September 16 marks the 199th year of Mexican Independence and Minneapolis and St. Paul are ready to celebrate! This important holiday commemorates the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence against Spanish rule and is celebrated by those of Mexican Heritage the world over.
In Minneapolis, a large celebration is planned for Sunday September 13 between noon and 7 p.m. on Lake Street and 4th Ave South. This family-friendly event will include a parade at 1 p.m., running from Bloomington to 3rd Avenue on Lake Street, which is expected to draw more than 50 participants including dancers, musicians, and decorated vehicles. The celebration will also include food and merchandise vendors, information about community groups and services, and a car and bike show. The mission of the celebration is to showcase and promote local business and educate about the Latino community. Some 20-25,000 people are expected to attend.
In St. Paul, Boca Chica Restaurante (11 Cesar Chavez Street) will celebrate September 15 with lunch and dinner specials as well as live Mariachi, culminating in the Grito, or the Shout of Independence, symbolizing the ringing of the bell and Shout of Independence that began the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. On September 16th Boca Chica will continue celebrations with an all-you-can-eat taquito (taco) bar and live Mariachi.
Community advocacy and involvement are important themes of the Mexican Independence day celebrations and to honor this theme Ramón León, President and CEO of the Latino Economic Development Center will receive the Ohtli Award presented by the Mexican Consul in Minnesota, Ana Luisa Fajer Flores. This prestigious award is presented to persons who greatly improve the lives of Mexicans living outside of Mexico. León and the LEDC, have created and supported opportunities for Mexican and Latino entrepreneurs in the Twin Cities as well as in rural Minnesota. (See Minnesota Voices article on Ramón León.) The awards ceremony will be held at International Market Square in Minneapolis on September 15 at 7pm.
The Mexican Independence Day celebrations are only the beginning of several celebrations and events that are being held in honor of Hispanic Heritage month which runs from September 15 to October 15. To learn about other Minnesota events, visit the Chicano Latino Affairs Council website. For more information about the Minneapolis Mexican Independence Day celebration, how to help or participate, visit GoLatino.org.
Nora Leinen (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a student at the University of Minnesota and an intern with the TC Daily Planet through the HECUA program.
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