Mexican Independence Day celebrations across the Chicago area

It is always one of the most festive weekends in Chicago and this year is no different.

Hundreds of thousands will be in the city this weekend for Mexican Independence Day, which takes place Saturday and commemorates the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence from Spanish colonial rule on Sept. 16, 1810.

Celebrations will take place all weekend long across the Chicago area. Even people not attending the festivities will not be able to miss thousands of cars proudly flying Mexican flags, patriotic chants of "¡Viva Mexico!" and the unmistakable scent of carne asada.

Here's a look at how the Chicago area is celebrating this weekend:

Little Village's 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the 26th Street parade Saturday in Little Village, one of Chicago's largest celebrations every year. It is truly Chicago's flagship event for celebrating Mexican pride and culture.

The parade, which features vibrantly colored floats, folkloric dancing and mariachi bands, will push off at noon from the Little Village Arch located on 26th Street and Albany Avenue. The two-and-a-half mile route will travel down 26th Street to Kostner Avenue.

The parade's theme this year is "Tu Mexico, Tu Chicago," showcasing the culture and heritage of each state in Mexico.

This is the first year the Little Village Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the parade on a Saturday and on the actual date of Mexican Independence Day.

The parade was nixed during 2020-2021 due to the pandemic but it returned in glorious fashion last year.

Prior to the parade, there will be the New Life Centers’ El Grito 5k Family Run/Walk on 26th Street. The race will begin at 10 a.m. at 4345 W. 26th Street and will go to the Little Village Arch and back.

Interested participants can register here.

People participate in a parade ahead of the Mexican Independence Day in Chicago on Sept. 10, 2017. (Xinhua/Liu Yifang via Getty Images)

El Grito Fiestas Patrias in Round Lake

Northwest suburban Round Lake will join in the merriment this weekend, beginning on Friday at 5 p.m. with an El Grito civic ceremony at Avilon Avenue and Goodnow Boulevard.

The celebration resumes Saturday at noon, with another stacked lineup of DJs, bands and folkloric dancing. Entry is free and you can expect plenty music, food and, of course, mariachi.

Click here for more info.

Fiesta Sin Frontera Festival in Waukegan

Downtown Waukegan will be partying all day long starting at noon Saturday on North Genesee Street. 

If you aren't familiar with the routine by now, there will be plenty of live music, mouthwatering food options and all things Mexico.

Tickets are completely free and the event runs until 11 p.m. Check out their website for more details.

Fiestas Patrias North Chicago

North Chicago is hosting its first-ever Mexican Independence Day parade this year.

The parade route will start at 10th and Adams streets and ends at North Chicago City Hall.

The festival will include tradition Mexican food and drinks, games, live music and activities for children and more. There will also be an unannounced surprise artist.

Mexican Independence Day celebration in Woodstock

On Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., people will be gathering in Woodstock Square to celebrate all things Mexican culture.

The square will be full of live music, vendors, children's activities such as bounce houses and beverages for adults. Whether you're indulging in your favorite food truck or riding a mechanical bull, there will be a little something for everybody.

Mexican Independence Day Parade in South Chicago

The annual parade put on by The Mexican Patriot Club in South Chicago will start at 87th Street and Commercial Avenue at 1 p.m.

The route travels head south along Commercial Avenue to 99th Street.

The parade's grand marshal will be Ald. Peter Chico (10th).


Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications is urging drivers to keep the streets clear and avoid drag racing activities this weekend.

Officials said there are no planned street closures at this time, but rolling closures could be enacted due to increased traffic within Chicago's central business district.

"Car caravans that create a threat to public safety will not be tolerated. We also remind everyone that drag racing and drifting are not only illegal, but dangerous. Anyone in violation of the ordinance will be held accountable," the statement continued. 

Last year, tens of thousands of people came on foot and in car's to Chicago's Loop waving Mexican flags, lighting fireworks, playing music and "drifting" in intersections. Chicago police deployed spike strips, blocked roads and closed exits as crowds lost control over the busy holiday weekend.