CHICAGO — City of Chicago is preparing for another night of busy streets as Mexican Independence Day celebrations continue.
Cars filled streets throughout the downtown area. Drivers honked horns and passengers were hanging out of windows and sunroofs. Many also waved flags, shouted and reveled in the holiday.
City officials closed Columbus Drive around 7 p.m. Thursday from Roosevelt Road to Monroe Street.
The Office of Emergency Management and Communications says it is taking appropriate measures to ensure everyone’s safety and working with Chicago police to control traffic.
For the last two years the parade has been cancelled due to Covid.
Hundreds of cars also drove through the city Wednesday night with drivers and passengers waving Mexican flags and honking horns.
Neighbors in Printers Row said drivers were on the road from sundown until 2 a.m., some setting off fireworks near their buildings. Some people who live downtown said the drivers can at times be reckless and they’re worried about people getting hurt.
Early Thursday morning, a Chicago police officer was hit while directing traffic, standing in the street in the first block of West Ida B Wells Drive between South State Street and Clark Street. Police said a driver of a Dodge Charger failed to stop and struck the officer.
The driver, and a male passenger, were both taken into custody.
The officer was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Police closed down DuSable Lake Shore Drive and several other roads during the celebrations.