Mexican Independence Day celebrated at Penn’s Landing

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Tomas Flores runs the Champions LowRiders Club and builds lowrider bikes in his spare time.

Unlike the typical bikes you see riders riding around town, these are fully chromed and look more like works of art than vehicles.

Lowrider bikes were on display at the Mexican Independence Day Festival, built by members of the Philadelphia-based Champions Lowrider organization. (Cory Sharber/WHY)

“When I come [sic] in this country i saw the first bike in norristown, pa but the thing when i saw the bikes the guy who was riding the bikes he was a gangster so i don’t want people think I was a gangster too, so I decided not to buy it,” Flores said.

He finally bought his first lowrider in 2015 and started riding it around his neighborhood in 2020. People approached him to buy him one, and that’s where the idea for a business came from. .

Lowrider bikes were on display at the Mexican Independence Day Festival, built by members of the Philadelphia-based Champions Lowrider organization. (Cory Sharber/WHY)

“The foundation of the club: faith, family and culture,” said Flores. “When we host events, we always promote family because we want family to come together with this movement.”

People often confuse Mexican Independence Day with Cinco de Mayo, and according to MCC President Guenther, there is a huge difference between the two.

“Cinco de Mayo celebrates a very specific war, which is the war we had with the French, which in Spanish is called, Batalla de Puebla,” Guenther said.

Thousands of people filled Penn’s Landing to celebrate their heritage during Mexico’s Independence Day festival on Sept. 18, 2022. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Mexico’s Independence Day celebrates the anniversary of the Grito de Dolores, a speech and battle cry given by Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1810 that inspired the movement that finally freed Mexico from domination Spanish.

Sunday’s event was part of the PECO Multicultural Series.

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