Mexican Independence Day celebrations create heavy traffic, road closures in downtown Chicago
CHICAGO - Latinos are the largest ethnic group in Illinois, Cook County and Chicago.
So it only makes sense that they are flooding the downtown Chicago streets to mark Mexican Independence Day.
The day commemorates the moment when Father Hidalgo, a priest and leader, called for Mexico's liberation from Spain in September of 1810.
Chicago is home to nearly 3-million Latinos and 75% of them are of Mexican decent, according to a report by the University of Illinois at Chicago and Metropolitan Family Services.
In the past, the cruising would happen in the neighborhoods, but because of COVID-19 in 2020, the events were cancelled, and the same thing happened again this year.
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This year’s celebration means overtime for the staff of Chicago’s Emergency Management and Communications team.
Columbus Drive had to be shut down Thursday night, because on Wednesday, traffic was stopped as caravans turned it into a parking lot.
"They stopped traffic, and they used it as a location to hang out, we are not encouraging those unexpected stoppage," said Richard Guidice, Executive Director of Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management & Communications.
Thursday morning, an officer with the Chicago Police Department was hit while directing traffic and sustained some serious injuries.
Lake Shore Drive remained open, meanwhile CTA buses reported major delays.
Wednesday night, some people reported being stuck in traffic on buses over an hour.