Celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day Downtown This September

August 27, 2015

Mexican Independence Day Celebration in Tucson in 2014.

Mexican Independence Day Celebration in Tucson in 2014.

by Liz Felix

We’ve all heard of the joyful grito in mariachis but the grito that’s celebrated in Mexico on September 16 is the Grito de Dolores, the speech that rallied thousands of Mexican Indians and mestizos to take up arms and revolt against the Spanish army.

On September 16, 1810, Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo rang the church bell in the small town of Dolores and gave a speech calling for the poor and disenfranchised to march to Mexico City to defeat the oppressive Gachupines and gain their independence. The call to action sparked the decade long war against the Spanish and Mexico was finally given independence in 1821.

So next time Cinco de Mayo comes around, feel free to correct folks who mistakenly call it Mexico’s Independence Day. Spread the word and share that in fact, September 16 is the day that Mexico celebrates its independence, not May 5. Then, after you tell them that the 5th of May actually celebrates Mexico’s victory against the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, they can go back to their tequila and celebration and you can smile because you’ve just made someone a little smarter.

Celebrations will be held in Downtown Tucson for the first time in recent memory.

Celebrations will be held in Downtown Tucson for the first time in recent memory.

On September 12, collaborating with Second Saturdays, AZ Bilingual, and Visit Tucson will be presenting the first Mexican Independence Day celebration in Downtown Tucson where you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about and celebrate an important day in Mexico’s history.

“Our desire is to unite our diversity in culture, traditions and food, and what a better place than Downtown,” says Alma Gallardo, Director and Editor at The Arizona Bilingual Newspaper.“We’re so excited about it!”

The cultural event will be family-friendly and free to the public. Just as it’s done it Mexico, the celebration will begin with the traditional grito led by a representative of the Mexican consulate, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, and other community leaders. The celebration will also feature a marching band from Mexico, and singing the Mexican national anthem will be an international tenor from Hermosillo, Sonora.

During the event, national flags, including the flag of the United States and Arizona, will be escorted by women dressed in the traditional traje de Charra Mexicano. The celebration will also have a variety of Mexican food, live music, mariachi, and folklorico dances.

Enjoy the festivities on September 12 (a Second Saturday), from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Stone and Congress and come prepared to let out a grito of your own!

For more information, visit the Second Saturdays website here or check out The Arizona Bilingual Newspaper site here.