East L.A. Celebrates Mexico With Parade

MexIndDayParade2EAST LOS ANGELES - Thousands of cheering spectators lined Cesar Chavez Avenue Sunday for the annual East Los Angeles Mexican Independence Day parade - which is the longest running in the United States and also this year commemorated Mexico's bicentennial independence from Spain.

The parade made its way down Cesar Chavez to the East Los Angeles Civic Center and Belvedere Park. With the grand marshal being world-famous singer Placido Domingo, the crowd cheered, blew horns and waved red, white and green Mexican flags to honor the day.

Highland Park resident Polo Diaz was among the crowd with his three children, ages 2, 3, and 5. He said he wanted to bring his family out to the parade to celebrate where they came from.

"I want to watch Mexican heritage and culture," Diaz said. "I'm excited to show my three daughters where their mom and dad game from."

There was plenty of entertainment along the route in the form of dancers, singers and bands. There were also dozens of game booths, food booths and other types of booths on Mednick Avenue, just by the civic center. And there were red, white and green balloons everywhere as the spectators enjoyed the near-perfect weather for the parade.

Jesus Perez made the trip to East L.A. all the way from Northridge with his wife and 6-year-old daughter.

"It's great," Perez said of the festivities. "I brought my daughter so she could learn some of her culture and heritage. She doesn't get to see much of this, so she's interested in seeing the colorful costumes and hearing the music."

Local resident Israel Sanchez brought his five kids - who range in age from 3 to 11 - to the event.

"I want to celebrate the spirit of the independence of Mexico," Sanchez said. "We feel for a moment like we're in our own country because we can celebrate."

(Shel Segal can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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