Victoria Pino Flores runs Luceritos Fashion at Mercado Central, which is hosting a Mexican Independence Day celebration on September 15, 2023. Credit: Dymanh Chhoun | Sahan Journal

Mercado Central is hosting “El Grito Del Pueblo,” or the “Cry of the People,” Friday to commemorate the cry for freedom that led to the independence of Mexico.

The event, hosted by the Mexican market on Lake Street, is scheduled to kickoff in Minneapolis at 3 p.m. Friday, and will feature free entertainment in the form of Mexican bands and musical dance groups. It coincides with the start of Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States, which starts on September 15 and ends on October 15.

Sara Lopez, policy director of Unidos MN, a local advocacy group for Latinos in Minnesota, said the independence day festivities are a staple for south Minneapolis, but that this year’s celebration is especially important given all of the community’s wins at the Legislature earlier this year.

“We have to celebrate the independence of Latin America. And also we have to celebrate our ability to create powerful public relationships with our elected officials at the state level,” Lopez said.

Among the most celebrated accomplishments for the Latino community this year was Driver’s License For All passing in the Legislature, allowing undocumented Minnesotans to apply for a driver’s license starting in October. 

Mercado Central, a Latino marketplace on Lake Street in Minneapolis, pictured on September 13, 2023. Credit: Dymanh Chhoun | Sahan Journal

Bloomington Avenue from Lake Street south to 31st Street will be closed at noon Friday for the event, according to Lopez.

Unidos MN is organizing the event at Mercado Central that will culminate at 9 p.m. with a traditional “grito,” or “cry,” to commemorate the date.

Vendors at Mercado Central will sell traditional Mexican candies, clothing, and accessories at the event, which is free to attend. 

Victoria Pino Flores, at Luceritos Fashion, said her business has stocked up on different traditional Mexican dresses.

“This is the clothing they usually use in the countryside,” Pino Flores said. “There are several places that use different clothing such as those in Jalisco or Chiapas.”

Celebrations for Independence Day begin on September 15 and lead into September 16, the actual Mexican Independence Day, throughout Mexico and areas in the United States with large Mexican populations. 

While Mexicans celebrate their independence day on September 16, other Latin American countries like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrate their independence day on September 15, according to the Hispanic Heritage Month website.

Pino Flores also stocked up on traditional clothing and flags from other countries because of the event’s celebration of diverse Latino communities. 

“Thanks to our independence, we can be free and our clothing greatly represents our customs, whether from Mexico or any other place,” Pino Flores said. 

How to attend El Grito Del Pueblo

Where: Bloomington Avenue from Lake Street to E. 31st Street in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mercado Central, which is hosting the event, is located on the corner at 1515 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

When: Friday, September 15, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cost: Free

Alfonzo Galvan is a reporter for Sahan Journal, covering work, labor, small business, and entrepreneurship. Before joining Sahan Journal, he covered breaking news and immigrant communities in South Dakota,...