On Sunday, the Mexican Cultural Center of Philadelphia hosted a celebration of Mexican Independence Day at Penn’s Landing in partnership with PECO Energy and the Consulate of Mexico.
The crowd was diverse, and vendors and attendees came to Philadelphia from across the East Coast to enjoy the festival. The smell of spit-roasted pork, Mexican grilled corn cobs (also called “elotes”) and fresh fruit spread throughout the plaza and onto Front and Chestnut streets. Banda Lamento Show De Durango and other groups performed live music throughout the day and into the night. People of all ages seemed to be enjoying themselves, including Karen Reyes and her baby daughter April, who came from New York. Reyes explained that her favorite thing about the event was the food, and that “tacos are the best thing to eat.”
Mayor Jim Kenney even made an appearance, giving a quick endorsement to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, while denouncing Donald Trump as “el payaso” — the clown. He compared his own family’s history as Irish immigrants to the lives of the Mexican immigrants in the crowd, encouraging them to be proud of their cultural heritage. Philadelphia’s own Cenzontle Cuicatl Aztec dance group was there as well. One dancer explained that their group in particular was attending as an expression of dissent and to raise awareness of native oppression.