Are you ready to get your celebration on? Because Chicagoland sure is! This September 15th marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month and will continue all month long as we recognize the many contributions, cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latinx community.
All throughout Chicagoland local museums, businesses and neighborhoods will be holding festivities in honor of the month, so we rounded up just a few ways to get involved. Read a little more about the history of the month below and then check out what Chicagoland has to offer this September and October.
First, A Little Background.
Let’s do a quick catch-up about what this is all about. In 1968, Hispanic Heritage Week started under President Lyndon Johnson. The push to recognize the contributions of Latinx people was brought on by the civil rights movement in the 1960s – since this was a time of growing awareness of the United States’ multicultural identity. In 1988, it was expanded by President Ronald Reagan to cover a whole 30-day period, now going from September 15th to October 15th. It was enacted into law that same year on August 17th.
Now the start date of September 15th was significant because it was the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. But Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence days within the month, and Día de la Raza falls under the month as well, on October 12th.
Traditionally, this month is celebrated in all different ways – from getting together with friends and family to local festivals and anything in between. Even if you don’t identify as Hispanic, Latino, or Latinx, it’s still a great opportunity to learn more about the cultures of those honored during these four weeks.
Ready to get into it? Here are some fun celebrations across Chicagoland!
Celebrate at the Field Museum
Throughout the month, Chicago’s Field Museum is hosting featured bilingual events where attendees can hear from Latinx staff embers and learn about the Field’s work. Some highlights include…
- Bilingual storytime
- Almorzar y Aprender (lunch and learn)
- Ballet Folorico de Chicago
- Meet a scientist
- And more!
See the full schedule and learn more about each event by clicking here.
Snap a Pic of The Wings of Mexico
Don’t sleep on this one, because this art installation is leaving Chicago on October 1st! “The Wings of Mexico” can be found at the Plaza of the Americas at 430 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611. Created by internationally renowned Mexican artist Jorge Marin, he says the sculpture is meant to symbolize the immigrant journey.
Read more about this bronze piece and plan your visit to see The Wings before their gone by clicking here.
Attend a Park Festival
The Chicago Park District has put together a full month of neighborhood festivals that include cultural exhibits, music, dance and arts and crafts meant for all ages. Bring the family to your pick of five different parks between October 8th and October 23rd to participate in the fun!
Check out which parks are holding celebrations and get the details by clicking here.
Run a 5K
If you love running, Fleet Feet Chicago is hosting a Hispanic Heritage Month 5K on October 15th at 9am in South Loop! Sign up or donate to the cause today by clicking here.
Alternatively, if traffic getting into the city isn’t your jam don’t panic – we’ve got virtual options, too. Run where you’re comfy, or even invite your out-of-towner social circle to join by signing up for the 2022 virtual Hispanic Heritage Month Run. This one can be completed anytime between September 15th and October 17th and registration is now open! Just be sure to take pics and tag @LatinosRun to share your run!
Jump into the Community.
These are just a few ideas to get you started this Hispanic Heritage Month. If none of that seems to be up your alley, there are a bunch of events happening in the city and surrounding suburbs that could be fun for the whole family. Take a class like Bachata 101, attend a show like the Las Locas Comedy Showcase, or get crafty at your local public library. There are plenty of ways to celebrate this month!