Chicago Sounds Alarm for Mexican Independence Day Celebrations – Stay Informed with NBC Chicago

Gear Up for Mexican Independence Day in Chicago: Traffic, Safety, and Celebrations

Mexican Independence Day is just around the corner, bringing with it a host of festivities. But as Chicago gears up for the celebrations, city officials have issued a warning alongside their preparations for crowds and traffic. The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) has emphasized the importance of public safety, stating that “car caravans that create a threat to public safety will not be tolerated.” They have also reminded the public that drag racing and drifting are not only illegal but extremely dangerous. Any violations will be dealt with accordingly.

The OEMC has urged all participants to celebrate responsibly and with respect for their neighbors, communities, and critical facilities such as hospitals. It is crucial to be mindful of first responders and emergency vehicles that may need to pass through celebration areas across the city. With these safety precautions in place, let’s delve into the details of what you need to know for a thrilling Mexican Independence Day weekend in Chicago.

Public Safety

In previous years, Mexican Independence Day celebrations in Chicago have necessitated several street closures due to large gatherings of revelers. While the city and police department have taken steps to prepare for the festivities, Chicago Alderman Brendan Reilly has warned downtown residents about the potential arrival of caravans associated with the celebration, which might cause traffic congestion and noise disturbances.

Although no street closures are planned as of Thursday, access points to downtown will remain open to residents and employees even if closures are implemented. The checkpoints at various locations will not require a driver’s license or access pass.

  • North Halsted and West Division
  • North Halsted and West Chicago
  • North Halsted and West Washington
  • North Halsted and West Madison
  • South Halsted and South Jackson
  • West Roosevelt and South Union
  • 18th Street and South State
  • 18th Street and South Michigan
  • 18th Street and South Indiana
  • West Division and North LaSalle

It’s important to note that Mexican Independence Day coincides with other major events taking place in the city, leading to increased traffic. Riot Fest, Karol G’s Soldier Field concert, a White Sox game, and a United Center performance featuring 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, and Jeremiah are just some of the exciting events happening over the weekend.

Mexican Independence Day Parade

Telemundo Chicago will broadcast the highly anticipated Mexican Independence Day Parade, which will begin at noon on September 16. This year’s parade holds special significance as it falls on the actual date of Mexican Independence Day for the first time and takes place on a Saturday. The theme, “Tu Mexico, Tu Chicago,” will showcase the representation of each Mexican state.

Penelope Menchaca, the host of Telemundo’s popular national morning news and entertainment program “Hoy Día,” will serve as the Parade Marshal for the 2023 event. The partnership between Telemundo Chicago and the Little Village Chamber of Commerce adds an extra touch to this iconic event.

Telemundo Chicago, along with the NBC Chicago News 24/7 streaming channel, will provide live coverage of the parade from 12-1 p.m. CT, with continued live streaming until 1:30 p.m.

Telemundo Chicago’s Alfonso Gutiérrez, Anabel Monge, and Héctor Lozano will be among the featured talent reporting on this year’s parade.

Other Mexican Independence Day Events

Aside from the parade, Chicago has a variety of other events lined up for Mexican Independence Day celebrations:

2023 El Grito Family Run/Walk 5K – Little Village
Saturday, September 16, 10 a.m. – Noon
The annual El Grito 5K will start at the corner of 26th Street and Kostner and proceed to Kedzie Avenue before heading back down 26th Street to Manual Perez, Jr. Plaza. For more details, visit

Annual Mexican Patriotic Parade – Commercial Avenue
Sunday, September 17, 1 p.m. (Assembly begins at 10 a.m.)
The parade route will travel south along Commercial Avenue from 87th Street to 100th Street, disbanding at 101st Street to 103rd Street.

What is Mexican Independence Day?

Mexican Independence Day falls on September 16 and commemorates the country’s declaration of independence from Spain. It is essential to distinguish this significant day from Cinco de Mayo, as they are often confused in the U.S. Mexican Independence Day marks the moment in 1810 when Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rallied the largely indigenous and mestizo congregation of his small Dolores parish church, inspiring them to take up arms and fight for Mexico’s freedom from Spanish rule. This event, known as the “El Grito de Dolores” or “Cry of Dolores,” is celebrated on September 16 as Mexican Independence Day.


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