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San Diego's Mexican Consulate anniversary celebration on El Grito

Thousands filled the streets of Little Italy to celebrate on the eve of Mexican Independence Day.

SAN DIEGO — Thousands came to Little Italy Friday, on the eve of Mexican Independence Day, to celebrate El Grito de Mexico in front of the Mexican Consulate to celebrate.

"It feels amazing to celebrate here," Susanna said.

17-year-old Susanna wore a dress handmade in Mexico.

"Even though I'm Mexican American I just love being able to celebrate this part of my culture," she said. "And I hope everyone else is celebrating their cultures as well."

People came together on India Street in Little Italy to celebrate the Mexican culture with music, games and traditional food.

"This is my aunt's business. she's been doing it for 20 years," said Suzette.

The event gave local businesses like Cocina de Tamales a chance to shine.

"Today is a very special day for us Mexicans. September 15 is when our war of independence was initiated by father Miguel Hidalgo in Dolores," said Carlos González Gutiérrez, Mexico's consul general in San Diego.

Father Hidalgo called to the Mexican people to rise up against Spanish rule which eventually lead to their independence. Since then, El Grito has paid tribute to that battle cry.

This year is extra special. Thirty years ago on Sept. 15, the Mexican government bought the consulate building in Little Italy. Mayor Todd Gloria presented a Proclamation to commemorate the anniversary. The consulate's history in San Diego stretches back more than a century ago. 

"The consulate is very old in San Diego. It was founded in October of 1979. It is older than Tijuana," said González Gutiérrez.

There will be many more festivities to celebrate Mexican Independence Day on Saturday.

WATCH RELATED: Mexican Independence Day San Diego celebrations 1980 and 1996

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