Chicago's 2017 Mexican Independence Festival - A Photo Essay

Photos and words by April Alonso.


A man waves his Mexican Flag on the corner of 59th Ct and Cermak during the Mexican Independence Day Parade, also known as El Grito, took place in Cicero, IL on Sunday September 17th, 2017.


A parade float with Tamborazo musicians pass through the parade route on Cermak for the Mexican Independence Day Parade in Cicero, IL. This float was one of the many that participated in the parade including floats of local businesses, Morton College, Morton High School, and musicians.


Horseback riders such as this man rode his horse down Cermak as the little boy sat in the front of the saddle.

Participants made their way down the parade route from Austin/ Cermak to Laramie/Cermak marking the end of the route. This parade float for RE/MAX had signs and T-shirts with phrases in support of DACA.


Morton College, the Community College of Cicero, participates in the annual parade for Mexican Independence. The participants threw T-shirts and other freebies for the enthusiastic crowd to take home.


Children sit on top of shoulders as others climb onto the metal sidewalk railings to catch a glimpse of the parade procession that went down the crowded street of Cermak. The parade brought many families of the Cicero community together in celebration of the day, in the small town of Dolores in Mexico, where Hidalgo rang his church bell and encouraged the people gathered to revolt against the Spanish Rule.

People wear hats or shirts that symbolize Mexico and gather for free candy, freesbies and T-shirts as the parade procession made its way down Cermak on Sunday September 17th.


Parade floats and participants made their way down the parade route from Austin/ Cermak to Laramie/Cermak marking the end of the route. A group of people sat on the float, as this woman (R) waved to the crowd while another woman sang the National Anthem of Mexico.

People gather outside the local Supermercado, Chapala, in preparation for the Mexican Independence Day Parade to begin its route down Cermak on the 17th. As people waited for the parade to begin, they bought refreshements from La Chapala and the paleteria that is next door to the Supermercado.


A street vendor has their merchandise out on display; it ranged from Mexican flags of varying sizes, straw hats, Mexico soccer jerseys, and horns.


As the parade came to an end, the stragglers from the parade mingled behind on Cermak and others bought refreshments from the paleteria close by.


Children in their traditional Mexican Folkloric outfits greet the crowds as they waved their flags from their float during the Mexican Independence Day parade procession that took place at noon in Cicero on the 17th.


A train chugs its way down the parade procession as it carried passengers like this little girl on Sunday September 17th.


Traditional Folkloric Dancers, or ballet folklórico, dance their way and swayed their dresses in hand with as the boys stepped their way to the beat down the parade route.


Caballeros with the horses prance their way down the procession line during the parade. Some Caballeros danced with their horses down the procession and others carried both the American and Mexican, representing the mix of cultures.

A woman wearing an Aztec headdress throws candy to the crowd at 59th Ct and Cermak as the float proceeded to make its way down the rest of the procession on Sunday afternoon.


Cars participated in the Mexican Independence Day Parade procession donning the Mexican Flag on Sunday afternoon September 17th in Cicero, IL.

A couple of children stand on a metal sidewalk railing to get a better view of the horses and caballeros that made their way down the procession Sunday afternoon on the 17th.


A couple of people represent Lucha Libre Total (LLT) pose for a picture as they passed out flyers during the procession of the Independence Day Parade in Cicero this past Sunday.


A group of festivalgoers wave their flags and celebrate as they made their way down Austin/ Cermak when the annual Mexican Independence Day Parade ended on Sunday in Cicero, IL.


The Town of Cicero workers speedily clear up Cermak to open the street back to traffic as the last of the parade made its way towards Laramie.


Cars wait in traffic at the corner of Austin Blvd and Cermak for the traffic light as the street cleared up on Sunday afternoon in Cicero, IL 09.17.17.