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Reyna Guzman Casarez organized Philly’s first parade of allegorical cars for Mexican Independence Day.
Reyna Guzman Casarez organized Philly’s first parade of allegorical cars for Mexican Independence Day. Photos: Alan Nunez/Al Día News

Philly’s Mexican-American community kicks off Mexican Independence weekend with a car parade

Reyna Casarez had the idea for the city’s first parade of allegorical cars, with participants also donning traditional clothing.

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Multidisciplinary Artist, announcer and producer of "Talent and Community" on Philatinos Radio, and community leader, Reyna Guzman Casarez organized Philly’s first parade of allegorical cars for Mexican Independence Day on Thursday, Sept. 15. It was the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S. and a kickoff for Mexican Independence weekend.

Parade participants wore traditional Mexican clothing and dress wear and decorated trucks and cars with Mexican flags and other Mexican adornments. Similar parades have taken place across the country in Chicago, Southern California, but this was the first of its kind in Philadelphia. 

The parade started out on 9th Street and Washington Avenue in the heart of South Philadelphia’s Latino community. Participating cars went to Broad Street and then north, all the way to City Hall, where the festivities continued with dance, singing, and the raising of the Mexican flag at City Hall. 

Casarez has been planning the event for months in anticipation of this weekend's festivities, which includes activities for all ages. 

Mexico celebrates its 212th Mexican Independence Day celebration Friday, Sept. 16. On Thursday, Philadelphia City Hall raised the Mexican flag in support of their independence and heritage as Hispanic Heritage Month also kicked off. The celebrations will continue on Sunday, Sept. 18 during the Mexican Independence Festival from 2-8 p.m. at Penn’s Landing. 

At City Hall, Casarez and the local Mexican-American community was joined by president of the Association of the Consular Corps, Peter S. Longstreth, who was a special guest speaker and spoke on the importance and hard work of the Mexican Consulate, and all it did during the dog days of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

He also spoke about the Mexican flag and how its bright colors and design is most representative of the Mexican culture and community. 

Also present at City Hall was Office of Immigrant Affairs Director Amy Eusebio. Singer Pedro Villaseñor and the Mariachi Internacional Flores, and the group Danza Azteca del Anahuac, also joined in on the festivities and performed for the crowd.

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