PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peorians celebrated Mexican Independence Tuesday, driving decorated cars throughout the city. The celebration was a day early. The Mexican community calls their independence day eve, El Grito.
Sept. 16 is the official and national holiday in Mexico. On Sept. 16, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo Y Costilla, a catholic priest and revolutionary leader made the first cry of independence.
Another name for the priest is “Father of Independence.” He launched the Mexican War of Independence, which ended centuries of Spanish rule by 1821.
Now, annually, Mexican families celebrate freedom and culture even here in Peoria.
“It’s important so that everyone can know like different cultures and experience how different cultures are,” Yuliana Ocampo a celebration participant said.
Santiago Vargus was born in Mexico. He said he moved to the country for a better life, but will always celebrate his native country’s independence day because it is in his blood. Vargas said there is more to his nation than famous foods, like tacos.
“The food is very important in mexico, and a lot of people love Mexican food, but food is not the only things that people are in love with,” Vargas said.
The participants said the road to freedom was long for their ancestors so they intend on reveling in it every chance they get.
“We came from a lot of hardships and we had a lot of stuff to overcome but at the end of the day we’re here,” Nicholas Isabeles of Peoria said.
Maria Miranda, the event organizer, said all though it was fun and fellowship for the Mexican community it was an opportunity to education the community.
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