Thousands celebrated at the 77th annual Mexican Independence Day Parade and Festival Sunday in East Los Angeles, the longest running and largest Mexican heritage parade in the country.
The mile and a half parade started at 10 a.m. at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Mednik avenues, traveled north on Cesar Chavez before turning east on Gage Avenue. Parade participants then turned south on 1st Street, returning to the Grand Festival on 1st and Mednik.
Live music and dancing, along with many other displays, were held throughout the parade’s route.
Several city leaders were in attendance, including Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna.
“I was born here in East Los Angeles, so for me it’s a homecoming,” Luna said. “I feel right at home with all the people here. Seventy-seven years as part of the history of this parade, this is a very proud community. It’s where my parents were from. It’s where my entire family is from. I’m a red-blooded American, but when you hear the Mexican National Anthem, there’s a connection there because that’s where my family’s from as well.”
Actor Mark Consuelos was this year’s Grand Marshal.
“Celebrating the Mexican culture, Mexican independence, that’s a big part of the fabric of Los Angeles.”
L.A. City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who also attended the day’s events, noted that Los Angeles has the largest population of Mexicans in the United States outside of Mexico City.
“As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, I’m here celebrating with my grandmother and it’s just an immense source of pride for us to be able to recognize our rich cultural traditions and history in our city,” she said.
KTLA Photojournalist Phil Ige reports.