Calexico Celebrates 206th Anniversary of Mexican Independence

Consul Titular Carlos Flores Vizcarra waves the Mexican flag during the Mexican Independence Day celebration at Crummett Park Saturday.

CALEXICO –“Viva Mexico,” “Viva la Independencia,” and “Viva Calexico” were chanted among the crowds throughout the evening while thousands celebrated the 206th anniversary of Mexican Independence Day Saturday at Crummett Park in Calexico.

Accompanied by his wife, Esther, Carlos Flores Vizcarra, Consul Titular of the Mexican Consulate in Calexico, gave El Grito de Dolores while proudly waving the Mexican flag honoring his country.

Traditionally, Mexicans celebrate their country’s Independence Day on September 16.

The festival was conducted by Gerardo Venegas, a famous local television and radio personality, who was presented with a certificate of recognition for 25 years of service to the community.

“I want to thank the beautiful city of Calexico for this recognition honoring my legacy,” said Venegas. “This recognition means a lot to me because this is where I began my path. This is where my father (Eugenio Venegas) gave me the first opportunity to enter into the world of conductor. I am honored.”

Local artist Edgar Valentin con Mariachi Mixteco, Ballet Folklorico Municipal de la Casa de la Cultura de Mexicali, IMACUM, Mariachi Mariachi Mexteco de Calexico, Calexico High School Mariachi Centinela, Immitator D’Karlo, and La Sucursal de la Cumbia all brought the attendees to their feet and entertained the crowd with popular Mexican music.

“It’s a good event for the entire family to come out and have some fun,” said Amaya Leyva, a Calexico resident. “I have been coming here for years to celebrate Mexican Independence Day and it just seems it keeps getting better and better. Not only that, every year I see an increase in people attending. I especially enjoy the music.”

Independence Day is a national public holiday in Mexico with banks, schools, governmental offices and many businesses closed.

Surrounding the park were various booths with traditional antojitos Mexicanos (Mexican snacks) sold along with funnel cakes, aguas frescas, churros, nachos, cold beer and tacos.

“I love seeing how patriotic everybody is and how they are so proud to show their culture.” said Mary Delgado, an El Centro resident. “People really go out of their way, wearing such nice clothes.”

The Mexican Independence Day commemorates the day Miguel Hidalgo is believed to have made the “cry of independence” (El Grito de la Independencia) in the town of Dolores, in the north-central part of the Mexican state of Guanajuato. Hidalgo was one of the nation’s leaders during the War of Independence in Mexico.

There is no scholarly agreement on what was exactly said by Hidalgo, but his speech, also known as the cry of Dolores (el Grito de Dolores), was made on September 16, 1810 to motivate people to revolt against the Spanish regime. Hidalgo’s army fought against the Spanish soldiers in the fight for independence, but he was captured and executed July 30, 1811. Mexico’s independence was not declared until September 28, 1821.

Celebrations will continue through the month of September as the Mexican Consulate visits most of the cities in Imperial Valley.