Mexican grito will be heard, just a little bit earlier

Parade and events kick off today

September 15, 2012

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The Mexican Flag will be flying high and proud today in Chicago as thousands are expected to attend the city's annual Mexican Independence Day Parade.

Organizers say they’re sad that they had to move the time and place of a beloved ceremony that marks the start of Mexican Independence.

“El Grito” is the cry for Mexican independence.

In Chicago, the Mexican Civic Society of Illinois stages the cry at the Petrillo Music Shell at Grant Park on the evening of September 15th.

But not this time.

Chicago police worried about the city’s uptick in violence, so it asked the society to put up thousands of feet of fencing around the park .

That would have cost the society too much -- maybe 30-grand.

“The Mexican Civic Society, we’re a non-for-profit, we do this for free, we don’t charge. And this additional security requirements, that we couldn’t do them,” Vicente Rangel, president of the Mexican Civic Society of Illinois. “And, as much as it pains us, we had to change the location of ‘El Grito’.”

So, El Grito will now be held much earlier and during today’s Mexican Independence Parade which starts at noon at Balbo and Columbus Drive.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Mexico’s Consul General in Chicago, Eduardo Arnal Palomera are expected to attend.