The Mexican flag is seen during a past East Moline celebration of Mexican Independence Day.

MOLINE – Mercado on Fifth, Moline’s family-friendly outdoor night market, is celebrating Mexican Independence Day and the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month this Friday.

Presented in partnership with LULAC Council 5285 of Moline, the third-annual event will feature a traditional rendition of the “Grito de Dolores” (Cry of Dolores) by Luis Lara of KALA 88.5 FM. There also will be live music by the local Norteno-style band Conjunto La Razón and singer Cindy Garcia, food, drinks, retail vendors and children’s activities.

The “Grito de Dolores” performance commemorates Catholic priest and revolutionary leader Miguel Hidalgo’s call for Mexico’s independence from Spain on Sept. 16, 1810, in Dolores, Mexico. The historic event, which triggered the 11-year Mexican War of Independence, is celebrated on its anniversary as Mexican Independence Day.

“It’s important for the community to understand the significance of Mexican Independence Day and where we come from,” said LULAC Council 5285 chaplain Abel Zertuche, who helped plan the event. “Mercado is the perfect place to kick off our weekend celebration.”

Zertuche also organizes the East Moline Mexican Independence Day Fiesta and Parade, set for noon to 9:30 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 15, at Runner’s Park, 742 15th Ave., East Moline. 

Friday’s event at Mercado on Fifth, on Moline's 5th Avenue between 11th and 12th streets, will begin at 5 p.m. with music from local DJ Sonido Azteca. A procession of the Mexican and American flags will start at 6 p.m., followed by the crowning of the East Moline Mexican Independence Day Parade Princess and the “Grito de Dolores.”

Conjunto La Razón is slated to play from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

The celebration, Zertuche said in a Tuesday release, gives Mexican-Americans in the Quad-Cities an opportunity to show pride in their culture and share their heritage with younger generations. 

Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on Sept. 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin-American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile, and Belize also celebrate their independence during this period.

The fourth season of Mercado on Fifth will run from 5-10 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 27. For more information, visit mercadoonfifth.com.


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