For the 41st straight year, the UMOS Mexican Independence Day parade, featuring mariachis, low-rider cars, traditional and Aztec dancers, and dignitaries including Mayor Tom Barrett, wound its way through south side streets recently.
Parade-goers and marchers were led to a festival on the grounds of the UMOS corporate headquarters, 2701 S. Chase Ave. UMOS, a non-profit that serves area Latinos, along with almost two-dozen local businesses, sponsored the celebration of Mexican independence.
Thousands partook in the festivities, which included music, carnival rides and games, food and numerous community resource booths.
The highlight of the opening ceremony was a stirring rendition of “El Grito de Dolores,” by Arnoldo Sevilla, a Milwaukee historian.
“El Grito” or “Cry” of Dolores was the Sept. 16, 1810 rallying cry by Roman Catholic Priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, sparking the Mexican War of Independence against the Spanish colonial government.
“Viva Mexico. Viva la independencia. Viva Mexico,” shouted Sevilla, as the crowd repeated his chants.