Mexican Independence Day Closes Downtown Chicago Streets

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...


Mexican Independence Day is celebrated every year by Mexican Americans all over the country on Sept.16, 2020. Every year it is a tradition for Chicago’s Mexican residents to meet up at an undetermined downtown location, and they cruise the area, beeping, and shouting ‘Viva Mexico.

According to city officials, due to Mexican Independence Day traffic, multiple streets were closed downtown. The closures were in the area of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. Closures were also reported in Little Village.

Mexico City, Mexico

In Mexico City, the prevailing mood was one of brief escapism and people lingering in bars and eateries across the city. Defined by the devastation of a virus that has taken more than 71,600 lives and hammered the economy.

“We are proud, but we are angry and sad at the same time,” said Laura Santander, 28, a physician who was sipping rum and Cokes with friends at a noisy cafe. “This is our nation’s birthday, and normally we love to celebrate and shout and carry on. But we know the pandemic is not going to go away for a long time. It is eclipsing our pride.”

The authorities did not host the traditional late-night gathering Tuesday in the Zócalo. Normally large crowds would assemble in the grand plaza to hear the president reenact the Cry of Dolores, which launched the 1810 uprising that led to independence.

Elgin Illinois

In Elgin Illinois, the Mexican Independence Day parades gradually ended because the Elgin police apparently saw them as a nuisance and a disturbance. But this year the best part was seeing people smiling, waving, and shaking their fists in the air, just cheering it on.

Even though the pandemic has reduced this well-needed celebration, all over the country they still remember when.

Written By Omari Jahi


Chicago Sun-Times: City closes streets in downtown, Little Village amid Mexican Independence Day celebrations; Sam Kelly and Carly Behm

The Washington Post: Empty plazas, idle mariachis: For Mexico, a somber Independence Day; Pamela Constable

Chicago Tribune: Caravan tradition revived in Elgin to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, Gloria Casas

Feature and Top Image Courtesy of Jorge Mendoza-Torres’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


Send Us A Message