is expected to be covered with the gifts.