Let Freedom Sing Culture, History Come Together for Mexican Independence Day Party

Article excerpt

Byline: Abby Scalf Daily Herald Staff Writer

History and culture will come together Sunday as the Lake County Forest Preserve District's Greenbelt Cultural Center hosts Fiestas Patrias, a Mexican Independence Day celebration.

The celebration honors the cry of independence that took place Sept. 16, 1810. On that date, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest, rang the bell of his church in Dolores, Mexico, and issued the cry to begin the fight for Mexican liberty and independence from Spain.

His declaration began an 11-year war in which native Mexicans rose up against the Spaniards who had ruled Mexico or "New Spain," as it was called, for 10 generations.

The moment is commemorated through a re-enactment and celebrations around the world each September.

Greenbelt Cultural Center Manager Chris Ayers said the goal is to present an exciting and educational experience to teach everyone about Hispanic culture.

Last year, 2,000 people attended the event. Ayers said new entertainment is planned for this year's activities.

Among the new features, Club Tonatico and Club Morelos, both of Waukegan, will present the El Grito, the traditional re-enactment of the cry for independence in 1810. …