PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Education Center in Peoria celebrated more than 200 years of Mexican independence in a creative way.

Clad in cultural attire, more than 100 preschoolers marched in a parade to commemorate Mexican Independence Day on Friday.

About one-third of Valeska Hinton students are Hispanic, according to Principal Katie Cobb.

“This is our first year doing the parade. So every year we try to think of something different and exciting,” Cobb said.

Teacher Jeanelle Valdovinos, who is Mexican-American, came up with the idea for a parade.

“It is very fun and just bringing our culture out, representing it to everyone else at the school as we have so many different backgrounds,” she said.

Valdovinos, who teaches one of three Spanish-English classes at Valeska Hinton, said she has students hailing from Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.

Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821.