Some Mexican Independence Day events spiraled out of control as caravans took over Chicago

Thousands of revelers descended on downtown Chicago this weekend to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, and chaotic is how many people described the city.

A decision by the city Friday night closed all access to downtown, which kept people from crowding the streets. Still, at times, things became unruly.

Audrey Clay was looking forward to watching a show in the city on Friday, but instead, she sat in her car as she tried to get around closed roads.

"It makes no sense to me why the perimeter of the city’s economic district is shutdown," said Clay.

Second Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins says the decision to close roads was for everyone’s safety.

"We knew if we allowed those vehicles to get to downtown, then it was just going to be chaos all night long," said Hopkins.

FOX 32 asked him if there is a better plan that city officials can come up with.

"We’re working on that for next year," said Hopkins, "One area of improvement for right now is providing access for residents of the downtown area."

Hopkins says the celebration was inconvenient for some, but it could have been worse. He says there were 15 arrests in the downtown area related to Mexican Independence Day activities. But if you include the outlying neighborhoods, there were a total of 86 arrests.

Hopkins says two police officers did have some serious injuries, but they’ve since been treated and released.

"Most of the injuries for police officers in the downtown area were for things like being maced. A couple of them were hit with bottles that were thrown," he said.

"I don’t think we condone any kind of illegal activity; we just want to have a good time," said Cristina Paredes, Vice President of the Mexican Patriotic Club. She says the holiday attracts so many people because it's the one day the city celebrates in unison with Mexican heritage.

"It’s exciting to see everyone come together to show their love for their heritage," said Paredes.

Hopkins says there was just as much crime this year as in years' past.