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Streets closed in downtown Chicago due to Mexican Independence Day celebrations

Mexican Independence day brings traffic jams, illegal fireworks displays to downtown Chicago
Mexican Independence Day brings traffic jams, illegal fireworks displays to downtown Chicago 03:38

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Much of Chicago's Central Business District closed to incoming traffic Saturday night as large celebrations for Mexican Independence Day created chaos in the area. 

Around 6:30 p.m. streets closed to incoming traffic from Division to 18th Street and from DuSable Lake Shore Drive to Halsted Street "for safety reasons due to large caravans," according to a release from the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications Saturday evening. 

Chicago Police were out in full force blocking off access, but some were able to bypass those blockades to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. 

Once patriotic revelers made it downtown it got loud. Many were chanting, celebrating their independence, honking horns, anything they could get their hands on that made a sound. That included an unplanned and illegal fireworks show outside of Daley Plaza.

Cars could be seen lining the streets for blocks. And some got out of their cars to start parading their way downtown holding Mexico's flag with pride. 

That left traffic at a standstill.  

Streets will be closed intermittently throughout the night, but residents who live or work in the area and all critical care workers will be allowed access at one of the below access points, OEMC said.  


·         Halsted/Division

·         Halsted/Chicago

·         Halsted/Washington

·         Halsted/Madison

·         Halsted/Jackson

·         Division/LaSalle

·         Roosevelt/Union

·         18th/State

·         18th/Michigan

·         18th/Indiana

Bus service is also affected. No buses are running between Halsted and the lakefront or from Chicago Avenue to Cermak, and there may be major delays from congestion as routes approach the the area and return back in the other direction. 

CTA officials said riders should consider using "L" service as an alternative and allow extra travel time. 

There was no word Saturday night on when the Central Business District will be open again.

But so far, the celebrations have remained peaceful.  

Streets in the area were also closed Friday night.

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