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Mayor Nutter Helps Usher In Philadelphia's "Mexican Week"

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia's second annual "Mexican Week" kicked off today at City Hall, with events running through Monday, May 5th ("Cinco de Mayo").

For the first time in Philadelphia, the Mexican flag was hanging high today outside City Hall (photo below).  It will remain there through May 5th.


mexican flag 1
(Photo by Cherri Gregg)


"Philadelphia continues to be a culturally rich and tremendously diverse city, and we want to recognize that as a strength," said mayor Michael Nutter, "and whenever we can highlight different traditions and music, we want to highlight that."

Carlos Giralt, consul of Mexico here in Philadelphia, says the Nutter administration's recent policy changes -- such ending the city's compliance with federal immigration holds (see related story) -- have helped make Philadelphia a better place for the more than 400,000 thousand Latinos living in the city.

And hanging the Mexican flag at City Hall makes the city even more appealing, he said.  "We see this civic act as a symbol of friendship between the Mexican community and the City of Philadelphia."

Giralt says he's hoping Mexican Week builds bridges between the Mexican community and the rest of the city.

"The better we know each other, the better we'll treat each other," he said.

Five days of events are planned by the Mexican Cultural Center, including the opening ceremony today at City Hall and a free concert in Love Park; an exhibit featuring art by Joel Garcia at Magic Gardens on Friday; a concert and exhibit at the Barnes Foundation on Sunday; and a symposium on Mexico on Monday, which is Cinco de Mayo.

In addition, Mexican Restaurant Week runs May 1st through 5th at participating restaurants.

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