Mexican Independence Day event set in Merced

An improving economy in Merced has been a boon for the Mexican Independence Day celebration planned Sunday, according to the organizer.

It’s been several years since he was able to garner sponsors for the event, organizer Jose Antonio said, but it will return this year with a kickoff at noon Sunday at Stephen Leonard Park, 640 T St.

“Economically, people weren’t doing good enough with business to help support events,” Antonio said, noting that the economy has improved enough for businesses to open their wallets.

The official holiday is two days later, a commemoration of the day in 1810 when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest, launched the Mexican War of Independence with the issuing of his Grito de Dolores, or “Cry of Dolores,” according to

The revolutionary essay, which gets its name because Hidalgo read it publicly in the town of Dolores, called for the end of 300 years of Spanish rule in Mexico, redistribution of land and racial equality.

This year in Merced, Antonio plans a car show, potluck and activities for children. Folklórico dancing is also planned.

The organizing for the event started late, so the planned parade was not approved by the Merced City Council on Sept. 1, but Antonio assures that the rest of the activities are aimed to please.

“We’re just going to have a fun day and enjoy a nice barbecue, and enjoy the day out there,” he said.