Home Milwaukee  “Mexico’s Victory Remembered:”  UMOS Mexican Independence Day Parade returns

 “Mexico’s Victory Remembered:”  UMOS Mexican Independence Day Parade returns

UMOS Mexican Independence Day Parade (Photo courtesy of UMOS)

The UMOS Mexican Independence Day Parade is returning after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic and will be titled “Mexico’s Victory Remembered.”

“The parade has always been very popular in that lots of people line up on the side of the streets. We are thrilled that we are able to be back with the parade because it has always been an important part of the day’s festivities,” says longtime UMOS spokesperson Rod Ritcherson.

 “There will be many Mexican Independence Day celebrations around the state, but the UMOS Mexican Independence Day Festival in Milwaukee is the biggest because we have the largest Latino population,” Ritcherson adds. “The Latino population is the fastest-growing population in the state, as well as Milwaukee, and most are of Mexican descent. This will be the 49th year that we are hosting the festival.”

UMOS is a non-profit, advocacy organization that provides programs and services which improve the employment, educational, health and housing opportunities of under-served populations. The organization’s Mexican Independence Day Parade & Festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16, starting at 10 a.m.

“The parade is back after a three-year absence and we are so excited about it,” Ritcherson says. “Two of those years were because of COVID and last year, at the last minute, we had to cancel because the parade insurance increased by 500 percent…. That was a little bit too much to absorb the costs.” 

Those high insurance costs, Ritcherson adds, were because of some of the problems that had happened elsewhere, especially after six people were killed and more than 60 others were injured in the 2021 Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy.

“Insurance companies were a little leary about insuring parades,” Ritcherson remembers. “This year, we were able to work something out so that the insurance costs are much more reasonable, but the main thing is the parade is back this year which in the past has been a very popular portion of the UMOS Mexican Independence Parade and Festival.”

The UMOS Mexican Independence Day Parade will start on the south side of Milwaukee at 10 a.m.  Beginning at 20th & Oklahoma the parade will head east on Oklahoma to 6th Street and Rosedale. The parade will end at the UMOS Center on Chase Ave.

UMOS Mexican Independence Day Parade
(Photo courtesy of UMOS)

“The theme of the parade this year will be ‘Mexico’s Victory Remembered.’ There will be floats, horses, high school bands and more,” Ritcherson says. “As usual, there will be a judging of the floats based on the theme and first, second, and third-place awards.”

The festival will follow the parade, taking place from noon-8 p.m. featuring all-day music, carnival rides, dancing, festive food vendors, merchandise vendors, beer and beverages, and community resource booths.  

“The real kick-off of the festival starts at 12:30 p.m. with the ceremony that will feature El Grito done by the Consul of Mexico-Milwaukee, Claudia Franco Hijuelos,” Ritcherson says.

The UMOS Mexican Independence Day Festival in Milwaukee is the largest September 16th celebration in the state, Ritcherson adds, and is the equivalent to July 4th in the U.S. Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of the Milwaukee population, the largest originating from Mexico. 

“Before the pandemic, there were between 7,000-9,000 people at the festival,” Ritcherson says. “It will probably take a good year to get back up to that and have a great crowd this year. I know many people who have gone to the parade and the festival in the past and they are very much looking forward to attending this year.”


For more information about the UMOS Mexican Independence Day Parade & Festival, call Vanessa Rosas at 414-389-6004.