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Lake Street businesses prepare for Mexican Independence Day celebrations

Lake Street businesses prepare for Mexican Independence Day celebrations

Businesses along Lake Street in Minneapolis are gearing up for the upcoming Mexican Independence Day celebrations. Mercado Central, a Mexican market in the area, is set to host an event called “El Grito Del Pueblo,” which translates to “The Cry of the People,” to commemorate the struggle for freedom that ultimately led to Mexico’s independence.

This event, organized by Mercado Central, is slated to begin at 3 p.m. this Friday in Minneapolis. Attendees can look forward to free entertainment, including performances by Mexican bands and dance groups. Notably, this celebration aligns with the start of Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States, which spans from September 15 to October 15.

Sara Lopez, the policy director of Unidos MN, a local advocacy group for Latinos in Minnesota, emphasized the significance of this year’s celebration. She highlighted the community’s recent victories in the state legislature, making it all the more important to commemorate Latin American independence and the strong relationships built with elected officials.

One of the noteworthy achievements for the Latino community this year was the passage of “Driver’s License For All” in the legislature, allowing undocumented individuals in Minnesota to apply for driver’s licenses, starting in October. In preparation for the event, Bloomington Avenue, stretching from Lake Street south to 31st Street, will be closed at noon on Friday, as confirmed by Lopez.

Unidos MN is orchestrating the festivities at Mercado Central, culminating in a traditional “grito” or “cry” to mark the occasion at 9 p.m. Vendors at Mercado Central will offer traditional Mexican candies, clothing, and accessories for sale during this free-to-attend event.

Victoria Pino Flores, who operates Luceritos Fashion, mentioned that her store has stocked up on various traditional Mexican dresses, especially those commonly worn in rural areas or specific regions like Jalisco and Chiapas.

Mexican Independence Day celebrations commence on September 15 and extend into September 16, which is the actual Mexican Independence Day. This tradition is observed not only in Mexico but also in regions of the United States with significant Mexican populations. It’s worth noting that while Mexicans celebrate their independence on September 16, several other Latin American countries like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua mark their independence day on September 15, according to the Hispanic Heritage Month website.

Pino Flores also made sure to stock up on traditional clothing and flags from various countries, underscoring the event’s celebration of the diverse Latino communities. She expressed, “Thanks to our independence, we can embrace our freedom, and our attire serves as a powerful representation of our customs, whether they originate from Mexico or any other place.”

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